Community College Enrollment Is Down 10%. Here’s How Schools Hope to Help Students Return

Enrollment at community colleges is down. The data is clear, says Dr. Martha Parham, senior vice president of public relations for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows that enrollment in fall 2020 was down 10.6% from fall 2019 for full-time students and 9.9% for part-time students. The biggest declines were among African American males at 19.2% and Native American males at 20.1%.

“Students of color, in particular Black and Brown students, didn’t re-enroll,” says Dr. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois and executive director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.

“There’s an access issue,” says Zamani-Gallaher. “The pandemic has lifted the veil and has exacerbated what has already been some differentials, particularly in terms of racial inequities.”

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