Education

Pace University navigates COVID-19, clinches national contest and looks to future

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the school across from City Hall in Lower Manhattan won the 18th annual national College Fed Challenge and enrolled its largest incoming class of first-year students.

Pace University, despite the challenges of COVID-19, clinched the 18th annual national College Fed Challenge.

Pace University, despite the challenges of COVID-19, clinched the 18th annual national College Fed Challenge. Rob Kim/Getty Images

Pace University finished out 2021 winning the 18th annual national College Fed Challenge. It was the school’s fifth win in seven years in the competition, which has students focus on the U.S. economy,  monetary policy and the Federal Reserve System. 

However, the distinction of this latest win was that it came as the result of a virtual competition, due to safety precautions taken because of COVID-19. The nonprofit university was one of 74 schools who submitted video entries to clinch its victory in the latest contest. 

Pace rose above semi-finalist and finalist rounds in October and November respectively to reach the top. As the school celebrates, City & State caught up with Pace University President Marvin Krislov to ask about the win, how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted higher education learning, and what plans there are for Pace moving forward.

Pace University has won five of the last seven Federal Reserve Challenges. Why is this competition so important and why does Pace keep winning? 

The Federal Reserve College Challenge is a major national competition on economic policy issues. With this year’s win, we became the winningest team in its history – moving ahead of Harvard, which has four wins. It’s exciting to do so well, but success requires not just skill with economic theory but also an understanding of how to apply that theory, how to think on your feet, and how to respond in real time to challenges. And that’s why we do so well: Our students learn how to help solve the world’s problems. A Pace education is grounded in real-world, hands-on learning that combines academic instruction with opportunities to do the things you’re learning about. It’s a powerful combination that pays off in great jobs, successful careers and a dominant track record in the Fed Challenge. 

How has the pandemic shaped higher education?

The last two years have been tough, and we’re not out of the woods. But I’ve been deeply impressed by the resilience and commitment I’ve seen among our faculty, staff, and students. We pivoted online when we needed to, and then we brought people back with careful safety precautions. Our community has stayed healthy. Our graduation rates continue to tick up. We brought in our biggest new class of first-year students for Fall 2021. 

I see two big takeaways from this. The first is that we need to be flexible. The last 18 months  showed that we can pull it off. We’re taking that expertise and creating more online programs, more hybrid programs, more ways for students to get the education they want in ways that work for them. The population of college students is no longer all 18-to-22-year-olds. As older students enroll, students with jobs and families and other obligations, we need to be able to meet them where they are. That’s part of how Pace can be such a vibrantly diverse community, and how we support all our students.

At the same time, we’ve been reminded how important the in-person experience is. Our students want to be on campus. Since we’ve been back, and since we required vaccinations, our enrollment inquiries skyrocketed. Even as we know college must embrace remote and hybrid options, a big lesson has been the need to provide face-to-face services where needed and in-person experiences where possible. In-person is part of what we do, and it will always matter.

How are students managing through the pandemic?

We were facing a mental-health crisis in higher education even before the pandemic, and the last two years have only exacerbated matters. Students, not just at Pace, are reporting high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. We’re working hard to get them the support they need. We’re expanding counseling services, and making sure counseling is available virtually. We’re redoubling our efforts on academic support. For students who haven’t returned to Pace, we’re reaching out to learn why they didn’t re-enroll and what we can do to help. Like many higher-ed leaders, I believe that we need a national effort to support the mental health and wellbeing of college students, and that addresses the diverse needs of an increasingly diverse student body.

You are getting close to five years as President of Pace University, what are your priorities going forward?

I want to ensure that Pace is the premiere student outcomes-centered institution in the New York region, preparing our students for success in work and life. That’s always been my goal. We have a long history at Pace of creating opportunities for students of all backgrounds, and I remain deeply committed to that work. Our students are ambitious and hard-working, and we provide them with the skills and perspectives that enable them to succeed. I want this university to reach more students, offer them new and innovative programs, and continue to transform lives. We are ranked the No. 1, four-year, non-profit college in the country for driving upward economic mobility, and I want to make sure we keep delivering those kinds of outcomes.

You’re building a brand new building in lower Manhattan, why?

Lower Manhattan has been our home for more than a century, and we’re proud to be a part of it. We take seriously our role in the community. Our new building at 15 Beekman Street will make Pace an even more attractive option for students, with a modern residence hall, a state-of-the-art library and dining facility, and new, technology-enabled classrooms. This comes in the context of our Master Plan renovation of our lower Manhattan campus, where we’ve been transforming our buildings at One Pace Plaza and 41 Park Row and renovating leased space at 161 William St. It’s all part of our commitment to Lower Manhattan, and our efforts to create more open, accessible spaces that bring our community in.

Early on in the pandemic, New York City was the epicenter for COVID-19. How did that impact student recruitment and what are you doing to help bring back Downtown?

We’ve found that students want to be in college, and they want to be at Pace. Like all institutions, we faced some enrollment challenges in the last academic year. But this year we’ve seen enrollment numbers rebound to near-pre-pandemic levels, and that’s even while we continue to face obstacles to international enrollment. I’m most excited about two great stats: First, we’ve confirmed that our graduation rates are continuing to tick up, with our six-year graduation rate (the standard metric) reaching the highest level in decades last year. On top of that, we also enrolled the largest incoming class of first-year students in as long as we have records. To me, that’s the biggest testament that higher education will make it through the pandemic, and that Pace, and New York City, will continue to thrive.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.