Full-time enrollment in the nation's colleges and universities last year was about two per cent higher than in the previous year, reversing a six-year trend, according to a recently released U.S. Census Bureau advance report.
The number of applicants to Harvard did not reflect the national trend, staying about the same, John P. Reardon '60, associate dean of admissions and financial aid, said Monday.
The government report, entitled "School Enrollment--Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 1975," cited increased enrollment of women and of students in two-year colleges and the high unemployment rate among teenagers as reasons for the increased enrollment.
Total enrollment including both full and part time students climbed 9.9 per cent last year, according to the report. This increase capped a period of rising total enrollment which began after enrollment declined 1.6 per cent between 1972 and 1973.
During the five-year period between 1970 and 1975 the number of women enrolled in college full-time and part-time increased by 45 per cent while the number of men rose by only 21 per cent, Rosalind Bruno, a statistician with the education branch of the Census Bureau said Monday.
Bruno said the number of students attending two-year colleges last year was up 51.4 per cent since 1970.
But she added that the data do not verify that teenagers are going to college because of increased unemployment.
"Enrollment of the youngest people has not been going up," Bruno said. Rather, she said, the number of people over 22 years old enrolled in colleges has increased by 33 per cent since 1970.
Reardon said the number of female applicants to Harvard last year increased "about nine to ten per cent" over 1974, but he attributed the rise to the uniting of the Harvard and Radcliffe admissions offices last year. Women now "see themselves at Harvard," he said.
The number of males applying to Harvard last year remained about the same, Reardon said. He said he had no figures on older applicants but he added that for the last decade there has been more encouragement for older people to apply, especially to Radcliffe.
Reardon said the number of black applicants increased last year but he felt this was the result of recruiting by Harvard rather than part of a national trend. The Census Bureau report said black student enrollment rose 16 per cent between 1974 and 1975.