Landing the Class
An Analysis of Innovative Enrollment Strategy and Leadership during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:strategic enrollment management, access, affordability, college readiness, urban, higher education
The devastation of COVID-19 substantively impacted enrollment opportunities for colleges and universities in the United States. Many higher education institutions responded to the crises by moving students off campus, enacting furloughs, increasing tuition, and appealing to their state and federal legislators for financial resources. At the University of Cincinnati (UC), critical considerations for campus leadership were how to best stabilize enrollment and resources and what needed to take place to ensure that underrepresented students were not lost in the process. Disparities exist in how the pandemic affects people of color and people from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. That, undoubtedly, was true for many of UC’s students and their families from historically underserved backgrounds. UC launched a strategic initiative called Landing the Class to address enrollment concerns. The effort, which this article features, discusses how UC used innovative strategy and planning to address its enrollment challenges during the pandemic. Using a variety of institutional and national data, we provide an analysis of the extent to which the Landing the Class initiative was influential in helping the university reach its enrollment goals and implications for higher education leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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