Spring 2021 Enrollment (As of March 25)
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Enrollment Changes by Race/Ethnicity
Among undergraduates, Native American students, who comprised 0.6% of spring enrollment, declined the most of any racial or ethnic U.S. student group (-13%). As shown in Figure 9, this decline was largely due to community college enrollment losses (-19.4%). Latinx students have experienced the largest swing this spring, with their enrollment going from a year-over-year increase of 2.1 percent in 2020 (pre-pandemic) to a decrease of 1.9 percent in 2021 at public four-year colleges. At community colleges, they reversed from an increase of 1.7 percent to a decrease of 13.7 percent. This decline at public institutions was driven by the decline in male enrollment.
Enrollment Changes by State/Region
Only three states made small gains in undergraduate enrollment: Nebraska (+1%), Utah (+0.9%), and West Virginia (+0.6%). In 25 states, undergraduate enrollment declined more than the national average (-5.9%), with five dropping by double-digits (Alaska, Delaware, New Mexico, Oregon, and South Dakota).
A few states made gains in public four-year enrollment this spring, but all 41 states with sufficient data had community college enrollment drops.
While the West (-7.3%), Northeast (-6.9%), and Midwest (-6.2%) experienced steep declines in undergraduate enrollment, the declines are somewhat smaller in the South (-4.8%).
Graduate enrollment is up in all 48 states with sufficient data except Alaska, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York. The rate of growth was most pronounced for Mississippi (+18.8%), followed by Virginia (+12.6%), and West Virginia (+11.7%). The South is seeing larger gains in graduate students this spring (+7.8%) than any other region (West +4.8%, Midwest +1.8%, and Northeast +1.6%).