According to the 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors, the challenges facing college admissions leaders just keep growing, in contrast to shrinking enrollments. Roughly half (51%) of admissions directors surveyed reported being very concerned about meeting their enrollment goals for the 2015-16 academic year. What’s worse, 58% said they failed to meet their goals this year.
What explains these widespread enrollment losses?
Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents blamed student debt concerns for their institution’s loss of applicants. Admissions directors at private colleges were even more likely to feel this way – with 87% of these admissions directors responding accordingly.
Potential college students and their families are increasingly misperceiving the real cost of college – at both public and private institutions. The result is a growing share of students deciding to opt out of college altogether, a trend that has implications not only for colleges but for the vitality of the American economy itself. Students need to understand that although student debt (like all debt) inherently comes with risk, the lifelong value of a college education far surpasses its upfront costs.
In short, potential college students and their families are now, more than ever, seeking reassurance for the uncertainty of the post-graduation world.
LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program) can help. Offered in partnership with LRAP Association, an LRAP provides a safety-net to students and families and helps improve the ROI of a college education. Click here to learn more about LRAP and how it can help your college keep from losing students to the fear of debt.