Louisiana colleges saw enrollment drop 1.5% during pandemic 

LSU students on the quad in 2019. (File photo)

Undergraduate enrollment at Louisiana universities dropped 1.5% between 2019 and 2020, even though LSU and other colleges across the state last fall reported record-breaking freshman class sizes, according to a new data analysis from The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

Despite losing university students, Louisiana fared better than a majority of states, which averaged a 3.6% drop in enrollment between fall 2019 and fall 2020. New Mexico and Alaska had the largest drops in undergraduate enrollment, losing nearly 9% and 11% of students respectively. Just four states—Arizona, Utah, Nebraska and New Hampshire—saw an increase in undergraduate enrollment during that time.  

The Chronicle used preliminary federal data released last month to gauge how enrollment varied last fall and whether geography was a factor in how colleges performed. Enrollment data from 3,000 institutions was included in the analysis. 

The biggest growth was among for-profit colleges. Of the 124 institutions whose undergraduate enrollment grew by more than a third, seven out of 10 were for-profit colleges—though they also account for just 15% of the total group analyzed. Read the full story.