A Surprising New Trend in College Enrollment
Wealth used to be a pretty reliable indicator of college enrollment: The National Center for Education Statistics has been recording enrollment rates since 1975, and every year the data has shown enrollment patterns rising with a family’s income.
But things are changing.
Forbes reports that for the first time, low-income students are enrolling at a higher rate than middle-income students. The college-enrollment rate is now 67% for students in the bottom quintile, and just 64% for students in the middle three quintiles. It’s not a huge jump, but it’s significant. (Not surprisingly, high-income students still enroll at the highest rate: 83% of high school graduates in the top income bracket move on to college.)
But enrollment is only half the battle. With an abysmal graduation rate (only 57% of students complete college in six years), it’s clear that more needs to be done to facilitate student success, regardless of income.