College enrollment down

But not as much as before:

Um, people are now figuring out, very slowly (a bit inelastic) that as the prices of a good rises, quantity demanded drops.
And as a non-counterpoint:

Across the country, colleges have also been reporting their own fall enrollment ups and downs. A free community college program in Maine, which targets high school students who graduated during the pandemic, led to big enrollment gains there: Nearly 2,000 more students enrolled at campuses across the state this fall, a 12% jump from a year ago.

What? Lower the price and more people buy the product?? Where is THAT in your Econ book?? Oh, yeah, Page 1.

So topic is: Is this a big deal for America, or just for those who run a college or are in Student Loan industry?

get rid of colleges

Or, let the market sort it out.
Starting with, get the government out of the “everyone goes to college” advocacy bullshit.


Falling enrollments for 4 year colleges is a Good Thing. We send too many kids to 4 year schools. And, too many of them don’t graduate. And, too many of them graduate with too much debt.

The drop between 2020 and 2021 was mostly at community colleges. The speculation was that wages were up and kids chose jobs over school. (I expect it was also too many online classes.) Higher wages is also good. But, kids will probably do better in the long run if they go the the CC and get some skill.

I think CC’s need to brand, or rebrand, themselves as a Prep for “real college” or as a Job Training School (or both). I think a lot already have.
“Delaying adulthood” should not be the brand, which is often is.

And too many of them graduate with skills that the economy doesn’t actually need.

I was specifically talking about community colleges. If too many are getting obsolete skills, then sure, we should trim CC programs.

just let every college name themselves “Harvard”

you’ll see tuition costs drop by 99%

Keep dropping. I will have kids in college ~2030.


do NOT let them go to college. waste of time and money.

I’m in the same boat. I think we’ve convinced our oldest to do city college first - that’s free here. So hopefully the other two will follow her lead.

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Lucky… our state has free 2-year degree community college only for essential workers who worked some number of hours/week during peak COVID.

I plan to save for our kids’ college, but I hope the prices don’t continue to skyrocket. They’re laughable today, even if the lifetime value is usually positive.

My son is graduating this year. This is a real concern for him right now. He’s looking at Indiana University. It’s about $24,000 with room and board. His 503B will cover half and we are able to provide about $400 every 2 weeks to him on top of that fund. He is going to have to figure the rest out including the food and bills which will make him decide what he really wants to do. He also has a really great girlfriend that will probably not want to go to IU due to cost so he is trying to figure that out too. It will be interesting to see what decisions he makes over the next few months.

His cheapest option is to go to the University of Louisville and live at home. He could probably also get a scholarship at U of L which he cannot get at IU.

That’s the cost half. Any idea on “lifetime value”?


Depends. He wants to major in business or do data like me. Either would pay off IMO. Both programs are excellent at IU and would position him for success. I did fine at U of L, but I am a little concerned given the remote world we now live in about that. I think I was attractive to Humana because I wanted to stay local. That doesn’t mean a hill of beans to them now.

Yep, if he manages at least a median salary with either of those, it seems that it works financially.

Click “Fields of study” then click “Highest earnings”. Note that these number are actual taxable earnings in the third year after graduation for students who took federal loans.

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For sure and he likes working pretty good and tends to do things well from my parental experience of him. He’ll show up and try pretty hard. That’s 90% of the battle IMO.

I vaguely recall an ex that went to Louisville for both college and grad, and ended up in DC, as you do.

She had a lot of fond memories. The best I remember was when one of friends was buying drugs from a local dealer. At one point, the guy went to the bathroom or something, leaving her friend alone with the drugs for several minutes. So he just grabbed a huge jar of pills and ran for it.

The funny part of the story is: if you’re not a dealer or an addict, then what do you even do with a huge jar of drugs? The answer, apparently, is that you hand them out to your friends like candy. Like, “oh can you turn off the light, there’s one of these pink pills in it for you if you do!”

Is he a math / computer nerd type?