New Report Shows Changes in Scholar Enrollment During COVID-19


Today, we released our second report in a series we’re publishing this year on what we’re learning about our Scholars’ journeys toward a college degree. Scholars are Atlanta Public Schools graduates who qualify for need-based Achieve Atlanta scholarships to attend an eligible college, university or technical program.

Our latest report on our Scholars, Scholar Enrollment During the COVID-19 Pandemic, summarizes enrollment trends this year compared to prior years.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • Last fall, Achieve Atlanta welcomed 774 Scholars into its incoming 2020 cohort. While this represented a 5% decrease from the 2019 cohort, it was smaller than the 11% reduction nationwide for low-income students in the class of 2020.
  • The share of first-year Scholars enrolling in four-year degree programs increased from 74% to 88%. Much of this shift is likely due to most colleges and universities waiving SAT/ACT testing requirements and minimums for admissions. Institutions offering four-year degree programs tend to have higher persistence and graduation rates than two-year or technical institutions.
  • Despite enrolling in institutions with higher persistence rates, 76% of Cohort 2020 Scholars returned for the spring semester, 12 percentage points lower than for Cohort 2019.
  • In contrast to first-year Scholars, those enrolled in college prior to the pandemic maintained enrollment patterns similar to those of past years.
  • Given the significant drop in persistence from fall to spring for Cohort 2020 Scholars, AATL is collaborating closely with our non-profit and college partners to re-engage first-year students and help them return to college in fall 2021.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll publish follow-up blog posts that explore key themes from the report, including how our partners have adapted to keep students enrolled, why many first-year Scholars did not return for the spring term and how students’ expectations of college compared to reality during the pandemic. Subscribe for updates in your email inbox.

Download the full report here

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2 comments to New Report Shows Changes in Scholar Enrollment During COVID-19

  1. WymSkPhN
    March 16, 2024



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