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Coronavirus Collapse Compounds Impact of 2008 Revenue Meltdown

April 25, 2020

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This recent post from NPR included a statistic about post-recession college enrollment that I found to be simultaneously startling and unsurprising AND unsettling:

With less funding, colleges have continued to lean on tuition. But over the past eight years, college enrollment nationwide has fallen about 11%. Every sector — public state schools, community colleges, for-profits and private liberal arts schools — has felt the decline. Over the years, international students, who often pay full tuition, have helped. But now with travel restrictions in play, schools are expecting very few of them this fall.

I was startled to read that college enrollment declined over the past 8 years, but after thinking about it was not surprised. The cohort group of potential students was undoubtedly smaller during that time period AND the inequities of the economy combined with the numbers of students who could afford the ever increasing meant that the cohort of students who were capable of attending diminished. With the Coronavirus making “normal” fall semesters a 50/50 proposition and revenues plummeting already it’s not a pretty picture.

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