First-year college students down 16% this year. Who’s missing?

First-year college student enrollment is down 16% this year. Who’s missing?

Reported by EdSurge, this national enrollment drop is largest at community colleges with first-year community college student enrollment down a whopping 23% year over year, suggesting that the same students most economically disadvantaged by the pandemic and its impacting recession are of course the same group most likely to have their educational path detoured by it as well.

And even those students who enrolled may not be persisting. Faculty across the country are reporting high levels of “ghosting” from those non-participating students they’ve reached out to help.

The takeaway? The pandemic is forcing a whole bunch of students out. It may also be giving students a psychological “out” as well. We need to be ready to welcome back them back “in” as quickly as we can support them to do so.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.