Private Non-for-Profit Schools Break Trend –

Despite an overall decline in fall 2012 enrollment compared to fall 2011, enrollments in four-year, private, not-for-profit colleges and universities increased slightly, according to a recent report by The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The Current Term Enrollment Estimates report is the first in a series of enrollment estimates to be released every fall and spring. The first report, which examines enrollments in the nation’s higher education institutions, found that overall enrollment is down from last year by 1.8%.

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Enrollments have decreased in every sector since 2010, with the exception of four-year, private, not-for-profit schools. From fall 2011 to fall 2012, enrollment in four-year, private, not-for-profit schools has increased 0.5%.

Western Governors University, a private, not-for-profit online university, has experienced substantial growth in recent years.

“For more than eight years, enrollment at WGU has grown by at least 30% per year,” said Patrick Partridge, WGU’s Director of Marketing. “In addition, as the number of options for online learning expands, acceptance of online higher education is also more widespread, and this also contributes to the university’s ongoing growth.”

The report also found that, among enrollment decreases from last year, four-year for-profit schools and two-year public schools fared the worst with enrollment decreases of 7.2% and 3.1%, respectively. A significant amount of the enrollment decrease in two-year public colleges, at 5.2%, came from adults over 24 years old. Four-year, public schools experienced an enrollment decrease of 0.6%.

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