Industry News Survey Reveals Drop in College Enrollment, Students Proclaiming It’s a Waste of Money

By eLearning Inside
February 07, 2022

SEATTLE, WA –, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning,
has published a recent survey report to evaluate the declining undergraduate enrollment. The study also
highlights the key factors driving college admission decisions among high school graduates. Research experts
surveyed 1,250 Americans aged 18 to 24.

According to the report, 51% of recent high school grads never attended college, while 49% are
drop-outs. Likewise, 34% of respondents who are not currently enrolled in college cannot afford it; and
29% say it’s a waste of money. There is also a lack of interest or motivation among young adults to
pursue higher education. 39% of high school graduates who never attended college did not
apply to any schools for the 2021-22 academic year. 33% of respondents applied to colleges
but were not accepted anywhere. 28% applied to colleges and were accepted to at least one
school but did not enroll.

The study indicates that top reasons for opting out of college include high tuition costs, disruption from the
pandemic, and lack of value or benefits. 31% of respondents cited pandemic-related uncertainty
as a reason for not enrolling in college this academic year. Similarly, 29% of young adults believe a college
education is not required to get a lucrative job.

“Our current landscape calls for a re-evaluation of traditional college education,” independent college
admissions consultant Beata Williams says. “In my opinion, tuition expenses at many higher education
institutions are often unaligned with the end results of career prospects and salaries. This is especially true for
students who receive financial assistance through loans.”

Survey results show that 86% of respondents are using alternative methods to continue their education
beyond high school. 26% of respondents are turning to YouTube to learn new skills. Additionally,
24% of young adults are reading online materials, 23% are pursuing internships, and another 23% are enrolled in certificate programs. created and paid for this study, which was administered via the online survey platform Pollfish.
The survey was distributed from January 21 to January 22, 2022, to individuals not currently enrolled in a
higher education institution. Respondents were identified via a screening question and using Pollfish's
demographic selection tools. provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education
programs. The website offers curated guides that include the best degree programs as well as information
about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies. With comprehensive, user-friendly guides and
hundreds of program rankings, is a trusted source among students and prospective students.

Featured image: Roel Dierckens, Unsplash.