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新冠疫情如果过去,美国大学的学生还会回来吗?

  For years,Claire McCarville dreamed of going to college in New York or Los Angeles,and was thrilled last month to get accepted to selective schools in both places.But earlier this month,she sent a$300 deposit to Arizona State University,a 15-minute drive from her home in Phoenix.“It made more sense,”she said,“in light of the virus.”

  多年来,克莱尔·麦卡维尔(Claire McCarville)梦想着去纽约或洛杉矶上大学。上个月,她很高兴被这两个地方的名校录取。但是本月初,她寄了300美元的押金给亚利桑那州立大学,这座大学距离她位于菲尼克斯的家只有15分钟车程。她说:“因为这个病毒的缘故,这样选择更合理。”

  Across the country,students like Ms.McCarville are rethinking their choices in a world altered by the pandemic.And universities,concerned about the potential for shrinking enrollment and lost revenue,are making a wave of decisions in response that could profoundly alter the landscape of higher education for years to come.

  在被疫情改变的世界里,全国各地都有麦卡维尔这样的学生在重新考虑自己的选择。大学担心入学人数下降和收入减少,正在做出一系列决策,这可能会深刻改变未来几年的高等教育格局。

  Lucrative spring sports seasons have been canceled,room and board payments have been refunded,and students at some schools are demanding hefty tuition discounts for what they see as a lost spring term.Other revenue sources like study abroad programs and campus bookstores have dried up,and federal research funding is threatened.

  利润丰厚的春季运动季已取消,食宿费已退还,一些学校的学生觉得春季学期已经过去,要求大幅减免学费。海外留学项目和校园书店等其他收入来源已经枯竭,联邦研究经费也受到威胁。

  加州大学伯克利分校的惠勒堂。为了应对病毒,加州大学系统已经暂时不要求申请者提交考试成绩。

  Already,colleges have seen their endowments weakened,and worry that fund-raising efforts will founder even as many families need more financial aid.They also expect to lose international students,especially from Asia,because of travel restrictions and concerns about studying abroad.Foreign students,usually paying full tuition,represent a significant revenue source everywhere,from the Ivy League to community colleges.

  大学已经发现自己收到的捐赠减少了,他们担心筹款努力会付诸流水,即使有许多家庭更需要财政援助。由于旅行限制和对出国留学的担忧,他们还预计会失去国际学生,尤其是来自亚洲的学生。从常春藤盟校到社区大学,外国学生通常缴纳全额学费,这在任何地方都是可观的收入来源。

  Some institutions are projecting$100 million losses for the spring,and many are now bracing for an even bigger financial hit in the fall,when some are planning for the possibility of having to continue remote classes.

  一些学校预计,春季会亏损1亿美元,现在许多学校正在为秋季遭受更大的财务打击作准备,有些学校正在为不得不继续远程授课的可能性作准备。

  Administrators anticipate that students grappling with the financial and psychological impacts of the virus could choose to stay closer to home,go to less expensive schools,take a year off or not go to college at all.A higher education trade group has predicted a 15 percent drop in enrollment nationwide,amounting to a$23 billion revenue loss.

  管理人员预计,努力应对这种病毒带来的的经济和心理影响的学生可以选择离家更近、更便宜的学校,休学一年或根本不上大学。一个高等教育贸易组织预测,全国的入学率将下降15%,造成230亿美元的收入损失。

  “The combination of fear for health and safety and the economic impact at the same time is one that I haven’t experienced,and I don’t think most university leaders have,”said Kent D.Syverud,the chancellor of Syracuse University.

  雪城大学(Syracuse University)校长肯特·塞弗鲁德(Kent D.Syverud)说:“要同时担心健康安全和经济影响,是我从未有过的经历,而且我认为大多数大学的领导人也没有。”

  “Will families choose to send their kids to college?”he wondered.“Will they choose to not send them or delay them?I just haven’t found anybody who has the best crystal ball to answer it.”

  “家庭会选择送孩子上大学吗?”他不知道。“他们会选择不送还是延迟送?我就是找不到可靠的答案。”

  The coronavirus forced campuses to shut down at a time when higher education,which employs nearly four million people across the country,was already facing major challenges.Population declines are expected to reduce enrollment,even as skyrocketing tuition and student debt have led to questions about whether a college education is worth the cost.

