A recent article from the New York Times looked at the effects of COVID on the college market, and why online education could be the savior for students and institutions.
“Up until now, online education has been relegated to the equivalent of a hobby at most universities. With the pandemic, it has become a backup plan. But if universities embrace this moment strategically, online education could expand access exponentially and drop its cost by magnitudes — all while shoring up revenues for universities in a way that is more recession-proof, policy-proof and pandemic-proof.” Read more.
We at Nonprofit Online Degrees completely agree with the author – Hans Taparia – clinical associate professor at the New York University Stern School of Business. When universities had to convert to online course delivery in April, it was apparent that the faculty and staff could quickly and easily figure out how to be successful in delivering engaging content and experiences to students. Sure, not all colleges and universities did a great job delivering classes online, but the experience shows what is possible. And now most institutions are well prepared for the fall semester – which is here already. If students at any age believe they need the traditional college experience to be successful, we disagree. Perhaps fully online is not for you? Try a hybrid degree model. Stay close to home or work and visit campus sometimes, rather than living on campus or going every day.
But what about lost housing revenue you say? Interestingly, urban colleges with more commuter students than on-campus residents may just be in a better position than their larger land grant relatives. Take the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for example. With only 10% of its students living on campus (2019 figures), it does not rely nearly as much on housing revenues as UA Fayetteville does. Could urban campuses finally be in a better position? We think so.