HomeSchool Reform NewsCollege Enrollment Is Declining, but Transfers to HBCUs Are Up

College Enrollment Is Declining, but Transfers to HBCUs Are Up

College enrollment is declining, but transfers to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) rose, reports Paideia Times.

College Enrollment Keeps Falling
Colleges and universities nationwide continue to lose students, although at a much less drastic rate than during the pandemic.

According to preliminary data, undergraduate enrollment fell 1.1 percent between the fall of 2021 and that of 2022. The declines were seen pretty much across the board—at private nonprofits, four-year public schools, and for-profit colleges.

Community colleges saw the smallest declines, with enrollment dropping only 0.4 percent. This is good news, as community colleges have suffered staggering losses during the last two years. Still, the trends are worrisome.

“We’re seeing smaller declines. But when you’re in a deep hole, the fact that you’re only digging a tiny bit further is not really good news,” said Doug Shapiro of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Graduate enrollment is also down. It fell by 1 percent this fall, reversing the gains made last year. Defying these trends, undergraduate enrollment is on the upswing at historically Black colleges and universities, while tens of thousands of 18- to 24-year-olds are choosing national online universities over traditional campuses. According to a recent survey, the number of high school juniors and seniors who say they plan to attend fully online colleges has more than doubled since before the pandemic.

Transfer Enrollment Plummets, But HBCUs Rebound

Transfer enrollment, already down in 2021, continued to plummet through the second year of the pandemic, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Overall, transfer enrollment has declined 13.5 percent since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. “Upward transfer enrollment,” the most common type—when students transfer from two-year to four-year institutions—has fallen 9.7 percent.

Other pathways experienced even worse declines: “reverse transfers” (from four-year to two-year institutions) fell 18 percent, while “lateral transfers” (between two-year institutions) dropped 21 percent. Altogether, this represents a loss of nearly 300,000 students in just two years. And students aren’t just transferring less. They’re struggling to stay enrolled. Only about 80 percent of students who transfer to a different college return the following semester.

But there’s one notable bright spot: After declining in 2021, transfer rates at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) jumped 8 percent this year.

Originally published by Paideia Times. Republished with permission.

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Paideia Times
Paideia Times
Paideia Times reports on higher education issues.


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