Payments Innovation

Universities Seek Guidance To Grow Enrollment In A COVID-19 Era

University

To retain and fuel student enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year, vertical payments company Flywire has unveiled a new framework. The “Planning with Confidence in the COVID-19 Era” report is based on input from institutions, global student communities and industry affiliations with insights to help contend with the economic obstacles that COVID-19 presents.

“The coronavirus presents unique challenges to colleges and universities around the world,” Flywire EVP of Global Education Sharon Butler said in the announcement. “Education administrators are forced to restructure everything from international recruitment, to visa applications, to refund policies.”

According to one of the report’s findings, payment plans are key to affordability. The coronavirus disruption may make it more difficult for students and families to afford education that was accessible in the past. The company noted that “universities that can offer flexible payment plans will help their communities manage budgets, while maintaining enrollment.”

The report also found that policies that are clearly defined will fuel enrollment. It noted that universities can create clear policies that give the comfort that students and families need to enroll in universities now with the plan to start studies in the fall. The company said, “Certain policies can ensure enrollment and increased attendance in the months ahead.”

The report also recommends that universities take visa requirements into account on a country-by-country basis. It noted that “universities that stay up to date on the latest information from governments and consult students on how to obtain visas will help drive enrollment.”

Flywire is also launching new capabilities to let students and universities better manage the financial risks that the coronavirus causes. The bolstered functions let universities securely issue refunds to international students and automatically pause payment plans.

In February, news surfaced that Flywire acquired healthcare technology startup Simplee while also closing a $120 million Goldman Sachs-led investment round. The company will use the investment to scale and optimize digital payment services throughout its core sectors, with the inclusion of education, healthcare and travel.

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