30.9 F
Fort Worth
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Education Commentary: Universities and COVID-19: Charting turbulent times

Commentary: Universities and COVID-19: Charting turbulent times

Other News

Electionomics: The season is upon us

M. Ray Perryman The state of the economy is inevitably a central issue in presidential campaigns, debates, and elections.This year will likely be even more...

A look at big issues on Supreme Court’s agenda

Some of the issues either already on the Supreme Court's docket when it begins its new session or likely to be before the justices...

Wall Street posts solid gains after surge in corporate deals

By ALEX VEIGA and DAMIAN J. TROISE AP Business Writers Wall Street kicked off the week with a broad rally Monday, clawing back much of...

Perryman: Federal Reserve policy shift is a big deal

Even if inflation trends upward and rises above 2%, the new Fed policy permits it to not immediately tighten interest rates to slow expansion....

Ray Perryman

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged this spring, college campuses across the United States swiftly sent students home in droves and switched to online distance learning. The quick transition came with hopes and expectations that things would be largely back to normal by the fall.

Ray Perryman


However, such is not the case, and uncertainty is growing as the time to prepare is diminishing.
While there is not yet definitive evidence that the pandemic is decreasing enrollment, there are indications that student preferences are shifting.
A survey by McKinsey & Company in April indicates that 21% of incoming students had already changed their first-choice school since January 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.
The most prevalent reasons for the switch were concerns over the cost of attendance or the location of the school, whether being too far away or in an area with a high threat level. Of the students who changed their first choice, more preferred in-state, public schools or those that were within 50 miles of their homes.


In addition, about half indicated that they would consider changing their education plans if the fall semester switched to remote learning. Specifically, 15% of the students said they would likely defer a semester, while 45% indicated they would pursue a different school. Furthermore, 83% of students said they would expect a tuition discount if the fall semester consisted primarily or entirely of online learning.


Colleges and universities, especially more expensive private institutions, are facing the dual risks of lower enrollment and pressure to adjust tuition, both of which would be harmful to budgets. These shortfalls could grow if foreign student visas are restricted for those enrolled in only online classes (a bad idea that, for the moment at least, appears to have been abandoned).
Tuition and fees account for 20.2% of total revenue and investment return at public, four-year institutions and 30.4% at private, four-year institutions.


Colleges and universities have already begun to reduce budgets, eliminate staff and faculty positions, and even cut entire academic departments. The impact will further be felt in the communities that surround campuses and are dependent on the financial stimulus from university faculty, staff, students, and events.
On a broader scale, these reductions or delays in graduates and the corresponding probable losses in research funding and activity bring declines in productivity, upward mobility, and a major source of the U.S. global competitive advantage in innovation.
Even as they face the potential for lower revenues, universities are investing heavily in technology improvements to enhance online instruction and safety measures (such as air filtration systems).
There is much at stake, not only for students, but also for universities, the communities that embrace them, and the U.S. economy and society.

TAGLINE

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is president and chief executive officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com

Home | The Perryman GroupThe Perryman Group provides the economic insights you need for the board room, the courtroom, the hearing room, or any other room where decisions are made.www.perrymangroup.com

), which has served the needs of more than 2,500 clients over the past four decades.

close

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

close

Oh hi there đź‘‹
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Texas educators urge Gov. Greg Abbott to prioritize teachers, school staff for coronavirus vaccine

Education advocates are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to recognize teachers and school staff as front-line workers so they can be among the first groups...

Robert Francis: Picturing City Hall

You can’t fight City Hall goes the old saying, but you can replace it. Fort Worth officials on Dec. 2 announced plans to purchase the...

🔒 Bill Thompson: Trump is going, going, gone … but the haters can’t let go

Still nibbling leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner? That holiday turkey is getting a little gamey, isn’t it? Well, don’t feel bad. The mainstream news media are...

🔒 Robert Francis: The straight-shooting Miss TCU

Not sure when I first met Susan Nix. When I first started at the Fort Worth Business Press, she was one of those people...

Texas enrollment and FAFSA applications down, as education leaders worry pandemic is disrupting college plans

The number of Texas high school seniors filling out the federal financial aid application for college, known as FAFSA, is down so far from...