The Louisiana Community and Technical College System saw a 10 percent drop in enrollment during the 2020-21 school year. Spokesperson Quintin Taylor says many of their students have children and the chaotic situation in K-12 education during the pandemic made it hard for parents to pursue their own education.

“Because our students, average age 27, many of whom have dependents, they had to press pause because they needed to know what their children were doing in the K-12 space,” said Taylor.

Taylor says nationally the decline in community college enrollment was closer to 12 percent.

He says another factor was other higher ed institutions temporarily relaxed ACT admissions criteria due to how hard it was to schedule and hold safe testing dates.

“That had a lot to do with first-time college freshmen, not coming to our colleges, but then having the opportunity to go to the four-year schools,” said Taylor.

Taylor says the final factor that drove down enrollment was COVID-19 safety concerns.

Taylor says the good news is enrollment seems to be rebounding. For the current summer, semester enrollment has increased 5-to-15% at some schools.

“And the Fall 21 that will start here in a month or so, the numbers are looking very positive for enrollment as well,” said Taylor.

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