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Community Colleges Suffered Big Drop in Enrollment Due to Pandemic

Community Colleges Suffered Big Drop in Enrollment Due to Pandemic

“about 476,000 fewer students than in spring 2020”

Big name schools with massive endowments will survive this crunch just fine. The smaller schools will feel the most pain.

The Guardian reports:

US community colleges see ‘chilling’ decline in enrollment during pandemic

David Ramirez, a student at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, struggled with balancing work and classes during the pandemic. Ramirez, who works at Starbucks, worked at least 30 hours a week in addition to his classes.

He wasn’t alone. The number of students enrolled in community colleges – local educational establishments that offer two-year courses and are often seen as an affordable stepping stone to higher education – was down 9.5% this past spring, about 476,000 fewer students than in spring 2020, according to National Student Clearinghouse data released last month.

The fall has experts worried about the long-term impact of the pandemic on the less-well-off. During recessions, enrollment at community colleges tends to increase as those who become unemployed go back to school. But the disproportionate impact Covid-19 had on low-income and non-white Americans, populations that community colleges tend to serve, created a plunge in community college attendance during the pandemic.

“I didn’t really have the option to stay virtual and work from home, so I was essentially exposed to this virus every single day. That was a lot to handle on a day-to-day basis and then go home and try to work on schoolwork,” Ramirez said. “That’s the daily experience for students, especially because financial aid for community college doesn’t really cover the full cost of attendance.”


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About 1/2 of the students at my institution do just fine with Pell Grants. And if this kid worked while going to school before, what’s the actual change? His concern about being “exposed to this virus every single day”? Him and millions of other people who didn’t have the luxury of staying home to work.

More likely, he didn’t do well in the online learning environment, which most don’t, but there are other factors there (lack of attention to detail, missing deadlines, not communicating with professors, etc.).

Sounds like CCs were not able to adapt to online learning as easily as larger colleges and universities did.

Sounds like a good thing and hope things pick up soon.

As for the student highlighted here, what does his experience have to do with the headline?

Dude was working AND going to school and being supposedly exposed to COVID. Sounds like he’s been living a normal, healthy life while everyone else has been in a lockdown of some sort.

Way too many are a waste of money. Yet politicians give away tuition like candy.

How many students leave high school capable of admission? But as long as the funds come in you’re good to go.