Are enrollment declines on the horizon for Northfield’s colleges?

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In yesterday’s New York Times: Private Colleges Worry About a Dip in Enrollment; Decreased enrollment, especially at small colleges with tuition-driven budgets, could mean significant cutbacks to programs and faculty.

First came the good news for St. Olaf College: early-decision applications were way up this year. Now comes the bad news: the number of regular applications is way down, about 30 percent fewer than at this time last year.

“To be quite honest, I don’t know how we’ll end up,” said Derek Gueldenzoph, dean of admissions at the college, in Northfield, Minn. “By this time last year, we had three-quarters of all our applications. The deadline’s Jan. 15. If what we’ve got now is three-quarters of what we’re going to get, we’re in big trouble. But if this turns out to be only half, we’ll be fine.”

One Comment

  1. Bill Ostrem said:


    Thanks for finding this. I’ve been wondering how our tanking economy might affect the colleges. It’s something to keep an eye on. Perhaps Bonnie can follow up with the colleges once their application deadlines pass.

    December 27, 2008

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