Virginia’s Higher Education
Early Enrollment Estimates Released
Sep 29, 2020, 10:27 AM
The State Council on Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) today released a new analysis on Virginia’s early enrollment estimates, which come from the 64 public and private nonprofit institutions that report data to SCHEV.
Early indicators show the decreases are not as severe as predicted
Contact: Laura Osberger
(804) 387-5191 (mobile)
September 29, 2020
For immediate release
RICHMOND —The State Council on Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) today released a new analysis on Virginia’s early enrollment estimates, which come from the 64 public and private nonprofit institutions that report data to SCHEV. While the numbers will not be final until November, the estimates reveal a number of surprising insights:
- Overall Student Enrollments: The number of students enrolled in Virginia's public and private non-profit institutions this fall declined 1.3% or 6,658 students, far less than the 20% decline predicted by some analysts last spring.
- Undergraduate Enrollment: This number is down 3.2%, for a difference of 13,489 fewer students than last year. Most of this decrease is attributable to the community colleges, where enrollment is down nearly 10% across all public two-year institutions.
- Graduate and First-Professional Enrollment: Both are up from last year, primarily because of significant increases in graduate enrollment at Liberty University by non-Virginian students.
- Students (Public Institutions): Public four-year institutions enrolled 37,700 new first-time students in fall 2019. In fall 2020, the current estimate is 33,911 students, a 3,789 or 10% decrease. Given that the total decrease in undergraduate student
enrollment at these institutions was only 825, this means enrollment of existing students or new transfer students was up by 2,964 students.
- First-Time Students (Private Institutions): New first-time student enrollment at private nonprofit institutions in 2019 was 14,468. The current 2020 estimate is 14,545 students, an increase of 77 students or half of one percent. Total undergraduate
enrollment decreased 1.8%, or 693 students, suggesting that these institutions lost as many as 616 continuing students or enrolled fewer transfer students than in 2019.
“These estimates are still preliminary and will change before final reports arrive later in the year, but it is safe to say that the situation is not as bad as some feared,” said the report’s author, Tod Massa, SCHEV’s director
of policy analytics.
Read the full report as well as other SCHEV Insights at https://schev.edu/index/reports/insights.
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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030.
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