College enrollment in the spring-2013 term dropped by 2.3 percent compared with the same term a year ago, according to a report released on Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Four-year, for-profit institutions saw the sharpest enrollment decline among higher-education sectors tracked in the report, with a fall of 8.7 percent. The report describes declines in every sector but four-year, private nonprofit institutions, whose spring-2013 enrollment grew by half a percentage point compared with the previous year.
The center’s report is the second in its series of current-term enrollment estimates. Its previous report said that fall-2012 enrollments had dropped 1.8 percent from a year earlier. Though the report noted that spring enrollments are typically lower than fall enrollments, it said that the gap between the two has been widening, with spring-2013 enrollments lower than fall-2012 totals by 5.4 percent.