College campuses such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shown in January before coronavirus-related shutdowns, are trying to figure out if, and how, to reopen in the fall.(E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The coronavirus pandemic has derailed how colleges do business, as well as how students are able to attend.

Both prospective and current students are facing new challenges as many struggle to attend class remotely. Students and parents are concerned with paying high tuition rates for college if university facilities and programs will be unavailable to them.

Coronavirus is also altering students’ decisions on what subjects to study, echoing a similar shift in higher education preferences following the 2009 recession. Post-recession data suggests that students will choose fields of study that guarantee more financially stable careers after graduation.

The University of Michigan is one of many institutions projecting millions in losses, with its worst-case scenario at $1 billion this year. Many experts expect institutions with smaller endowments to close completely. University officials across the country are facing difficult decisions regarding the extent to which they allow students to return to campuses while still enforcing social distancing measures.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

How teachers are surviving coronavirus and distance learning – Fox Business – 5/5/20
“One of the biggest things that people need to be reminded of is how hard teachers are working at getting this right,” Drew X. Coles, a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, told FOX Business. “They’re trying as hard as they possibly can and working as hard as they possibly can to catch up on a skill that they haven’t had to utilize in this way ever before.”

The end of campus life: What colleges will look like in the fall, from Zoom classes to deserted quads and sports stadiums – Business Insider – 5/5/20
One survey of 1,100 current high school seniors and college students by higher-ed research and marketing firm SimpsonScarborough found that 10% of high school seniors will no longer attend a four-year institution. And students already in school are also reportedly hesitant to return: Four-year institutions could see an overall 20% decline in enrollment, with 26% of current students surveyed saying that it was unlikely or “too soon to tell” if they will return.

University of Akron to eliminate six of 11 colleges as part of cost-saving measures due to coronavirus pandemic – Cleveland.com – 5/4/20
University of Akron President Gary Miller said in a video message Monday that the university’s plan to offset $65 to $70 million in decreased revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic includes cutting six of its 11 colleges.

America’s Colleges & Universities Awarded $12.5 Billion In Coronavirus Bailout – Who Can Get It And How Much – Forbes – 5/4/20
The 25 universities with the largest endowments were allocated $801.3 million in coronavirus subsidies. These wealthy institutions had $350 billion in their collective endowments. Notre Dame was allocated a $5.8 million share ($8.4 billion endowment). However, the school told us that they aren’t going to even apply for the funds. Their share will be returned to the U.S. Treasury Department’s general fund. 

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

SoMd News on Twitter, 5/5/20: Students should expect to get their stuff back, eventually, after months of abandonment at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after the campus abruptly shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. They should also expect a refund check for room and board in…

Tes on Twitter, 5/5/20: Four in 10 college leaders predict a deterioration in their college’s financial health as a result of coronavirus while a third predict cashflow issues – A survey by the @AoC_info on Covid-19 and colleges reveals

FOX 13 News Utah on Twitter, 5/5/20: Because of varying rates of coronavirus spread, 50 states operating off different guidelines, and the possibility that some universities might not hold in-person classes, resuming college athletics could be more challenging than professional sports.

Andy Thomason on Twitter, 5/5/20: The Education Department wanted to make sure colleges got at least $500,000 in coronavirus stimulus. In practice, that means some tiny institutions getting more money than they know what to do with:

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