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Survey of Private, Nonprofit Colleges and Universities Shows 2 Percent Drop in Total Fall Enrollment

Survey of Private, Nonprofit Colleges and Universities Shows 2 Perc...

October 16, 2020


WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) released the results of a national enrollment survey of 292 private, nonprofit colleges and universities showing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on campuses across the country.
 
According to the survey, the sector experienced a 2% drop in total enrollment between the fall of 2019 and 2020, including a nearly 8% decrease among students who receive federal Pell Grant awards.
 
“College and university leaders have been remarkably resilient and creative in how they’ve responded to both the serious health implications the virus has imposed on campus and the need to adapt to continue educating their students in a safe environment,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.  “However, the data clearly demonstrate the significant impact the pandemic is having on students and families, especially those who are low-income.  Like other areas of the economy, this pandemic has hit lower-income families especially hard and higher education is no exception.”
 
Forty-three percent of private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported either no change or an increase in their 2020 fall enrollment compared to last year, while 57% reported a decrease in fall enrollment.
 
“Presidents in both the private and public sectors of higher education have had to make difficult personnel, financial, and programmatic decisions to ensure the stability of their campus communities,” said Mistick.  “Unfortunately, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these decisions have included laying off or furloughing nearly 340,000 staff and faculty between February and August.  They also include making investments in Personal Protective Equipment and other health and safety equipment, technology and security upgrades, and much more.”
 
Detailed Findings
NOTE: These data are weighted by institution type and reflect the differences in enrollment between fall 2019 and fall 2020.
  • Total enrollment in the private, nonprofit higher education sector is down 2.4%
    • Undergraduate enrollment is down 4%
    • Graduate enrollment increased 1.3%
  • Full-time enrollment is down 2.5%
  • Part-time enrollment is down 2%
  • 42.9% of institutions report no change or an increase in enrollment
  • 57.1% of institutions report a decrease in enrollment
  • The median change in enrollment is -2.5% overall, with baccalaureate colleges having the largest typical decrease (-3.7%), followed by master’s colleges and universities (-3%), and doctoral universities (-1.9%)
  • The median change in undergraduate enrollment across all types of institutions is -3.7%, but the median change in graduate enrollment is +1%
 
Method of Instruction
Undergraduate Students
  • 72.8% of institutions are using a mix of in-person and remote learning to teach undergraduates this fall
  • 12% are exclusively in-person
  • 15.2% are exclusively online
 
Graduate Students
  • 66.9% of institutions are using a mixed approach
  • 4.7% are exclusively in-person
  • 28.4 are exclusively online
 
Methodology
Between September 10, 2020 and October 6, 2020 NAICU surveyed 956 private, nonprofit colleges and universities.  A total of 292 institutions submitted useable data, resulting in a 30.5% response rate. The sample was stratified by Carnegie classification types, including doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and specialized institutions. Weights were assigned to respondent institutions to reflect the universe of private, nonprofit colleges and universities. Enrollment definitions are identical to those used in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) by the National Center for Education Statistics. Data on Pell Grant recipients are from institutional research or financial aid offices.
 

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) released the results of a national enrollment survey of 292 private, nonprofit colleges and universities showing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on campuses across the country.
 
According to the survey, the sector experienced a 2% drop in total enrollment between the fall of 2019 and 2020, including a nearly 8% decrease among students who receive federal Pell Grant awards.
 
“College and university leaders have been remarkably resilient and creative in how they’ve responded to both the serious health implications the virus has imposed on campus and the need to adapt to continue educating their students in a safe environment,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.  “However, the data clearly demonstrate the significant impact the pandemic is having on students and families, especially those who are low-income.  Like other areas of the economy, this pandemic has hit lower-income families especially hard and higher education is no exception.”
 
Forty-three percent of private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported either no change or an increase in their 2020 fall enrollment compared to last year, while 57% reported a decrease in fall enrollment.
 
