Fall 2020 Enrollment Scenarios, Part 4: Graduate Students

The COVID-19 pandemic is scrambling assumptions about the college experience and student demand. A down economy, something the virus has induced, normally drives enrollment up: individuals turn to higher education as a source of skill development in the face of unemployment and market uncertainty. This was certainly the case during the prior two recessions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Online learning, suddenly the norm mid-pandemic, was already commonplace in many graduate fields, particularly at the master’s level. For some graduate students, this might be thought to lessen the disconnect between the “college experience” and virus-disrupted reality. For others, the tension may be just as palpable as it is for traditional-aged undergraduates.

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