Sep 02 2020

What Will Post-Pandemic College Enrollment Look Like?

An Adobe Education survey shows students’ shifting sentiments.

What is the outlook for higher education after COVID-19? The answer largely depends on how current high school students view their futures.

In June, Adobe surveyed 1,000 high school students and 250 high school college placement counselors to answer this question — and the responses were not as dire as previously reported.

The survey revealed that even high school students who are postponing college plans feel hopeful, and they still plan to attend college in the near future. As higher education leaders form post-pandemic strategies, here are a few statistics to keep in mind.

What High School Students Are Thinking About College

Universities and colleges should expect a lag in enrollment. As a result of COVID-19, 58 percent of high school counselors say students are waiting to enroll in college until after campuses reopen. Meanwhile, 50 percent of counselors say students show a preference for online or community colleges.

Despite fears that the younger generation fails to see any value in having a degree, the survey found that young people’s attitude toward higher education remains positive. Although nearly one-third of students say they’re likely to consider a gap year before college, 90 percent are still planning to attend a four-year college or university eventually.

What Will Post-Pandemic College Enrollment Look Like?

And despite concerns of a global market crash, the number of students who feel worried, nervous or scared about their futures has increased by only 17 percent since 2016. The vast majority (85 percent) still feel optimistic about their futures and career prospects.

Compared with this time in 2016, 18 percent more high school students have a dream job that they’re working toward. While the near future may hold many uncertainties for higher education, the overall outlook is still hopeful.

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