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Looming Enrollment Cliff Poses Serious Threat to Colleges

The enrollment cliff poses a Darwinian threat to higher education, allowing only the wealthiest and market savviest to survive.

by Mark J. Drozdowski, Ed.D.
Edited by Darlene Earnest
Published January 27, 2023

Thanks to lower birthrates during the Great Recession, the college-age population will shrink beginning in 2025.
College officials call this demographic phenomenon the “enrollment cliff.”
The effects will vary based on geographic region and institutional type.
Colleges are already making adjustments to become more competitive and attract new student populations.
Today’s colleges and universities face a perfect storm of converging headwinds: Rising costs and mounting student debt. Admissions scandals amid cries of opaqueness. Political pressures to alter the curriculum. A Supreme Court seemingly eager to eradicate affirmative action. Waning public confidence.

But topping the list of concerns is that fewer and fewer young adults want what colleges offer. Enrollments have been dropping for a decade and cratered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To make matters even worse, a dangerous precipice looms on the near horizon, a demographic phenomenon known as the enrollment cliff. Many colleges won’t survive the fall.

What Is the Enrollment Cliff?

Read more at Best Colleges .com

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