College enrollment has dramatically increased over the decades. Students have adapted to the idea that college is essential for their future in order to be successful.
“It’s the general feeling across the country that a college education is the best way to achieve your goal. It’s a useful tool to have,” John Pino, admissions counselor, said.
Pino believes that perhaps enrollment increased because college is an “affordable option that families have been able to take. It became an option for a lot of families.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reported on the number of students enrolled in colleges and universities this fall across the nation, stating that it reached 19 million people. This number increased from 20 years ago, when only 13.5 million students were enrolled.
“There was a lot of research that was done to say that between 2006 and 2008 we were supposed to get a big spread in admissions across the board with all demographics and minorities,” Peter Schauster, assistant director of admissions, said. Schauster said that since 2007 the numbers have been slightly going down. “Research would say that there’s a spike [in increasing enrollment], but that it would slowly taper off,” Schauster said.
Between the years of 1970 and 2007, the amount of students attending a degree-granting institution has skyrocketed from an estimated 8.5 million to nearly 10 times that amount to 18.2 million.
“I think it’s because nowadays people cannot get a job without a college education and a degree. The chances of you getting a job without a degree versus someone who has a degree is slim to none,” Samantha Thompson, senior communication major, said.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, college enrollment may fluctuate due to the increase of population or the rise of tuition costs.
Although tuition costs may increase throughout colleges in the nation, scholarships, loans and grants are more accessible to students compared to in the past.
Financial aid is a major factor, which enables students to apply for college even if they cannot afford tuition costs.
Roughly 97 percent of Cabrini students receive financial aid, ranging from scholarships, grants, loans and work-study.
“I think most kids who don’t get financial aid will probably never go to school,” Nick Pepe, sophomore computer informations major, said. “If it wasn’t for financial aid, I probably wouldn’t be here.”