This resource center is updated on a weekly basis with the most current information.
Last updated May 28, 2020
Hanover Research is closely monitoring developments surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it has and may continue to impact the higher education community. This resource center provides you with key facts, resources, and potential responses to this rapidly evolving situation.
We have set up a dedicated COVID-19 support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) where you may ask any questions related to COVID-19.
In addition to the information included in this resource center, Hanover is committed to providing you with up-to-date custom research to help you address COVID-19 related challenges as the situation continues to develop.
Our research team can craft a customized research project based on your institution’s individual needs:
Hanover has launched three new tools to capture and analyze current and potential student interest for the upcoming year. The surveys will help your institution deliver a better learning experience, improve enrollment yield, and tailor student services to improve retention by drawing out insights specifically from your key stakeholders. Each survey has a specific focus area and audience with detailed questions to deliver comprehensive, systemic feedback. Click here to see a full overview of this series.
Evaluates opportunities for clarification or expansion relative to COVID-19 related policies at peer and competitor institutions. Sample policy areas include remote work, online education, study abroad and international students, support for at-risk students and discrimination responses, and long-term planning.
Gather real-time feedback on the experiences of students and faculty as they navigate institutional responses to COVID-19.
Audit social media communication and responses to the COVID-19 situation to reduce the spread of misinformation and optimize transparency.
Our syndicated Research Library contains numerous reports that can help inform your institution’s transition to online learning in response to COVID-19 – below are some of most relevant reports:
Webinar Recording – Inside Student Perspectives: COVID-19 Concerns and Retention Strategies
Listen as we review the results from our national benchmark survey focused on COVID-19’s impact on the student experience and intentions around persistence. This discussion highlights best practices for retention and strategies to address trends emerging during this unprecedented time.
According to Johns Hopkins:
Passed by the House on March 27, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) includes more than $14 billion in aid to assist higher education institutions in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic . The act includes:
MDRC, a nonprofit research group, recently released guidelines for institutions to quickly and equitably distribute emergency aid and funds received from the CARES act. In particular, the firm suggests, “Don’t offer aid in a vacuum. Use the emergency aid application process as a chance to connect students with other student support services and resources whenever possible.”
Signed into law on March 27, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) includes more than $14 billion in aid to assist U.S. higher education institutions in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though it encourages recipients to allocate most of the CARES funding to support students, the DOE does allow institutions to use the funds for other purposes.
Though some countries and U.S. states are easing social distancing restrictions, re-opening isn’t necessarily a return to normalcy. Indeed, Johns Hopkins University (2) urges governors to open schools and businesses in a phased approach once they are “able to safely diagnose, treat, and isolate COVID-19 cases and their contacts.” However, some contact limitations may need to continue to prevent transmission from accelerating again. If another outbreak occurs, large-scale physical distancing may need to be reinitiated.
Institutions need to start thinking about long-term changes and communicating potential continued disruptions to their students, faculty, and staff. Preliminary responses for the upcoming Fall include:
Maintaining a virtual campus, either in part or in full; OR
Resuming in-person programs and services with social distancing parameters in place.
While moving classes online may be the best for individuals’ personal health, this decision presents multiple pedagogical challenges.
In many cases, faculty members will need to restructure their classes to accommodate a distance format. Institutions must consider how to support faculty who may not have experience with hosting online classes.
Universities will also need to consider how to support students who do not have the resources to effectively participate in distance education. Specifically, when shifting to online education, universities must address how to support low-income, part-time, or other students who are already at the greatest risk of dropping out from classes.
Engage in non-academic student services virtually to more wholly support students during the pandemic and beyond. An optimal approach will include a span of technological platforms, such as videoconferencing, blogs, video libraries, mobile applications, virtual events, and social media.
Adapted from University Business’ “5 Steps to Building Virtual Services for Online Students” by Theresa Sullivan Barger, August 13, 2019.
Global higher education titans Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit state in University World News that “It is impossible to predict the full extent of the short-, medium- or long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education, but the implications are becoming increasingly serious and mostly negative, and are likely to amplify gaps and inequalities between learners, institutions and countries.” Admissions arrangements, in particular, have been disrupted due to cancelled entry examinations and other factors.
Though less so than previously thought, international students are reconsidering global study plans, necessitating targeted marketing and outreach efforts.
Cancellation of key international examinations will shift admissions requirements and intakes.
High school students rethinking fall enrollment due to virus-related financial constraints need additional support and encouragement.
Sample Institutional Webpages
New York University
University of Virginia
University of Maryland
University of California San Francisco
University of Louisville
See “Higher education institution responses to COVID-19 to-date” below for additional institutional responses and dissemination methods.
Use the following live databases of higher education institutional responses to COVID-19 to monitor trends and assess best practices. Note that as the situation is rapidly evolving, some links may break.
Adapted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Checklist for Administrators”.
Use reputable resources to stay abreast of recent developments in the COVID-19 situation. To prevent the spread of misinformation, point faculty, staff, students, and community members to reliable sources such as the following:
Working with local health professionals and other relevant partners, review and update emergency contingency and operations plans, particularly those that address infectious disease outbreaks.
According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American College Health Association (ACHA), and other authoritative sources, institutions should identify a core planning team to develop emergency operations plans. In response to COVID-19, many institutions have developed working groups of community stakeholders and local public health authorities to develop tailored policies and procedures:
COVID-19 Field Guide
Get the resources you need to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 and craft your higher education response strategy with our complete field guide.
Specifically, the CDC suggests the following (verbatim):
Make accommodations for students who fall ill, such as submitting assignments electronically or extended due dates, and alert local health officials about significant increases in student, staff, and faculty respiratory illness. Individuals who are ill should be sent to/remain in their place of residence and avoid contact with others.
Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: A Survey of College and University Presidents
We conducted a survey of 172 campus leaders with Inside Higher Ed to understand how institutions nationwide are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Work directly with local health authorities to determine next steps, such as suspending or postponing in-person classes and events as well as domestic and international study and travel abroad.
In reducing student and faculty travel commitments, higher ed providers should account for the possibility that disruptions may resonate for months to come.
Institutions asking students to leave campus will need to consider how to support students whose personal circumstances may require them to remain away from home for the rest of the semester or even through the summer.
Keep an eye on:
Administrators should communicate about COVID-19 cases while maintaining individual confidentiality. Faculty and staff should also encourage the use of mental health services and share trusted information to counter potential discrimination and stigma. Create a broad-based taskforce of campus stakeholders and local health professionals when deciding how to proceed with campus operations.
While coping with the virus, universities must make sure that they work to reduce potential stereotyping and discrimination.
Universities must also make sure to provide adequate support for students who have experienced discrimination or otherwise feel displaced or worried about COVID-19.
Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions for Higher Education
Get answers to the top questions higher education leaders are asking about COVID-19.