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…
Over the past couple of weeks, the tide has shifted optimistically toward plans for an on-campus fall semester. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 68% of colleges now say this is their intent.
As the weeks go by, higher education leaders face the looming prospect of a fall semester during a pandemic amid the sharpest economic contraction in nearly a century.
The past six weeks have transformed higher education and introduced many unknowns. Things taken for granted are now suddenly up in the air. Questions about going online, communicating with prospective students, preparing for fall, and shoring up the right technology suddenly have new meaning in the age of COVID-19.