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ERIC Number: ED536112
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 73
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
National Postsecondary Enrollment Trends: Before, during, and after the Great Recession. Signature[TM] Report 1
Dunbar, Afet; Hossler, Don; Shapiro, Doug; Chen, Jin; Martin, Sarah; Torres, Vasti; Zerquera, Desiree; Ziskin, Mary
National Student Clearinghouse
This report, "National Postsecondary Enrollment Trends: Before, During, and After the Great Recession," brings to light emerging national and regional patterns among traditional-age, first-time students enrolling in colleges and universities during the fall term each year from 2006 through 2010--before, during, and after the recession. Drawn from data housed at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, this report explores: (1) Total enrollment and changes across years, by institution sector and control; (2) Enrollment totals and changes across years, nationally and by geographic region; (3) Full-time and part-time enrollment by institution type and geographic region; and (4) First-year retention. The results of these analyses show that changes in college enrollment accompanying the recent recession--thus far, and among traditional-age student--have not been as pronounced as many had previously feared. Nevertheless, findings point to distinct shifts in the college-going patterns of traditional-age, first-time students. Based on drops in real incomes, industrial activity, wholesale/retail sales, and employment, as well as GDP, analyses by the National Bureau of Economic Research (2008; 2010) dated the onset of the United States' recent economic recession at December 2007 and the end at June 2009. During this same period, the challenges facing higher education institutions included shifts in enrollment patterns, uncertainties regarding financial aid practices, and cuts in state support of public institutions--with all of these changes occurring amid increased federal and state pressures to meet national goals for increasing college degree attainment by 2020. Even in 2011, two years after the recession's end, the economy is, of course, not fully recovered. Unemployment remains high, state budgets continue to shrink, and family financial struggles have not subsided. Much uncertainty about how to plan for and respond to shifts in college enrollment remain. This report presents an effort to help federal, state, and institutional policy makers better understand recent events, to facilitate institutions' efforts to anticipate changing student enrollments, and finally, to inform appropriate responses from policy makers at multiple levels. Appended are: (1) Notes on the Data; (2) Coverage Tables; (3) Regions; and (4) Results Tables. (Contains 38 figures, 45 tables and 1 footnote.)
National Student Clearinghouse. 2300 Dulles Station Boulevard Suite 300, Herndon, VA 20171. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Student Clearinghouse
IES Cited: ED547260