More high school graduates are starting at a community college, concludes a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Despite the recession, more students are enrolling in college. Public universities are coping with more students, while private four-year colleges have remained stable.
In 2006, 41.7 percent of traditional-age students enrolled at two-year colleges; in 2009, 44.5 percent did so. Between 2008 and 2009, enrollments of traditional-age, first-time students at two-year colleges increased by 8.3 percent.
The report suggests that this trend was driven by two groups of students: those who, in a better economy, might have chosen to attend other (and costlier) types of institutions, and those who otherwise would have joined the work force after graduating from high school.
The report measured both retention at the same institution and persistence (enrollment at any institution) for full-time students between their first and second year.