Schools are now confirming in large numbers they will be open. What questions did we not answer?

As I write this, the Texas Tech President is being interviewed by CNN on how they plan on opening on campus, which is remarkably similar to how we described in our most recent podcast a few days ago. Classes will be smaller, modulated, and online for those who need it.

I wanted to answer a few questions our podcast raised that we apologize if we did not answer or were not clear about.

Question: Surely you could not have talked to a sizable percentage of college presidents. How could you predict that almost all will be open?

That question has come to us from both the media and online, and it's a really good one. Brown University President's article last Friday, linked here, gave us confirmation of much of what we suspected, that colleges for financial reasons must stay ooen.  It was a strongly resonating factor to us. We also knew that in academia, when a high-profile school speaks with such determination in a certain direction, many others often follow. Also, with seat deposit deadlines coming up, we knew these announcements would be coming sooner rather than later for many schools.

Question: You mention seat deposit deadlines coming up. Are schools duping applicants with these statements to get deposits?

No, due to incredibly strong atmospheric reasons much of which involve revenue streams, schools will be open on campus.

Question: What if I, or my child, does not want to be on campus?

Pretty much every school will have an online option.  They are grappling with the grading and attendance differences between those who will take classes on campus versus online, but that will get sorted out, and we have no inside knowledge on where that is tipping. There will be online options for those that need or want them.

Question: Will there be any schools that are entirely online?

Likely yes, in that there are well over 5,000 colleges. There may be a tiny number who see this as a time to be an early mover in this direction. There may be also a few that push back start dates. But the overwhelming majority will all have on campus options.

Question: Will enrollment be down?

Yes, both at universities (the Wall Street Journal predicts 15% down) and at law schools (we have a prediction in an upcoming ABA Journal article), enrollment will be down.

Question: Will this trigger more waitlist movement?

Yes, while we do not have an undergraduate admissions consulting arm, we do have consultants who have worked in undergraduate admissions, and in this sense, undergraduate admissions and law school admissions tend to react similarly. The threat of decreased enrollment should indeed trigger much more waitlist movement over the next few months than any could have anticipated a few months prior to now.

Question: Will you be doing any more of these podcasts?

Hopefully. We are trying to podcast a full interview with a molecular epidemiologist who has specialized in coronaviruses for her entire career and ask her how the virus may impact college campuses for students, staff, and faculty. Understandably, she is very busy, and we are on her schedule.

– Mike Spivey