The Shrinking of Higher Ed
A special report on the implications of the enrollment contraction.
Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That enrollment contraction comes at a precarious moment for the sector. Inflation is driving up costs and straining budgets, stock-market volatility is putting downward pressure on endowment returns, and federal stimulus funds are running out. Why is the enrollment crunch happening now? How are colleges responding? What might turn things around? Those are the questions fueling this special report.
The Shrinking of Higher EdIn the past, colleges grew their way out of enrollment crises. This time looks different.
The Search for Solutions
Food Pantries, Metamajors, and Sprint Football: How 3 Colleges Are Trying to Remedy Enrollment WoesA community college, a public regional, and a small private institution try to innovate their way out of yearslong declines.
Adults Who Left College Without a Degree Could Be Key to Recovering EnrollmentAs the number of traditional-age students shrinks, educators double down on efforts to re-enroll the 39 million Americans who left without a credential.
The Perilous Predicament of the Very Small CollegeMany campuses with fewer than 1,000 students survived the pandemic on fumes. What’s next?
The Lived Experience
What Happened to Black Enrollment?After more than a century of Black activists’ fight for college access, Black enrollment this past decade has tumbled at an alarming rate.