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- Those earning college degrees fell 1.6% in the 2021-2022 academic year, a loss of 58,800 students. new message from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. This is the lowest level in the last four years, and for the first time in ten years the share of people with credit income has fallen.
- Most of the decline came from an unprecedented loss freshmen, according to the clearinghouse. It represented a decrease of 1.9%, or about 50,700 students the largest one-year decline since the clearinghouse began collecting data in 2012.
- Older freshmen also experienced a more significant decline in credits than traditional students. The share of people aged 25 and older who got a license for the first time fell by 4.1%, or 30,600 people, according to the report, while the number of people aged 24 and younger fell by only 1%, or by 19,100 people.
Previous research has found a growing number of college students dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the domino effect has caught up with the graduation rate.
“The impact of the pandemic on higher education has gone beyond the declining number of current students and is now also manifesting as a decline in the annual number of new graduates,” Doug Shapiro, executive director of the Clearinghouse’s Research Center, said in a statement. . “This is a barrier to those seeking higher levels of education after high school, leaving the nation and many states further behind their goals of a highly educated workforce.”
Bachelor’s degrees earned by freshmen fell for the first time in a decade, down 2.4%, or 36,000 students, according to the report. And associate degree completions fell even more sharply, down 7.6%, or 56,800.
However, the number of certificate graduates increased. Pandemic he revived the ungraded spaceand 42,200 more undergraduates earned certificates in 2021, a 9% increase over the previous year.
Graduates with prior credentials fell less dramatically than first-time graduates, down 0.8%, or 8,100 students. The loss was due to a 2.5% drop in the number of associate degree holders earning a bachelor’s degree, which equated to 11,600 students.