Higher education institutions began 2020 under financial pressure nationwide, due to declining enrollments and shrinking support from state governments. But in spring, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their distress.
Campuses closed down and classes transitioned to virtual models, requiring additional expenses. The need emerged for upgrading technology, training faculty and staff, and purchasing safety equipment. Schools gave students refunds for their room-and-board payments upon their campus closures.
Furthermore, college sports, a lucrative revenue stream, have dwindled due to canceled games. Other revenue sources, such as dining venues and campus bookstores, have also suffered.
Adding to institutions’ dire circumstances, some students reportedly demand rebates fo…