Research released by the National Student Clearinghouse shows the number of graduates under age 25 receiving their first undergraduate degree has risen by more than 89,000, or 5.4% between 2012 and 2015. Wall Street Journal staffer Josh Mitchell takes a look at this trend as well as the number of graduates over 25, which fell by roughly 77,000, or 6.8% between 2012 and 2015.
For those over 25 getting their first degrees, the number is even worse falling by 15.4% in the same time period. That shift was predictable due to the number of people who lost jobs during the recession and subsequently enrolled for further education:
During the enrollment boom, a disproportionate share of new students were older Americans who had lost their jobs and went to school for the first time to learn a new trade. Many of them have since returned to the workforce as the economy improves, and enrollment trends have returned to normal.