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New Data: College Enrollment for Low-Income High School Grads Plunged by 29% During the Pandemic

Across all types of colleges, enrollment for low-income high school graduates declined by 29.2 percent, compared to a 16.9 percent drop for their counterparts from higher-income high schools. At community colleges, the drop for low-income students was even more dramatic — 37.1 percent. This is the first time the Clearinghouse, the nation’s best source for tracking college attainment data, has traced the impact of COVID-19. Using the 2020 high school graduate data from more than 2,300 high schools broken out by income level, poverty, race and urban, suburban or rural locale, the Clearinghouse was able to analyze college enrollment gaps by demographic and economic background.

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