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

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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