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NSC report shows that total registrants have decreased by 4.1%

Registration in all sectors of higher education continued to decline over the past semester, expanding the trend that began during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The total enrollment in the spring of 2022 decreased by 4.1%.

The latest numbers show the fifth semester when the overall number of registrations is declining. The Spring 2020 report counted 17.1 million students at all levels of higher education. That number is currently 15.9 million.

This decline is even more pronounced at the undergraduate level, with NSC data showing a 4.7% reduction in enrollment in the spring of 2022. This means that in the spring of 2022, the number of undergraduate enrollments decreased by 662,000, a decrease of about 1.4 million since its inception. Percentage of pandemics in 2020, according to data released today.

Much of the report may be about higher education, but the latest data show that first-time freshman enrollment is 4.2%, a bright spot for 13,700 students. This reverses the 3.5% decline from last spring, or 11,800 students. However, a special analysis of this year’s report categorized first-time freshman data by race and showed a 6.5% reduction in black freshman enrollment compared to last spring. Black students were the only demographic that declined among first-time freshmen.

Unpacking the number

Officials from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center discussed the latest data at a press conference on Wednesday, touching on the highlights and low points of the report.

“I’m not surprised at what’s going on [decline].. I’m surprised that it looks worse, “said Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director at the National Student Clearinghouse. “I think some of these declines will start to shrink a bit this quarter, especially at this point there is a general feeling that we should get out of the pandemic effect.”

The ongoing registration slides show that we are experiencing more problems than the protracted effects of the pandemic.

“It suggests that there are broader questions about the value of the university, especially student debt and payments to the university, and potential labor market benefits,” Shapiro said.

When categorized by sector, new data show that public community colleges were once again hit hard by enrollment and experienced a 7.8% reduction in enrollment in the spring of 2021. It slides at private non-profit 4-year colleges and falls 0.2% at private commercial 4-year colleges.

A table showing the number of registrations by sector in the spring of 2022, 2021 and 2020.The number of graduate students enrolled, which had been on the rise so far, decreased by 0.8% this spring.

The number of full-time students decreased by 3.8%, while part-time enrollment decreased by 4.5%.

Looking at the states, California saw the most significant decline in registrants this spring at 8.1%, followed by Vermont and Washington with a 7.2% decline. Michigan data appear to show a 15.5% decline in registrations, but NSC report notes may be inaccurate due to years of inconsistent data reports. Indicates that there is sex.

Except for states where NSC footnotes indicate that the data was “affected by the reclassification of previous multi-state commercial four-year institutions” or where there were inconsistent data submissions. New Hampshire experienced the highest student growth rate at 8.2%. Due to the increased enrollment in online education. Of the states where data were consistently reported, only five in Arizona, Montana, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia and Washington, DC increased, not exceeding 3%.

Big picture

Some higher education observers have warned in the latest National Student Clearinghouse report.

“These continued declines in enrollment require immediate attention from everyone who supports high school, higher education institutions, and students in the workforce,” said Kim Cook, CEO of the National College Entertainment Network. In the email, he said: Inside a higher education institution.. “We are particularly concerned about continued college inequality, especially for black students and community college students, who are declining at the highest rates of enrollment.”

Kathy Dawley, who is working on a registration initiative at EAB, a higher education consulting firm, highlights many of the challenges of higher education, but at least has a silver backing in terms of increasing the number of new students enrolled for the first time this spring. I said there is. semester.

However, she added, she was worried about the declining trend of black students in the freshman class.

“We know that certain pandemic-related stressors are threatening the real significant progress we are making, especially with children who are less ethnic and poor in income,” Dolly said. rice field. “This report is truly the most disturbing for black and African American students.”