Universities and college campuses are places where students live and study in close proximity to each other. They are also buzzing cultural hubs where students are brought together from nations around the world. Recently, the foundations of this unique ecosystem have been impacted significantly by the rapid spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, creating uncertainty regarding the implications for higher education. The pandemic led to some profound changes among college-age students. Many decided they would look for universities closer to home or in state, or became more concerned with the cost of financing a college education. Attending a colleges located in a pandemic hot spot likewise became a concern.
While Covid-19 is a high risk for those over 60, traditional-aged university students face relatively low risks from the disease. However in recent weeks, we have seen just how quickly the novel coronavirus can spread in areas with a high concentration of people – and university campuses are no exception. Administrators should undertake simple measures to prevent the spread of the disease on their campuses. While there’s no way to predict how college-age students might approach higher education post-pandemic, it is hard to believe that current trends won’t have some lasting effects.
One way to tap into new pools of potential students? Personalization and a deeper commitment to applying behavioral technology to the admissions process. Universities can pivot messaging as students’ needs change, with emails speaking to individual applicants across geographic, academic and financial segments. This personal touch becomes all the more important as higher ed rebuilds from the pandemic and the interruptions it caused. Clear communication has been a keystone to success and safety through the pandemic, as it continues to be, and higher ed is better for it. At the core of the transformation to personalized admissions is the need to adapt to technology that supports it, or what we’ve come to call intelligent admissions.
By: Shubham Goswami, PhD
School of Management, SPSU