Universities and Colleges Spend Billions on Under-Used Services
Universities and colleges spend billions every year on educating students — $671 billion in 2019-20 to be precise. Faculty and staff salaries and benefits, the cost of instruction, was the large single expense category followed by “academic support, student services and institutional support” at public universities and not-for-profit institutions. At for-profit institutions, these student services accounted for 67% of the budget.
Despite huge amounts of money and time being poured into these services designed to support students, many students never access them. Why don't students use resources on campus?
Email Blasts Don't Work
The most obvious reason that students don’t use campus resources is that they don’t know they exist. Faculty and staff across the country are wringing their hands at this, producing the last twenty emails they sent to students on this very topic. “How can they not know about the tutoring center? It was included in the last page-long email I sent them which listed the five-hundred services we offer…”
Clearly that is an exaggeration, but we know Gen Z does not like emails. And it isn’t just Gen Z who are eschewing emails. Students of all ages, who are juggling overflowing work inboxes and family commitments,, struggle to find the time to read and digest lengthy emails.
Texting is favored by many students over email, as it keeps communication brief and easy to monitor. A quick text alerting students about a relevant support service is much more likely to get students’ attention.
Some students fear judgment from faculty and staff for asking for help. Prior to enrolling in classes, students are often scared the university or college may rescind their admission if they voice that they need additional financial or academic support.