EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

College enrollment numbers dropping nationally, Utah’s solutions

Jan 3, 2023, 9:02 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 9:56 am

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Those going to college are fewer and far between, nationally. Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study shows that across the nation, college and high education population and enrollment are dropping. According to the The Kem C. Garner institute, Utah is no exception.

Jessica Oyler with Enrollment Management and Student Success at Weber State University said it’s a race for universities to get students and they’re looking at Utahns. 

Contextually, Oyler explained, because all areas are experiencing this decline, out of state institutions are pulling from Utah students.

“That feels mostly okay for us because the large majority of Utah students do stay in Utah,” said Oyler.

“But whenever we know these declines are coming up we want all of the Utah students to stay in Utah.” 

Additionally, Oyler added the decline is hitting other states harder. This is because their birth rate is not as good as Utah’s despite the beehive state’s decline is recent years.

Further, the eastern and southern institutions are expediting these declines the quickest. According to Oyler, the places that most students are going to are Texas and California because they have such large institutions.

Enrollment solutions

One solution according to Oyler, is concurrent enrollment. This means trying to talk to high school students earlier in the year about coming to college.

Additional solutions include looking at the adult population, those who have some college but no degree and encouraging them to come back. 

“Really we have such a large, growing population here and so many individuals within our state that don’t have a college degree that I don’t think have to worry about going somewhere else,” Oyler concluded. 

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College enrollment numbers dropping nationally, Utah’s solutions