The number of undergraduates in California colleges dropped by about 250,000 between fall 2019 and fall 2021, according to a new survey from the National Student Clearinghouse.
The biggest drop came in fall 2020, when colleges went online. There were 148,113 fewer students enrolled in fall 2020 than in fall 2019. The following year, in fall 2021, there were 99,000 fewer students than in 2020. The biggest drop is among community college students.
“Our final look at fall 2021 enrollment shows undergraduates continuing to sit out in droves as colleges navigate yet another year of Covid-19,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Without a dramatic reengagement in their education, the potential loss to these students’ earnings and futures is significant, which will greatly impact the nation as a whole in years to come.”