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Tennessee sees five-year decline in rate of college-going seniors

A new state report shows that the college-going rate of Tennessee students has trended downward over the past five years. The inaugural state “College Going and the Class of 2021” report released from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) found that the number of students from the class of 2021 going to college was at 52.8%, down from the 63.8% reported by the class of 2017. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 9% drop in the college-going rate between 2019 and 2021. The state also saw a 9.2% overall decline in freshmen enrollment at colleges in the same period. The report notes there are disparities in college-going rates of different counties across the state as well as a considerable gap between students who are white and students who are black or Hispanic. View the full report at