1.3 Million Higher Ed Students Dropped Out Since Start Of Pandemic

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According to the Student Clearinghouse website, lockdowns and school closings have resulted in a drop of 7.4 percent in student enrollments.

Spring 2022 will see a decline of 3.1 percent, which is more than in 2021’s fall. Spring 2022 will be lower at 4.9 percent.

According to the Spring 2022 Current Terms Enrollment Estimates report, total postsecondary enrollment, which includes graduate students has dropped by 4.1% since last spring. This amounts to approximately 16,000,000 students. This follows a 3.5% decline last spring. This spring, enrollment declined in all sectors of the institution.

Doug Shapiro (executive director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center) stated that college enrollment is declining. Although there are some signs of a recovery, especially in a slight rise in first-year students’ enrollments, these numbers are not large enough to predict if they will lead to a bigger freshman recovery in the fall.

The report also contains the following findings:

The combined drop in student numbers at four-year institutions, community colleges, and the public sector was more than 604,000, or 5 percent.

The greatest drop in community colleges was 351,000 students, or 7.8 percent. This drop represents more than half the postsecondary enrollment loss this term, and results in a total loss more than 820,000 community college students since spring 2020.

This spring, there were 462,000, or 4.6% less women students. This is more than twice the number of students who lost their enrollment the year before. It leads to a total enrollment drop of 665,000 for female students over two years. The community colleges saw the greatest drop in women (-9.2%, 251,000 fewer females compared to 100,000 or 5.6% less men). Men declined by more 220,000 students in all sectors.

Clearinghouse’s first report examined race and enrollment. It found that Hispanic and Asian enrollments grew in the spring 2021, with a plus of 15 percent and a plus of 4 percent, respectively.
Black freshman enrollment fell by 6.5 percent, or 2,600 students. This is combined with previous losses resulting in 18.7 percent, or 8,400, fewer black freshmen in spring 2020.