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States with the largest percentage enrollment drop in higher education, fall 2020

Nov. 17, 2020
Colleges and universities have reported significant declines because of Covid-19.

Undergraduate college enrollment in fall 2020 is down 4.4% compared with last year, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center says.

Based on data collected through Oct. 22, undergraduate student numbers have declined in all but five states. The largest drop has occurred in South Dakota.

Freshman enrollment has declined by 13%, and community college enrollment has dropped by 18.9%, the center says.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year forced most colleges and universities to stop in-person instruction and offer only online classes, many students have opted not to continue their schooling.

Here are the 10 states with the largest percentage year-to-year drops in undergraduate enrollment.

State                    Percentage drop

South Dakota         -12.4%
New Mexico            -9.7%
Alaska                      -9.2%
Indiana                     -9.2%
Michigan                  -8.6%
Kansas                     -8.4%
Rhode Island           -8.1%
Iowa                          -7.1%
Wyoming                  -7.1%
Alabama                   -6.9%

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