  新冠病毒迫使校园关闭,全国雇佣约400万名员工的高等教育行业,已经面临重大挑战。预计人口下降将导致入学人数减少,甚至学费暴涨和学生债务飙升也引发人们对大学教育是否物有所值的质疑。

  In mid-March,Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the outlook for higher education from stable to negative,predicting that institutions with strong endowments and cash flow,like Harvard or Stanford,would weather the virus,while smaller ones would not.

  3月中旬,穆迪投资者服务公司(Moody’s Investors Service)将高等教育前景的评级从稳定下调为负面,并预测像哈佛大学或斯坦福大学这样拥有雄厚捐赠和现金流的学校将扛住病毒带来的损失,而规模较小的学校则不妙。

  But even wealthy universities have begun announcing austerity measures.Robert Zimmer,president of the University of Chicago,said in an April 7 email to staff that to buffer its losses,the university would freeze salaries,slow academic hiring,suspend discretionary spending and look for other budget cuts.The University of Pennsylvania announced similar measures,including a hiring freeze and a pause in new capital projects,on Monday.

  但即使是富裕的大学也开始宣布紧缩措施。芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)校长罗伯特·齐默(Robert Zimmer)在4月7日给员工的电子邮件中表示,为缓冲损失,该大学将冻结薪酬,减缓学术招聘,中止可自由支配的支出,并寻求其他预算削减。宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)周一也宣布了类似的措施,包括冻结招聘和暂停新的资本项目。

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

  “I think it’s a greater systemic shock”than either the financial crisis of 2008 or the terrorist attacks of 2001,said Susan Fitzgerald,a Moody’s analyst.“We don’t know how long it’s going to go on or the multiple impacts.”

  穆迪分析师苏珊·菲茨杰拉德(Susan Fitzgerald)表示,与2008年的金融危机或2001年的恐怖袭击相比,“这是更大的系统性冲击。我们不知道它会持续多久或产生什么样的多重影响。”

  Colby College,a liberal arts school in Maine,has taken a typical blow.Its endowment,a rainy-day fund that can also serve as a proxy for a college’s financial health,dropped to$770 million earlier this month from$900 million at the end of last year.(It has since partially rebounded to$803 million.)And like many colleges,Colby has had to refund room and board for students asked to leave campus.

  缅因州的科尔比学院(Colby College)是一所文科学校,它受到的打击非常具有代表性。它的捐赠基金是一个应急基金,也能代表大学的财务状况,该基金本月初从去年底的9亿美元降至7.7亿美元。(此后已部分回升至8.03亿美元。)和许多大学一样,科尔比学院还必须将食宿费退还给被要求离开校园的学生。

  It has been able to balance its budget through a hiring freeze and savings on travel and events.But,said David Greene,Colby’s president,“in the long run,that is not a winning strategy.”

  通过冻结招聘和节省差旅费和活动费,它已能够平衡预算。但是,科尔比学院校长戴维·格林(David Greene)说,“长远来看,这不是长久之计。”

  Like other administrators,Mr.Greene is hoping to reopen with classes on campus,rather than online,even if it means deferring the start of the fall semester.“Our whole model of education and all of its power comes from close human interaction,”he said.

  与其他行政人员一样,格林希望在校园复课而不是上网课,即使这意味着推迟秋季开学。他说:“我们的整个教育模式及其所有力量来自密切的人际互动。”

  But he can only delay so long.“If we had to start in October instead of September,that is not a real problem for us,”he said.“If we had to start in November instead of September,that’s probably not a real problem.What if we started in January and went through August?That would be a very different kind of problem.”

  但是他能拖延的只有这么久。“如果我们不得不在10月开学,而不是9月,其实对我们来说不是一个真正的问题,”他说。“如果我们不得不在11月开学,而不是9月,那也不是什么真正的问题。如果我们1月才开学,一直上到8月呢?那将是完全不同的问题。”

  Although Congress provided$14 billion for higher education in the$2 trillion rescue bill signed by President Trump last month,a large chunk of that,$6 billion,was in the form of emergency cash grants for students in financial distress.

