Many young adults choose work over college, report shows

As colleges around the country resumed in-person learning in the fall of 2021, many educators expected students to return to campus after taking a pandemic gap year. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Ivory Tower: even fewer students showed up than during the worst months of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, writes Jill Barshay for The Hechinger Report.

The number of undergraduate students is expected to drop 3.2% in the 2021-22 academic year after plunging 3.4% during the 2020-21 pandemic year, according to preliminary data released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center on 26 October 2021. That adds up to 6.5% fewer undergraduate students now than there were in the fall of 2019 before the pandemic.

“If this current rate of decline were to hold up, it would be the largest two-year enrolment decline in at least the last 50 years,” said Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “Right now, a lot of young people seem to be going to work instead of going to college,” said Shapiro.
Full report on The Hechinger Report site