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What will total enrollment for recent US high school graduates be in US colleges in 2021?

Cross-posted on Metaculus: Pandemics.

College enrollment of recent high school graduates, both online and in-person, shows how many students choose to pursue higher education as an option after graduation. This both reflects the desire to participate in higher education, as well as the economic and social means of American families to do so. The percentage of recent high school graduates enrolled in college represents enrollment in both four-year and two-year institutions, and shows the percentage of students ages 16-24 who enrolled in US colleges before October of that year who have completed either high school or the equivalent GED certification. In 2018, the number in thousands of high school graduates was 3,212, with the total percentage enrolled in college at 69.1%. In 2009, during the great recession, total enrollment bumped upwards to over 70%.

This questions asks: What will total enrollment for recent US high school graduates be in US colleges in 2021?

The total enrollment in all college programs at all college levels will be determined by the NCES using data from the American College Testing Program obtained by the Census Bureau. If the data is not available by the end of 2023, then the question will resolve ambiguously. This question is part of the Higher Education Series.

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