As the coronavirus began shutting down universities and colleges in March, the financial hit for higher education began piling up. First came refunds of room, board and fees for students. Then universities needed to spend to enable students and faculty to move to online education.
And all the while endowments, which often provide significant revenues for private colleges, were suffering heavy investment losses as the stock market tumbled amid the economic paralysis, and leaders worried they would see dramatic enrollment declines as students opted for less expensive options or no college at all.
Johns Hopkins University announced a series of austerity measures Wednesday after estimating the university and its medical system will have to cut costs by $475 million through June 2021. Separately, the University System of Maryland chancellor has warned of a $230 to $240 million shortfall for the current semester.