DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – New data from the National Clearninghouse Research Center found that nationally undergraduate enrollment is down 3.2% from 2020. The study also suggests that the lack of enrollment involved pandemic stressors like finance issues and people not wanting to learn virtually.

“I think students desire to have an on campus learning experience, and that’s a huge part of college for so many people,” said Cedarville University Vice President Enrollment Associate Matt Dearden.

However, here in the Miami Valley, many local colleges aren’t struggling. Dearden says they’ve actually seen an uptick in students during the pandemic. “Over the past two years of the pandemic, we’ve had two of our three largest freshmen classes ever. We’ve seen our overall enrollment at the school have record years for the past two years.”

The University of Dayton is also staying strong with enrollment, with a statement saying in part:

“Our entire campus community has worked hard to support current, incoming and prospective students throughout the pandemic and our students have shown amazing resilience and agility in advancing toward their degrees.”

Although Wright State University has seen enrollment decreases during the pandemic, Interim Chief Recruitment Officer Jen McCamis says the enrollment setback isn’t as bad as predicted. McCamis also says this weekend the University will have a open house, which is expecting a large turnout.

“We are seeing record numbers of students register for the event. It’s not just students that wanna start in the fall, it’s some adult students that wanna start in the spring…so I think there’s interest,” said McCamis.

Dearden says he’s hopeful that nationally we start to see an uptick in enrollment again once the pandemic begins to wind down. “A lot of those people are gonna wish they would’ve gone to college because of the long-term impact of a college degree. You’re gonna see that…I think it’s gonna be interesting to see how it plays out.”

To find out how you can attend Wright State’s open house, click here.