from PBSNewsHourSeptember 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM EDT
"The drop-off in college attendance between 2012 and 2013 was across all income levels, although it was sharpest among the Census Bureau’s middle-income range — families making between $20,000 and $75,000.
"That fewer of those families are sending kids to college is bad news for colleges, Carnevale said, because it strikes at the heart of their business model, although it’s less of a threat to selective institutions, which already have long lines to entry and intentionally keep their enrollments small."There’s a structural story here, too, though. It’s hard to ignore, over the long-term, how much more widespread college-going has become. The 1960s and 1970s forever changed college enrollment in America, Carnevale said; the Vietnam War and the draft gave new meaning to the college campus as “safe harbor.” Many more jobs now require a college education, and despite the increasing supply of college grads, the college wage premium (the earnings advantage to having a college degree) remains extraordinarily high, according to Carnevale.