Nationwide College Enrollment Slumps


Sarah Gilbreath, Bleu Print Staff

America’s educational paths are changing as a younger generation of students are growing up and as new opportunities are being created. It’s time to see if Chelsea follows this widespread pattern. 

“Undergraduate enrollment in America’s colleges and universities has fallen for eight consecutive years,” a recent USA Today article claimed. “In the fall of 2017, there were 16.8 million students enrolled in undergraduate programs, a 7% decrease from the total enrollment of 18.1 million in 2010.” 

However, the more peculiar piece of data was the decrease in the number of applications. This pattern was assumed to be primarily due to rising tuition costs and the threat of student loans. To see if this attitude was reflected within the Chelsea community, a survey was administered to a random selection of students. 

Underclassmen in Chelsea were reported to have 88% planning on furthering their education beyond high school. However, nearly 38% of those students were considering other options. These students wanted to do anything from culinary school, become professional athletes, or jump straight into entrepreneurship.

The seniors were even more diverse in their answers. With a substantial 98% of them having applied to a school, less than 70% were planning on attending a college, it seems that perhaps Chelsea is no different than the majority of other high schools in the United States. However, there is one clear difference.

“I think I will jump straight into entrepreneurship with the money [my family] has saved,” Logan Otto (‘21) said.

Chelsea students do not seem as concerned about the cost aspect of college as other students of schools are. Instead, it seems they are more concerned about living a life with more fulfillment.

“I don’t want to continue my education in a traditional sense,” Mallery Bee (‘20) said. “I want to continue to experience different cultures and ways of living outside of the midwest to expand my knowledge of myself and the world.”