  尽管在上个月特朗普总统签署的2万亿美元救助法案中,国会为高等教育提供了140亿美元,但其中很大一部分——60亿美元——是以紧急现金补助的形式提供给处于财务困境的学生的。

  The rest of the bailout amounts to just 1 percent of total university expenses.College presidents say that won’t be enough to protect some institutions from slashing staff and programs,cutting back scholarships or perhaps even going under.They are asking for at least$46.6 billion in aid,to be divided equally between institutions and students,in the next stimulus package.

  财政救助计划的其余部分仅占大学总费用的1%。大学校长们说,这不足以保护一些院校免受裁员、削减项目、削减奖学金甚至破产的影响。他们要求在下一个经济刺激计划中至少提供466亿美元的援助,由学校和学生之间平均分配。

  There are some 4,000 two-year and four-year public and private colleges and universities in the United States,educating roughly 20 million students.They generated about$650 billion in revenues in 2016-17,and in some states,like California,Iowa and Maryland,they are the largest employers,according to the American Council on Education,a trade group.

  美国有大约4000所二年制和四年制的公立及私立大专院校,为大约2000万名在校学生提供教育。根据行业组织美国教育理事会(American Council on Education)的数据,2016年至2017年,它们创造了约6500亿美元的收入,在加利福尼亚、艾奥瓦和马里兰等州,它们是最大的雇主。

  The council predicted in an April 9 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that college enrollment for the next academic year would drop by 15 percent,including 25 percent for international students from countries like China who often pay full tuition,helping universities meet their budgets and afford financial aid for Americans.

  理事会在4月9日致信众议院议长南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi),预言大学下学年招生将下降15%,其中来自中国等国家的国际学生将占到25%,他们通常支付全额学费,帮助大学平衡预算,并向美国学生提供金融援助。 纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com

  “The pandemic is striking during the height of the admissions process,”the letter said.“College and university leaders are fully expecting significant,potentially unparalleled,declines in enrollment,both from students who do not come back,and those who will never start.”

  “这个大流行病在招生旺季出现,令人震惊,”信中写道。“大专院校的领导人充分预计到,入学人数将出现显著的、可能是空前的下降,既包括那些不再回来的学生,也包括那些永远不会前来的学生。”

  The spring is prime testing season for juniors applying to college in the fall.But dates for the SAT and ACT have been canceled,and Advanced Placement subject tests have been truncated.

  对于申请秋季入学的高三学生来说,春季是最主要的考试季节。但SAT和ACT考试的日期已经取消,而美国大学预修课程(Advanced Placement)的科目考试也缩减了。

  In light of the turmoil caused by the pandemic,a growing number of schools,from the small but elite Williams College in Williamstown,Mass.,to the massive University of California system,are suspending the requirement that students take the SAT or ACT test for admission,accelerating a national trend of making the tests optional.

  鉴于疫情造成的混乱局面,从马萨诸塞州威廉斯敦规模较小的精英学校威廉姆斯学院(Williams College)到规模庞大的加州大学(University of California),越来越多的学校暂缓了对学生参加SAT或ACT考试的入学要求,加速了让这些考试成为非必须选项的全国性趋势。

  David Coleman,the president of the College Board,which administers the SAT,said last week that he was preparing for“an at-home style solution”for testing if the national shutdowns continue,and the organization plans to make an announcement on Wednesday about the future of the SAT.

  SAT考试主管机构大专院校委员会(College Board)会长戴威·科尔曼(David Coleman)上周表示,他正在为该考试准备一个“在家完成的解决方案”,以备全国范围内的学校继续停课,该机构计划在周三宣布SAT考试的未来。

  Many current students are dissatisfied with how the virus has changed the nature of college.To some,online classes and closed student centers,gyms and science labs don’t seem worth the high prices they’re paying.At places like the University of Chicago and Iowa State,students are petitioning their schools to cut tuition by as much as 50 percent for as long as the pandemic lasts.

  很多在校学生对这种病毒改变了大学的性质感到不满。一些人认为,学生中心、健身房和科学实验室都被封闭,只提供在线课程,这些似乎不值得他们为此付出高昂学费。在芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)和艾奥瓦州立大学(Iowa State)等校,学生们向学校请愿,要求在疫情持续期间,将学费削减至多50%。

  So far,universities have resisted,saying they will try to increase financial aid instead—although declining endowments and donations could make that difficult.The University of Chicago announced Monday that it would keep tuition,housing and fees flat.

