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The study states that transfer enrollment has declined twice as much as nontransfer enrollment. Photo credit: Pexels.

Latino students represent the least affected in the decline of transfer enrollments

Other racial and ethnic groups presented higher numbers.

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According to Higher Ed Dive, a study done by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center appointed that transfer enrollment at colleges and universities has declined 13.5% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — representing a loss of nearly 300,000 students.

Although there is a troubling enrollment trend happening in general, transfer enrollment has been hit harder by the pandemic than others. Higher Ed Dive attributes the general decline in enrollment numbers to the health crisis and a strong job market, which pulls prospective students away from pursuing higher education. 

Although it doesn’t represent the most affected racial and ethnic group, the Latino community had a significant enrollment decline. Between Spring 2020-2022, Latino students suffered a 15.6% decline of transfer enrollment. In the two years since the pandemic started, White students represented a 19.4% decline, Native American, 18.6%, Asian, 17.1%, and Black, 16.3 %.  

Institutionally, when comparing pre-pandemic numbers, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) suffered a far steeper transfer enrollment decline, 16.9%, than Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 4.2%. 

More than just transferring, students are having a hard time staying enrolled — a trend perceived by the decline in persistence rates among transfer students in general. For Doug Shapiro, the research center’s executive director, this happens not only because students have to adjust to a new environment but also because of the lack of in-person support networks. 

During the pandemic’s first year, 2020-21, general transfer enrollment fell 9.1%, meaning about 200,000 students. In the following academic year, 2021-22, the decline slowed to 4.9%, representing a loss of about 97,200 students. 

To learn more about the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center findings, click here

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