“Presidents in both the private and public sectors of higher education have had to make difficult personnel, financial, and programmatic decisions to ensure the stability of their campus communities,” said Mistick.  “Unfortunately, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these decisions have included laying off or furloughing nearly 340,000 staff and faculty between February and August.  They also include making investments in Personal Protective Equipment and other health and safety equipment, technology and security upgrades, and much more.”
 
Detailed Findings
NOTE: These data are weighted by institution type and reflect the differences in enrollment between fall 2019 and fall 2020.
  • Total enrollment in the private, nonprofit higher education sector is down 2.4%
    • Undergraduate enrollment is down 4%
    • Graduate enrollment increased 1.3%
  • Full-time enrollment is down 2.5%
  • Part-time enrollment is down 2%
  • 42.9% of institutions report no change or an increase in enrollment
  • 57.1% of institutions report a decrease in enrollment
  • The median change in enrollment is -2.5% overall, with baccalaureate colleges having the largest typical decrease (-3.7%), followed by master’s colleges and universities (-3%), and doctoral universities (-1.9%)
  • The median change in undergraduate enrollment across all types of institutions is -3.7%, but the median change in graduate enrollment is +1%
 
Method of Instruction
Undergraduate Students
  • 72.8% of institutions are using a mix of in-person and remote learning to teach undergraduates this fall
  • 12% are exclusively in-person
  • 15.2% are exclusively online
 
Graduate Students
  • 66.9% of institutions are using a mixed approach
  • 4.7% are exclusively in-person
  • 28.4 are exclusively online
 
Methodology
Between September 10, 2020 and October 6, 2020 NAICU surveyed 956 private, nonprofit colleges and universities.  A total of 292 institutions submitted useable data, resulting in a 30.5% response rate. The sample was stratified by Carnegie classification types, including doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and specialized institutions. Weights were assigned to respondent institutions to reflect the universe of private, nonprofit colleges and universities. Enrollment definitions are identical to those used in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) by the National Center for Education Statistics. Data on Pell Grant recipients are from institutional research or financial aid offices.
 

October 16, 2020

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Emmanual A. Guillory Joins NAICU as Director of Student and Institutional Aid Policy

Emmanual A. Guillory Joins NAICU as Director of Student and Institu...

August 14, 2020

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) announced today that it has named Emmanual A. Guillory as director of student and institutional aid policy. Guillory joins NAICU after spending the past two years as the director of public policy and government affairs at UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc.).
 
“We are pleased to welcome Emmanual to NAICU’s team of government relations experts,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. “His experiences at UNCF, which is a member of NAICU, and on Capitol Hill allows him to step right into the student aid policy arena and continue to provide in-depth analysis and strategy that is so important to our members and the students they serve.”
 
As director of student and institutional aid policy, Guillory will be the lead policy expert on Title IV federal student assistance programs and institutional aid programs found in Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act (HEA). He will be responsible for developing NAICU’s policy positions on student and institutional aid, in conjunction with the association’s member college, university, and association presidents. Guillory will also represent those positions and NAICU’s viewpoints to Congress, the White House, the Department of Education, and other agencies as warranted.
 
“NAICU, like UNCF, is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to the college or university that best meets their needs, especially low-income and first-generation students,” said Guillory. “I am excited to bring my experience with institutional aid to NAICU, which is critical to ensuring that qualifying institutions, such as HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, receive equitable funding to better serve students. Being a person who is a first-generation college student from humble beginnings, I know the importance of financing an education all too well, and look forward to focusing on federal student aid, which is so important to ensuring that students are able to fulfill their educational aspirations. Public service and advocacy have always been important to me, and I’m drawn to the opportunity to continue serving as a voice and advocate for policies that positively impact students, families, and under-resourced institutions while also promoting the importance of private, nonprofit higher education.”
 
In his role at UNCF, Guillory served as a primary advocate on the organization’s education policy agenda in the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. His focus was on federal postsecondary education policy, legislation, and regulatory issues. Guillory also served as UNCF’s lead analyst of education policies, legislation, and regulations to assess the impact on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and on educational opportunities for underrepresented students.
 
