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Degree Aspirations a Major Factor Among Those Deciding Not to Enroll in Community Colleges

January 14, 2021
 
 

Community college students who enrolled in the fall were more likely to want to get a four-year degree than those who either considered or did enroll in the spring but decided not to in the fall, according to a survey by New America.

The survey of 1,696 adults by the progressive think tank found that 43 percent of students who were enrolled last spring and continued to be enrolled in the fall were interested in earning a four-year degree, or more. Forty-five percent of those who considered enrollment in the spring but enrolled in the fall were interested in earning a degree, the study found.

In comparison, a smaller percentage of the students who did not enroll in the fall were interested in a degree. Only 20 percent of those enrolled in the spring who decided not to enroll in the fall wanted to earn a degree, as well as only 28 percent of those who considered enrolling in the spring but did not either then or in the fall.

Among the survey’s other findings, financial hardship during the pandemic was a major factor in students’ decisions not to enroll in the fall. Of those who had attended in the spring but not in the fall, 41 percent said they had to work, and 38 percent said they could no longer afford their program. Among those who had thought about enrolling in the spring but didn’t enroll in the fall, 47 percent cited uncertainty around the pandemic, 44 percent said they could no longer afford a program and 37 percent said they had to work.

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