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College enrolment down by a half million students in 2012 with older students the most turned off further studies

3 min read

  • Half a million fewer students enrolled in  colleges in 2012 than 2011
  • Biggest drop is in mature students ages  25 and older
  • However, there has been an increase in  the number of Hispanics enrolling
  • Hispanics account for 17 percent of the  student population, up from 11 percent in 2006

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 19:17 EST, 3  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:20 EST, 3 September 2013

College enrolment in 2012 dropped by a half  million students compared to the year before.

Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau  also show the number students who are over the age of 25 also fell.

There are 419,000 fewer students that have  enrolled at universities across the country.

College dropoff: The number of U.S. university students declined by almost half a million last year, following years of growth
College dropoff: The number of U.S. university students  declined by almost half a million last year, following years of growth

Conversely, there has been an increase in  college enrollments with  3.2 million new students entering classrooms  between 2006 and 2011.

Enrollment by Hispanics in U.S. colleges rose  15 percent from 2011 to 2012 even as the overall college population  declined.

Nearly 3.4 million Hispanics enrolled in  college undergraduate or graduate programs in 2012, as the adult Hispanic  population grew and because of greater demand from within the ethnic group, the  bureau said.

Hispanic students have grown as a percentage  of the overall college student population from 11 percent in 2006 to 17 percent  in 2012.

On the rise: Enrollment by Hispanics in U.S. colleges rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2012 even as the overall college population declined
On the rise: Enrollment by Hispanics in U.S. colleges  rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2012 even as the overall college population  declined

‘This increase in the number of Hispanics  enrolled in college can be attributed to the combination of an increase in the  adult Hispanic population and their climbing likelihood of being enrolled,’  Julie Siebens, a statistician for the Census Bureau, said in a  statement.

The Census Bureau report, titled School  Enrolment: 2012, is the latest in a series of studies that seem to show that  older people who fled to colleges and universities during tough economic times  might be heading back into the workforce.

President Barack Obama took a two-day tour in  late August to campaign for college affordability, stopping at locations in New  York and Pennsylvania.

Among other initiatives, Obama pushed for a  college rating system that would help students and their parents determine which  colleges would provide the best return for their tuition dollars.

‘We’ve got a crisis in terms of college  affordability and student debt,’ Obama said during a stop at the State  University of New York at Buffalo. ‘We can’t price the middle class, and  everybody working to get into the middle class, out of an education.’

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