COVID-19 Effects Student Return Numbers

By Edonnya Alvarez

2020 has been a year full of unexpectancies that has affected people in a way no one could ever imagine. With this pandemic taking the world by storm, Alderson Broaddus University announced in the summer that they will reopen campus for in-person classes after shutting down during spring semester. 

With AB reopening, some students questioned whether this was a good idea. How was AB’s returning rate and incoming freshmen and transfers affected by COVID-19?

Director of Admissions, Molly Henderson, said AB was expecting 315 first-year transfer students as of August 2, but the goal was to have 60 non-student athletes and 285 athletes. However, this goal was not reached and AB lost 30 first-year students.

“On average, we lose about 50 due to summer melt,” Henderson said. 

For students who decided not to come, they were refunded their deposit before May 1, but due to COVID-19, there were exceptions made this time around. 

“During COVID times and before move-in, our office got about 4 calls a day asking about COVID,” Henderson said.

But when it comes to returning students, 149 students withdrew and did not return this fall.

Did COVID-19 affect enrollment? Yes, says Executive Vice President, Eric Shor.  

Shor explained that students do not return to school for different reasons but the virus was this year’s reasoning. Although students returned back to school during a pandemic, AB still experienced less than a 10 percent decline in enrollment. Shor says this is a good thing for the school, especially during these unprecedented times.

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