  大学目前仍是拒绝的,并表示将设法增加财政援助,然而捐赠基金和捐款的减少可能会使其非常困难。芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)周一宣布,学费、住宿和其他费用将保持不变。

  For most universities,the question of how prospective students will react remains the great unknown.Already,many colleges have moved the deadline for students to accept admission from May 1 to June 1.And some schools are considering whether they will need to push that even further.

  对于大多数大学来说,未来学生的反应如何仍是一个很大的未知数。许多大学已经将学生入学的最后期限从5月1日推迟到6月1日。一些学校正在考虑是否需要进一步推后。

  Orientation day,said Richard Ekman,president of the Council of Independent Colleges,“is probably the first time you’re going to know who’s really going to show up.Then you’ve got to scramble to add faculty or fire faculty or shift faculty.A lot of things that would have been done in a considered way will now in all likelihood be done at the last minute.”

  独立学院理事会(Council of Independent Colleges)主席理查德·埃克曼(Richard Ekman)说,可能直到迎新日“你才能知道实际有哪些人会来。然后你就得赶紧增加教员,解雇教员,或者换掉教员。以前很多经过深思熟虑后才做出的决定,现在很可能都要在最后一刻才能做出。”

  One group of students that could see a silver lining,said Hafeez Lakhani,a college admissions coach,is high school juniors.Despite disruptions to testing and the admissions process,it could be easier for them to get into their stretch schools or off the wait list if overall enrollment declines—especially for those who can afford to pay full tuition,if fewer international students apply to U.S.schools.

  大学入学指导哈菲兹·拉克哈尼(Hafeez Lakhani)说,有一群学生看到了一点困境中的好处,那就是高三学生。尽管考试和录取过程受到干扰,但如果整体入学人数下降,他们可能更容易进入自己心仪的学校,或者从候补名单进入正选——如果申请美国学校的国际学生减少,负担得起全额学费的学生就更能受益。

  Small institutions like Hampshire College in Amherst,Mass.,are more vulnerable to financial setbacks than big ones.Hampshire’s president,Ed Wingenbach,has put together a working group that is considering shorter units of study that would allow students to cycle in and out of remote learning if the virus comes and goes.

  和大型学校相比,马萨诸塞州阿默斯特的汉普郡学院(Hampshire College)这样的小学校更容易受到财政困难的冲击。汉普郡学院的校长艾德·温格巴奇(Ed Wingenbach)成立了一个工作组,考虑缩短学习单元,在起起落落的疫情中方便学生们完成远程学习的切换。

  “If we’re looking at remote learning in the fall,”he said,“I think it’s more likely students will take a gap year or semester,and that will have a different impact on revenue.”

  “如果我们在秋季进行远程学习,”他说,“我认为学生更有可能会选择间隔年或间隔学期,这将对学校收入产生不同的影响。”

  Ms.McCarville,the student in Phoenix,said the coronavirus had made her more sensitive to price over marquee names,and to the value of being close to her family.Although her dream schools,Skidmore in Saratoga Springs,N.Y.,and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles,offered her scholarships,tuition at Arizona State was cheaper,and the overall package was better.

  菲尼克斯的学生麦卡维尔说,冠状病毒让她不再那么重视响亮的名号,而是更关注价格,也希望离家人更近。尽管她梦想中的学校——纽约州萨拉托加斯普林斯的斯基德莫尔(Skidmore)和洛杉矶的洛约拉·玛丽蒙特(Loyola Marymount)——为她提供了奖学金,但亚利桑那州立大学的学费更便宜,整体条件也更好。

  In the past,that might not have mattered to her.But after the coronavirus,it does.

  在过去,这对她来说可能并不重要。但在冠状病毒之后就显得很重要了。

  “I would rather go to the least expensive school possible,”Ms.McCarville said,“just so I minimize my debt when I enter the work force,and I’m not in over my head in a very uncertain situation.”

  “我宁愿上尽可能便宜的学校,”麦卡维尔说。“这样我在工作的时候就能把债务降到最低,这样我就不会在非常不确定的情况下觉得不知所措了。”

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