College enrollment in the fall-2012 term dropped by 1.8 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Four-year, for-profit institutions saw the sharpest decline, 7.2 percent, among the sectors tracked by the study. Enrollment at four-year, private, nonprofit institutions increased by a half a percentage point.
The report is the first in a series of current-term enrollment estimates that the research center plans to publish every December and May. The new estimates follow the U.S. Department of Education’s release in October of preliminary data for the fall-2011 term, which also showed slight enrollment declines.