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Data shows college enrollment in Kentucky beginning to stabilize amid COVID pandemic


Officials across the board say the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on education in Kentucky. However, new data from the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education shows college enrollment is beginning to stabilize. The study shows undergraduate enrollment at the state’s public colleges and universities held steady from fall 2021 to fall 2022.

Aaron Thompson is the president of the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education. In an interview with WEKU, he said Kentucky is doing very well in some areas.

“We’re doing much better than the national average when it comes to our four-year public undergraduates, for an example Kentucky is down only half a percentage point, while the national average is down 1.6,” said Thompson.

He said, while the results are better than he expected, he would like to see improvement in areas like the number of low-income students enrolled.

“We’ve got to continue to close gaps and we’ve done a really good job in that area in higher ed. But all of these items go to the creation of that workforce and the commitment that workforce can have with the employers to stay in the state of Kentucky.”

Thompson said Kentucky is falling behind with enrollment in two-year colleges. He said one of their biggest challenges is getting students to stay in Kentucky once they graduate from college.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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