June 10, 2021
College enrollment fell 3.5% in the spring term compared to the prior year, representing about 600,000 fewer students and marking the steepest annual drop in a decade, according to final figures from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
A 4.9% drop in undergraduates, or roughly 727,000 students, fueled the decline Graduate enrollment, which rose 4.6%, or around 124,000 students, helped offset some of those losses.
The report reveals the severity of the pandemic’s impact on enrollment. Recovery depends in part on whether schools will be able to convince these missing students to enroll for the upcoming academic year.