90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Colleges In Crisis As Enrollment Dips

University of Washington students walk on the campus between classes in October 2012, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

University of Washington students walk on the campus between classes in October 2012, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Enrollment at more than 40 percent of private colleges and universities declined last year, forcing the institutions to offer steep tuition discounts to fill seats.

Even with that, colleges began the academic year with a record number of spots still available, according to the non-partisan, non-profit education news organization, The Hechinger Report.

Hechinger education reporter Jon Marcus says the decline is partly because of demography – the number of students graduating from high school peaked in 2009 – but the more important factor is parents and potential students balking at high tuition rates and becoming more unwilling to take on debt.

As one admissions official told Marcus, “we’ve reached a tipping point – the cost of college is really beginning to alarm families.”

The crisis is also affecting public institutions.

States have cut the amount they spend on higher education by more than 10 percent in the last two years, bringing spending down to 25 year lows. The cost of attending community college has risen by almost 10 percent in the last year.

The development comes as public officials, including President Barack Obama, are trying to increase the number of Americans with post-secondary education.

Selected articles by Jon Marcus:

Is the college bubble finally bursting? Have tuition costs deterred you or someone you know from going to a private college/university? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Guest:

  • Jon Marcus, reporter with the education news service The Hechinger Report.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 23 12 Comments

Iconic Images From Rock And Roll Photographer Henry Diltz

Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, the Doors, the Eagles, all became his friends and subjects.

April 23 23 Comments

Police Shooting Of Tamir Rice Still An Open Wound In Cleveland

Five months after the 12-year-old was shot, Peter O'Dowd visits the neighborhood and speaks with Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice.

April 22 6 Comments

Saving Food Scraps From The Trash To Make Better Meals

Are you throwing away your broccoli stems and peach pits? Food writer and cookbook author Eugenia Bone says don't.

April 21 Comment

Photographing Armenian Lives Around the World

Photojournalist Scout Tufankjian started the Armenian Diaspora Project to explore what it means to be Armenian.