In spring 2015, overall postsecondary enrollments decreased 1.9 percent from the previous spring. Figure 1 shows the 12-month percentage change (fall-to-fall and spring-to-spring) for each term over the last three years. Enrollments decreased among four-year for-profit institutions (-4.9 percent), two-year public institutions (-3.9 percent), and four-year private non-profit institutions (-0.2 percent). Enrollments increased slightly among four-year public institutions (+0.1 percent). Taken as a whole, public sector enrollments (two-year and four-year combined) declined by 1.7 percent this spring.
Note that the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has revised the public sector figures in this report from those published in May 2014 to reflect that some two-year public institutions have been reclassified in IPEDS as four-year public institutions. This means that enrollment figures for the two- and four-year public sectors for each of the terms from spring 2012 through spring 2014 have been restated. There is no change to the numbers in the “all sectors” or private sector categories, and the total number of students in the public sector has not changed. Only the allocation of public sector students to two-year vs. four-year institutions has shifted.
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 spring 2015, postsecondary institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for over 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.