Jump in U.S. college enrollment highest in 40 years

The nation’s colleges are attracting record numbers of new students as more Hispanics finish high school and young adults opt to pursue a higher education rather than languish in a weak job market, reports the Associated Press. A study released June 16 by the Pew Research Center highlights the growing diversity in higher education amid debate over the role of race in college admissions and controversy over Arizona’s new ban on ethnic studies in public schools. Newly released government figures show that freshman enrollment surged 6 percent in 2008 to a record 2.6 million, mostly owing to rising minority enrollment. That is the highest increase since 1968, during the height of the Vietnam War, when young adults who attended college could avoid the military draft. Almost three-quarters of the freshman increases in 2008 were minorities, of which the largest share was Hispanics. The enrollment increases were clustered mostly at community colleges, trade schools, and large public universities, which tend to have more open admissions policies and charge less tuition. Still, the gains in minorities were seen at almost all levels of higher education, with white enrollment dipping to 53 percent at community colleges and 62 percent at four-year colleges…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Report reveals spike in online course enrollment

Three-fourths of public colleges believe online courses are "critical" for long-term success.
Three-fourths of public colleges believe online courses are "critical" for long-term success.

The 2009 Sloan-C report on online education confirmed what campus officials have seen during the country’s economic downturn: Americans are flocking to web-based college classes.

The seventh annual study, based on responses from more than 2,500 colleges and universities and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, reported a 17-percent increase in online course enrollment, with more than one-fourth of U.S. college students taking at least one web-based class during the fall 2008 semester.

Three-fourths of campuses with online programs said demand has increased over the past year, and two-thirds of colleges that don’t offer web courses said students had requested online learning.…Read More