LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Enrollment at Arkansas’ colleges and universities has dropped 1.8 percent during the past year.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that preliminary enrollment figures show the state’s higher-education institutions had a total of 163,529 students this fall. Data from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education indicates that is 2,958 fewer than the fall of 2016.

Nursing schools, including the Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock and the Jefferson School of Nursing, saw the biggest increase from 637 to 734 students, or 15.2 percent. Public community colleges saw the biggest decrease, from 48,467 to 46,615 students, or 3.8 percent.

Thomas Harnisch, the director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, says the figures are on par with modest enrollment declines recorded each year at institutions nationwide.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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