Why Should Colleges Invest in New Initiatives Even in Financially Challenging Times?
April 8, 2021

In these challenging financial times, colleges and universities are tightening the purse strings –this is the wrong strategy. In fact, investing in new initiatives may be their best hope for financial success in the future. The business maxim that "you have to spend money to make money" comes to mind when evaluating investment opportunities that could bring in needed revenue to cash-strapped institutions. What new initiative is worth investing in? The answer is a robust and scalable online learning platform.  

Colleges and universities took a major financial hit this past year with campuses and athletic programs' shutdowns. Even though campuses are opening again, enrollment is still declining. This decline is exacerbating the financial hardships facing higher education institutions following the pandemic. This spring, enrollment of traditional-aged students 18-24 fell by 5.3%, and overall enrollment is down 4.5% [1]. Community colleges are taking an especially hard hit on enrollment levels, with enrollment down 9.5% from a year ago [2]. To attract students, institutions must offer options that meet current needs to create new added value in enrollment. To understand what is needed, colleges and universities should examine higher education success stories from the pandemic.  

Institutions that saw an increase in enrollment numbers, despite the pandemic, have a key differentiating factor – 90% of their student body takes classes online. These institutions demonstrated a whopping 7.1% increase in enrollment [3]. Schools with an established digital backbone were able to adapt and scale to meet the demand and continue to provide for their students. So much so, they became an extremely attractive alternative option to traditional education and saw growth when the majority of higher education institutions were drowning. If nothing else than a safety net, expanding online offerings across all types of institutions is a must.  

Not only did alternative institutions see a surprising rise in enrollment, but so did alternative programs. Enrollment in certificate programs rose 3.3% at the undergraduate level and 15.3% at the graduate level. Certificate programs are the only undergraduate credential that had increased enrollment rates this year [4]. At the graduate level, this is the most significant growth seen in certificate program enrollment in at least a decade [5]. These numbers are significant because they speak to the future of education and prove what education institutions and programs can withstand unprecedented challenges and change.   

A forward-thinking institution will recognize the potential for online education expansion at their university. Expansion opportunities for certificate programs and micro-courses also have immense potential, especially in the underdeveloped alumni learning markets.  

Innovative investment opportunities must be capitalized on to improve the financial health of higher education institutions. Mick Starcevich, a former President of Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, pointed out that expensive facilities and sports teams are no longer differentiators in this digitalized environment. According to Starcevich, "colleges and universities must redouble their investments in imaginative resources that strengthen programs and empower faculty" [6].  

The investment that provides the customization and flexibility that universities need to host a wide range of revenue-generating programs is a robust and scalable custom online learning platform. Universities can offer a range of programs that generate revenue, like summer camps for high schoolers, upskilling micro certifications for alumni and professionals, and traditional course curriculum, but deliver it online to make it available to a larger pool of potential learners.  

How Can Your School Make a Smart Investment and Improve Your Online Educational Offerings Easily? 

With a limited budget for spending on new initiatives, the investment must be worth it. The eLearning industry is predicted to grow massively in the next few years. It is an investment that will help your university recover financially and provide the infrastructure that will prepare your university for potential future shutdowns. From 2020 to 2026, "the industry and professional eLearning segment is likely to grow with a CAGR of 32.1%" and "by 2026, the global online learning market should be worth $375 billion" [6]. With a projected growth of this magnitude, it is essential to partner with an online learning platform that will enable your university to be in the best position possible to take its share of the market.  

An online learning platform should have these key features to serve your university best: 

  • Easily scalable
  • Turnkey customized platform and programs that require no training to start
  • Efficiency in all systems using AI and advanced technology
  • An intuitive design that increases engagement, attracts learners, and builds community
  • Flexible and capable of supporting many online revenue streams
  • A value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors 

An online learning platform could be the answer to your university's problems. With additional revenue streams, including micro-credentials, summer camps, and alumni upskilling courses, as well as the traditional online course curriculum, all specifically designed to the needs of your school and its learners, multiple repeatable revenue streams can be created. Universities everywhere are moving online in innovative ways to set themselves apart. Your university can too.  

Amesite Offers a Single, Easy to Use, Scalable Solution  

Launch a system that helps you generate revenue, add value to your learner's experience and differentiate your university with outstanding online programs. 

Amesite is a high-tech AI-enabled online learning platform that creates scalable, custom-branded learning environments and content curated by experts in the industry that follow best practices, meeting your university's unique needs. A host of self-paced, highly engaging, and intuitive programs and courses can be ready in as little as 30 days. 

Amesite can provide your university with numerous revenue streams using turnkey, intuitive micro-credentials, summer camps, and alumni upskilling programs, as well as traditional online course curriculum. All of which require no training and allow your university to take advantage of the immediate needs that these programs satisfy. Investing in new initiatives has never been easier. Amesite is a budget-conscious choice because the is no investment in IT staff or training required to use the platform. After 30 days, your university is delivered a fully managed platform that meets your exact needs and avoids all the headache of having to create and coordinate in-house. A partnership with Amesite is a smart decision for your university's financial future. 

Amesite's system uses established social media formats to help learners access the content in a familiar setting. These mechanisms streamline the learning process. Amesite's platform also gives users the experience of learning in a community, a valuable addition to the online education experience. Connecting virtually to their instructor and other students enhances the experience — and solidifies learning. Amesite has an outstanding and industry-leading 98% retention rate.     

Check out some of our customer success stories: The Henry Ford,Wayne State University.   

A partnership with Amesite is an investment into your university's future. Request a Demo!  

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[1] Inside Higher Ed. March 11, 2021. Can't Afford Not To. Accessed April 5, 2021. 

[2] Forbes. March 11, 2021. College Enrollment Declines Have Continued This Spring. Accessed April 5, 2021. 

[3] Forbes. March 11, 2021. College Enrollment Declines Have Continued This Spring. Accessed April 5, 2021. 

[4] Forbes. March 11, 2021. College Enrollment Declines Have Continued This Spring. Accessed April 5, 2021. 

[5] Encoura. Jan. 7, 2020. Higher Education Predictions for 2020: Recession, Certificates, and Computer Science. Accessed April 6, 2020. 

[6] Inside Higher Ed. March 11, 2021. Can't Afford Not To. Accessed April 5, 2021. 

[7] Think Impact. 2021. Online Learning Market Size. Accessed April 5, 2021.