Financial pressures from coronavirus particularly acute at private colleges

Because of coronavirus, storm clouds are visible everywhere in higher education. But for most private institutions, the turbulence is especially evident, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Six months ago, no one could have forecast the extraordinary financial stress academe would be under at this moment — with housing refunds to deliver, a recession likely to be underway, and the frightful prospect that students may not be able to return to campus in the fall.

Inside Higher Ed surveyed more than 170 college leaders; they say that with the exception of the human toll coronavirus will have on their faculty, staff and students, nothing worries them more than the financial health of their institutions moving forward.

Universities are scrambling for solutions, including extending the deadline for students to confirm their enrollment decision, freezing hiring searches, and halting research.

These short-term solutions will have varying degrees of success. However, except for the few universities with the highest of endowments, a fall semester that doesn’t resemble normal will be crippling.

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