Remote Learning

The first academic building at Virginia Tech's $1 billion Innovation Campus in Alexandria will open in August 2024. Rendering by SmithGroup, courtesy Virginia Tech

For Virginia’s college students and faculty, 2020 was the year of Zoom. For the institutions themselves, though, it was a year that brought economic heartbreak and difficult decisions, although it also had a few brighter spots.

Many universities faced budget crises due to the costs of housing refunds and moving classes online, as well as the revenue losses from declining enrollment and canceled athletic events. Virginia Tech saw a net loss of $60.6 million between July and September 2020. VCU faced a $35 million loss by the end of 2020, from which it’s mostly recovered. And the University of Virginia cut $90 million from its $3.76 billion budget.

At Virginia’s community colleges, the fall 2020 headcount fell 4.6% from 2019, although some saw much larger drops, such as Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, where enrollment plummeted 13.2%.


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