Colleges are experiencing an intense drop in the number of students enrolling in classes to receive undergraduate degrees, showing a trend that might not taper off with the end of the pandemic.
New data released Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse showed that U.S. colleges and universities experienced a decline of almost 500,000 undergraduate students in the fall of 2021, keeping up with a drop that started the fall prior, NPR noted.
The National Student Clearinghouse data showed that “[c]ontinued enrollment losses in the pandemic represent a total two-year decline of 5.1 percent or 938,000 students since fall 2019.”
It added, “[u]ndergraduate enrollment alone fell by 3.1 percent or 465,300 students over last year while graduate enrollment is down less than half a percent.”
There was also a difference in the topics students are signing up to study.