16% decline in enrollment of international students
Colleges in the United States of America (USA) have recorded a 4.5% drop in undergraduate enrollments for the upcoming spring semester, according to the data released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
The largest declines included a fall of 16% in international student enrollments, 9.5% at community colleges and 5.3% in students aged between 18 to 24. Fewer undergrads applied in all racial and ethnic categories.
With the emergence of the Covid-19 vaccine, college administrations anticipated a boom in the number of student enrollments, however, enrollments saw a sharp decline. This has deepened the pandemic-related financial strain faced by colleges and universities. Colleges and universities lost money from cancelled summer events and a bounce-back in admissions was the need of the hour.
“The data for undergrads suggests that students may have been frustrated with the limited fall semester experience and held off on the spring classes,” said Willis Jones, an associate professor at the University of South Florida.
Selective colleges have seen large increases in applications for the fall term, including a 42% jump at Harvard. Some could say that the surge is partly attributed to schools dropping standardized testing requirements and a few other Covid-19 restrictions.
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