Prior to joining UNCF, Guillory served in several roles while working in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 10 years. Most recently, he was a professional staff member for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce where he served as the lead staff member on borrower defense regulations, gainful employment, college access programs, cash management regulations, and all of Titles III, V, VI, and VII of the HEA. Additionally, having worked to reauthorize the HEA, Guillory is intimately familiar with the law and its provisions.
 
Prior to his committee work, Guillory served in many roles for then-Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), most recently as the senior policy advisor. He began his public policy work as an intern in Rep. Bob Latta’s (R-OH) district office in Bowling Green, OH.
 
“Emmanual has been a friend to and colleague of NAICU for several years. We have worked side-by-side in our shared pursuits of advocating on behalf of our members and students,” said Sarah Flanagan, NAICU’s vice president for government relations and policy development. “He brings a depth of experience, creativity, and energy that will be felt across the association and will benefit our entire membership.”
 
Guillory, who will begin in his new position on August 24, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a professional certificate in Leadership Studies from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Following Texas A&M, he earned a Master of Arts degree in College Student Personnel (Higher Education Administration) from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) announced today that it has named Emmanual A. Guillory as director of student and institutional aid policy. Guillory joins NAICU after spending the past two years as the director of public policy and government affairs at UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc.).
 
“We are pleased to welcome Emmanual to NAICU’s team of government relations experts,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. “His experiences at UNCF, which is a member of NAICU, and on Capitol Hill allows him to step right into the student aid policy arena and continue to provide in-depth analysis and strategy that is so important to our members and the students they serve.”
 
As director of student and institutional aid policy, Guillory will be the lead policy expert on Title IV federal student assistance programs and institutional aid programs found in Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act (HEA). He will be responsible for developing NAICU’s policy positions on student and institutional aid, in conjunction with the association’s member college, university, and association presidents. Guillory will also represent those positions and NAICU’s viewpoints to Congress, the White House, the Department of Education, and other agencies as warranted.
 
“NAICU, like UNCF, is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to the college or university that best meets their needs, especially low-income and first-generation students,” said Guillory. “I am excited to bring my experience with institutional aid to NAICU, which is critical to ensuring that qualifying institutions, such as HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, receive equitable funding to better serve students. Being a person who is a first-generation college student from humble beginnings, I know the importance of financing an education all too well, and look forward to focusing on federal student aid, which is so important to ensuring that students are able to fulfill their educational aspirations. Public service and advocacy have always been important to me, and I’m drawn to the opportunity to continue serving as a voice and advocate for policies that positively impact students, families, and under-resourced institutions while also promoting the importance of private, nonprofit higher education.”
 
In his role at UNCF, Guillory served as a primary advocate on the organization’s education policy agenda in the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. His focus was on federal postsecondary education policy, legislation, and regulatory issues. Guillory also served as UNCF’s lead analyst of education policies, legislation, and regulations to assess the impact on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and on educational opportunities for underrepresented students.
 
Prior to joining UNCF, Guillory served in several roles while working in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 10 years. Most recently, he was a professional staff member for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce where he served as the lead staff member on borrower defense regulations, gainful employment, college access programs, cash management regulations, and all of Titles III, V, VI, and VII of the HEA. Additionally, having worked to reauthorize the HEA, Guillory is intimately familiar with the law and its provisions.
 
Prior to his committee work, Guillory served in many roles for then-Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), most recently as the senior policy advisor. He began his public policy work as an intern in Rep. Bob Latta’s (R-OH) district office in Bowling Green, OH.
 
“Emmanual has been a friend to and colleague of NAICU for several years. We have worked side-by-side in our shared pursuits of advocating on behalf of our members and students,” said Sarah Flanagan, NAICU’s vice president for government relations and policy development. “He brings a depth of experience, creativity, and energy that will be felt across the association and will benefit our entire membership.”
 
Guillory, who will begin in his new position on August 24, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a professional certificate in Leadership Studies from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Following Texas A&M, he earned a Master of Arts degree in College Student Personnel (Higher Education Administration) from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.

