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Although the pool of high-school graduates is dwindling, the nation's public and private colleges and universities reported a 1.1-percent enrollment increase this year.

The growth is primarily due to an increase in part-time enrollment in the nation's community, technical, and junior colleges, according to the preliminary results of a national survey by the Association Council for Policy Analysis and Research, a coalition of eight Washington-based higher-education groups conducting research and analysis in post-secondary education.

Independent two-year colleges this year reported a 4.8-percent enrollment increase, thanks primarily to an increase of 9.8 percent in the number of students attending part-time.

Overall enrollment at public two-year colleges, which experienced a 4.6 percent increase in part-time students, rose by 2.8 percent.

Proprietary schools--which operate for profit and offer training for technical and business careers--experienced an 8.8-percent increase in full-time enrollment, but a similar decline in part-time enrollment. The survey notes that this change "indicates the possibility of increased emphasis on job training and careerp6 change" nationwide.

Enrollments at both public and private four-year institutions increased by the same rate--0.8 percent.

The number of students attending college for the first time remained steady, the study found, despite the decrease in the number of 18-year-olds. Last year, schools reported a decline of 3.3 percent in the enrollment of first-time freshmen; this year, the decline was 0.3 percent.

According to the survey, the number of first-time freshmen at four-year independent colleges increased 0.6 percent but declined at public four-year institutions by 3.6 percent.

At two-year private colleges, freshman enrollments increased by 3.5 percent; at two-year public institutions, freshman enrollments are up 1.8 percent above 1982 levels.

Vol. 03, Issue 12

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