Pell Grant Cuts And Rising Tuition Could Be Causing Enrollment Decline At Public Colleges

Ann McClure's picture

As universities across Alabama fight to grow enrollment in the face of reduced state funding, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education reports headcounts fell slightly last semester.

Overall, enrollment in the fall of 2012 was down at nine of 14 four-year public universities tracked by ACHE, with enrollment gains at the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham offsetting much of the decline statewide.

Total enrollment at four-year public school statewide fell by just 440 students compared to the same semester in 2011. Without the increases at UA and UAB it would have fallen by 2,721 students.

The minor enrollment declines are somewhat unexpected given the increased emphasis colleges across the state have been placing on enrollment growth to make up for decreased state funding brought on by the Great Recession.

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