INDIANAPOLIS — May 19, 2021 — Strada Education Network, a social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging pathways between education and employment, has released new findings from the nationally representative Public Viewpoint survey, which asks adults about their experience with education and work.
The survey finds that more than one-third of U.S. adults have changed or canceled their education plans as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with 15 percent of Americans canceling their plans and 22 percent delaying enrollment or making other changes. Many of those learners with disrupted plans, especially adults over 25, are no longer expecting to pursue additional education. One in three learners with plans disrupted by the pandemic are not enrolled in an education program, nor are they planning to enroll in the next six months.
“The belief that Americans would increasingly turn to education during the pandemic recession has not become a reality, and now we see eroding expectations about future enrollment,” said Dr. Dave Clayton, Senior Vice President of Strada’s Center for Education Consumer Insights. “We need to find solutions that provide individuals with great confidence that additional education and training will improve their lives and provide them with equitable opportunities to obtain the benefits.”
Americans’ motivations for changing or canceling their education plans in the first place vary. The top two reasons cited for changing or canceling plans were financial costs (34 percent) and needing to work (28 percent). Another 24 percent said they changed or canceled plans because they could not or did not want to attend an in-person setting.
Young adults (65 percent), Latinos (61 percent), and Asian Americans (58 percent) are more likely than other adults to have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. This finding is consistent with new national data on college enrollment, which shows that younger undergraduates and Latinos have seen the biggest downward swing in enrollment.
Additional key findings from the Public Viewpoint survey include:
The new Public Viewpoint findings are based on web surveys conducted from February-April 2021. The survey was designed and commissioned by Strada Education Network’s Center for Education Consumer Insights, a research team that studies the experiences and perceptions of American adults in order to inform the development of a more learner-centered ecosystem. The center provides the nation’s largest education consumer database, which includes more than 350,000 completed surveys about the education and work experiences of American adults. View the full findings from this survey and past surveys at: https://www.stradaeducation.org/publicviewpoint/.
About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network is a new kind of social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging clearer and more purposeful pathways between education and employment. Our approach combines innovative research, thought leadership, strategic philanthropy, mission-aligned investments and a network of affiliate organizations. Together, we work to better serve the millions of Americans seeking to complete postsecondary education and training, gain clear value from those experiences, and build meaningful careers. Learn more at stradaeducation.org.
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