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How To Overcome the Barriers Created by the Pandemic

by Ardis Kadiu · Nov 12, 2021

Element451’s latest report, Overcoming Barriers Created by the Pandemic, evaluates major trends in higher education enrollment. Looking back, many of these big trends were already impacting enrollment and the pandemic accelerated their growth. But, some of the trends, especially our customers’ experiences, not only surprised us but also gave us hope.  

Here’s what we learned:

What’s happening at colleges and universities across the country:  

  1. Enrollment at colleges and universities has dropped, but the pain isn’t shared equally. Although community college enrollment is down 12 percent, graduate school enrollment is up about 4 percent.
  2. Students who are more likely to have faced additional challenges during the pandemic, such as students who are first-generation, a member of a historically marginalized group or are from higher-poverty communities, are less likely to attend college.
  3. Although many still want to go to college, it is the cost and lack of support during the admissions process that is keeping them from applying. This also is making alternative credentials more attractive than a traditional college diploma.

How Element451’s customers are doing: 

  1. Element451’s customers have avoided the significant drop in enrollment that other similar institutions reported going into 2021.
  2. But, that doesn’t mean that the admissions and enrollment offices aren’t stressed. Budgets are down, the workload is increasing and they are experiencing more scrutiny.
  3. Their students are experiencing the same trends as their peers across the country: Students are limited financially and very concerned about the return on investment for their degree.

We also talked to current college students to share their stories about surviving and thriving in college during the pandemic. 

Our goal by highlighting these shifts is to help colleges and universities navigate the changing landscape—so they in turn can help learners achieve their college dreams. 

Overcoming the Barriers Created by the Pandemic

Download the report to learn what students are facing and how to better support them as they strive for their college dreams.

Download the Free Report
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