What’s behind the drop in Florida college enrollment? It’s not clear (and it’s not COVID)

Florida college officials are trying to figure out what’s behind a continuing drop in state college enrollment, which analysts project could decline by more than 9% over the next five years if the trend persists.

The most recent end-of-year data on college system enrollment showed a system-wide enrollment of 293,493 students for the 2020-21 academic year.

Estimates for the 2021-22 academic year that were adopted Tuesday by the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research reflected a statewide enrollment of 277,279 college students, showing a 5.5% decrease, or a decline of 16,214 students.

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