Four-year colleges may face a loss of up to 20 percent in fall enrollment for 2020 according to SimpsonScarborough, a higher education research and marketing company who has predicted this on the basis of multiple student surveys it has conducted. Students are uncertain that campuses will reopen, and now are reluctant to commit for the fall.
Evidence of this is based on surveys of more than 2,000 college-bound high school seniors and current college students in March, just after the coronavirus began spreading in the United States, and in April, after three weeks of record unemployment claims.
For schools, enrollment drops and lost revenue could be devastating. The finding are based on several surveys, one of which was released previously.
Ten percent of college-bound seniors who had planned to enroll at a four-year college before the COVID-19 outbreak have already made alternative plans.
Fourteen percent of college students said they were unlikely to return to their current college or university in the fall, or it was “too soon to tell.” Exactly three weeks later, in mid-April, that figure had gone up to 26 percent.
Gap years may be gaining in popularity. While hard to track, there are estimates that 3 percent of freshmen take a gap year. Since the pandemic, internet searches for gap years have skyrocketed.
College students do not like the online education they have been receiving. To finish their degrees, 85 percent want to go back to campus, but 15 percent want to finish online.
To counteract massive losses in student enrollment, some schools are waiving deposit requirements, particularly for foreign students, who are especially valuable to universities because most pay full tuition. Experts say that the number of wait-listed students who are now getting offers, shows that even some of the most selective schools are acting more aggressively to fill freshman classes.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STUDENTS?
With great change comes great opportunities! Students that previously were not considered for their dream schools now have the opportunity to be accepted to the school of their choice.
HOW DO STUDENTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION?
Getting into the school of your choice will still be competitive and making yourself stand out is still the way to go about getting in. The ways to stand out are having high grades, of course, but some differentiators are some old ways to get into the University of your choice. The Coronavirus has made a mess of the normal SAT/ACT testing process which could impact eligibility and scholarship possibilities. Some Universities have even gone as far as making the SAT and ACT optional. So a great way to stand out is to take and make a high score on the SAT or ACT. The current crisis may force the SAT and ACT to be online exams.
Another way to stand out is to write an excellent essay. Not only will the content of your essay need to be well thought out and interesting, you will need excellent grammar and structure to your essay.