November 29, 2020

Evergreen State College enrollment is down sharply again in 2020


For the sake of posterity, I want to point out that Evergreen State College continues to fail three years after the campus takeover that became national news. Evergreen graduate Benjamin Boyce highlighted the latest enrollment numbers on Twitter:

The Olympian put a positive spin on the numbers earlier this week: “Fall enrollment at Evergreen landed at 2,291 students, down about 6 percent from its goal, but higher than the low end of the projection, which was around 2,050 students.”

Higher than the low end of the projection could be the school’s unofficial motto these days. But putting aside the spin, these numbers are very bad. In fact, the official numbers from the school’s website appear to be a bit lower than what the Olympian reported. The total headcount (graduate and undergrad) at all campuses this fall is 2,281. That’s down from 2,854 students last fall and 3,327 students in the fall of 2018.

The headcount in the fall of 2016, before the takeover which happened in the spring of 2017, was 4,089, so Evergreen’s size has nearly been cut in half since then. In fact, enrollment is now lower than every previous year since 1972, its second year in existence. They are in many ways back to square one. (Note this chart has not been updated with the fall 2020 numbers.)

The decline in enrollment must have put a massive dent in the school’s operating budget and is almost surely going to translate into the need to reduce the size of the faculty. There don’t seem to be any announcements or news stories about that but it must be happening behind the scenes. That will in turn make it harder to recover as the school will have less capacity and maybe even fewer degrees to offer. For the record, I think it’s fair to say the pandemic could also be playing a role in enrollment but that’s clearly not the main problem at Evergreen.

I wonder if at some point it will simply be unable to survive. Again, no one is saying that but there must be some lower limit where they have to call it. The school is a testament to what can happen when far left extremists are allowed to take over an organization. I sincerely hope other large organizations are watching and learning what not to do.





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