COVID-19 Questions: You Asked, We Answered

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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.

The pandemic has also changed our focus here at Eduventures. As questions from our clients and readers mounted, we decided to complement our weekly Wake-Up Call with a digest of

We've put these questions and answers into concise Snapshots, and provided other helpful resources, in one place. For our Wake-Up Call this week, here are five Snapshot samples. See which questions match your own and follow the link to read our full response and see additional questions.

Q: We are debating about whether or not to extend our deposit 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...

For the full post, see Eduventures Snapshot, Is Extending the May 1st Deadline Too Risky?


Q: Given the international spotlight on physicians and nurses who are holding the frontline on COVID-19, should we be aggressively investing in new health programs?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem…while we believe healthcare program demand will remain high in the future, we advise proceeding with caution into strong investments in these areas if institutions had not already planned to do so pre-pandemic…

For the full post, see Eduventures Snapshot, Investment in Health Programs.


Q. Our institution doesn’t differentiate between online and on-campus pricing. Should we be lowering prices across-the-board to get students to continue to enroll?

In a climate of reduced funding—looming state budget cuts, weak endowment performance, and less philanthropy—schools should think carefully before cutting tuition. Arguably, schools don’t want to reinforce the idea that online is “less-than” and therefore should be priced lower. Better to find more compelling ways to justify comparable tuition...

For the full post, see Eduventures Snapshot, Should Prices Decrease to Increase Enrollment?


Q. What should our virtual approach to financial aid look like since we can no longer host events or meetings in person?

Financial aid is a particularly tough area because many institutions have a lot of private conversations with families in person when they visit campus. Thinking about how to best recast that into a virtual environment is quite difficult. One way to approach financial aid conversations is through a three-tiered approach…

For the full post, see Eduventures Snapshot, The Virtual Approach to Financial Aid.


Q. Now that all our classes have moved online and everyone is concerned about shoring up future enrollment, there is intense interest in putting nearly all courses and programs online…during this unprecedented time, should we change our strategy?

Our advice is to hold the line on which programs to put online. Throwing everything online will diminish returns, stretch resources, weaken quality, and confuse the market…

For the full post, see Eduventures Snapshot, Changing Online Strategy.



For these and other posts, we invite you to visit the Wake-Up Call homepage and our Snapshot archive. We’ve assembled concise and pragmatic advice around how to best navigate the new and unprecedented realities of traditional student and adult learner demand, program innovation, and technology—and we are adding to them weekly.

We’ve also created a new area where you can find our COVID-19-related research in one place: Resources & Timely Information about COVID-19. ACT | NRCCUA members and Eduventures clients may visit this page directly via the Research App in Data Lab. In addition to our Snapshots, we're including links to our webinars, reports, survey data, and other helpful resources from other organizations.

With your feedback, we will continue adding to this library of posts and resources. Please continue sending us your questions. Above all, thank you for your continued readership!

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Executive Vice President of Eduventures Research, Encoura


Join us in Boston, November 1–3, 2020, as we convene eminent thinkers, leaders, and practitioners from across the higher education spectrum to examine and showcase the best ideas, old and new. If there is one event in higher ed you attend in 2020, make it Eduventures Summit.

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