Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges during the Covid-19 pandemic, raising alarms that the enrollment emergency projected to arrive a few years from now is already here.
High-school seniors uninterested in studying online chose to defer. Working parents strained by the demands of full-time pandemic child care put their studies on hold. International students couldn’t get visas. Those in majors with hands-on practicums or lab work found they couldn’t register for courses required for their degrees.