New Survey Results Show Enrollment Concerns

The recent results of the annual Higher Education Outlook Survey that is performed by the audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, shows concerning numbers for enrollment rates.

This annual survey polls 120 leaders from postsecondary institutions and received results that 85% of those polled report that they are either “very” or “somewhat” worried about their capability to keep their enrollment levels at the current place. This is a 14% increase from ed leaders that were polled in 2013 and a 19% increase from the 2012 results. The survey also shows that those who answered that they are “not at all concerned” has dropped to a measly 11%, which is a significant 20% drop within the past 2 years.

Milford McGuirt, the National Segment Leader for Higher Education, Research and Other Not-for-Profits with KPMG has a theory as to what is causing the drop in enrollment.

“Students and their families are looking at the financial costs associated with higher education and making an assessment of return on investment.” McGuirt states, “Education leaders are cognizant of this reality and are struggling with how they can continue to attract and retain students without diminishing the quality of the educational services they provide.”

It’s a safe bet that the financial impact that comes with high education is indeed partially responsible for the declining enrollment rates. This is especially true as we see the interest rates for loans on the rise and the rise of student debt right behind them. The proof is in the survey results with 66% of those polled reporting that one of the top factors that impacts enrollment being the parents/students inability to pay for tuition.

It is common practice now for students to compare schools and shop around for the best overall package. If that means having to switch institutions upon the next semester then that is what is done. At the end of the day students are shopping for the best education at the lowest cost and if that isn’t attainable at their current institution they will move on.

Button, K. (2014, September 18). Surveys show concern over higher ed enrollment. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

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