June 11, 2020

Back to Campus for Whom? New Infographic Shows Ongoing Uncertainty about Higher Education this Fall

BOSTON— June 11, 2020 – The Covid pandemic continues to wreak havoc on higher education: 86 percent of institutions have yet to announce their plans for the fall semester and, when factoring in enrollment, this leaves more than half (62 percent) of college students uncertain about how to plan their lives come fall.

The data appears in a new infographic from Cengage, an education and technology company, and includes information gathered from a public listing of fall campus plans tracked by The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as public data from the federal IPEDS system aggregated with an ongoing Cengage faculty survey.

Of the four-year schools that have announced plans, the majority (68 percent) are planning for in-person courses: 3.5 percent are planning for online-only; 5 percent are proposing a hybrid model; and others are “considering a range of scenarios” (11.5 percent) or have announced they are “waiting to decide” (10 percent). While data from schools that have announced their fall plans shows a majority plan to hold in-person courses, only 18% of instructors surveyed think courses will be entirely in-person, with 70% believing they will be doing all or some instruction online.

“There is still a lot uncertainty about what ‘back to school’ will look like, but one of the things we do know is America’s higher education system must be more prepared this fall to handle virtual learning than they were in March,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage. “Whether online or in-person, institutions should focus on making learning more flexible for the needs of their students and the needs of the times.”

You can download the infographic here.

An infographic shows charts and graphs for poll data related to going back to school for college students. The results cover the following topics: Fall Plans by School, Fall Plans by Enrollment, Uncertainty for Two-Year Students,  Fall Plans at Four-Year Schools, Will More Schools Move Online, and Trends Among Fall Plans.

Cengage analysis of public data shows many higher ed leaders are considering a range of scenarios, while many faculty are planning for online learning.

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service. We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.