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