Highlights from Higher Ed: International Apps, Enrollment Totals for Spring and Engineering Diversity

David Art
Jul 15, 2021

International applications increase

Forty-three percent of colleges reported an increase in applications from international students from 2020, according to a survey from the Institute of International Education Colleges. A majority (90%) expect to offer in-person learning for international students in the fall, and many institutions intend to offer flexible options to international students should they not be able to travel to a U.S. campus due to visa or travel-related issues. Forty-nine percent indicated they expect to offer in-person study abroad this fall, while 54% said the same for next spring and a large proportion of colleges remained undecided. 

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Enrollment decline totals 603,000 students for spring 2021

The numbers are in for spring 2021. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides a final tally of the enrollment decline in higher education: total college enrollment fell 3.5% from a year earlier, a shortfall of 603,000 students. That is 7 times worse than the decline in 2020. Male students declined by 5.5%, or 400,000 students, compared with a drop of only 2% for women, or 203,000 students. Attendance by students ages 18 to 24 fell by 5% this spring, with community-college enrollment taking the hardest hit within that age group. Nearly every state saw a drop in overall enrollment in the spring of 2021. But New Hampshire led the small group of 7 states that saw enrollment growth compared with a year ago.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Percent Change in Enrollment from Previous Year by Institutional Sector: 2017 to 2021

Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Diversity in engineering, but not for black students

A study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce released this week focused on diversity in engineering, both in education and in the workplace. Between 2009 and 2019, the ethnic/racial makeup of students graduating with engineering degrees shifted considerably. But not for Black students. “Part of this slow progress is because of different rates of access to college. Despite Black/African American and Latinx students steadily increasing their college-going rate over the past 50 years, they still lag behind white and Asian students. When Black/African American and Latinx students go to college, they are less likely than white or Asian students to attend a college that has an engineering program. Also, Black/African American and Latinx students who earn a bachelor’s degree are slightly less likely to earn a degree in engineering. In 1990, 3.5% and 5.9% of Black/African American and Latinx bachelor degree completers, respectively, earned a degree in engineering. Today it is just 2.6% and 5%, respectively. For white students, the reverse is true: They are slightly more likely to earn an engineering degree (5.5% in 1990 compared to 6.3% today).”

Source: Campus Technology

David Art

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