To help us think through what will happen to higher education if the coronavirus pandemic results in a recession, Jill Barshay revisits how higher education fared during the Great Recession. College enrollment tends to run counter-cyclical to the economy: When the economy contracts, more students enroll in college as the unemployed seek to gain additional skills to get a leg up. Meanwhile, state funding for higher education tends to decline as tax revenues shrink. The result: More students with less resources.
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