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Fall Enrollment Down 5%

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  • #16
    Re: Fall Enrollment Down 5%

    Originally posted by filbert View Post
    Overall, I think that higher education enrollment tends to be counter-cyclical . . . i.e. enrollment tends to go up (or goes up more) during relatively tough economic times and tends to slow down (or go down) during relatively good economic times. The economy has been going fairly well the past few years so that may be a factor here.
    I think you are on to something here. In the fall term of 1964 SDSU set an enrollment record of roughly 4200. Even with this declining enrollment of 11,500, its nearly 300% of what was in 1964-65 which was a year of significant increase. One of bright spots of the future is Larry Ness’s contributions to rebuild the Economics Department and providing pragmatic courses. I thinking this will help us rebound. I suppose I could be guilty of rationalization, but I don’t think so.


    • #17
      Re: Fall Enrollment Down 5%

      Originally posted by Mr_Tibbs View Post
      If we're going to debate the value of a 4 year degree, I think we have to differentiate between types of 4 year degrees. A 4 year degree in a STEM field is a different value with incurred debt than a 4 year degree in History (no offense to history majors out there, it's one of my favorite subjects). A 2 year degree is probably more valuable than that history degree, but I'd argue that it isn't more valuable, especially long term, than a 4 year degree in a STEM field. That 2 year degree will save some debt and probably start you out in a good position, but to move up in your given field of choice, you're going to eventually need to get a bachelor's degree.

      When talking about cost-value, the field that probably suffers the most is the education majors. They take on the same debt for a job that requires a 4 year degree, for a very meager salary. With that said, there's a lot of incentives and loan forgiveness programs out there for education grads teaching in rural areas, so perhaps it balances out.

      I will agree that we probably have too many kids graduating with 4 year degrees that probably didn't need to be in college/obtain a bachelors. I would not agree that 2 year degrees are now more valuable than a good 4 year degree. Especially in the course of one''s career.

      And a final point of clarification: the economy has been better since about 2014/2015 or so. Enrollment has been flatlined at State since 2010, when the economy was still firmly "unrecovered".
      I agree with everything you say and you said it better than I.

      There is definitely high value in STEM fields which isn't what I was talking about. Those degrees are necessary and valuable. I have an engineering degree and don't regret my decision at all.

      My point is more in the history type majors. There just isn't a lot of job opportunity out there for those types of degrees and the opportunities that are out there likely don't pay that well. So here a kid graduates from college can't find a job in the field and ends up working in a completely different field that they probably could have done without a degree. But hey, they have a college education (and the associated debt)!

      For the most part a 4-year degree will give you a higher ceiling but I'm of the opinion if you are really good at what you do you'll get rewarded even if you only have a 2-year degree.


      • #18
        Re: Fall Enrollment Down 5%

        Originally posted by MontanaRabbit View Post
        The higher education business has no one to blame but themselves (you know raising student fees to fund things like athletics). It's quickly become financially un-wise to go to a four year college for an awful lot of degrees (and young people are starting to realize this). I read an article a couple months ago that highlighted the cost for a degree in certain fields and the median income out of college. The delta for some was staggering. Couple this with an extremely strong job market and you've got a recipe for decline.

        My nephew was considering going to SDSU for some ag type degree. When they started to look at the pros and cons of a 4-yr vs 2-yr degree they decided doubling the debt to get a 4-yr degree just wasn't worth it.
        Agree completely with this. The cost of higher education is pricing itself out of the market. According to in-state tuition has gone from $2,933 to $8,764 (nearly tripled) over the last 20 years. Wages haven't increased nearly as much over that time, so every year, a college degree makes less economic sense.