Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An ebb in higher education enrollment

FiveThirtyEight is spotlighting a decline in the percent of high school graduates going directly on to higher education, from 70% in 2009 to 66% for 2013, leading me to wonder about the Kentucky pattern.  As far as I can tell, the Bureau of Labor Statistics isn't publishing state-level reports like the one used by FiveThirtyEight, but I did find Council on Postsecondary Education data on a related issue: total undergraduate enrollment.  As graphed above, our in-state pattern includes:
  • A 4% increase in public university undergraduate enrollment since 2010
  • A 15% decline in Kentucky Community and Technical College System enrollment over those years
  • A 5% decline in total undergraduate enrollment combining the four-year and two-year schools
Both 538 and CPE reason that the peak years of the recession saw a peak in students choosing college and the economic recovery is likely to mean that some high school graduates choose to focus on employment immediately after graduation.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!