The universities of today are up against their fair share of challenges. What’s more, if a school is unable to meet those challenges and find ways of correcting their situation, they will be faced with the decision to make cuts to areas of their institution that they would rather not. Ultimately, it takes adaptability and creativity in order to right the ship for many universities out there so that they can continue to deliver top-notch education to the next generation of students.


Here are just four of the main challenges that most universities and colleges are facing today.

1. Low enrollment rates

Universities and colleges depend entirely on being able to meet their target from year to year with the number of new students that they enroll. Without the tuition and fees that students pay each year, a school must find other ways of bringing in or saving money. Unfortunately, these ways of making money tend to be less than desirable.

There are ways that schools who are willing to think outside the box can increase their enrollment, though. These ways aren’t traditional in nature, but they can be highly effective. For instance, by working with a Higher education marketing agency, a school can reap the benefits of having a digital marketing campaign designed specifically for them. 

2. Less funding from state governments

Another challenge that is directly related to a school’s bottom line is that of a decrease in recent years of state funding. Cuts in state funding are actually one of the things that have contributed to the yearly increase in tuition costs for most schools. Public universities and community colleges alike used to enjoy a per-student amount granted by the state government in which they were located. However, since 2008, that per-student amount has been steadily decreasing.

3. Fewer international enrollments

There was once a time when universities in the United States were the desired destination for higher education for international students. However, these days fewer international students are coming to the US to receive their university degrees. There are many reasons for this, including political and cultural ones, but the end result is that US universities are losing out on enrollments that they could previously count on. Forming a significant portion of most universities’ enrollment rates, the loss of international students is quite a hit for American universities.

4. Fewer high school graduates

Estimates from recent years indicate that there were around 2% fewer high school graduates from 2017 to 2018. These numbers are troubling for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it indicates a developing trend in the nation that students aren’t being given the resources or don’t have the motivation to graduate high school. However, in regard to university enrollment rates, this trend can be detrimental.

In order for a student to be eligible to attend a university, they must earn their high school diploma. However, with fewer students earning that diploma, the pool of potential university students is getting smaller.