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PNS Daily Newscast - October 19, 2920 


Trailing Biden in Nevada, Trump holds a jam-packed Carson City rally. And with COVID a major election issue, hospitals help patients register to vote.


2020Talks - October 19, 2020 


Litigation is ongoing on ballot receipt deadlines, witness signatures and drop boxes. And early voting starts in a dozen states this week.

Report: COVID Will Hurt Black College Enrollment

Over the summer, a new report says, Black college enrollment saw a major decline in the United States. The trend is highest at community colleges, with a drop of more than 10%. (Adobe Stock)
Over the summer, a new report says, Black college enrollment saw a major decline in the United States. The trend is highest at community colleges, with a drop of more than 10%. (Adobe Stock)
September 11, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- The pandemic has brought a host of disparities for Black Americans, and college enrollment could be among them. A Minnesota advocacy group says the health crisis might add to existing barriers facing students in the region.

The latest findings from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show summer college enrollment for Black undergrad students dropped by more than 8% in the United States. Jonathan McNicholes, state chair of Students United, a nonprofit that advocates for students in Minnesota's state university system, said there's already anecdotal evidence of Black students being affected by the crisis.

"I know a few of my friends who have dropped out or who have taken more gaps in their education in order to work more and wait for the pandemic to subside, to know if they are going to be able to effectively continue their education," he said.

He said Black student enrollment across state schools already is significantly low, and a report this year from the Education Trust gave the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities a failing grade in this area. That report looked at 2017 numbers. The school has said it has made improvements since that time.

While summer classes might not be as crucial when compared with other semesters, McNicholes and others have said, they anticipate these gaps extending into the fall. He said that would make it even harder for many Black students to resume their college careers, if they take a pause.

"You start growing your life to a spot that it's harder to return to higher education," he said. "It's harder to become a student after you have these commitments in your life."

He said students of color don't often have the same level of resources as their white counterparts, which could keep them in the workforce rather than returning to school. McNicholes said he hopes this convinces more policymakers and schools to take steps to reduce the cost of higher education.

The national enrollment report is online at nscresearchcenter.org, and the enrollment grade report is at edtrust.org.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN