Remembering Jeff Appel - Higher Education Today

Title: Behind the Enrollment Numbers: How COVID-19 Has Changed Students’ Plans for Community College

Author: Clive Belfield and Thomas Brock

Source: Community College Research Center

A recent essay from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) notes that the pandemic tremendously impacted enrollment at community colleges. The authors analyzed results out of a random selection of 100,000 individuals who completed the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys related to COVID-19. Participants reported on “plans for community college” for at least one member of their household from August to mid-October 2020. Major findings from the analysis include:

  • Community colleges tend to represent more minority students and marginalized groups who face disproportionate impact across U.S. education, healthcare, and legal systems.
  • More than 40 percent of households who responded shared that a prospective student is cancelling their plan to enroll in a community college.
  • Fifteen percent noted a change in course taking, with some taking lighter course loads or switching programs.
  • Almost 40 percent of current community college students reported that losing their job negatively impacted their educational plans.
  • Households with students at community colleges were nearly twice as likely as households with students of four-year colleges to report that COVID-19 had changed their educational plans.

More in-depth information can be found in the U.S. Census Bureau survey and the CCRC essay.

—Ángel Gonzalez

Higher Education Today