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TTU President Not Overly Concerned About Enrollment Cliff In ’25

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU President Not Overly Concerned About Enrollment Cliff In ’25

Colleges nationwide are worried about an expected decline in enrollment rates over the next three years, but Tech President Phil Oldham said his team has been working hard to avoid major issues.

The decrease is referred to as the “college enrollment cliff.” It is an effect of the 2008 recession, during which the nation’s birth rate sharply declined. That class would reach college age beginning in 2025. Oldham said estimates are enrollment nationwide would be impacted by about five percent.

“A lot of it has to do with rates of transition,” Oldham said. “People moving into Tennessee along with the birth rates in our case. I don’t expect it to be a major issue. It is something you have to pay attention to. But Middle Tennessee of course is growing pretty substantially and the primary feeder areas of Tennessee that Tennessee Tech draws from are among the highest growth areas in the state.”

Oldham said higher education experts project the cliff will be a bigger issue in the northeast and midwest. He said southeastern and western institutions are expected to be impacted less.

Some 4.3 million children were born nationwide during 2007, a record number in the United State. Two years later, that number fell to 4.1 million.

Oldham said that TTU has worked hard to make itself stand out as competition between schools becomes more intense.

“We are a highly relevant institution, particularly in today’s environment where students are looking for not only a good value in education, but they’re ultimately looking for a successful career, and we do that really well,” Oldham said.


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