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COVID-19 Drives Steep Decline in U.S. Undergrad, STEM Student Enrollment

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empty desks in classroom

One year into the COVID pandemic, American colleges and universities have suffered the greatest decline in enrollment in a decade, with 603,000 fewer Americans enrolled in college or university than last year.

This represents a 3.5% drop in the number of students in higher education, seven times greater than the decline recorded in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, says a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study.

The report shows an accelerating decline in the number of students in many STEM programs. Engineering saw a 3.5% decline year-on-year since 2020. The number of students in physical science programs dropped by almost 10,000 or 7.6%. This year's math and statistics programs have 2.5% fewer enrollees.

The number of men enrolled in higher education declined 5.5%, while the number of women enrolled dropped by 2%.

From University World News
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