Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Regular Updates on Higher Education Enrollment

October 26, 2023

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities are pressed to re-evaluate their long- and short-term strategies, particularly as they pertain to enrollment management and student support services. The Research Center’s Stay Informed report series continues to enable educational and policy leaders to make informed decisions through timely enrollment trend reporting that began with the pandemic.

The Stay Informed series began in the summer of 2020 to track COVID-19’s impact on students and institutions. Three years later, even as the acute phase of the pandemic recedes, the enrollment dashboards will continue to be updated within the first two months of every term using the latest enrollment data available to highlight disparities in pandemic recovery across differing student and institutional characteristics.

Dashboards feature national and state-level data on annual enrollment changes across the three most recent years, with additional levels of disaggregation by student demographics and field of major and institutional characteristics. This fall’s report includes an additional measure of pre-college neighborhood income for undergraduates aged 24 and under. Detailed data underlying the dashboards are available for download.

First Look at Fall 2023 Highlights (as of September 28, 2023)

  • Undergraduate enrollment grew for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic this fall (+2.1%). Community colleges are starting to recover from the pandemic showing a growth of 4.4 percent this fall (+4.3% since fall 2021).
  • Freshman enrollment declined by 3.6 percent, reversing fall 2022 gains (+4.6%), and now at just 0.8 percent above fall 2021 enrollment.
  • Students continue to gravitate towards shorter-term credentials, with enrollments in undergraduate certificate programs jumping 9.9 percent, compared to 3.6 percent for associate degrees and just 0.9 percent for bachelor’s degrees.
  • Black, Latinx, and Asian students accounted for most of the undergraduate and graduate enrollment growth this fall. Enrollment of White students continued to decline at both the graduate (-1.9%) and undergraduate levels (-0.9%), most acutely among freshmen (-9.4%).
  • Undergraduates grew at both ends of the age spectrum, with students 18-20 and 30 or older each adding about 3 percent this fall. Those under 18 (dual enrolled high school students), however, continued to outpace all undergrads with an 8.8 percent jump. 
  • Among traditional-aged undergraduate students, enrollment is up across all neighborhood income levels, with students from the lowest income areas gaining 3.6 percent and those from the highest income areas gaining 1.4 percent this year. 

Navigate details for different institutions and students using the tabs at the top of the dashboard.

Have suggestions for new analyses related to this publication?
Share your ideas here.

Subscribe to get the latest from the Research Center