August 14, 2020

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Statement from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. on New Temporary Rule Affecting International Students

Statement from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. on New Tempora...

July 07, 2020

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new temporary final rule, prohibiting international students from staying in the United States if they are enrolled in an American college or university that implements an online-only platform for instruction. This guidance also applies to an institution that moves to exclusively online midsemester in response to rising COVID-19 cases on campus, and to students who are living on campuses that are open, but offering classes online only to protect the health and safety of their faculty and campus community.

NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. issued the following statement:

“This policy is not only extremely punitive to international students, it also threatens the safety of other students and the communities surrounding college campuses. It is the exact opposite of what the higher education community, including NAICU, recommended last week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf requesting extended flexibility for international students."

"This move doesn’t appear to be very well-thought out. The new policy puts undo pressure on campuses to stay open when it is unsafe to do so. Transporting international students who may have been exposed to the coronavirus to other campuses (which would be the only way they could remain in the country to continue their education), or to airports to fly back to their home countries, assuming those countries are allowing flights from the United States, pose a myriad of health risks."

"Congress should take immediate action to help roll back this unnecessary and harmful rule.”
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new temporary final rule, prohibiting international students from staying in the United States if they are enrolled in an American college or university that implements an online-only platform for instruction. This guidance also applies to an institution that moves to exclusively online midsemester in response to rising COVID-19 cases on campus, and to students who are living on campuses that are open, but offering classes online only to protect the health and safety of their faculty and campus community.

NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. issued the following statement:

“This policy is not only extremely punitive to international students, it also threatens the safety of other students and the communities surrounding college campuses. It is the exact opposite of what the higher education community, including NAICU, recommended last week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf requesting extended flexibility for international students."

"This move doesn’t appear to be very well-thought out. The new policy puts undo pressure on campuses to stay open when it is unsafe to do so. Transporting international students who may have been exposed to the coronavirus to other campuses (which would be the only way they could remain in the country to continue their education), or to airports to fly back to their home countries, assuming those countries are allowing flights from the United States, pose a myriad of health risks."

"Congress should take immediate action to help roll back this unnecessary and harmful rule.”

July 07, 2020

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NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick's Statement on New Title IX Regulations

NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick's Statement on New Title IX Reg...

May 06, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education today released  its final Title IX regulations offering sweeping changes in definitions, responsibilities and procedures regarding sexual assault with an August 14, 2020 effective date.  NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., issued the following statement on the new regulations:
 
“After three years of study and nearly 125,000 public comments the Department of Education today has issued a 2,033-page set of complex rules and far-reaching regulations with an effective date of August 14, 2020, upending the entire process colleges and universities use to adjudicate sexual harassment and sexual assault claims on campus.
 
“College and university leaders are committed to providing a safe environment and fairness to all students.  However, in the best of times, it would be extremely difficult for colleges and universities to implement this wholesale change in rules and procedures in less than three months.  In the middle of a global pandemic and national economic collapse, when higher education leaders must be singularly focused on the health and safety of their students and campus communities and the survival of their institutions, this wholesale change is unconscionable.  
 
“We are extremely disappointed that the Department is imposing such a short implementation timeline at a time when the global pandemic has created a crisis for institutions and students alike, and when officials are not able to be on campus to prepare to implement the new rules.
 
“Many will be very concerned that these regulations will have a chilling effect on victims of sexual assault. In addition, the overly legalistic nature of the regulations will turn campuses into courtrooms and impose an expensive and burdensome process on institutions and students.”
 
 
The U.S. Department of Education today released  its final Title IX regulations offering sweeping changes in definitions, responsibilities and procedures regarding sexual assault with an August 14, 2020 effective date.  NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., issued the following statement on the new regulations:
 
“After three years of study and nearly 125,000 public comments the Department of Education today has issued a 2,033-page set of complex rules and far-reaching regulations with an effective date of August 14, 2020, upending the entire process colleges and universities use to adjudicate sexual harassment and sexual assault claims on campus.
 
