UPDATE- Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale said proposed cutbacks could mean that some WV colleges may not survive, coupled with a declining number of state high school graduates.|
"We've got some institutions that really are financially in trouble," Plymale said, as the state is looking at a second year of 7.5% cutbacks.
According to figures from the Higher Education Policy Commission, four-year colleges with six-year graduation rates currently below 30 percent are Bluefield State, West Virginia State, and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
See Lawmaker: Some W.Va. colleges may not survive By Phil Kabler for the Charleston Gazette.
ORIGINAL STORY - Enrollment in West Virginia's colleges is declining after a big surge when the nation plunged into recession.
Total enrollment in the state's public colleges, including four-year universities and two-year community and technical colleges, decreased by nearly 3 percent from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013, according to state Higher Education Policy Commission.
A nationwide report, released by National Student Clearinghouse, shows the first significant decline in the college enrollment since the 1990s.
Total college enrollment across the USA decreased by 2.3 percent from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013, says the report.
West Virginia saw a boom in college enrollment when the recession first hit, more young people went to school and avoided a poor job market.
Unfortunately, the job market for college grads is not good, at the very least stagnant. The college educated jobs now have reduced wages with reduced benefits.
The projected jobs with college educated high-tech jobs is flat, wages reduced, except in a few specialized areas.
After the influx in 2008, when about 66,800 students were attending a public four-year college in the state, enrollment continued to increase until 2012, when it dropped for the first time in years.
West Virginia University's enrollment did not decrease, with a gain nearly 200 students from 2012-13. Marshall University lost more than 250 students.
Historically, West Virginia is among the lowest states producing college graduates.