WSU Sees Highest Enrollment Ever, Is It Sign of Impending Doom? [POLL]
Hurray, hurray, everyone's excited about WSU seeing the highest enrollment ever in fall 2015 with 30,000 students starting classes. It is boasting its largest class of incoming freshmen ever. Only one problem: investors are taught to run for the hills when college enrollment goes up.
Traditionally high college enrollment is a sign of a bad economy. It means young people can't find jobs, or have no confidence in the future of the jobs they can get.
When an economy is strong young people are tempted to work construction, stay on the farm, help dad or grandpa at his business. They may take classes on the side, or say they plan to enroll once they save up enough to not have to borrow. People in their 20s who have never gone to college should be making as much or more than an average 21-year-old fresh off campus so the gamble to leave a steady income to make a long-term investment is a challenge.
But no, people of all walks of life are flocking to WSU (the Tri-Cities campus saw a 13 percent increase) and CBC and Western Governors University (online). Despite warnings of student debt, young people are taking the plunge and crossing their fingers it will pay off.
Is it a sign of desperation?
On the other hand, WSU is a great value. It's much, much cheaper than University of Washington or the liberal arts colleges in the Northwest. It's also easy to get in (80%+ acceptance rate in 2013) yet offers a high quality education. It's easily the most fun place to go to school in either Washington or Idaho (never visited Oregon campuses so I can't talk). And population is growing, meaning every year there are going to be more college-bound freshman no matter the economy.
So what do you think? Is it a sign that WSU is a great school with a bright future, or does it mean the economy is terrible and we just don't realize it?