“College and university leaders are committed to providing a safe environment and fairness to all students.  However, in the best of times, it would be extremely difficult for colleges and universities to implement this wholesale change in rules and procedures in less than three months.  In the middle of a global pandemic and national economic collapse, when higher education leaders must be singularly focused on the health and safety of their students and campus communities and the survival of their institutions, this wholesale change is unconscionable.  
 
“We are extremely disappointed that the Department is imposing such a short implementation timeline at a time when the global pandemic has created a crisis for institutions and students alike, and when officials are not able to be on campus to prepare to implement the new rules.
 
“Many will be very concerned that these regulations will have a chilling effect on victims of sexual assault. In addition, the overly legalistic nature of the regulations will turn campuses into courtrooms and impose an expensive and burdensome process on institutions and students.”
 
 

May 06, 2020

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Statement from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M., on the Passage of the CARES Act

Statement from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M., on the Passag...

March 27, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $2 trillion CARES Act this afternoon providing relief resources to colleges and universities and the millions of students and communities they serve.  The bill, expected to be signed by the president, provides nearly $14 billion for all sectors of higher education.
 
NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. released the following statement regarding the passage of the CARES Act:
 
“Members of Congress deserve significant credit for coming together and passing legislation that provides critical relief for so many sectors of our society.  I know they received significant input from their constituents, including hundreds of private, nonprofit college and university presidents.  What Congress has done today is provide important economic relief for our country to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act will also help ensure that students, who have had their academic year turned upside down, have a path to complete their education and institutions have the capacity to meet the changing needs of delivering that education.
 
“The CARES Act recognizes the important contributions that private, nonprofit colleges and universities make to their communities, regions, and states.  It also clearly illustrates the important role these institutions have within all of higher education.  Private, nonprofit colleges and universities educate more than 5 million students and provide more than 1.2 million jobs to the economy.  While the funding amount is important, more support will be needed for institutions to address the enormity of the crisis on their campus and continue serving their students and communities.
 
“The coronavirus emergency is historic in nature.  Colleges and universities, with help from federal, state, and local policy makers and, most importantly, their own communities, will persevere as they have previously through national emergencies.  On behalf of the more than 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities, we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to help the nation recover and get through this crisis together.”
 
#   #   # 
With more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and associations as members, NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education and reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States.  Our member institutions include major research universities, church-related colleges, historically black colleges, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions. 
 
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $2 trillion CARES Act this afternoon providing relief resources to colleges and universities and the millions of students and communities they serve.  The bill, expected to be signed by the president, provides nearly $14 billion for all sectors of higher education.
 
NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. released the following statement regarding the passage of the CARES Act:
 
“Members of Congress deserve significant credit for coming together and passing legislation that provides critical relief for so many sectors of our society.  I know they received significant input from their constituents, including hundreds of private, nonprofit college and university presidents.  What Congress has done today is provide important economic relief for our country to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act will also help ensure that students, who have had their academic year turned upside down, have a path to complete their education and institutions have the capacity to meet the changing needs of delivering that education.
 
“The CARES Act recognizes the important contributions that private, nonprofit colleges and universities make to their communities, regions, and states.  It also clearly illustrates the important role these institutions have within all of higher education.  Private, nonprofit colleges and universities educate more than 5 million students and provide more than 1.2 million jobs to the economy.  While the funding amount is important, more support will be needed for institutions to address the enormity of the crisis on their campus and continue serving their students and communities.
 
“The coronavirus emergency is historic in nature.  Colleges and universities, with help from federal, state, and local policy makers and, most importantly, their own communities, will persevere as they have previously through national emergencies.  On behalf of the more than 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities, we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to help the nation recover and get through this crisis together.”
 
#   #   # 
With more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and associations as members, NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education and reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States.  Our member institutions include major research universities, church-related colleges, historically black colleges, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions. 
 

March 27, 2020

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About the items posted on the NAICU site: News items, features, and opinion pieces posted on this site from sources outside NAICU do not necessarily reflect the position of the association or its members. Rather, this content reflects the diversity of issues and views that are shaping American higher education.

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