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Retirees Association

DDN: College enrollment drop in US the largest two-year decline in 50 years

Millett Hall windows as seen from the Quad

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

Enrollment at universities and colleges across the country decreased again this semester as the pandemic and the recession it caused continues to impact student decisions, according to new data released.

The number of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled nationally declined by 2.3% this semester, for a decline of 4.6% in student enrollment since 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. It’s the largest two-year US enrollment decline in at least the last 50 years.

“Enrollments are not getting better,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “They’re still getting worse.”

In this region, fall semester enrollment is a mixed bag. Wright State and Wittenberg are reporting down student enrollment on their campuses, while University of Dayton, Miami and Cedarville are reporting small increases.

"There was simply no upside from the recession,” Shapiro said. “Just a downside that we’re seeing now from the recovery in the in the job market.

Graduate student enrollment increased this semester in the US, according to the research the center has done, rising 2.1% above last year’s level, for a total increase of 5.3% over two years.