Falling Enrollment – How ROA™ Can Help

College student numbers predicted to fall 15% between 2025 and 2029

Since 2011, university and college enrollment has declined almost 9 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear an upward swing is in the near future.

A prediction by Nathan Grawe has the prospective student population falling by 15 percent between 2025 and 2029. Grawe, an economist at Carleton College in Minnesota, attributes this to the declining birthrate stemming from the 2008 recession.

The number of births in the U.S. fell from 4.25 million in 2008 to 3.96 million in 2011, presumably due to the declining economy. That’s nearly 300,000 fewer prospects in the 2025 enrollment pool.

While this reduction may benefit students through easier admittance and limited tuition increases, it is clearly detrimental to colleges and universities. This trend underscores the importance of the NAIA’s Return on Athletics™ (ROA) initiative. ROA will allow NAIA members to see how changes to their athletics programs can affect enrollment, retention, and the overall financial health of their institution.

More than 50 NAIA member institutions are participating in ROA this year by submitting student-athlete and program data. In return, schools will receive access to data dashboards, analytics capabilities, peer institution comparisons, and net return predictions. If your institution is interested in participating in ROA, contact Director of ROA Alan Grosbach at 816.595.8120.

For more information on Return on Athletics™