Really the question is, how will it affect higher ed?
You may think that the media has blown the covid-19 thing all out of proportion, and the stock markets are overreacting. It’s possible that those things are true.
We’ve got our own ideas for how this will unfold in the U.S. and we won’t bore you with yet another channel preoccupied with this. But, already, universities are trying to figure out how to manage the impact. International trips at many, many schools have been canceled for spring break. Some schools are wondering if they need to adjust plans for the coming semester, in terms of moving out a start date, reduce on-campus activities, or put more extreme travel restrictions into place.
A couple MBA programs have canceled their in-person info sessions and are instead increasing availability of webinars and livestreams to do outreach to prospective new students. You can still travel to campus for a school visit if you want, however you should expect to see more of the on-the-road events curtailed or pulled back.
Will that extend through the summer, which typically is the season when all the schools schedule events all over the globe, to go meet prospects where they’re at? Or hold joint events and MBA fairs in major cities, where you can come and shake hands with the admissions directors at multiple programs at once?
Yeah, probably. At least, based on how this disease seems to be spreading.
EssaySnark is wrong at least as often as we’re right in predicting future events, like stock market corrections or which schools will change their essay questions from season to season*, or how competitive a particular admissions season is likely to be.
Coronavirus seems to be getting administrators at many schools to take a closer look at offering online curricula. For like six months now, we’ve been planning a blahg post about MBA programs that have good online options and just haven’t gotten it all put together yet. There are some viable ones out there now — not that you should ditch an on-campus program and do online because you’re scared of the virus. There are many reasons and causes for someone to choose to do online education instead. The MBA has traditionally offered a lot more value in a face-to-face on-ground program instead of in a virtual environment, because of the collaboration, and high-touch networking that comprises so much of the opportunity.
But perhaps that’ll change. Perhaps this very big event in the world will cause an acceleration in the move to online. We shall see how it goes.
Will it affect how schools run their admissions? In the short term, yes, it already has, as we’ve mentioned, with canceling travel and changing the way they do outreach. The schools certainly don’t want to pull back on those efforts, since marketing is incredibly important to the results they get in terms of apps submitted and the quality of candidate that they attract.
Will it affect your experience in applying? No, not likely — though who knows how this thing affects all of society, if it gets as big as some epidemiologists and public health experts are saying it might.
Will it actually affect the economy, and not just the stock market?
EssaySnark is guessing it will. And if so, then yes, it can impact your chances of getting into a top school, if it means that you’re among a much bigger pool of candidates vying for the same slots.
Of course, if this turns into an epidemic and all of society needs to adjust in the ways that people gather together and how we socialize and what contexts we form groups and how institutions serve people, then maybe the schools won’t see an increase in interest.
To be clear: We are not saying that coronavirus is going to turn into a plague that kills people and makes all of us suspicious of everyone else, and go around like we’re in a dystopian film.
But if some of these predictions turn out to be correct and huge swaths of the population gets sick all at once — because literally none of us currently has immunity — then yeah, that can make 2020 turn into an interesting year. And things will change.
So the takeaway message is, don’t get into a doomsday mania around this event, but at the same time, stay educated. Practice social distancing and implement hand hygiene protocols. Keep yourself informed from reputable sources.
We try to only share real news on this site, and we’re also always eager to learn more. We’ll totally issue a correction if we get something wrong. If you see us misspeaking here, or broadcasting information that you know to be inaccurate, do drop a comment to let us know.
We’ll be watching to see how this unfolds from here. And we’ll offer insights into how this may affect the world of the MBA as we gather them and have more to share. (Update! Next post on the topic is here!)
* which we do regularly, just haven’t yet done it this year