Pennsylvania Public Colleges Enrollment Down 20% Since 2010

States and the federal government have spent trillions of dollars on public education in the last fifty years. For many reasons, a negative trend has developed where higher education as a whole, is not being embraced after K-12. This is being felt in enrollment numbers declining.

One example is Pennsylvania where enrollment numbers are plummeting.

Enrollment at the 14 state-owned schools has fallen by 20 percent since 2010, with Mansfield University losing more than half of its students. Enrollment at 17 of Penn State’s 21 campuses around the state also fell, with a dozen plummeting at least 30 percent. The two networks lost a total of 28,000 students — a 14 percent decline. It would have been worse if Penn State hadn’t enrolled thousands more out-of-state students.

State-supported colleges face a bevy of new challenges, ranging from cheaper online schools to opportunistic colleges in nearby states that are luring away Pennsylvania students with much lower costs.

  • Penn State is the most expensive college in the Big Ten Conference for in-state students, apart from the private Northwestern University, federal data show.

  • At state-owned Mansfield, near the New York state line, student debt rose 58 percent to $36,624, while enrollment plummeted.

  • At the historically black and state-owned Cheyney University, enrollment plummeted 61 percent between 2010 and now. There were 618 students there this fall.

  • Mansfield, on Pennsylvania’s northern tier in the fracking lands, lost half of its students and this fall enrolled 1,683 students. It also plans to raze three older dorms over the next year or two.

  • Edinboro University, near Erie, shed 46 percent of its students, with enrollment falling to 4,646 this fall from 8,642 in 2010.


Published by Hoosier Econ

Located out of Central Indiana. Blogger of economics, politics and societal trends.

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