College Insights · report

College 2030™ – Emerging from the Pandemic: Reimagining Higher Education

Students and institutions are on the path to prepare for a post-pandemic future. As the world has adapted and developed solutions to conquer COVID-19, higher education must do the same, revising offerings and solutions to best accommodate emerging student needs.
Header Image of College 2030 report

Emerging from the Pandemic: Reimagining Higher Education

To help surface opportunities for improvement and best prepare institutions for the days, months, and years ahead, Barnes & Noble College Insights™ is pleased to share our annual COLLEGE 2030™ research report on the needs and mindset of students, faculty, and administrators.

The 2022 report continues our journey to understand and harness the forces that will have a profound impact on higher education over the next eight years by addressing mental health, career preparedness and how to foster an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


What you’ll learn in this report

The Value of Education + The State of Student Loans

How value continues to be at the forefront of students’ minds and what both students and faculty perceive as key value drivers. Plus, how they plan to pay for their education.

Career Preparedness

Resources students need to be successful post-graduation.

Supporting Mental Health + Fostering Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

What mental health support students and faculty seek. Plus, the state of DEI on campus and the needs of those underrepresented.

Students want hybrid learning to continue, while faculty favor an in-person learning environment.

The pandemic’s impact on class formats has uncovered a discrepancy in preferences between students and faculty. Nearly half of students prefer a hybrid class format, while more than half of faculty favor a fully in-person environment. This poses a challenge for institutions to align the two groups’ differing preferences.

A Barch Graph showing preferred Class Format
Gaudges showing data on Resources Students find most helpful

Enhancing the value of higher education can be achieved by offering more tangible career prep programs and developing soft skills.

When it comes to job planning and career prep, students are interested in receiving help to develop leadership, self-motivation, communication, and critical/analytical reasoning skills. They would find resources such as networking assistance, resume help, general job search help, and mentors most helpful while in college.

45% of students would like to see their school offer free 1:1 counseling sessions

Join the #COLLEGE2030 Conversation


    Learn about how community colleges are delivering on the elements needed for a successful college experience, as well as how community colleges are the equitable solution needed to democratize higher education.

    Read More
  • Featured in University Business

    Return on investment, cost of attendance and career preparedness continue to be major factors driving post-pandemic and postsecondary decisions made by current and prospective students.

    Read More

    When asked what services should be provided by their colleges, students expressed interest in career planning services, student life services such as mental health support and academic support services.

    Read More
  • Featured in Campus Technology

    While 94% of students say the cost of online classes should be reduced, less than half of administrators and faculty believe it should be.

    Read More
  • Transforming the Student Experience

    The dawn of a new decade is a symbolic moment, creating a natural opportunity both to look back and to turn our gaze resolutely forward.

    Read More