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Paul Reville | The Decline Of Higher Education Enrollment

Enrollment In Higher Education is Declining

High school
Ninety percent of the graduating seniors at New Mission High School in Hyde Park plan to attend college.
Seth Wenig/AP
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Paul Reville | The Decline Of Higher Education Enrollment

Statistics show that enrollment in higher education continues to fall. In a recent article in The Atlantic, education writer Adam Harris says that higher education enrollment numbers may have already reached their “peak.” In the last five years they have decreased by 7 percent.

Former state Secretary of Education Paul Reville told Boston Public Radio Thursday that he agrees with Harris’ assessment and that major changes need to happen within the industry in order for these declines to turn around.

Reville believes that the rising cost of tuition is having a crippling effect on higher education and forcing people to reconsider the cost benefit of college.

“More and more people are questioning the value proposition and saying I’m not sure we want to do this. This is showing up at community colleges, which are relatively cheap as far as tuition goes and it's showing up at these marginal private schools,” Reville said.

Reville pointed to Wheelock College and Mount Ida as two examples of local colleges that crumbled under their exorbitant tuition, among other problems.

“These were two institutions that were small, that were private, that were experiencing the problems of ever-increasing tuition to afford a decent level of programming and declining revenues as a result of reduction in enrollment because the model at all these institutions is tuition based. These enrollments are going down.”

Click the audio player above to hear more from Paul Reville.

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