Reopen or Bust: Impact on Colleges
Higher education in the time of a pandemic is nearly unrecognizable – and it may stay that way. The coronavirus has forced universities to face the realities of their unsustainable models, as endowments falter with the stock market and shortfalls in student enrollment, especially from international students, mean dramatic decline in revenue.
- On June 24th, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that 63 percent of colleges will offer an in-person semester, 17 percent will operate under a hybrid model, and only 8 percent will commit to remote learning. (Vox)
The change means that many students – both “traditional” and “nontraditional” – are disconnected from the resources that a university provides: housing, food, internet access, libraries and quiet areas, and more. Nonprofits relationships with college students will also shift. Whereas before, organizations could count on college students for enthusiasm and strong peer networks, now they should adjust their interactions with this demographic to reflect the changing reality. Use this time to support and connect with your student audience rather than working to activate them.