Sharp Decline in California Community College Enrollment

I was really worried about a spike in California community colleges (CCCs) enrollment because many students have changed their college plans due to the pandemic, as well as the likely CCC budget cuts from pandemic-related state budget deficit. However, a new report is showing the opposite: most CCCs are experiencing a sharp decline in enrollment, up to 20% lower compared to last year. The trend is apparently nationwide, with Alabama and Pennsylvania community college systems experiencing up to 30% reduction in enrollment.

You know what this means? Getting CCC classes you need now (depending on the CCC) and transferring to UCs for Fall 2022 (November 2021 application deadline) will be easier because you will be competing against fewer students across the state. Both UCs and CSUs are working on lower-division transfer initiatives (UC Merced is accepting applications for undeclared lower-division transfers going forward, starting with the current application cycle for Fall 2021) and UCs are still making a push to meet the 2:1 goal (enroll one in-state transfer for every two in-state freshmen).

If your college or gap year plan is still in flux, consider the CCC transfer route. For current community college students and high school seniors, consider making Fall 2022 (November 2021 application deadline) your target year for transfer (the lower enrollment rate may linger in future years, but course offerings may also reduce from lack of demand and make fulfilling the transfer requirements more difficult).

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

September 27, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Interesting phenomenon! On a different note: Luckily, I am still getting all of your posts on both my Google and Yahoo accounts. I really hope Google doesn’t put you out of business – you are one of my best resources!

Ms. Sunreply
September 27, 2020 at 9:59 pm
– In reply to: Jen

Thanks for letting me know and I appreciate your kind words!

September 27, 2020 at 1:07 pm

What do you think is the reason for the decline in CC enrollment?

Ms. Sunreply
September 27, 2020 at 10:07 pm
– In reply to: Jen

I’m guessing students are either unwilling (to take online classes) or unable (due to pandemic-related issues) to enroll. Cost of attendance seems to be a sticking point for some people (there’s a perception that instruction should be cheaper if you get it online) and that could also be a contributing factor (although most of my transfer students are happy they don’t have to search for parking or sit in traffic anymore – funny how quickly we forget the things we used to hate when everything was in-person).

Questions or Comments?