The COVID-19 pandemic made waves in just about every aspect of America’s lives, including college students in undergrad and graduate programs.
Not only did thousands of college students have to attend classes fully online, either from their parent’s home or their dorm, many business schools completely shut their doors.
Will it be forever or just for the time being, we have yet to know, but it’s surprising enough to see the BIG names that, for now, shut their doors on their business schools.
Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri
The first school to make such a bold move was Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri last May. Quick to follow was the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Purdue’s Krannert School of Management
Other schools that shut down their business school include Opus College of Business in Minnesota, and perhaps the most alarming lately is Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.
These are big-name schools that you’d never dream would make cuts, let alone such drastic changes, but the time is here, and they are adapting in the ways they know how.
Why the big change?
It was something that was bound to happen, but COVID-19 pushed it along further and faster. The high fees, floundering economy caused many business schools to question their business model. Applications were already down, forcing some schools to consider either closing or moving to a fully remote model, which again, the pandemic helped push along faster.
The pandemic just made things worse. Top schools felt it the most. Parents and students are asking for refunds of at least some of their tuition for what they call ‘substandard’ teaching and class time. While most schools have fought back, they can’t do it forever, causing them to cut corners in other areas if they want to stay in business.
The problem is to run a college in person or online. There are still many costs the school incurs. They can’t cut tuition costs or refund families without risking providing even more substandard education due to a lack of funds.
Other reasons include the inability to draw in international students, which was primarily their income for many schools. International students face many more obstacles when coming to school, including travel bans. With the decrease in the ability to handle international students, schools lose many business students.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Many school professionals state there is just a shift in what students want. They aren’t forgoing a business education. They are shifting gears, looking at other areas they can excel in and possibly combine with their business education.
From specialized master’s programs to pursuing online degrees, times are changing and not for the worse.
Schools today are adapting, and for a while, it may look like they’re making drastic cuts when in the end, they’re pivoting to meet the needs of the student body. For some schools, it may mean they permanently close their business schools, while for others, it’s a temporary halt until they figure out a new model, which for most may be an online curriculum.