CHARLOTTE, N.C. — College enrollment continues to drop, but why is that happening?
Let's connect the dots.
The National Student Clearing House says enrollment in higher education has declined by 6.5% since the pandemic began.
And community colleges are being hit especially hard. Their enrollment numbers are down 15%. Researchers say that's concerning since those schools often enroll more low-income students.
So where did all the students go? Many young adults are heading straight into the workforce after high school. Money has been tight for many, and college isn't cheap.
Plus, companies are offering big incentives for new hires right now. So a job may be more alluring than hitting the books.
The pandemic also made it tougher for older students to go back to school. Students with families lost their study time when kids started learning from home.
And many have continued to stay home with their children instead of shelling out again for child care.
Experts are concerned that this shift away from higher education could have a big impact on our economy. If people aren't going to college, then there are fewer skilled workers to hire, and that could be the case for years to come.
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