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News Update

College enrollment ticked up in California this spring

After three years of declines, enrollment in California’s colleges ticked up by 2% since last spring, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The increase was due in large part to a 7% increase in California’s community college enrollment. The increase is not enough to catch up to prepandemic numbers: there were 898,598 community college students in the state this spring compared to 1.1 million in spring 2019.

This increase in community college numbers parallels a national increase of 0.5%. The National Student Clearinghouse attributes this to growing numbers of freshmen (12.8%) and dual enrolled high school students (8%).

After three years of slight gains, enrollment at public four-year universities in California dipped 1.6% over the last year. That puts it at 736,811 students, or 1,189 students fewer than Spring 2019 levels. Enrollment at private nonprofit universities dipped 4.4% to its lowest levels in the last four years to 280,364 students.

Nationally, enrollment in four-year universities dipped, but at lower rates than the past few years. Public university enrolled dipped 0.5% and private nonprofits dipped 0.2%. The National Student Clearinghouse sees this as a sign that pandemic-era declines are leveling off.