In fall 2023, undergraduate enrollment in the U.S. experienced a 1.2 percent increase, marking the first rise since the pandemic. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center's latest report revealed a growth of approximately 176,000 students nationally.
Notably, community colleges thrived with a 2.6 percent enrollment boost, indicating a positive recovery from pandemic-related losses. Community colleges focusing on vocational programs saw a remarkable 16 percent surge. Associate degree program enrollments rose by 2.2 percent, surpassing the 0.7 percent increase in bachelor's degree program enrollments.
Despite these gains, overall enrollments remain below fall 2019 levels. Furthermore, two-year public colleges and for-profit institutions experienced continued employment declines, with community colleges witnessing a 4.35 percent reduction in staff from 2020 to 2022.