More engagement drive enrollment

Colleges scramble to recruit students as nationwide enrollment plunges

This very detailed article published by the The Washington Post discusses many of the issues being confronted by a very large portion of non-elite universities nationwide.

Since 2019 “hundreds of thousands of students have left the college pipeline amid pandemic turmoil and the lure of jobs” and “colleges across America face a daunting challenge” as this figure represents a 5 percent decrease in student head count. The debate over the value of higher education is very real and intensified during the public health crisis and economic tumult.

In all, “that’s an enrollment loss of nearly 1 million students. Some drifted out of college, while others never started. Many colleges are on an urgent quest to keep current students and recover their lost freshmen.”

But how does one define urgent? “Many schools that I speak with seem content with returning to or, at least, attempting to return to formulas that worked pre-2019. I’m just not sure that this is a winning strategy given technology’s catapult forward combined with the very raw scars of COVID-19” said Manu Goffer, Chief Operating Officer CampusVR. He added, “forward thinking through technology, in the way a school introduces itself to students, keeps them engaged once there, and nurtures a permanent connection to the school, are strategies that we offer at CampusVR. Our clients have shown very meaningful and proven results.”

And this is a nationwide problem. Vermont, Alaska, Iowa, New Mexico, and Texas all rank as some of the biggest losers in overall enrollment.

“At stake are not only the education and career prospects of huge numbers of young adults, but also the financial health of regional colleges and universities. Once students leave, they often don’t return. Gap years can become permanent.”

Stefan Mercier of CampusVR added “this is a very real problem for a very real majority of schools nationwide, and all it’s doing is created an ever wider chasm between the haves and have-nots”. According to the article, “privileged universities are weathering the upheaval. It’s everybody else that is hurting.”

At some point, colleges and universities will have an ‘A-ha!’ moment whereby they will adjust their outdated pitches to a rapidly evolving student base. We just haven’t seen the “scramble” yet.

#thewashingtonpost #campusvr #studentbridge #admissions #enrollment #collegesanduniversities #technology #virtualtours #oldhabitsdiehard

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