When enrollment drops and tuition charges are misplaced, universities run into monetary hardship
Sharp declines in enrollment due to the pandemic have placed a heavy financial burden on many colleges and universities, and the effects may last for years.
At that point, 67% of college leaders said that lowering their tuition and dormitory income was the biggest challenge they currently face. This is the result of a recent survey by the foundation company NEPC.
Overall, student numbers fell 4% this year, according to separate data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, with the number of freshmen falling the most at 16% from last fall.
The coronavirus pandemic caused the worst liquidity crisis that higher education has faced since the global financial crisis.
Partner at NEPC
For many colleges and universities, the consequences could be severe, according to Sam Pollack, partner in NEPC practice for foundations and foundations.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused the worst liquidity crisis that higher education has faced since the global financial crisis,” he said.
With many schools adopting a hybrid approach to education with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching, the number of students living on campus has also decreased significantly.
Almost three-quarters of those surveyed by NEPC said that school-owned housing occupancy – another major source of income – had decreased this year, and about a quarter said it had decreased by more than 50%.
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Even before the global pandemic cratered the economy, some institutions were facing financial difficulties after years of deep cuts in government funding for higher education.
Universities have already put thousands of employees on leave and announced hundreds of millions in lost sales. Some have even trimmed academic programs that were once central to liberal arts education in order to stay afloat.
NEPC surveyed approximately 50 senior executives from colleges and universities across the country. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center collects data from more than 3,600 post-secondary institutions.
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