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Are Prospective Students About to Disappear?

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,646 Senior Member
"New book says most colleges -- and the vast majority of nonelite institutions -- are about to face severe shortage of potential students." ...

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/01/08/new-book-argues-most-colleges-are-about-face-significant-decline
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Replies to: Are Prospective Students About to Disappear?

  • reformedmanreformedman Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    edited January 10
    It starts by saying that admissions has decreased because populations have decreased, wait what?!?
    Firstly, admissions has increased unilaterally with all colleges to the point that dorms are overcrowded. New methods of sticking 4 people in a triple room originally designed as a double. You've all heard the stories of how some colleges have kept their students an extra year because some of their classes could did not have enough seats available. The list of examples go on and on.

    And then the kicker; populations in the northeast and midatlantic regions are depleting? This comes from the agenda of some persons who would have you consider that we need to bring in as many internationals (documented or not) to fill in the needed. It's portrayed in such a way as to say, 'what will we ever do if class sizes diminish and badly run colleges have to close down because they don't have enough students.' I don't think I have to explain what's going on with this logic but clearly someone is trying to push an agenda.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • jerseygirl188jerseygirl188 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    @reformedman "New methods of sticking 4 people in a triple room originally designed as a double." which schools does this happen in? Most schools in my area have been phasing out triples and will place you out of one as soon as possible.
  • PostmodernPostmodern Registered User Posts: 1,132 Senior Member
    @reformedman , can you show me where it shows that "admissions has [sic] decreased"?

    The first paragraph refers to potential students/applicants and states that "certain groups of students -- those who graduate from good high schools and have parents able to pay a significant share or all of their tuition and other college expenses -- are shrinking in number".

    That's a very different claim, and one that would have nothing to do with dorm density or class availability.

    It later clearly exempts highly competitive colleges from this problem, and in fact predicts increase in demand for those.
  • ChattaChiaChattaChia Registered User Posts: 274 Junior Member
    edited January 9
    The first paragraph, this sentence: "...have parents able to pay a significant share or all of their tuition and other college expenses -- are shrinking in number." says a lot. I don't know about actual shrinking of attendees, but maybe full pay are shrinking at the same time that costs have grown out of control. But there are people choosing less selective schools, community college (free where I live) and schools not in the historically popular locations. Think about all the recommendations for Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona..etc. As elite schools work to attract the demographics mentioned, they need more full pay to offset the need based aid they are providing. Add that to so many degrees that are not employable...

    I have a college educated friend with 8 kids...yes, 8, who has recommended that NONE of them attend college. So far they have all chosen trades. I could see trades making a resurgence in this economy...plumbers, electricians, carpenters, mechanics...skills that can travel and be applied anywhere in this country. The younger generations are much more mobile than past generations, and they are also less "handy" than my parents generation - paying for everything from lawn mowing to car repair, to home maintenance.

    Growing up, I never saw my parents hire out anything, right down to building their own house over the course of 8 years. I think my generation with kids heading into college now may still see it as the "safest" route to employable skills...but I think that is changing.
  • g8rmomk8ansg8rmomk8ans Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    @ChattaChia I agree we definitely need to keep encouraging the trades!!! College is not for everyone, not by a long shot. I'd like to see even more options for a trade path vs. college path in high schools. I know that in Germany, you are put on a track fairly early on in your education, which then becomes tailored to high level professionals, or white collar, or service jobs, etc. While I don't think that system is by any means perfect, as it can be hard to change tracks, it's still a very interesting process. I feel like the message that so many in the US get is "College! College! College!" when trades are very much needed and can provide a lot of success for individuals. Maybe I'm not seeing in my very suburban, upper class area and trades are being encouraged elsewhere--I sure hope that is the case.
  • ChattaChiaChattaChia Registered User Posts: 274 Junior Member
    @g8rmomk8ans I do know that our local CC has a couple programs for 2 year certificates in partnership with VW and Wacker (I don't know if I spelled that correctly), but it's a chemical processing plant. It trains kids for manufacturing jobs - which is kind of a half way point between trades and 4 year degree. It's been pretty successful.
  • anxiousenior1anxiousenior1 Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    @jerseygirl188 At Berkeley, we have doubles converted into triples, and student lounges turned into quads. Thank goodness we're having a new building being built.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,728 Senior Member
    Flagships (which tend to be decent financial deals for in-state families who can not get much financial or merit aid) as well a good Urban's schools are becoming overcrowded. Rural schools lower down the food chain (especially in the NE/Midwest) are having trouble getting students.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,728 Senior Member
    edited January 9
    Anyway, you could get a college/uni education as well as learn/work in a trade. Join the millions who go to college part-time while working.

