From this article about SUNY enrollment. (SUNY = State University of New York).
The main point is that SUNY enrollment is decreasing over the last 8 years, mostly due to loss of enrollment in community colleges. One explanation
Fewer students has resulted in less revenue for community colleges, and it is believed to be the result of a declining upstate population and an improving jobs market that has led more students to the workforce rather than a community college.
This seems pretty reasonable. This makes sense:
“As unemployment surged during the Great Recession, so too did full-time enrollment at community colleges across the country. With jobs at an all-time high now throughout the state, we have seen the impacts to enrollment at our community colleges,” Kristina Johnson, SUNY’s chancellor, said in a statement.
Declining enrollment due to declining population is also a reasonable explanation. NY really is losing people.