Record survey projects increase in on-campus enrollment for spring semester

Joey Fox, Managing Editor

Devika Goel/The Williams Record

After a fall semester in which over one-third of students chose to learn remotely, take time off or study abroad, the results of an anonymous Record survey sent to the entire student body last Friday, and filled out by over one-third of students, indicate that the spring semester will see a notable increase in on-campus enrollment. 

Eighty-two percent of the survey’s 725 respondents said they plan on enrolling in person next semester, well up from the 68 percent of respondents who said they were enrolled in person for the fall semester. Sixty-five percent of the total student body was enrolled in person for the fall semester, meaning that the survey’s sample was slightly skewed towards on-campus students. 

Meanwhile, only 7 percent of respondents said they plan on enrolling remotely, a drastic decrease from the 20 percent who said they were enrolled remotely for the fall semester. Another 7 percent indicated they plan on taking time off, similar to the 10 percent of respondents who said they did so this semester. (Included in this number are first-years taking time off, whom the College required to take a full-year leave.)

Only three percent of respondents — 21 students in total — said they are still unsure about their plans for the spring semester. The intent to enroll deadline is on Dec. 1.

When asked what factors were significant in their decision-making process, 79 percent of respondents listed academics and 77 percent listed friendships. Mental health was third with 56 percent of respondents, followed by COVID-19 safety with 50 percent.

Other factors listed as options were extracurriculars, family & home lives, career plans, athletics, personal financial situations and romantic relationships, each of which was selected by between 20 and 40 percent of respondents. 

Devika Goel/The Williams Record

Fifty-five percent of respondents said that the College’s handling of the fall semester made them more likely to enroll in person, while 7 percent said it made them less likely to enroll in person and 34 percent said their decision was unaffected.

Devika Goel/The Williams Record

Financial aid status did not appear to have a strong relationship with spring plans, as 81 percent of respondents on financial aid and 83 percent of respondents who do not receive financial aid said they plan to enroll in person. Similarly, 82 percent of both international and domestic students said they plan on enrolling in person.

The divide between athletes and non-athletes was more stark. Eighty-four percent of non-athletes said they would enroll in person compared to 76 percent of athletes, a difference largely attributable to the number of athletes planning on taking the semester off: 14 percent, compared to only 4 percent of non-athletes.

Devika Goel/The Williams Record

Statistics are helpful, but they can’t tell the full story. In addition to running a survey, the Record also profiled six students about their experiences and decisions regarding the spring semester.