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Reading Tea Leaves on the Enrollment Drop: Key Podcast

June 22, 2022

College and university enrollments—particularly at community colleges—continue to plummet. Have they bottomed out? Will they recover if the economy cools off as expected?

This week’s episode of The Key, Inside Higher Ed’s news and analysis podcast, digs into some of the reasons behind the enrollment declines and offer some insights into what’s ahead. Joining the discussion are Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College system, and Nate Johnson, a researcher and policy analyst whose firm, Postsecondary Analytics, advises states, foundations and businesses on education and workforce policy.

The conversation probably isn’t for the faint of heart. While Garcia and Johnson suspect that meaningful numbers of Americans could flock back to college if federal efforts to tame inflation raise unemployment in the next year or so, they also believe that some of the enrollment losses of the last two years may represent a new lower baseline going forward, which could force a lot of colleges to rethink their strategies and missions.

Listen to this episode of The Key here, and find out more about our weekly podcast here.

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