EconExtra: What Will the Drop in School Enrollment Value the Economic system?


EconExtra is a collection of posts that transcend the textbook, relating present occasions and up to date developments in economics to content material requirements, and offering useful resource solutions that will help you incorporate the present occasions into your classes.  This week’s situation will be included into discussions of particular person resolution making and alternative prices, or broader discussions of investing in human capital.


The Problem

The pandemic appears to have “turbocharged” the last decade lengthy lower in faculty and enrollment. In accordance with the Nationwide Scholar Clearinghouse, there are 1.2 million fewer college students than there have been within the fall of 2019. The 2-year drop is the biggest drop in 50 years. Whereas group faculties are being hit the toughest, four-year enrollment dropped considerably this previous yr too. One other fascinating measure is that of these highschool seniors who determined to take a “Covid Hole Yr” in 2020, solely 2% ended up enrolling at school in 2021.


It’s possible that these “lacking” college students are working. Given how low-skilled wages have elevated dramatically over the past two years, this may occasionally appear to be a sensible transfer. Nonetheless, laying aside faculty will possible make getting that diploma harder and extra pricey. The controversy is whether or not or not these college students are buying and selling near-term revenue for increased incomes potential afterward.

In one research from Georgetown College, bachelor’s diploma holders have been discovered to “earn a median of $2.8 million throughout their profession, 75% greater than if that they had solely a highschool diploma.” (NPR)


And don’t overlook we have already got a abilities hole within the US, so fewer educated and expert staff additionally threatens the financial system.



This NPR article is thorough and clearly states the statistics across the present tendencies, and the theories about why. Additionally they embrace analysis on the advantages of an training to people and society. College students ought to start by studying this. There are hyperlinks throughout the article when you (or the scholars) are focused on pursuing any explicit tangent or research quoted. 


The questions under can be utilized in no matter format you want the scholars to handle them.

1) Does it shock you that faculty enrollment has been dropping over the past decade? What have been a few of the causes given for this pattern? Do you assume the Covid drop will finally reverse itself? Why or why not?


2) Which kind of establishment had the biggest drop in enrollment? Which socio-economic group appears to have been impacted probably the most? What do you assume the short-term impacts are for individuals who selected to not enroll?


3) What are the long-term monetary impacts to these not enrolling? What are the non-economic (destructive) externalities attributed to not pursuing training past highschool?


4) What are the anticipated impacts on the general financial system if these college students don’t resume their training, and if the downward pattern in enrollment continues?


5) Are you aware college students who determined in opposition to furthering their training these final two years? What did they do as an alternative? Have they/will they resume their training?


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