White paper cover the pandemic's impact on Higher Education Marketing in 2020 and beyond

The Pandemic’s Impact on
Higher Education Marketing
in 2020 and Beyond

Qualitative and quantitative research findings from a survey that uncovered insights about today’s prospective students’ barriers and shifts in mindset.

What Can You Expect?

We conducted a survey of 528 respondents across the U.S., gathering data on the pandemic’s impact on students’ decision-making process. We've uncovered insights that will help higher education marketers and admissions teams communicate with prospective students in a more meaningful way. Highlights from the white paper include:

  • Shifts in Students’ Priorities and Journey
  • 5 Actionable Insights About Prospective Students as a Result of The Pandemic
  • Non-traditional vs. Traditional Student Insights Side-by-Side Comparison
  • Quotes From Real People Considering Higher Education in The Next 18 Months
White paper executive summary and survey results


of all prospective students are considering delaying starting a new program

Shifts in Prospective Students’ Priorities and Journey to Education

The path to higher education is layered with important and often complex decision-making moments for students. During the pandemic, traditional decision-making factors have been reinforced while new factors have emerged. The future of higher education has never looked less certain, but lack of certainty doesn’t inherently lead to cutbacks or closures. Our research will arm you with insight into the student mindset and journey, so you can tailor your marketing and the student experience to what today’s students seek.

5 Actionable Insights About Prospective Students As a Result of the Pandemic

While our research yielded dozens of key findings, there were five key areas that we felt were most relevant and actionable for schools to leverage at this time. They include:

  • Pursuing an Education Post‑Pandemic - A Clear Divide Exists With Students
  • Students Delay & Reevaluate Programs
  • The Pandemic Hasn't Changed Everything 
  • Perceptions About Distance Learning
  • Rise of Microlearning Platforms
Download the white paper to unlock additional insights

Non-traditional vs. Traditional Students Comparison of Survey Data

We decided to survey both traditional and non-traditional students to take a look at how these two audiences compare on priorities, barriers, and messages they seek. We found that the traditional student can be characterized as cautiously optimistic about higher ed but have many questions about the process. While the non-traditional student is more optimistic than traditional students about their prospects post-pandemic.


Quotes From People Considering Pursuing Higher Education in The Next 18 Months

In addition to the quantitative findings from our survey, we also spoke to a number of prospective students to uncover additional details about each student’s unique journey. We’ve featured quotes throughout the white paper to add additional color and perspective to our key findings.

When I was searching before [the pandemic], you kind of felt like you get thrown to the wolves. I was overwhelmed. Now they asked what my life is like, what I'm going through as a mom, and it just made me feel like ‘you can totally do this'

- Melody G., 43, Washington


Experts in Education Marketing

In addition to regularly conducting research to better understand students, our team at LaneTerralever has also worked with a number of universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges, and early leaders in online education. If you have a marketing or digital initiative on the horizon, we'd be happy to discuss. You can learn more here about our experience as a leading higher education marketing agency.