    Also, the University of London offers some rigorous bachelors (including some majors where you are held to the same standards as LSE students) that cost less than $10K total for the degree that you can pursue anywhere in the world.
    You have to be quite self-motivated, independent, and disciplined, though.
  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member
    The article says that this is a problem for nonelite institutions. The elite institutions are getting richer (in terms of number of applicants and quality of the applicant pool) but schools at the lower end are, according to the article, going to suffer from the demographic pinch.

    But considering the number of international students who are still for some reason interested in going to school in the US, colleges should continue to be able to fill the dorms if they really want to.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 36,068 Super Moderator
    edited January 10
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    Let's leave politics lout of the discussion, please. 3 posted edited/deleted.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    edited January 11
    College has turned into a racket: it costs far more than its worth for most majors. Very few come out with any concrete skills.

    It would be ideal if skills that enabled the very talented at a concrete skill, at say computer programming, to avoid school and for more large manufacturers to offer paid high level technical training. College should be a service that has to compete for students via appropriate pricing and flexible degrees. Also, just like the GED for high school, a student who passes Achievement tests for the major areas of study (English, History, Math and Science and maybe a language or other elective ) should receive a BA degree equivalent. Further schools should be banned from offering scholarships to any non resident applicants. The non profit dollars they use are subsidized by US taxpayers. Athletic scholarships should have to be matched with merit scholarships (1/1) and even athletic scholarships should have to be restricted to US students. IRS rules on non profits should be tightened to restrict US colleges and universities from behaving like the for profit sports conglomerates they have turned into.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,728 Senior Member
    edited January 11
    @Center:

    "Also, just like the GED for high school, a student who passes Achievement tests for the major areas of study (English, History, Math and Science and maybe a language or other elective ) should receive a BA degree equivalent."

    That system exists. The University of London offers distance bachelor's where you just have to take 12 classes (typically, that means passing 12 or so big tests). And it's rigorous. The majors that are led by the LSE feature roughly the same tests that LSE students have to pass. And in the English system, you only study what is in your "major", which means you typically delve deeper in to a major than an American students. An undergrad degree would cost less than $10K total.
    But of course, a rigorous degree means that this is not an easy route. The LSE recommends putting in 10 hours of work a week for a school year for each class. 4 tests a year. 40 hours of studying/practice a week each school year. 3 school years (which is typical for an English bachelor's). Little guidance or help (in other countries, kids sign up for degree programs that impose the structure to take these UofL tests, and even then, few get the highest marks). Grades come down solely to those tests at the end of the year. Do you have the self-discipline and initiative to go that route?

    And if you're talking about credit from testing, that also exists. They're called AP tests (some schools take CLEP results as well). But surely you don't believe a degree should be handed out just after passing tests for a bunch of gen eds.
  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 701 Member
    @JerseyGirl999 , what @anxiousenior1 said: Cal is ridiculously short on housing. D was in a tiny double that was tripled. The new dorm building will help, to a degree.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    This article is a bit of a joke to me.

    Of course the number able to pay full costs is shrinking. It has nothing to do with birthrates or potential students, it has to do with the soaring cost of college and the stagnation of real incomes in America.

    The price of college has gotten out of control and forced more and more kids to take on higher and higher amounts of debt. It will not be long until the colleges lobby Congress to up the current max Stafford loans saying that the amounts are too low and are not realistic given the current education costs. I was surprised myself when I saw the $5K freshman amount and compared that to the $70K annual cost of tuition here in the NE. I had read all this stuff about how kids were taking on 100K in debt just thinking they were able to borrow it. They failed to mention that much of that debt is in essence parental debt (thru co-signage).

    Colleges are all doing fine. The published sticker price is not really what most end up paying and there are plenty of lower cost options out there. As was stated, some are bursting at the seams with students.
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