As college enrollment falls, recruiters descend on a state that still has lots of applicants – The Hechinger Report
Institutions that are running out of students look to a place that has more than it can handle
PASADENA, Calif. — Busloads of boisterous high school students from across the Los Angeles basin poured into the Pasadena Convention Center, where colleges from around the world were poised to pitch them.
There were recruiters from the East. Recruiters from the Midwest. Recruiters from universities in Wales, Greece and Australia. Some handed out keychains, calendars and other knicknacks; others sat idly as students, parents and teachers chose to visit more exotic booths.
While colleges and universities are scrambling for students almost everywhere else in the United States, there are so many high school graduates around here that California doesn’t have enough room for them in its public and private colleges and universities. In 2016, the last year for which the figure is available, the state exported 40,000 first-time college students to institutions elsewhere, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
That has made these students catnip for schools that don’t have enough of their own.
The feeding frenzy is yet another sign of how, although enrollment here in California may be booming, there were nearly 2.9 million fewer college students nationwide this spring than there were at the last peak, in the fall of 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse search Center, which tracks this.