College enrollments are falling in the US—except for graduate degrees

Oliver Staley:

One of the more worrying aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US is its effect on undergraduate enrollments.

Over the summer there were indications, through student loan data and Census surveys, that students were either dropping out or not enrolling in previous numbers. For some students, particularly those from low-income and minority families, the financial and logistical challenges posed by the pandemic were too much to overcome.

Now we have an early glimpse of actual enrollment figures from 629 US colleges (or about 22%) that reported their data to the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit that collects information for universities. The data, which compare the same colleges from 2019 to 2020, go through Sept. 10, and were reported Sept. 24.