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COVID-19 Update: Financial Uncertainty, Independent Schools Excel Online, Giving Back

By Net Assets posted 04-09-2020 12:34 PM


(From Bloomberg, Inside Higher Ed) Numerous factors are causing uncertainty about the financial viability of colleges and universities next year. The longer lockdowns continue, the more uncertain schools are about the size of their classes, how much aid they’ll need to offer to fill seats, and the tuition revenue they can count on. Endowments are in free fall and international student enrollment is likely to drop. Potential loss of revenue from campus rentals, summer programs, decreased fundraising, and late or missing tuition payments are also concerns. Even if schools open in September, they may have to downsize in ways that change campus life, such as eliminating athletic teams. If fall classes remain online, the value proposition of physical campuses may diminish, and students may seek out online classes at less expensive public or community colleges, or to defer a year. The largest concern among prospective students right now, according to a recent survey, is the need for increased financial aid. 

More from Bloomberg and Inside Higher Ed

(From NPR) Four in 10 U.S. teenagers haven’t attended a single online or virtual class since school campuses closed, according to a recent survey of 849 teenagers by Common Sense Media. Independent schools are connecting with students and transitioning them into online classes much better than public schools (82% vs. 53%). Independent school leaders must still be mindful of student stress, however, as students who have attended online or virtual classes are, surprisingly, just as worried about keeping up with their schoolwork and as lonely as students who haven't attended online or virtual classes.

(From multiple sources) Independent schools are helping their communities in numerous ways. Two faculty members from Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have developed an improved testing protocol for COVID-19, and the school is prepared to help with the area’s response to COVID -19 testing as needed. Baylor is not a testing site, but its work could improve or expedite testing elsewhere in Tennessee. (More at ABC NewsWestern Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, found a creative way to bring students together for campus chapel. Administrators positioned nearly 400 student cardboard cutouts inside the meeting space, which students could see during a school-wide video conference. (More at NAIS) The North Cross School in Roanoake, Virginia, has a Shanghai campus, where a student arranged the donation of more than 1,000 masks and to Roanoke’s medical community. The high school junior wrote about his experience visiting the Virginia campus last summer and hoped donations will help “look after our friends in Roanoke.” (More from The Roanoke Times) The U.S. blood supply is facing an unprecedented shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the campus is closed for learning, Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr opened its doors in March for a blood drive in honor of a local teen fighting cancer, and plans to hold another blood drive in April. (More at Fox News)

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