Higher education is changing dramatically amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and institutions are tasked with finding a new way forward.
Many institutions have seen declining enrollment numbers driven by a large number of freshman choosing to defer enrollment and many international students unable to return to campus.
In response, many institutions made significant adjustments. Through the summer, some dipped further into their waitlists to boost enrollment. Others are making changes to program offerings and curriculum requirements to ensure on-time graduation. Universities have had to invest in technology to support remote learning and operations even as they’re challenged by already reduced budgets. The financial impact to the institutions is significant, prompting leaders to make difficult decisions, like cutting programs at an accelerated pace.
Students felt tremendous uncertainty as they faced a college experience that was different than what they had imagined. Navigating this environment meant worrying about everything from how they would connect with instructors and other students online to ensuring they were choosing the right classes to meet and maintain financial aid criteria.