Ohio college enrollment steadily declines

College enrollment in Ohio is dropping.
Associated Press
Oct 2, 2012


A preliminary report released by the Ohio Board of Regents Monday shows that enrollment has dropped 5.9 percent since last year. The decline of more than 31,000 students at the state's 61 public universities and colleges was expected — but it still hurt some financially and forced the layoff of 23 people at one community college.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the enrollment decline is attributed to a record number of students graduating last year ahead of the semester conversion at 17 institutions. Also to blame are changes to federal financial aid that mean fewer students are eligible, and an economy that has some choosing to go to work instead of school.

It's the second consecutive year enrollment has dipped.

The Ohio Board of Regents 15-day headcount shows that enrollment at university main campuses is down about 1 percent from 2011. It's down 4.24 percent at university regional campuses, and 13 percent at the state's community colleges.

"After several consecutive years of robust gains in enrollment for many area colleges and universities, this type of leveling off is to be expected, especially as the economy improves and students put their degrees and training to work," said Sean Creighton, executive director for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education.

A total of 507,425 students are enrolled in college in Ohio this fall, according to the report. That includes 280,728 on main campuses, 49,737 at regional campuses and 176,960 at community colleges.

"There are a number of factors which could contribute to the enrollment decline in some of the colleges and universities including semester conversion which caused students to rush to complete their coursework last year," Board of Regents spokeswoman Kim Norris told the newspaper. "Also, some community college enrollment is trending down after several years of record enrollment when the economy was at its lowest point."

A 22-percent decline in enrollment — and drop in revenue from tuition — forced Hocking College in Nelsonville to lay off 23 people as of Nov. 2, reduce the contracts of four others and leave three positions unfilled to deal with a $4.3 million budget deficit. Students upset at some of the cuts staged a demonstration at the college Monday.




First, people are moving out of Ohio to find jobs. Kids move along with the parents thus you have less kids applying for college.

Second, people are learning a college degree is not a guarantee of a later job. History, english , political science and degrees of that nature are worthless unless you teach.

You need a marketable skill when you graduate.

The Big Dog's back

Is it any wonder since Repubs hate education.

Dinghy Gal



Leave it to Big Dog to always bring politics into it. He never misses a chance to slam Republicans.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

@ big doggy,

Press 1 for English.


Guess I didn't get the memo on hating education.

I grew up in a family of Republicans and education was the primary focus of the grandparents, parents, kids and grandkids.

Dinghy Gal

I love donuts


Donutguy, you're correct: you didn't get the memo. Republican politicians - when they pay attention AT ALL to Education - only enact cuts to Educational funding. Doesn't matter if it's at the federal, state or local level, they can be counted on that.

Kasich's cuts to educ.funding at the state level forced local municipalities to come up with funding locally. In the current presidential election, Romney promises to cut Pell Grants, while Obama plans to do just the opposite, by making a college education easier to afford. The Romney/Ryan tax plan will bring about HUGE cuts in educational funding.

Same old, same old. Talk about mortgaging our future. Luckily, it's not too late to save America from the Republicans. Let's all get out there and vote for progress (Obama), and make sure that we don't return to the 2007-2008 economy that the Bush/Romney economic plan promises.


Yeah lets promise more funds that we do not have so the children can slave away trying to pay it off for the next 100 years! Awesome deal coaster, No fixes just throwing more money at it. You people need a clue.


If someone wants to go to college then they will find a way. My grandson is working his way through college with no help. Why do you people expect the government to help you. I worked long and hard for my money. My children are all doing fine and only one went to college and his degree is worthless. Kids have a better chance of getting a job if they go to a tech school close to their home. You can always tell the Democrats. Looking for a hand out. (How's that for slamming a political party?)


Grandmasgirl, please tell me how an 18-year-old makes $20,000 a year to pay for college.


I didn't say that he was making $20,000 a year. I said he was "working" his way thru college. He lives off campus with others, He doesn't go out and party and drink every week-end. He spends his week-ends working. I also didn't say that he would make it through college in the 4 years. I believe I said (in one of these replies) that if you want to go to college, you can. However, I don't think that you need the government to pay for it. I also believe that you might not get to spend your working years doing what you want to do, but such is life. Lot's of us never went to college and we did just fine.


@ coasterfan:

Budget cuts? Unlike the Feds, the State has to balance it's budget.

So "progress" under Pres. Obama is borrow, print, tax and spend, spend, spend until the U.S. collapses fiscally?

Why isn't Pres. Obama complaining about the high salaries of college administrators and the exploding costs of higher education?

BW1's picture

"Republican politicians - when they pay attention AT ALL to Education - only enact cuts to Educational funding."

GOVERNMENT educational funding FORCIBLY TAKEN from the pocket of someone else - perhaps. What leftist like you continually fail to grasp is that supporting or valuing something does not equate to demanding that the government FORCIBLY take from one person to pay for another person to have that something.

Everyone with a real degree in a legitimate field of study from a truly rigorous program should applaud this decline in enrollment, since it means fewer dilettantes devaluing degrees in general with 'gimme' pseudo-degrees in made-up boutique majors like [insert victim identity group name here]-studies.


The State of Ohio under Republican control has cut more funding to education than any time during Democratic control. It really hurts school systems. They are always telling schools to find other ways to fund programs other than having the state funded programs that were instituted by the Democrats when they were in control.

Another reason colleges are hurting is the Federal Grants are just now getting back funds that the Republicans cut while Bush was in office. I hope they keep them flowing. Obama has lowered the interest rates on grants which assists in paying back the loans after graduation and also makes them easier to get.

School enrollment is down because of the economy. There is no mystery there but also because schools have INCREASED tuition. That also is no mystery but lacking in this story. That is a surprise. I wonder why it isn't mentioned.

