The impact of the pandemic on higher education has been significant and far-reaching. New student recruitment, financial aid expenditures, retention, and fundraising have all been adversely influenced. There are some things, however, that institutional leaders can do now to prepare for enrollment recovery and success for Fall 2022.
Many institutions are still reeling from poor outcomes last year. Enrollments at colleges and universities declined significantly in Fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding impact on the economy.
- Overall enrollments decreased by approximately 4 percent.
- Community college enrollments plummeted by 13.1 percent.
- Likely contributing to enrollment decline has been the fact that FAFSA completions dropped by 16 percent.
These enrollment challenges occurred at a time when many colleges and universities were already struggling with declining demographics and increased competition.
Early indicators are that enrollment numbers will be as bad, if not worse, for Fall 2021. Some institutions are reporting declines in admission applications and acceptances; early deposit trends are alarming.