Colleges cope with shrinking pool of students

Tim Goral's picture

The University of Missouri-Columbia needs to find 638 students over the next few weeks to avoid breaking a winning streak that started in 1995. Since then, the school has managed to grow — sometimes by a little, and sometimes by a lot — every year.

The numbers won’t be final for a couple of weeks. And while Mizzou did pick up nearly 500 stragglers by the time the official count was taken last year, things don’t look so promising this time around.

Of course, it’s not a major blow for a school with more than 34,000 students to lose a couple hundred of them.

But it illustrates the mounting pressure colleges face as they deal with a demographic shift that’s churning out smaller high school graduating classes.

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