- Half a million fewer students enrolled in colleges in 2012 than 2011
- Biggest drop is in mature students ages 25 and older
- However, there has been an increase in the number of Hispanics enrolling
- Hispanics account for 17 percent of the student population, up from 11 percent in 2006
PUBLISHED: 19:17 EST, 3 September 2013 | UPDATED: 19:20 EST, 3 September 2013
College enrolment in 2012 dropped by a half million students compared to the year before.
Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau also show the number students who are over the age of 25 also fell.
There are 419,000 fewer students that have enrolled at universities across the country.
Conversely, there has been an increase in college enrollments with 3.2 million new students entering classrooms between 2006 and 2011.
Enrollment by Hispanics in U.S. colleges rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2012 even as the overall college population declined.
Nearly 3.4 million Hispanics enrolled in college undergraduate or graduate programs in 2012, as the adult Hispanic population grew and because of greater demand from within the ethnic group, the bureau said.
Hispanic students have grown as a percentage of the overall college student population from 11 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2012.
‘This increase in the number of Hispanics enrolled in college can be attributed to the combination of an increase in the adult Hispanic population and their climbing likelihood of being enrolled,’ Julie Siebens, a statistician for the Census Bureau, said in a statement.
The Census Bureau report, titled School Enrolment: 2012, is the latest in a series of studies that seem to show that older people who fled to colleges and universities during tough economic times might be heading back into the workforce.
President Barack Obama took a two-day tour in late August to campaign for college affordability, stopping at locations in New York and Pennsylvania.
Among other initiatives, Obama pushed for a college rating system that would help students and their parents determine which colleges would provide the best return for their tuition dollars.
‘We’ve got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt,’ Obama said during a stop at the State University of New York at Buffalo. ‘We can’t price the middle class, and everybody working to get into the middle class, out of an education.’
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