The Fall 2014 Current Term Enrollment Estimates were originally released on December 10, 2014. As noted in that report, a number of institutions (sixteen) had recently been reclassified from two-year to four-year by the Department of Education’s IPEDS system. These reclassifications had an important effect on the Current Term Enrollment Estimates, increasing total enrollment counts for the four-year public sector, while simultaneously decreasing enrollment counts for the two-year public sector. However, this effect was exaggerated in the original Clearinghouse report, which placed all of the reclassifications in Fall 2014, when they more accurately would have been distributed across four years. The NSCRC has revised the public sector figures in this report, so that the timing of the reclassifications reflects the timing with which these institutions were reclassified in IPEDS. This means that the enrollments in 2-year public and 4-year public sectors for each of the terms Fall 2011 through Fall 2013 have been restated. There is no change to the numbers in the “all sectors” category, nor in the “4-year private nonprofit” or “4-year private for-profit” categories, and the total numbers of students in the public sector have not changed. Only the allocation of public sector students to 2-year vs. 4-year institutions has shifted.
In fall 2014, overall postsecondary enrollments decreased 1.3 percent from the previous fall. Figure 1 shows the12-month percentage change (fall-to-fall and spring-to-spring) for each term over the last three years. In fall 2014, enrollments decreased among two-year public institutions (-3.5 percent) and four-year for-profit institutions (-0.4 percent). Enrollments were unchanged among four-year public institutions (0.0 percent), and increased among four-year private non-profit institutions (+1.6 percent). Taken as a whole, public sector enrollments (2-year and 4-year combined) declined by 1.5 percent this fall.
Current Term Enrollment Estimates, published every December and May by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, include national enrollment estimates by institutional sector, state, enrollment intensity, age group, and gender. Enrollment estimates are adjusted for Clearinghouse data coverage rates by institutional sector, state, and year. As of fall 2014, postsecondary institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for 96 percent of enrollments at U.S. Title IV, degree-granting institutions. Most institutions submit enrollment data to the Clearinghouse several times per term, resulting in highly current data. Moreover, since the Clearinghouse collects data at the student level, it is possible to report an unduplicated headcount, which avoids double-counting students who are simultaneously enrolled at multiple institutions.