The Higher Ed Dive Outlook on 2021

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Note from the editor

The new year — at least the start of it — may look much like the second half of 2020 for colleges and universities. COVID-19 safety protocols and online or hybrid classes are expected to persist even as coronavirus vaccines become more widely available. Meanwhile, the sector is absorbing the impact of significant enrollment losses during the fall, of which community colleges bore the brunt.

There are some bright spots, however. Many colleges adapting their recruiting processes to COVID-19-era restrictions are finding success online, which could affect their strategies going forward. And some historically Black colleges are benefitting from new donor interest.

Ongoing trends are also gaining steam. Hundreds of colleges dropped standardized test requirements during the pandemic because of closures and capacity limits at testing sites — a trend some think could lead to more schools dropping the requirement for good.

We'll be watching these and other trends as the year progresses.

Higher Ed Dive staff

5 higher education trends to watch in 2021

Enrollment changes, a return to campus, the future of admissions testing and more stories we'll be following this year.

• Published Jan. 3, 2021

Digital tools and tactics will shape admissions this year

Colleges got a crash course in using online platforms and strategies to recruit prospective students. Some of those efforts may continue post-pandemic.

• Published Jan. 29, 2021

5 predictions for HBCU funding in 2021

Many of these schools recently benefited from large gifts and the latest round of coronavirus relief, but challenges remain.

• Published Jan. 14, 2021

The Higher Ed Dive Outlook on 2021

The game changed for colleges and universities in 2020 as the pandemic upended most aspects of their operations. We look ahead at what's in store for the new year.

included in this trendline
  • Top trends to watch in higher education
  • Digital tools and tactics that will shape admissions
  • 5 predictions for HBCU funding in 2021
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.