The Potential Impact of COVID-19


Image credit: istockphoto

It seems very evident that the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the precautions taken by state and federal governments have and will no doubt continue to have an impact on America. It is not a far leap then to imagine that the virus and precautions taken will have lasting effects on higher education as well.

The current impact of the virus on higher education has included shutting down campuses, moving classes and meetings to an online platform. This naturally creates demand for more technology and online instruction to be able to adequately and continually provide education to students. This in itself could have lasting impacts on the future of instruction and learning at universities.

Additionally, admission offices at many universities are expecting graduating high school seniors to postpone college attendance in the hopes to wait out the effects of the Covid-19. These students do not want diminish the “traditional college experience” they would have otherwise (Wescott, 2020). While these students may up attending universities, this practice will definitely reduce the student population on campuses in the short run and could have lasting impacts on higher education.

These short term and long term changes may also affect universities financially. This could result in more closures or mergers among colleges and universities around the country. At least, cuts on expenditures and possibly reduced budgets of universities may be in the near future as well.

I hope that the schools and economies open soon. I believe that the sooner they open the less impact the closures will have. I can only hope that governing boards and administrations at higher education institutions are taking the necessary precautions to ensure a bright and thriving future for higher learning.

NOTE: Portions of this post are excerpts from an essay called “What Does the Future of Higher Education Look Like and What Does it Mean for Future Professors” written by the same author.

Josh Beverly
Josh Beverly
Data Scientist and Adjunct Professor of Economics

My research interests include labor economics, rural and regional economics, time series analysis and applied econometrics.