Q. We are debating about whether or not to extend the May 1 deadline. We are considering being flexible with the date, but not necessarily promote it. Do you think that plan is too risky?
In short, we don’t think there is any risk in moving the date, and if you are going to move the deadline you should be clear about it. The greater risk here is changing the date, and not being clear about it. If you are going to move your date—and many other schools are moving their dates—why not be very clear about what you are doing?
During a moment like this, the most important thing to do is be clear in your communications because there are a lot of communications happening right now. Many institutions are emailing at a much higher rate and communicating on a much greater scale with students than they usually do during this yield season; there are so many unknowns, there is a lot going on, and everything is changing. Students are also trying to figure out what is happening. So if are going to make changes, then make them, and be clear about it.
More from the Wake-Up Call…
Beyond the loss of social connections and extracurriculars, recent data also estimates academic learning losses. Given these challenges, should we expect them to transition into college life just as students have in the past? Probably not.
“Who is your main competitor?” asked an Encoura colleague during a recent campus visit at a regional state university. The answer—Target—was surprising but relatable. With declining enrollments, primarily at community colleges (-7.8% decrease in spring 2022 alone) and public four-year colleges (-3.4%) and a strong labor market, it is easy to see why underserved student populations, a key student segment for these schools, might choose unskilled labor over education.
“Colleges cash in on real estate” was a recent headline in Inside Higher Ed, describing how some institutions have sold property to generate cash flow. Enrollment challenges, inflation, and exhausted stimulus funds are driving sales, and property prices are at record levels coming out of the pandemic.