Almost every Ohio school last year increased their tuition which made it harder for many borderline student to get into a college when money was an issue to begin with. Not an easy task. If they didn't have scholarships, or didn't quite make it where loans where available and they couldn't afford tuition outright, the increases really killed then enrolling in classes last fall or again this year.

Without the help funds from the Ohio government because of Kasch's cutbacks, no college for them. Oh, yes, those Republican's are all for education as long as they aren't paying for it. Ohio is going to come in close to last again on educating their young and watch how fast Kasich blames the Feds for it when it really isn't their fault at all. He did the cutting.


While the Democrats want to subsidize higher education which is noble in theory it just give free reign to colleges to raise tuition with the garuantee that the government will fund it leaving those who do not qualify out in the cold. No kid fresh out of high school can afford 60k a year, But with the gov's help the professors and schools can ask anything they want with the promise that the gov will pay it. Sorta makes the taxpayers working 9 to 5 jobs in more debt with less to show for it doesnt it?


I have to agree that in theory that is what it does appear. But are you talking about the government assisted loans for college that carry the guarantees of payment, or Pell Grants that have been cut that carry no payback and are mostly free? While you are correct that "most fresh kids out of high school cannot afford 60K a year", this is no different than it has been in years gone by. The difference is the amount has gone up. When I went to college, my first year was $5K total. That was 40 years ago. Look at the difference, but I still couldn't afford the total as a "fresh kid out of high school", yet I made it. My professors probably made the equivelent of today's wages at that time that they do today. .

I don't know that the taxpayers working the 9-5 jobs are more in debt with less to show (quoting you). Somehow, it all seems to average out the same to me. Each generation has some burden to bear. After this 60 years of looking at things, it just seems to cycl some how with ups and downs and never seems to really level out. I wish I knew why.


The difference is the amount has gone up, The reason for it going up at such a pace is because the colleges know the gov will help kids pay it. By the government, I mean we the taxpayers. This leaves not only the kids in huge debt but the taxpayers trying to help them. It will continue to go up as long as the colleges have a promise from the government that the tuitions will get paid they can ask for any amount they want.


How about a lot of kids can't get into college because of their grades? Let's be fair, there are scholarships out there. You just have to be a good athelete or have good grades. Taxpayers cannot keep supporting your children's future. The parents have to take some responsibilty. Instead of going out to eat two or three times a week, buying new clothes every other week, put that money toways a college fund for your child's education. Stop focusing on your life and start focusing on your child's.


Grandmasgirl, you are talking about years ago, not the present. Anyone can go to community college, not just those with good grades. And many kids with very good grades only get a few thousand dollars in scholarships. When tuition and room/board costs $20,000 a year, those scholarships, although they help, are just a fraction of the cost. The only students getting full tuition and room/board scholarships are those at the very gifted level in either academics or athletics.
The middle class gets screwed when it comes to higher education. The rich can afford it, and the poor get total financial aid, either from the government or from the universities' endowment/donation funds. The middle class are the ones that end up paying the most. Thank God for Obama's college tax credit. It has saved us about $10,000.

BW1's picture

Any high school counselor can show you a list of thousands of scholarships representing millions of dollars that go unclaimed each year because there are no eligible applicants. I worked my way through a top tier private university.



As citizens its our job to make sure everyone has an opportunity to education. That's K-12.
No guarantee to graduate, just the opportunity. Same with college. The opportunity is made available. No guarantee on funding or graduation.

It's our job to provide the opportunity not the outcome.

BW1's picture

"Another reason colleges are hurting is the Federal Grants are just now getting back funds that the Republicans cut while Bush was in office. I hope they keep them flowing."

Once again Wiredmama, after repeatedly promoting Ron Paul on this forum, demonstrates that she rarely knows out of which face she's talking.

You talk big about limited government, until your own pet socialist gimme comes up - then you're no different from all the welfare mongers who refuse to be weaned from the Big Brother's udder.

Azure Ray

This makes sense, since a college degree doesn't get you as much anymore. The trades and two-year degrees have better options for a steady job than a 4-year degree in most subjects.

BW1's picture

That's because most 4 year students choose meaningless, made-up majors because they are afraid of math and hard science, or an artificially inflated program more appropriate to an Associate Degree.


Azure, you may be right about the trades, but I don't see too many help wanted ads for those with associate degrees.


Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, MBA......everybody has 'em! Now what?

BW1's picture

BINGO! The law if supply and demand cannot be avoided.


"this type of leveling off is to be expected, especially as the economy improves and students put their degrees and training to work"----- really ask all the unemployed people with degrees or all the people who have degrees working for minimum wage at a crappy job that has nothing to do with their college degree.
Bottom line.....the economy sucks & no one can afford college.
As far as financial aid....what a joke....unless you live under a bridge with 5 kids & no husband you cant get financial aid.



I agree. We have dummied down HS degrees, bachelor degrees and masters degrees. You got enough money all are available online without any work.

Now what? Well, stand on your own two feet. Stand out from the crowd. Take an entry level position and work hard. The cream rises to the top no matter what piece of paper you have.


But,But,But Everyone deserves a trophy! No one needs to stand out. That creats compitition and compitition never works just ask Obama. We need the gov to enforce hiring regulations so that everyone gets a masters in rabbit breeding so they can get a job as a janitor.


Donut your last paragraph worked out very well for me. Another piece of advice when you take that entry level job do not succumb to the same pit falls that are going to hold your fellow associates down.


Donut, how about you go to a highly ranked college that is very selective? That degree means much more!


BW1, some people are just not interested in math or hard sciences. And there are other jobs out there in other areas that are just as important to our humanity.