CONSUMER AFFAIRS: More Millennials opting out of college

Career College Central Summary:

  • The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) has issued a report that highlights what could be a very interesting trend. College enrollments are declining because fewer Millennials are attending.
  • This is an abrupt change from just a few years ago, when college enrollments shot up in the wake of the recession. With jobs harder to come by more people went back to school in hopes of making themselves more marketable.
  • Conventional wisdom holds that earning a four-year degree is necessary to increasing one's earnings power and enjoying a middle class lifestyle. But as we reported last week, there are plenty of solid careers that don't require a four-year degree.
  • Apparently, these jobs are attractive. Among the interpretations of the NSCRS report is young adults in their mid 20s are choosing to go to work rather than attend college. The report does not make clear whether these young adults are leaving school to pursue the workplace or not attending college in the first place.
  • For-profit schools big losers

    • The report does break down where enrollments are declining. The biggest decline has been in for-profit colleges, which also tend to be among the most expensive in terms of tuition and fees.
    • For-profit schools as a whole have been under closer regulatory scrutiny lately in the wake of complaints that many students who attended and ran up huge student loan debts couldn't find good jobs once they graduated.
    • Last year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued one for-profit school, Corinthian College, for what it called an illegal predatory lending scheme. Weeks ago, Corinthian College closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy.
  • Community colleges also lose ground

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