🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

As enrollments dwindle and colleges close, towns hope developers will revive abandoned campuses

Jun 1, 2023
It isn't easy to find buyers for typical cinder-block campus buildings.
Southern Vermont College called this mansion in Bennington, Vermont home for 40 years, until it closed in 2019. Now, a real estate developer wants to turn it into a luxury resort.
Henry Epp/Marketplace

After high school years interrupted by COVID, students calculate the cost of college differently

May 25, 2023
This spring, there were 14.2 million undergraduates in the U.S., about 9% fewer than in spring 2019.
This spring, there were 9% fewer undergraduate students in the U.S. than there were in spring 2019.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Another small college closes as declining enrollment and a hot job market bite

Apr 12, 2023
More than half a dozen have announced they're closing over the past year or so.
A new Alabama law limits publicly funded institutions from endorsing or mandating DEI programs.
Getty Images

While undergraduate enrollment stabilizes, fewer students are studying health care

Feb 2, 2023
Undergraduate college enrollment may be leveling off, but fewer students are choosing to study a fast-growing field for jobs: health care.
Fewer and fewer students are opting to study health care-related majors despite high projected demand for workers.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Foreign students — who often pay full tuition — are returning to U.S. colleges and universities

Nov 16, 2022
International students are more likely to pay sticker price for a degree.
Students abroad frequently seek out higher education in the  U.S. And American colleges are seeking them out, too.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

College enrollment has dropped again since last spring

May 26, 2022
Rising wages for entry-level positions may be luring young people who are opting to work instead of attend college. What might this shift mean for the workforce in the longterm?
Higher education enrollment continues to drop, even after classes have returned to in-person.

Fewer students fill out FAFSA, enroll in college since pandemic began

Jul 21, 2021
The National College Attainment Network estimates that about 270,000 fewer high school seniors have filled out the FAFSA since 2019.
People mill about on the City University of New York campus. During the pandemic, the number of FAFSA applicants dropped, which means fewer eligible could students receive grants and loans.
Drew Angerer via Getty images

For public good, not for profit.

Early signs suggest college enrollment could rebound this fall

Jul 5, 2021
In Maine, the turnaround is being driven by out-of-state students.
University of Southern Maine senior Fantasia Perez works as a tour guide, leading interested students across the school’s campus in Gorham, Maine.
Grace Laverriere

The economic impact of low college enrollment by undocumented students

Jul 11, 2019
Nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from high schools across the U.S. each year. Only a fraction enroll in college.
This student, an undocumented immigrant in San Jose, California, is heading off to college. Counselors say other students without legal status see no reason to go on to higher education because their job opportunities are limited.
Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

Here's what's driving increasing college enrollment

Apr 29, 2019
New data from the Labor Department show more high school graduates enrolled in college last year than in 2017. Nearly 69 percent of 2018 high school graduates went to college, compared to 67 percent the year before. College enrollment has steadily risen over the last decade or so. Click the audio player above to hear […]
Sean Gallup/Getty Images