De Anza student enrollment drops 6 percent


De Anza College reported a 6 percent enrollment drop in the Spring quarter compared to last year. Online enrollment on the other hand rose 22 percent.

“Many colleges statewide – and nationwide – are experiencing lower enrollment”, Marisa Spatafore, Associate Vice President, Communications and External Relations said. “Enrollment is typically tied to a variety of factors, so there likely is no single reason it has gone down somewhat at De Anza.”

De Anza conducted a survey of students who did not return in fall and spring quarter, with a 5 percent response rate. The majority of respondents indicated they had either transferred or reached their education goal.

Spatafore said that the economy may have also played a role, with somewhat older students choosing to work instead of college. Four percent of survey respondents indicated financial difficulties with continuing studying, including losing financial aid or not being able to pay for childcare.

Enrollment among undocumented students through the AB 540 program dropped by 13 percent. One percent of survey respondents said they felt unsafe attending due to the national political climate.

Nearby high schools have also had a decline in graduates according to Spatafore, leading to less students enrolling for college.

The college has been through enrollment fluctuation with the economy in the past according to Spatafore. “We are examining all of this information at the college, including through an instructional enrollment advisory group, to determine the best courses of action,” Spatafore said.