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Research Center’s 2020 Reports Reveal College Enrollment Trends

by NSC Blog | Dec 17, 2020 | Current Term Enrollment, High School Benchmarking, K-12, Research Reports, Research Services, StudentTracker |

Enrollment Gaps Appear to Be Widening Because of COVID-19 and the Recession

Recognizing the urgency of COVID-19’s impact on students and institutions, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center tracked fall 2020 college enrollment trends compared to fall 2019, in near real time. Throughout the year, the Research Center released reports to inform colleges and universities, high schools, and policy leaders about the shifting higher education enrollment and student transfer trends for the nation and each state.

“As the fall semester comes to a close, the impact of the pandemic seems to be disproportionately affecting disadvantaged students by keeping them out of college,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “The data reveal that community colleges and freshmen saw the steepest drops in enrollment, while the declines among four-year colleges and continuing undergraduates were generally much smaller.

“Looking through the additional lens of 2020 high school graduates, we observe an even sharper picture, as the immediate college enrollments of those from high poverty, low income, and urban high schools have been hit the hardest. The enrollment gaps appear to be widening because of COVID-19 and the recession.”

The reports provided the following insights:

The Research Center will provide updates to these reports throughout 2021. To learn more and for research assistance, visit the Research Center.

“As the fall semester comes to a close, the impact of the pandemic seems to be disproportionately affecting disadvantaged students by keeping them out of college.”

Doug Shapiro
Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

 

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