Fall 2019 Freshman Class: How COVID Impacted Re-Enrollment

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s report on retention and persistence rates for the fall 2019 freshman cohort, shows a marked decrease in return enrollment and is a direct reflection of the pandemic-related struggles experienced by first-year higher education students during the onset of COVID-19.

Latinx students, part-time students, and community colleges were hardest hit.

Assessments were defined along two parameters: persistence and retention. Persistence measures those students who returned to any U.S. college or university for their second year. Retention is the measure of students who returned to the same institution where they began their studies. Overall persistence shrank by two percentage points to 73.9%, its lowest rate since 2012.

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