Increasing enrollment in today’s community colleges

Eight strategies to reverse declining market share

Increasing Enrollment in Today's Community Colleges

During every economic recovery, community college enrollments decline as students return to work. However, community colleges today are losing students not only to the job market but also to other higher education institutions. From 1980 to 2002, community colleges enrolled between 40 and 44% of all undergraduates. Since then, the sector’s market share has steadily slipped to only 38%.

In today's higher education landscape, community colleges face competition not only from for-profit institutions but also from public and private universities. As universities enhance their marketing and recruiting efforts, community colleges must adopt scalable strategies to regain market share and stem revenue loss. This infographic profiles eight marketing and recruiting practices that promote enrollment growth. The first four practices allow community colleges to build a pipeline of students new to higher education, while the last four practices help them compete for students with many college options.

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