June 3, 2021
The higher education sector lost enrollment during the pandemic, but a new analysis based on data from nearly 10 million recent high school graduates provides a more detailed look at who was missing from campuses this year.
Using its own data and that from the National Student Clearinghouse, the College Board found that community colleges generally lost would-be incoming students who are lower-income and lower-achieving, and those from underrepresented groups. Four-year institutions lost higher-achieving students from wealthier high schools.
Four-year colleges had more success retaining students than did community colleges during the pandemic, though the focus solely on recent high school graduates offers a more limited view into trends, particularly at public two-year schools.