Will Coronavirus Impact College Admissions?

March 10, 2020

Talk of coronavirus is everywhere, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. While we don’t want to sensationalize or underestimate the scope of the virus (but, everyone, please wash your hands!), this blog will discuss the potential implications of coronavirus on college admissions.

So, you might be wondering, how are coronavirus and college admissions related?

Less Access to Standardized Testing

Major entrance examinations, such as the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, have been canceled for February and March because of the coronavirus. These tests are required by many colleges. Specifically, the TOEFL and IELTS are used to confirm English proficiency. While universities have been encouraged to be lenient with applicants, ultimately each university will to decide how to handle the situations.

Less Transcontinental Enrollment or Study Abroad

Nearly one third of international students in the US came from China. However, a great deal of students are changing their plans of going to school abroad because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. Furthermore, study abroad programs in China have been canceled and will likely remain cancelled for some time. If enrollment declines, this could cause severe ramifications for the global economy as more students who initially planned on studying abroad in the US may turn to online programs and universities in their own country.

Financial trouble for colleges

If student geographic mobility decreases, enrollment at schools with many international students will likely be negatively impacted. International students tend to pay higher tuition rates, meaning some American colleges with large numbers of international students  could financially suffer due to a decrease in tuition funds.

Coronavirus has already started to make its impact beyond its public health implications. We imagine the college admissions landscape will also be impacted.  After all, higher education is truly transnational in today’s global environment.

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