College Enrollment Declined 2.3 Percent This Spring, Report Shows

It appears that fewer students are choosing to enroll in college.

A report released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Thursday revealed a 2.3 percent dip in students choosing to attend college during the spring of 2013. This year’s numbers represent a big leap from last spring, when enrollment only declined 0.3 percent from the previous year.

The decline in college enrollment can be attributed to the improving economy, which has allowed more students to return to the workforce, according to a press release from the organization.

"It's reflective of good news for the economy and labor market," Doug Shapiro, executive director of National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, told USA Today.

According to the survey, enrollment declined for every type of university besides four-year nonprofit universities, which had an enrollment increase of 0.5 percent since spring of last year. Four-year for-profit colleges experienced the biggest decline in enrollment, with 8.7 percent fewer students matriculating.

Meanwhile, two-year public colleges experienced an enrollment decline of 3.6 percent, and four-year public schools experienced an enrollment decline of 1.1 percent.

Enrollment declined across every part of the country, according to the data. Although fewer women enrolled in college than men this spring, females still made up more than 57 percent of spring 2013 enrollments, the news release notes.

The report was based on data collected from 95 percent of the nation’s Title IV colleges and universities. (Title IV allows institutions to grant students federal financial aid.

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