NORMAN — When times get tough, more students stay in college longer. High school graduates who can’t find a job often enroll in college courses awaiting that job. One sign of an improving economy is college headcounts.
State officials this past week said the number of students enrolling in the fall 2012 semester is down slightly over the same semester this past year. Regional university enrollment was down nearly 3 percent and community college numbers were down just over 2 percent.
The headcounts at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University remain strong. Enrollment at those the state’s two flagship schools is up more than 3 percent.
One other sign of better times is enrollment gains at private colleges and universities. Those schools reported nearly 4 percent gains this semester after large declines in the height of the recession years.