After the Great Recession in 2008, community colleges nationwide saw an influx of nontraditional students and an increase in overall enrollment. Amid COVID-19, the opposite has occurred, and Kansas community colleges are facing a 14.1% decline in enrollment since last fall.
Carter File, Hutchinson Community College President, has seen a 3.6% decrease in overall enrollment this fall, on the high end for enrollment this year. Brian Inbody, Neosho Community College President, said his college is facing enrollment losses across the board, from technical education programs to concurrent high school programs.
Despite these losses, Heather Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, said Kansas community colleges are well-positioned to rebound when the pandemic subsides.