The National Student Clearinghouse recently released their fall 2021 undergraduate enrollment figures, which found that US colleges and universities lost another 465,300 students compared to the fall of the previous year.
What’s more, what some are calling the “great interruption” in higher education, has led to a straight decline in undergraduate enrollment that exceeds 1 million students since the year 2019.
Significant numbers of people are opting out of college which poses a serious fundamental threat to higher ed. And COVID-19 isn’t the only thing impacting enrollment numbers…
With the rising cost of higher education and low enrollment rates among low-income students, Hispanics, and men, colleges and universities are having to think boldly and creatively about how to adapt in the long run.
So, what can colleges do? Hope that their institution will be outliers and somehow thrive? Well, here at Tallo, we have a few suggestions.
The first step? Understanding what the next generation of students actually wants out of college.
In a recent Tallo survey, we asked students what’s most important when considering a future college or university and found three ways that colleges can strategically address the dramatic decline in undergrad enrollment and better connect with a new generation of students so they are ready to enroll.
1. Advertise Affordability
87% of students rate tuition cost as the number one deciding factor when choosing a future education institution. Colleges should advertise affordability and scholarship options to get more students in the door. Need help with where to start? Click here.
2. Promote Programs
80% of students say degrees offered are a top deciding factor when choosing a college or university. Colleges should aim to promote specific programs and employer partnerships that boost ROI.
3. Communicate DE&I
64% of students say that diversity and inclusion ranks in the top 4 factors when deciding on a college. Colleges should directly communicate and support DE&I programs to current and prospective students. Need proof? See the data here.
Bonus tip: Build your brand early. Tallo found that 93% of students would be more likely to apply to a college if they connected with them as a freshman or sophomore in high school. That’s early! Get started now.