Thursday, October 29, 2020

College Enrollment Has Dropped

Undergraduate enrollment at institutions of higher education was 4 percent lower as of September 24, 2020, than one year earlier, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The Clearinghouse updates its enrollment data monthly as it tracks the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's colleges. The data are submitted by Title IV degree-granting institutions in the U.S. that participate in the Clearinghouse. Fifty-four percent of institutions submitted data for the September update.

The biggest enrollment drop has taken place at community colleges. At the end of September, enrollment in community colleges was 9.4 percent lower than one year earlier. Undergraduate enrollment was down 2.0 percent at private, nonprofit four-year schools, and it has fallen 1.4 percent at public four-year schools. 

The Clearinghouse reports that the biggest enrollment drop is among first-time beginning students, with enrollment as of September 24, 2020, fully 16.1 percent below the level one year earlier. First-time beginning students account for 69 percent of the decline in undergraduate enrollment nationwide. 

The undergraduate enrollment decline is similar in every age group, but is greater for males (6.4 percent) than for females (2.2 percent). By race and Hispanic origin, the decline is greater for Blacks (7.9 percent), non-Hispanic whites (7.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.1 percent) than for Asians (4.0 percent). By far the biggest enrollment decline of all was among international students, with 13.6 percent fewer enrolled as undergraduates in the nation's colleges in September 2020 than in September 2019.

Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Covid-19, Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information

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