COLLEGE ENROLLMENT IS DOWN, BUT HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD STILL GO By Trea Branch
The pandemic may no longer be closing down campuses, but college enrollment still hasn’t recovered. In fact, preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, or NSCRC, show that fall 2022 enrollment dropped even further from 2021 levels.
It was not the rebound many experts expected.
“Of high school graduates who didn’t enroll in their first fall 2020 and didn’t enroll in their first fall 2021, there’s not a lot of evidence in these numbers that they’re coming back now,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director at NSCRC, in a press conference. “And the fact that many four-year institutions are still below their freshmen numbers from last year, much less going back to their freshman numbers from 2019, is very concerning.”
Though declining at a slower rate, total enrollment at schools that shared data with the clearinghouse fell by 1.1% to 10.3 million students in fall 2022, the NSCRC reported.
“For the first time since the start of the pandemic,” Shapiro added, “the declines this fall are steeper at four-year schools than they are at community colleges.” Four-year for-profit colleges saw higher declines than other institutions. Among for-profit programs, fall 2022 NSCRC data show:
• Undergraduate enrollment fell by 2.5%. • Graduate enrollment declined by 5.4%.
With the preliminary fall 2022 results, the total drop in college attendance since the pandemic began, both for for-profit and nonprofit programs, is now at 3.2%.
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