College enrollment was down last year

by Grace

The number of college students dropped last year.

20130911.COCFewerCollegeStudents1

A Wall Street Journal story gives us the details.

Overall undergraduate and graduate school enrollment dropped by about half a million to 19.9 million in 2012, reversing a six-year pattern of solid growth, according to the Census Bureau’s annual school enrollment report released Tuesday.

Fewer older students, but more Hispanic and international students

The overall decline in college enrollment was driven by students age 25 and older. That group fell by 419,000 students from 2011, while enrollment of younger students dropped by 48,000.

The number of Hispanic students enrolled in college last year rose to 3.4 million, up 447,000 between 2011 and 2012. Hispanics accounted for nearly 22% of students from preschool to adult education in 2012, up from 15.6% a decade earlier.

“This increase in the number of Hispanics enrolled in college can be attributed to the combination of an increase in the adult Hispanic population and their climbing likelihood of being enrolled,” Census Bureau statistician Julie Siebens said.

The collegiate student body overall has been getting more diverse: the percentage of all college students who were Hispanic rose to 17% from 11% between 2006 and 2012. The number of black students rose one percentage point to 15%, while non-Hispanic white students declined to 58% from 67%.

With fewer high school graduates projected, college enrollment may continue to decline in the coming years.  

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