The Pandemic Educated Generation: The Aftermath on College Enrollment

While many full-time workers relished in the new work-from-home landscape, students, on the other hand, faced massive disruption during the peaks of the pandemic in what are supposed to be the best years of their life.

ACT surveyed first-year college students who took the ACT® test between 2017 and 2019. The study found that two out of three students battled academic challenges and concerns caused by the sudden switch to online learning.

Students responded to an open-ended question, “For the most part, how would you describe the quality of your learning now, compared to when you were at school?”

Responses include little motivation, inability to retain information, and lack of hands-on learning. These challenges led students to have even more concerns about their future education.

82% of students surveyed indicated concerns that pandemic-driven online learning would negatively impact their success next year, while 76% expressed concern that online education may have long-term consequences.

Enrollment is Eroding

Physical and mental concerns, restricted campus living, and financial hardships discouraged many from leaping into university enrollment. Unfortunately, this leaves many U.S. universities and colleges in an enrollment crisis.

Higher education institutions make tremendous strides to evolve in the new normal resulting from the pandemic. But is it enough to keep students enrolled?

As restrictions lessen, enrollment may stabilize. However, the impacts on the pandemic-educated generation are synonymous with zoom graduations, campus curfews, and virtual learning.

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