Madeline St. Amour
August 28, 2020
A new report from the Century Foundation shows that many colleges hit hard times over the summer.
The foundation analyzed data on federal student loans that were disbursed between April 1 and June 30. All higher education sectors — public, for-profit and private nonprofit — saw large decreases in student loan volume compared to the previous summer.
”In general, I don’t think people had positive expectations for how things are going in higher education right now,” said Kevin Miller, a fellow with the left-leaning foundation and the author of the report. “The loan data confirmed that this summer was a hard term for most institutions.”
Student loan volume across higher education decreased 43 percent this summer compared to the summer of 2019, according to the report. For-profit institutions saw the biggest drop at 46 percent, and public institutions saw the smallest drop at 40 percent.
These data are released four times each year, and they are some of the most up-to-date numbers available in higher education, Miller said. The data could be a canary in the coal mine for what higher education will be facing over the next year, as they are available much sooner than enrollment or budget data collected through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS.
But the data isn’t the whole picture.