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As COVID-19 surges, number of students withdrawing from CU Boulder doubles

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-26 15:22:27-04

Nearly 570 students have withdrawn from the University of Colorado Boulder since the beginning of the fall semester — double the number who left last year — amid surging COVID-19 cases, a rapidly changing learning environment and quarantine orders.

Between Aug. 24 and Thursday, 392 continuing students and 177 first-year students withdrew from CU Boulder. During the same time period in 2019, 172 continuing students and 113 first-year students withdrew, said Melanie Parra, a campus spokeswoman.

At the start of the semester, 6,931 students lived in on-campus housing and CU’s Bear Creek apartments. In the past two months as cases climbed, 374 students canceled their on-campus housing contracts, with 215 of those students withdrawing entirely and 159 moving out but remaining enrolled, Parra said.

University officials on Friday said they did not yet know how much of a financial toll the withdrawals will take on the campus, which already saw a $66 million budget hit this year compared to last, largely due to COVID-19. Lower-than-expected student enrollment this fall forced steeper budget reductions across the campus.

Freshman enrollment at CU Boulder declined 12.3% from last year, dipping from 7,113 students to 6,235, according to a September CU budget presentation.

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