New Heldrich brief: Postsecondary fall enrollment net migration trends remain unchanged during COVID-19

November 21, 2021

Newly released preliminary data from the National Center for Education Statistics provides a preview of how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected the national enrollment and net migration patterns of high school students attending college full time for the first time.

Postsecondary Fall Enrollment Net Migration Trends Remain Unchanged During COVID-19, a new Heldrich Center brief by Sean Simone, Ph.D., Stephanie Holcomb, and Kristine Joy Bacani, details a review of trends over the past 20 years of overall national data on postsecondary student enrollment and net migration, and analyzes the changes following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary analyses showed that there was a slight decline in overall enrollment that was more pronounced for first-time, full-time students. Postsecondary migration remained stable despite the major operational disruptions resulting from the pandemic as students continued to attend out-of-state institutions consistent with past trends. 

Sean Simone, Ph.D. is Director of Research and Evaluation at the Heldrich Center and Director of the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System (NJEEDS). Stephanie Holcomb is a Research Project Manager at the Heldrich Center and Assistant Director of NJEEDS. Kristine Joy Bacani is a Research Project Assistant at the Heldrich Center.

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