Report Details Methods to Address IN Declining College Enrollment
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
As fewer people in Indiana are opting to go to college, the state's Commission for Higher Education is releasing policy recommendations to increase college access for Hoosier students.
A new report from the higher-ed commission finds only about half the high school class of 2020 enrolled in college.
Sean Tierney, associate commissioner for policy and research at the Commission, said there are a few steps the agency recommended to address the decline, including automatic enrollment in Indiana's 21st Century Scholars program for eligible students.
"Only about half of eligible students sign up for the program," Tierney reported. "We want to expand that and help these students prepare. Not just when they're seniors in high school, but in middle school, to take that step into college."
The report showed the enrollment rate for 21st Century Scholars is 81%, far outpacing the state's average. Among the recommendations is increasing the Frank O'Bannon Grant for low-income students. Tierney explained the program saw major cuts after the 2008 recession, and funding levels have not been fully recovered.
College-going rates decreased steadily from the high school classes of 2015 to 2019, and then dropped significantly for the class of 2020. All told, college-going rates declined 12% during the five-year time period.
Tierney acknowledged, in addition to the pandemic, the cost of college likely contributed to the drop.
"I think in some ways, we've struggled to get the message across that, yes college can be costly, but it's a manageable cost," Tierney contended. "It's something that, at the end of the day for the typical student, it's going to pay off."
From 2015 to 2020, the college-going rate for Black students dropped by 16%, compared with 10% for their white and Latino counterparts.
Tierney added the commission is working on strategies to address the equity gap, including partnering with state agencies and community organizations to encourage participation in financial and academic aid programs.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
get more stories like this via email
Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…
New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …
Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…
Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…
Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …
Health and Wellness
Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…
A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …
Health and Wellness
During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …