Can the Pandemic Provide a Solution to Higher Ed’s Affordability Crisis?

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The sudden shift to online learning in 2020 highlighted many of the disparities in higher education, intensifying the focus on affordability. But the cost of higher education goes beyond tuition and housing. Textbooks and other course materials are a major factor in increasing students’ financial stress, which can negatively impact their chances for success. As institutions come under increasing pressure to provide more affordable learning, what solutions can they turn to that won’t sacrifice quality?

While the pandemic has certainly brought a substantial amount of chaos to higher education, it has also created opportunities to explore new strategies to address the affordability crisis. The mass migration to remote learning prompted instructors to adopt new strategies for teaching in a digital environment. Across the country, institutions are rethinking their traditional approaches to course materials and turning to new digital models that improve access and affordability for students and faculty.

At Ivy Tech Community College, affordability was a top concern for administrators because they recognized the significant obstacles it could create for students:

We know nationally, about a quarter of students choose not to buy their textbooks. Many of our students are making the difficult choice between buying their textbooks or even food,” says Dominick Chase, Vice President of Finance and Strategic Sourcing at Ivy Tech. 

 

 

Read the full article on Higher Ed Dive to learn more about emerging course models and how institutions like Ivy Tech are implementing innovative solutions to improve affordability for their students.

Interested in bringing affordable access to your institution?