Community college enrollment declining nationally, especially in New York

Lynette Adams
Created: January 21, 2020 06:19 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — At a time when college tuition is on the rise, you might expect enrollments at community colleges to increase. However, that's not the case across the nation. In fact, it's just the opposite, and to an even a greater degree in New York state.

New York's 31 community colleges lost an average of 23% of enrolled students between 2010 and 2019, according to data from the State University of New York.


The American Association of Community Colleges shows a national decline of only 14% between 2010 and 2017. 

The reason is simple but two-fold: Unemployment is low. Fewer people are looking for job training. At the same time, the nation is seeing a decline in the birthrate, which means fewer high school graduates.

So, where does Monroe Community College (MCC) stand?

The SUNY stats show MCC is among four community colleges in the state that lost nearly a third of their students in the last decade, according to the Albany Times Union.

Some colleges, like Clinton Community College (CCC), are embracing the trend and going after students.

The Albany Times Union reports that if CCC gets federal approval, it will launch a program that would allow inmates at nearby Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora to take classes remotely. This would offset the community college's loss of about 45% of its student enrollment over the last decade.

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