VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Students across the country are struggling with education many are finding online learning is very tough leading some to drop out, but some, like Samuel Taken, took the pandemic as a perfect opportunity to go back to school.
"Well, I thought about going to school and my wife had always encouraged me you should go back. So, I figured there would be a lot of people entering the job market, you know reentering," Taken said. "With all the aid the federal government was handing out, I thought maybe instead of looking for a job right now I'll see if I can actually get a degree under my belt."
After 20 years away from school, he decided to return. But, many colleges here are saying they are struggling to recruit and retain students
"Over the last year, we certainly did see a decline in our enrollment," Lea Anne Crooks, the Chancellor at Ivy Tech Terre Haute said.
"We're also still tracking slowdowns and declines in future students," Jason Trainer, Vice Provost of enrollment management for Indiana State University said.
Both ISU and Ivy Tech said they have seen a drop in students who were enrolled, and have since left and a drop in first-time students applying.
That's mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic changing the traditional college experience
For Taken, he said he's motivated to finish his degree and he said it's helpful to know he's not the only one
"My kids, they're on e-learning today and they did all the remote learning last semester and we're all just sitting around the house staring at our laptops trying to do the best we can with what we got," he said.
Ivy tech and ISU both said they are working hard and doing different things to try and increase enrollment.