May 1 College Enrollment Deposit Trends 2023

Melissa Vangsness May 31, 2023 Melissa Vangsness VP, Brand Research + Strategy Persona The Independent and Resilient Contender

On May 1, millions of students submit enrollment deposits to the college or university they plan to attend in the fall. At Carnegie, we work with institutions of various sizes, locations, affiliations, and more,  which gives us access to a wide variety of data regarding where students are depositing. Now that May 1 is in the rearview mirror, we’re sharing with you the enrollment deposit trends we saw by institution location, size, and type. We hope this is helpful contextual information for you and your team as you reinforce your 2023 incoming class.

Deposit trends analysis


From the group of institutions we reviewed, those located in rural and suburban settings saw increases in total enrollment deposits on average, while those in urban locations saw decreases. When it comes to regional differences, institutions in the South, Midwest, and Northeast averaged increases, whereas those located in the West averaged an overall decrease.



We found that small schools (1,000–5,000 students) and medium-sized schools (5,000–15,000 students) averaged increases in May 1 deposits. However, institutions with fewer than 1,000 students experienced, on average, a decrease. Large schools (15,000–25,000 students) averaged a net neutral deposit change.


Institution type

There wasn’t a discernible difference between religious and secular institutions, which both saw increases in deposits. There was also little difference between liberal arts–designated schools and other schools. Lastly, regional institutions had higher growth than nationally designated schools, which had a very slight decrease. However, the designation with the highest growth, by a very significant margin, was public schools vs. private schools—with public schools having more growth than private schools.


Plan for your enrollment success!

As the old adage goes, “You’re only good as your last class.” We know many of you are hard at work making sure your yield strategies are as strong as they can be and your early nurturing campaigns are set. 

Carnegie’s Enrollment Strategy team is ready to set you up for success in 2024 and beyond. Start a conversation today about optimizing your enrollment plans for next year.

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