(HorizonPost.com) – Graduating from high school and getting accepted into the college or university of one’s choice is a part of the “American dream,” according to conventional wisdom. Yet, based upon the number of students enrolled for the spring semester of 2021, that adage may no longer apply.
Graduate school numbers have increased somewhat, but that’s not the case in traditional four-year schools and community colleges, which have taken the worst beating of all. A report from the National Student Clearinghouse says there was a net decline of 3.5% in overall enrollment compared to one year earlier. That percentage equates to approximately 603,000 students (a loss of 727,000 undergrads, offset against a 124,000 increase of those seeking advanced degrees).
Undergrad college enrollment fell again this spring — down nearly 5% from a year ago. That means 727,000 fewer students.
And the figures look even worse for the nation's community colleges.https://t.co/isPJj7BqY9
— NPR (@NPR) June 10, 2021
According to the statistics, the lack of interest at the community college level accounts for 65% of the total undergraduate decline, meaning approximately 13.2% smaller student bodies in total. They also reveal the decrease in the number of men enrolling was almost double their female counterparts (400,000/203,000).
In a transcript of an interview on the Vox website, Kevin Carey, a reporter with the New York Times, responded to a question about the number of schools “facing extinction” by saying, “Coming up with a precise number is hard, but it’s not a tiny number.” Reports indicate that the pandemic has helped enhance existing issues with college enrollment across the U.S. Another factor to consider in the overall decline is likely the rapidly rising tuition rates and the associated mountain of college debt graduates inherit.
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