Online college enrollments grew 12.8 percent after the pivot of 2020?

Dear Commons Community,

Nick Perez of The Chronicle of Higher Education compiled online college enrollments based on data collected by United States Department of Education for the years 2017 to 2021. As backdrop, when Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic in March 2020, campuses were swiftly evacuated and instruction moved online en masse. New preliminary federal data, released in late 2022, charts what has happened in distance-education patterns, both throughout the sector and at individual institutions, through fall 2021.

The share of students who were enrolled only in distance-education classes dropped to 30.4 percent in 2021 from 45.6 percent in 2020 (see trend data above), according to a Chronicle analysis of USDOE data for close to 3,900 public and private four-year and two-year institutions. But it’s still higher than pre-pandemic numbers: In 2017, the share of students who were enrolled only in distance-learning classes was 15.7 percent.

The share of students who were enrolled only in distance education grew 12.8 percentage points between 2019 and 2021.  the increases differed among higher education institutions (see data below).

The Chronicle has also established an online database where the user can access data for any college in the USDOE data system.  Login and/or account required.  Below is the data for my own Hunter College.


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