College enrollment is at an all time low. In 2021, spring enrollment fell from 17.5 million to 16.9 million (a 3.5% drop) across colleges of all sectors.* 3.5% may seem small, but it accounts for 603,000 students. That number is seven times lower than the year before (National Student Clearinghouse).
There are all sorts of reasons for declining enrollment—financial challenges, family obligations, lack of support. Today, the pandemic is the main culprit. But it actually goes deeper than that. There’s a growing lack of trust in the college and university system, which is leading many students to reassess their higher education goals and rethink college altogether.
The Lack of Trust in the College & University System
Higher education institutions had a lot to accomplish last year as they transferred thousands of students, instructors, and faculty to virtual platforms. Most did they best they could considering the circumstances, but it was still a little chaotic. As the school year ended, a lot of students felt uneasy and skeptical—”Did I really learn everything I was supposed to? That semester was a lot easier than normal. Do my credits really count if I didn’t even have to leave the house for class? Will I be stuck doing Zoom classes for the rest of college?”
That same uneasiness lingers as students head back to campus to start the fall semester. Many schools didn’t do the whole virtual learning thing well and students felt the effects. Students are concerned about having to repeat it all again, especially with COVID still prevalent. Signing up for in-person classes isn’t a guarantee that they’ll stay in-person. Remote learning isn’t completely out of the question yet.
As a result, students lose a sense of security. For many students, remote learning means a lower quality of education, a lack of support, a lack of connection with other students, Zoom exhaustion and burnout, and hours spent in Zoom waiting rooms any time they need to talk with an advisor or participate in a career fair. It means a lack of trust in the university system to provide a quality education and a college experience that’s worth the cost and effort.
Colleges and universities need a way to rebuild the trust and security students are missing.
Rebuilding Trust with EVAN360
Whatever learning environment students find themselves in this year, they all deserve to find the support they need (and couldn’t get last year). They need support they can access in a remote or in-person environment—and the quality of that support shouldn’t diminish just because they’re virtual.
EVAN360 rebuilds trust by letting students know they can connect with faculty anytime, anywhere and get a quick response whenever they need help. The app enables flexibility that could have been leveraged during the pandemic and restores a sense of security among students.
It’s one of the few flexible digital solutions that actually makes things easier for students and faculty. It supports students in any environment, whether at home or in the classroom, and empowers faculty to deliver support in a way that students deserve.
How well is your school prepared to deal with declining enrollment rates? If you’re looking for ways to rebuild trust after a turbulent year, start with support. Schedule a demo or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
*Colleges of all sectors include public two-year, public four-year, private nonprofit four-year, and private for profit four-year institutions.