Pandemic has driven down community college enrollment

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — It is a sign of these pandemic times: declining enrollment at community colleges.

Northern Virginia Community College has seen a 5% drop in enrollment during the pandemic in our region. Prince George’s Community College has dropped 10%, and Montgomery College has experienced a 19% drop. Community colleges attract low and moderate-income students because they are affordable and focus on workforce development. But we caught up with a Hagerstown Community College student who said the school had made accommodations for learning experiences, despite the coronavirus.

“So we wear masks, we are socially distanced,” said Connor Weaver, a Hagerstown Community College student. “There are classes online, but they still offer in-person and you can still feel safe and secure. There are people to talk to and ways to make sure that you’re safe.”

Federal relief has helped community colleges, whether the enrollment downturn and lawmakers in Annapolis said they are committed to stable funding for the Maryland community college system.

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