Enrollment across Wisconsin’s public and private colleges fell slightly last fall, with larger declines reported in all neighboring states, according to new national data. A deeper look at Wisconsin numbers show notable gains at the state’s technical colleges and sizable drops across private universities.

Survey data from Wisconsin colleges published by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show statewide enrollment dropped by around 0.5 percent, or 1,118 students, during the fall semester. The year-over-year decline was far less notable than it was during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when enrollment fell by around 10,000 students or 3.3 percent between fall 2019 and fall 2020.

Within that total, the center’s report shows undergraduate numbers grew by almost 1 percent across the state’s higher education sectors, while enrollment among graduate students fell by around 7.5 percent.

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