Home » Clearinghouse Today Blog » 18.3 Million Students Enrolled in Spring 2016; Down 1.3 Percent from Last Spring, According to Spring Current Term Enrollment Estimates
Spring College Enrollments Continue to Decline

18.3 Million Students Enrolled in Spring 2016; Down 1.3 Percent from Last Spring, According to Spring Current Term Enrollment Estimates

by NSC Blog | May 24, 2016 | Current Term Enrollment, Research Services |

According to the Spring Current Term Enrollment Estimates from the National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™, more than 18.3 million students enrolled in spring 2016, down 1.3 percent compared to spring 2015.

Most of this spring’s decline took place at two-year public institutions (-2.8 percent) and four-year for-profit institutions (-9.3 percent). The report also includes state-level data showing a decline in 33 states and an increase in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

“The post-recession hangover continues to affect enrollments of adult learners,” stated Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director of the Research Center. “However, the desire to attend college remains strong among traditional-aged students, whose enrollments held steady in spite of concerns about student debt and an overall decline in the number of high school graduates in the nation.”

“The post-recession hangover continues to affect enrollments of adult learners. However, the desire to attend college remains strong among traditional-aged students, whose enrollments held steady in spite of concerns about student debt and an overall decline in the number of high school graduates in the nation.”

Doug Shapiro
Executive Research Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

The spring 2016 enrollment changes by region, compared to spring 2015, are:

  • Midwest decreased by 3.3 percent
  • Northeast decreased by 1.1 percent
  • South decreased by 0.8 percent
  • West increased by 1.1 percent

Current Term Enrollment Estimates, published every December and May include national enrollment estimates by institutional sector, state, enrollment intensity, age group, and gender.

As of spring 2016, postsecondary institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for more than 96 percent of enrollments at U.S. Title IV, degree-granting institutions. Because the Clearinghouse collects data at the student level, it is possible to report an unduplicated headcount, which avoids double-counting students who are simultaneously enrolled at multiple institutions.

Percent Change from Previous Year, Enrollment by Sector

(Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

CTEE Figure 112-month percentage change (fall-to-fall and spring-to-spring) for each term over the last three years

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