Colorado had one of the nation's worst college enrollment declines through COVID

DENVER (KDVR) — The state of society in the United States seems to be wearing on the nation’s college students.

According to a Gallup poll, one-third of the nation’s college students are considering withdrawing from their studies.

Emotional stress was the single largest reason for considering withdrawal. Seventy-six percent of students enrolled in a bachelor’s program cited this as a main reason, nearly twice the number that said they were emotionally distressed a year ago.

COVID-19, cost of attendance and the difficulty of schoolwork were the next most likely reasons. One-third of students considering withdrawal cited one of these as a main cause.

In Colorado, students went beyond just considering withdrawing through the pandemic and actually did so.

Colorado had some of the nation’s worst college enrollment declines, according to an analysis of post-secondary enrollment data by finance site Student Loan Hero. From the 2019-20 academic year to the 2020-21 academic year, the state’s college enrollment dropped 11%.

Only five other states had enrollment declines in the double digits: Alaska, Delaware, Washington, Wyoming and Vermont. Nationally, enrollment dropped 3%.

Most U.S. states saw fewer college students. Only a handful saw more students enroll in 2020-21: Hawaii (9%), Utah (7%), Georgia (6%), North Dakota (2%), New Mexico (1%) and Louisiana (1%).

Some of Colorado’s schools saw the nation’s heaviest enrollment losses. Student Loan Hero analyzed the data from 167 flagship school systems in each state.

The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs saw a 26% enrollment drop, the fourth worst in the country among the schools analyzed. The University of Northern Colorado saw enrollment drop 25%, the country’s seventh worst.

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