Posted in HS4CC

What does “enrollment decline” mean for your homeschooler?

We know that the pandemic hit higher education in unimaginable ways. It will take decades to see a full recovery, but this is the 5th semester with demonstrated DECLINE in numbers. What does the enrollment decline mean for your homeschooler? Lots of good things.

Higher education trends matter, at least in a “big picture” way, because college and university leadership react to those trends, and it impacts important things like admissions, financial aid, scholarships, and marketing. As your teen approaches high school graduation, you’re at the front of these changes. In today’s National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Update on Higher Education Enrollment, we continue to see the enrollment pressure in *almost every segment. See the full report

Community College

Community College is the only segment insider higher education that is not in “a freefall” of decline. In the Homeschooling for College Credit community, we have an enormous percentage of our parents choose dual enrollment, and this frequently takes place inside a community college system. Logic follows that parents can do the math. If they can arrange English 101 for their teen instead of waiting and paying a premium at a 4-year university, they see the benefits.

Dual enrollment across the country is UP. Dual enrollment now represents 15-20% of a community college’s total enrollment. Dual enrollment has seen year over year growth in programs offered through high schools as well as through the college directly. It’s reasonable that instead of moving immediately to a 4-year university right after high school, teens are sticking around at the community college to earn as much credit as possible before moving over to the “expensive” program to finish a degree. Choosing a community college for lower level general education courses can make the difference between cash flowing college and taking on big student loan debt.

Benefits for Homeschoolers

  • Dual enrollment access continues to increase giving you more choices than ever.
  • Course lists / offerings are expanding to reach the dual enrolled students.
  • Access to college advisors before college.
  • Finishing 1-2 years of college at a reduced or free cost while in high school.
  • Traditional admissions requirements reduced/removed entirely.
  • Guaranteed transfer programs and articulation agreements with 4-year schools.
  • Students ar not duplicating effort by taking the same classes in high school and college.
  • Students are not paying extra money for a class they’ve already taken in high school.

Benefits to the Colleges

  • The colleges are gaining more experience dealing with homeschoolers.
  • The colleges are getting used to seeing homeschool transcripts.
  • The colleges are gaining more exposure to high school students on campus.
  • The colleges are learning how to advise a high school student with college credit.
  • Admissions testing is becoming less necessary.

Because there’s been a massive decline in older adult enrollment, the growth of dual enrollment seems to be almost propping up new student growth for community colleges,” he said. “I think what this shows is that dual enrollment is going to be a really important constituency for community colleges to think about as part of their institutional strategy.

John Fink, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center of Teachers College at Columbia University

Other Findings

  • The most selective four-year institutions saw continued enrollment increases.
  • Computer science majors were up by 10 percent in both bachelor’s and master’s programs.
  • More traditional-age college students (18-24) are choosing online degrees.
  • Enrollment at HBCUs increased by 1.9 percent

the lesson this semester is that institutions can’t rely on a “natural rebound” from the pandemic. Between the shift to online learning, worsening economic hardships and heightened skepticism about the value of higher education, Dawley said colleges and universities will have to adapt to a new normal for prospective applicants.

Kathy Dawley, recruitment and enrollment educational consulting firm

For HS4CC Parents

62% is the national 6-year college completion rate, counting all students at all institutions.

  • Stay involved in your teen’s education – 12th grade is not the end.
  • You are your teen’s best advocate and guidance counselor.
  • High school graduation ends access to dual enrollment free tuition, don’t rush!
  • Resourcefully plan college credits for high school and college completion.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit