Money Talks: Economic growth leads to lower college enrollment,

Money Talks: Economic growth leads to lower college enrollment, more high school grads in workforce

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The fall semester is back in session for colleges across the country, but something in particular is standing out: There are fewer students on campus. 

South Plains College President Robin Satterwhite said more high school graduates are willing to enter the workforce right away.

"Fewer than 50 percent of students in our service area are actually pursuing a college degree after they graduate from high school," Satterwhite said.

Martin Aguirre, the CEO of Workforce Solutions South Plains said the biggest reason is that cost comparison between those four years of college and graduating into the job market.

"You hear the stories about college loans and the traps that everybody gets into with college debt and it's a reality," Aguirre said.

Satterwhite said it is good to see a strong job market and growing economy, but at the same time, those numbers are directly correlated with its low enrollment numbers. 

Thus, he said the relationship between the two is a double-edged sword.

"That's the declining number we have to be cognizant of and be aware of in our overall region, not just higher education, but that goes for all of us as we look at our economy and the impacts of having a strong economy, but what that does to the future educated workforce of our economy," Satterwhite said.

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