Today’s Youth: College? No Thanks.

FILE - In this May 31, 2014 file photo, graduates throw their caps in the air in triumph at the University of Delaware's commencement ceremony in Newark, Del. Is someone in your family graduating from college this year? If so, here are a few things to keep in mind that might preserve your sanity on commencement day. (AP Photo/Emily Varisco)
  • Students are electing to avoid college in the hundreds of thousands since before the pandemic, with many choosing to take jobs amid fears of tuition and debt.
  • What first looked like a pandemic blip has turned into a crisis. Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • The slide in the college-going rate since 2018 is the steepest on record, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.