Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released School Enrollment in the United States: 2013. The bureau collects numbers for this report using the October School Enrollment Supplement to the 2013 Current Population Survey. This survey tracks student characteristics nationwide from preschool through higher education.
In its press release for the report, the bureau highlighted a trend in higher education enrollment: for the second year in a row, college enrollment decreased by nearly half a million students (463,000 fewer students between 2012 and 2013). Combined with the previous school year, the cumulative drop totals 930,000.
The bureau reports that this two-year drop “was larger than any college enrollment drop before the recent recession.” It attributed the decline primarily to two-year college enrollment (i.e., at community or junior colleges). In the 2012-13 school year, two-year school enrollment dropped by 10 percent, while four-year school enrollment grew by one percent.