Colleges expect full-time enrollment to decline, annual survey reveals

Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 7:15 a.m. MST

The New York Times reports almost half of surveyed colleges expect full-time enrollment to decline and a third of schools expect declines in tuition revenues relative to inflation.

Associated Press

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On Thursday, Moody's Investors Service released results of an annual financial survey of colleges. The New York Times reports almost half of surveyed colleges expect full-time enrollment to decline and a third of schools expect declines in tuition revenues relative to inflation.

The Wall Street Journal points to causes, including "stagnant family income, shaky job prospects for graduates and a smaller pool of high school graduates." It adds that smaller, more tuition-dependent colleges are expected to be hit hardest. Students and families are becoming more skeptical of the value of a high-priced college education, the story said, often opting instead for part-time enrollment at lower-cost community colleges.

Inside HigherEd reports that the new Moody's report adds evidence of a growing number of financial challenges for colleges: "The past four years have depressed all other sources of college university revenues — state and federal government funding, investment returns and fundraising, and revenues from health care services.

"Other studies are predicting continued constraints on endowment returns and fundraising prospects and stagnant state funding for institutions and state grant programs. Federal budget debates could affect federal student aid and research funding, and changes in health care regulation are likely to affect revenues from health care services for universities with medical centers."

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