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Pandemic Imperils Post-Secondary Education Across USA

April 7, 2020


ABC News reports that ALL colleges and universities in the nation are suffering potentially crippling if not cataclysmic losses as a result of the pandemic. Here are the two paragraphs that summarize the impact:

Scores of colleges say they’re taking heavy hits as they refund money to students for housing, dining and parking after campuses closed last month. Many schools are losing millions more in ticket sales after athletic seasons were cut short, and some say huge shares of their reserves have been wiped out amid wild swings in the stock market.

Yet college leaders say that’s only the start of their troubles: Even if campuses reopen this fall, many worry large numbers of students won’t return. There’s widespread fear that an economic downturn will leave many Americans unable to afford tuition, and universities are forecasting steep drop-offs among international students who may think twice about studying abroad so soon after a pandemic.

The college and university presidents hoped that the stimulant package would help offset their losses, but they were deeply disappointed to find their request for money largely ignored. Instead of getting the 60 billion dollars requested they got only 14 billion. This means that they will need to use whatever endowment funds they have to cover lost revenue, losses that they expect to mount in the fall when students decide to sit out a year because they cannot pay the tuition. And schools with limited endowments? The ABC report doesn’t say so but they may well close taking thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of dreams with them.

In the end, though, it is possible that we may look back and determine that college was oversold. We may find that paying for more schooling to earn more money to buy more things was a fool’s errand.

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