“A third at-risk industry — higher education — is a bit different from the others, because it’s so heavily subsidized by the government. Yet dozens of colleges, both private and public, are facing real trouble. College enrolment in the United States has been growing almost continually since the Civil War. It kept growing even after the baby boomers finished college, because a rising percentage of young people were enrolling. But the 150-plus-year boom appears to have ended about a decade ago. Undergraduate enrollment fell 8 percent between 2010 and 2018. Why? Birthrates have fallen, and the percentage of young people going to college isn’t rising significantly anymore. The population trends are especially stark in the Northeast and Midwest, where many colleges are. Late last year, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a bracing report called, “The Looming Enrollment Crisis.” The virus is exacerbating almost every problem that colleges faced…”
“If you talk to students, parents and teachers about remote learning during the pandemic — from preschool through college — they’re likely to tell you that it’s been disappointing… But if you talk to white-collar workers about their experiences with videoconferencing, you will hear a different story: It doesn’t replace the richness of in-person conversations, but many meetings work perfectly well over Zoom, FaceTime or Google Meet. Millions of workers are returning to the office or will be soon. Many have no choice, including teachers, janitors and retail workers. But for many white-collar workers, the remote-work experiment shows no sign of ending — a trend that could depress the commercial real-estate market and business travel long after a vaccine is available.