California Colleges Saw 99,000 Fewer Students Last Year

Recent data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that California’s undergraduate student enrollment continues to decline. Colleges saw 99,000 fewer students from fall 2020 and fall 2021 — a 4.3% decline. Community college enrollment dropped 9.9%, while four-year university enrollment dropped 2.9%.

“Our final look at fall 2021 enrollment shows undergraduates continuing to sit out in droves as colleges navigate yet another year of COVID-19,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “Without a dramatic reengagement in their education, the potential loss to these students’ earnings and futures is significant, which will greatly impact the nation as a whole in years to come.”

California is one of several states experiencing a steep decline in community college enrollment. Only the states of Washington, New York, Maine, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania and South Dakota fared worse.

Colleges lost a number of students during closures at the height of the pandemic and it has been difficult to get them back. Community colleges in particular have struggled to recruit new students.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2022-2023 budget proposal includes an additional $150 million to boost recruitment and enrollment at community colleges.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times


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