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Covid, Colleges, and Classes

Cite this dataset

Klinenberg, Danny; Startz, Richard (2022). Covid, Colleges, and Classes [Dataset]. Dryad.


At the start of the 2020 school year, some colleges chose to reopen in person while others offered primarily online classes. We find that colleges responded to financial and other incentives largely as one might expect. Larger shares of revenue attributed to in-person activities, such as dorms and dining halls, led schools to reopen in person. In general, the share of revenue due to tuition and fees had little association with reopening in-person, which is consistent with the idea that the effect of the mode of reopening on enrollment was ambiguous. However, private schools experiencing financial distress due to tuition and fees were more likely to reopen in-person while public schools were less likely. Public colleges were influenced by political pressures and the fraction of students from out of state, while private schools responded to the severity of COVID in their local community.