Fewer freshmen, more grad students: The COVID generation changes college enrollment

First-time freshmen at UofL and other universities could be called the COVID generation.

During their high school years, they had to endure remote classes and a loss of socialization from canceled school activities. Many come from homes where parents also had to deal with disruptions to jobs and income. As a result, their numbers on campus are smaller.

UofL reported Monday that the latest freshman class is 6 percent smaller than last year’s. The university views it as part of a national trend where students are looking to save money and go to college closer to home.

“That additional investment to go far away and to live in a residence hall and to spend those additional dollars,” UofL Admissions Executive Director Jenny Sawyer said, “I think COVID did impact some of those decisions.”

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