Question of the Day: Why Are Fewer People Going to College?


Good opportunity to engage students in some critical thinking including interpreting data and reasoning skills as well as understanding the value of a college degree.

The chart above shows the downward trend.  PBS NewsHour highlights the factors at work here:

  • Strengthening economy and more jobs reduce flow to colleges.  The opposite occurs in a down economy.
  • This slight decrease follows boom of 3.2 million students between 2006-2011.
  • Sharper reduction in 2 year colleges where enrollment dropped by 10% while enrollment at four year colleges increased by 1%.
  • Among income groups, sharpest drop-off was among middle class students.
    • Could cost be an issue in particular for this group?
  • Value of a college education remains as strong as ever as the chart below shows
    • Students can see among Millenials that the gap between college educated students and high school graduates is increasing.