Colorado report outlines pandemic impacts on students heading to college |

Colorado report outlines pandemic impacts on students heading to college

Jason Gonzales

The rate at which Colorado students are going to college right out of high school has dipped, and those who do go are less prepared. And participation in programs offering college experience in high school has remained stagnant.

Those takeaways detailed in the state’s recent annual look at the state’s higher education progress offer a better view of trends influenced by the pandemic. The May report, reflecting the high school class of 2020, serves as an annual pulse check on state higher education. 

This is the first year the report shows the impact of the pandemic on students. The report looks at issues that threaten the state’s progress toward the goal of getting more residents equipped with a college certificate or degree. Here are some takeaways from the recent report on postsecondary progress.

The rate students enroll in college right out of high school dips

After the pandemic started, college leaders reported enrollment declines. Students said they lost learning time due to remote instruction, worried more about college costs, and reported feeling exhausted as reasons they were less likely to finish college.

The report reaffirms that the pandemic from its earliest stages upended college-going patterns. The state’s rate of students going to college right out of high school in 2020 dropped to 50.5%, a five-point drop from 2019.


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