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The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 in Higher Education

Nicole Hunt
Sep 14, 2021

COVID-19 is continuing to impact all of us. We are no longer scrambling like we were in the Spring of 2020, but the Fall of 2021 is presenting an entirely new set of challenges, and uncertainties are still around every corner. 

This reality is no different in higher education. We at Liaison International are working hard to understand the extent of COVID’s influence on our industry. Liaison recently conducted a survey of all our higher education customers, asking questions about how the pandemic is continuing to affect overall institutional operations and enrollment. (Your Institution may have even contributed to this research). We published our findings here: COVID-19 Fall 2021 Impact on Higher Education. 

Our research centers on operations, mandates, and attitudes on and off higher education campuses across the country for Fall 2021. We surveyed all of Liaison’s customers to get a snapshot of how they are all feeling as they enter another pandemic-impacted school year. Because our customers represent 2-year, 4-year, and professional education institutions, we think this survey is indicative of what is happening across all higher education institutions at this time.

As a former faculty member and student services staff member at a university in Texas, I am concerned about COVID-19 and how it will continue to impact my life. I was, like I’m sure many of you were, under the impression that life would return to “normal” in early summer 2021. I was eagerly anticipating going back to the office, sending my son to preschool, going to the movies, going on vacation, seeing friends and acquaintances, hugs (remember hugs?). Sadly, the delta variant has instead meant a return to masks, grocery curbside pick-up, streaming movies from the couch, and working from home while simultaneously chasing my toddler. 

88% of survey respondents are concerned about their institutions. I share their concerns even though I am no longer a faculty or staff member at a university. 

53% of survey respondents are concerned about keeping a regular schedule, which happened to be one of the most pressing personal concerns noted in the study. The last 18 months have required a level of flexibility that doesn’t come naturally to most. 

I hope that as you read and reflect on this study, you can feel that we at Liaison care about your struggles, both professionally and personally. We care because we’ve been in your shoes — we understand the struggles your teams are facing. 

I wish you all health and safety and an uneventful academic year. 

Nicole Hunt

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About Liaison

Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.