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Inside Higher Ed Article – Enrollment Challenges

Inside Higher Ed Article – Enrollment Challenges

The recent article in Inside Higher Ed, “Poaching From the Neighbor’s Yard” is quite revealing.

It discusses the strategic approach of regional colleges in targeting students from neighboring states for enrollment. These institutions, often facing demographic challenges, are adopting a proactive stance by focusing on attracting students from nearby, neighboring states. By capitalizing on geographic proximity and offering incentives such as tuition discounts, these colleges aim to tap into larger student markets while addressing declining enrollment trends.

The article highlights how these efforts can provide a win-win situation, where students benefit from cost savings and institutions stabilize their enrollment numbers, ensuring their continued vitality in the higher education landscape.

Competition and Strategy

  • Regional public colleges in the Midwest and Northeast are facing declining enrollment and demographic shifts, leading them to offer tuition-matching programs to attract students from neighboring states.
  • This trend is leading to increased competition between states for students, as colleges try to poach each other’s students.
  • Some states, such as New York and Minnesota, have even launched free tuition programs for in-state residents in an attempt to keep students from attending schools in neighboring states.
  • This competition is likely to continue as the enrollment crisis in the Midwest and Northeast worsens.

The situation is not improving

  • The tuition-matching programs are not always reciprocal, meaning that students from one state may not be able to attend a college in another state for the same price as in-state students.
  • The competition for students is also leading to increased tensions between states. For example, some state lawmakers have criticized neighboring states for offering free tuition programs that they believe are unfair to their own students.
  • The enrollment crisis in the Midwest and Northeast is a complex issue with no easy solutions. However, the competition for students is likely to continue as the crisis worsens.

Enrollment continues to be a challenge for universities. Rising tuition and financing costs are making students consider their options more carefully.

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