“Enrollment at community colleges across the country has been trending down since 2010 and there isn’t one specific reason for this trend” said the Casper College’s news coordinator.

 

At the Casper College, this is certainly true. Particularly with older students 25 years and up.

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This was offset this year by increasing numbers of younger students, where the college saw an increase in enrollment immediately following the COVID lock-down.

 

The news coordinator said, “This fall, we experienced slower enrollment leading up to the beginning of classes on Monday this week, but were able to get within 4% of last year’s enrollment at this time. This may be related to much of the same issues we’re seeing nationally with community college enrollment, but it is still early in the semester and we expect to see enrollment increase as the semester progresses.”

 

The college has also been actively aligning its programs with local needs for college education as well as increasing online offerings and streamlining enrollment processes to encourage more people to attend college, which has partly offset the trend seen elsewhere in the country.

 

According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), national college enrollment, including both undergraduate and graduate students, decreased by 4.1% - equal to about 685,000 students - in spring 2022 compared to spring 2021.

 

The overall two-year decline in college enrollment is at around 7.4%, or nearly 1.3 million students since spring 2020.

"The deepening slide dashed hopes that the worst of the pandemic-era erosion of enrollment was over and, instead, raised concerns that other factors - such as growing skepticism over the value of college - may be keeping students away” said Michael T. Nietzel, a former university president, in an Forbes article.

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