Corning Community College faces declining enrollment amid pandemic

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Corning Community College nurses amid COVID-19

CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – State University of New York (SUNY) campuses, including Corning Community College, continue to fight decreasing enrollment amid the ongoing pandemic. Since 2010, the SUNY system has seen enrollment shrink by roughly 20%.

The pandemic has not made things easier. Jim Malatras, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, said that SUNY enrollment has gone down 4.7% over the past year. He said this number is actually better than some of their partner institutions across the country. He attributes this to the SUNY system keeping its doors open during the pandemic. However, they still saw an impact.

“From the fall into the spring, we lost about 22,000 students. That’s a big drop-off. It was tough for our students last year, we can be honest about it, right?” Malatras said. “Students survived last year, they didn’t thrive, they didn’t really particularly enjoy the experience.”

Malatras also stated that, besides the pandemic, other reasons for a decline could be due to decreasing birth rates, more competition for schools, and “cultural divides.”

“The math doesn’t add up,” he said. “If enrollment’s down in the past 10 years nationwide, including at SUNY, at the same time where 70% of all new jobs being created needs some sort of post-secondary education. Enrollment should be going up, right? Just common sense would suggest enrollment goes up in that case.”

During the preliminary fall 2021 season, Corning Community College has enrolled 3,912 students. This is a 3.7% decrease compared to last year, when the college enrolled 4,063 students, and a 26.2% decrease compared to fall 2011, when the college enrolled 5,301 students.

Not all SUNY schools saw a decrease in enrollment. Doctoral centers, like private elite colleges, are up around 12% in enrollment over the past 10 years. To learn more about SUNY schools or getting an education, click here.

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