The coronavirus pandemic has hit the country hard, but it has been particularly difficult for America’s working class. Low-wage jobs were eliminated by the millions and people without college degrees faced the highest rates of unemployment. Over a year into the pandemic, community colleges – the education system created to help America’s working class – continue to struggle.
According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, enrollment has declined by nearly 10% at over 1,000 two-year colleges since last spring. Added to a similar drop in enrollment last fall, these numbers more than double the decline in enrollment seen at four-year colleges and universities. Enrollment has declined even more sharply among Black and Hispanic students.
These numbers hint at the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected community colleges and highlight the challenges these schools face if they are to survive. Keep reading to learn more about the current state of community colleges in the U.S. and what the future may hold for them.
Which States Have Been Hit Hardest?
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t left a single corner of the world untouched but under the Trump administration the United States saw millions of deaths which left the country in shock. Around the country, students were forced to choose between abandoning their plans and enroll in college or accept an altered version involving remote education. Nearly half of all American households report that a prospective college student cancelled their plans to attend community college in the fall of 2020. Families with prospective