Date/12 Jan, 2022
As the COVID-19 epidemic swept fast across the country, higher education executives and stakeholders were concerned about the implications for colleges and institutions. In response to the rising coronavirus pandemic, education officials have been compelled to postpone courses and close campuses throughout the world in recent weeks. In addition, US colleges and universities have converted to online learning, cancelled spring break travel plans, and urged students studying abroad in China, Italy, and South Korea to come home to finish their studies.
They weren't simply concerned about having to close campuses and adjust to virtual learning; they were also concerned that students would abandon their aspirations to apply to college, and eventually this would affect their college enrolment statistics. While class cancellations, enrolment drops at the start of a new semester, and class closures may be transitory, it's difficult to predict if the novel coronavirus will cause long-term damage to higher education.
With a 2% dip in first-year enrolment in fall 2019, college enrolment was already on the decline. Schools were concerned that during the epidemic, this number might decrease even further. However, these figures may not reflect the full picture of college admissions. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Centre, undergraduate enrollment fell 4.4 percent in the fall. This includes an unprecedented 13 percent drop in first-year enrollment. Recruiting students in the middle of a worldwide epidemic has been the most difficult of them all. Some universities are extending deadlines, while others are giving virtual campus tours or decreasing application criteria, and still others are offering overseas students flexible learning alternatives.
Universities must pivot to maintain admissions as the global higher education environment shifts in reaction to the COVID-19 epidemic. In this difficult situation, universities can take a variety of steps to increase enrollment and make it a walk in the park.
According to The Princeton Review, 97% of families believe financial help is required to pay for college, with 87 percent believing it is "very critical." It is critical for educators to listen to their students and families in order to comprehend how they can make college a financially realistic option in the present economic situation. Waiving application fees is one easy way institutions are lessening the financial load on their students. Kent State University in Ohio is eliminating application costs and postponing its deadline from May 1 to June 1 this year. Other colleges are following suit, with the University of Akron extending its due date to June 1, removing application costs and automatically evaluating any candidates who apply for their scholarship programmes by June 1.
Some have recommended providing flexible admission criteria in order to attract foreign students. While this would allow institutions to accept good students who meet all other criteria, it would also necessitate a specific support strategy to ensure that students receive the additional assistance they require to develop these abilities to the required level upon arrival. To minimise any possible delays in the start of studies, several institutions are already seeking to increase the flexibility of their learning alternatives. And more importantly,
Whereas in the past, location and on-campus amenities and activities drew students in, this year's enrolling students will be seeking a fantastic online experience. This is more than just putting course materials online. Curated tools, work aids, course templates, and real-time training should all be included in and promoted by course facilitators. Universities should encourage faculty members to focus on involvement, compassion, and flexibility in order to assist students through this tough time.
Universities should strive to communicate clearly with potential students beyond promoting their fancy equipment and course programmes. This may be accomplished via personal emails, intelligent video messages, or even consistent Instagram posts. While colleges must alter their post-covid admissions processes in order to help students and retain enrolments indefinitely, it is vital to realise that these modifications are only temporary. The coronavirus epidemic will eventually end, and life will return to normal. Universities that innovate during this period, on the other hand, will undoubtedly emerge with stronger technological solutions and student support systems that will serve them for decades.