A Brief Discussion about UPS and Other Colleges in Post-Pandemic Society

As most Puget Sound students are well aware universities, ours included, have been struggling post pandemic. Enrollment rates are down across the country, and so in turn many universities are struggling to make ends meet. Though undergraduate learning was declining pre pandemic, online learning has accelerated this decline. Nationwide undergraduate enrollment fell by 9.4% between 2020 and 2022. Financially, a little over 60% of colleges saw tuition revenue decline, though these losses are often associated with smaller schools, the big-name Ivy’s saw the same drops in tuition revenue. Colleges rely on tuition as their main source of funding, so these drops in enrollment have had financial effects. Though colleges often have large endowments, these endowments are not meant, and often cannot be used to regularly fund everyday operations. Colleges are being threatened by this decline in enrollment and consequent revenue, however, society as a whole will likely also feel negative effects due to the enrollment decline. College educated people have higher incomes on average than non-college educated people, so tax revenue is projected to decline as a result. Covid and the growing disinterest in pursuing higher education has taken a toll on both universities and society’s well being. Colleges are struggling financially to keep afloat. Though the effects on society are more difficult to measure, we will see how tax revenue drops hurt us in the future. Puget Sound is expected to have higher enrollments this coming fall, it will be interesting to track how this plays out and how other colleges fare in post-pandemic society.  

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