EduShare - Higher Ed Blog & News


Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 10/29/21

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      College Enrollments Plummet

      This week NPR examines fall 2020 college enrollment trends. While institutions hoped that this semester would see an increase in student enrollment, once again there was a drop in the number of students attending college. This fall saw a 3.2% decrease in enrollment; this layered on top of the 3.4% drop from last year is a concerning trend to colleges and universities. Potentially this is the largest decrease in college enrollment in the United States in half a century. Community colleges enrolled a freshman class in 2021 that was 20.8% smaller than 2019.

    • 240,000 fewer undergraduates enrolled this fall compared with the same time last year. - National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

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    To help alleviate college student hunger, Swipe Out Hunger, a nonprofit addressing hunger among college students, is merging with the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), a network of campus food pantries across the U.S. Swipe Out Hunger will now reach over 1,000 colleges. Nearly a third of college students have missed at least one meal a week since the beginning of the pandemic according to Swipe Out Hunger’s research.  This is a trend seen across states in community college student populations. Research conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice indicates that 60% of community college students in 42 states have suffered from basic needs insecurity in the last six years and one in seven community college students have experienced homelessness.

  • 52% of college students reported using off-campus food banks during the pandemic. - Swipe Out Hunger research

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    The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it is reviving an enforcement division that will be “responsible for investigating whether colleges are abusing federal student aid and posing a risk to students and taxpayers.” The enforcement division had been dismantled during the Trump administration. Industry experts see this as an attempt to crack down on for-profit college abuses, but many hope that nonprofit institutions and online program managers (OPMs) will also be held accountable by the revived enforcement division.

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    The Jed Foundation (JED) and The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals released a report this week advising colleges and universities on how they can best support LGBTQ+ students. Research indicates that LGBTQ+ students are “more at risk for negative health and academic outcomes.” The report offers a number of recommendations for institutions including: creating a culture of community on campus, removing barriers to accessing college, incorporating LGBTQ+ scholarship and topics in classrooms, and ensuring that counselors and administrators have training to support the needs of LGBTQ+ students.

Author: Meg Foster
October 29, 2021
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