Colleges are facing an existential threat

Mar 2012
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41,546
New Hampshire
UMass President Marty Meehan is sounding alarms that an “existential threat” could soon cripple higher education.

After the United States saw its college student population explode during the second half of the 20th century, overall enrollment has begun to decline in recent years — across the country and in school-saturated New England. In 2016, more than two thirds of private colleges and a majority of public colleges failed to meet their enrollment goals. Declining enrollment means declining tuition revenue — which in turn is increasing the financial pressure on colleges, particularly small schools.

And it’s about to get worse.

While the recent dip in enrollment — and subsequent row of college closures — has been attributed to a number of factors, experts say the enrollment trends are set to fall off a cliff. The reason is that the 2008 recession resulted in a historic downturn in the U.S. birth rate — effectively lighting the fuse of an 18-year time bomb for American colleges. Studies estimate that nearly 2.3 million fewer babies were born in the United States between 2008 and 2013, and the birth rate has continued to drop since then.

Some experts predict that anywhere from 25 percent to even 50 percent of private colleges will close over the next decade. “Make no mistake — this is an existential threat to entire sectors of higher education, and New England is, unfortunately, ground zero,” the former Massachusetts congressman said in his State of the University speech Monday night.

UMass president calls for online college to address 'existential threat' | Boston.com
 
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Mar 2012
60,128
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New Hampshire
Americans are no longer seeing a liberal education (not to be confused with contemporary political "liberalism") as having any value.
I think thats because of the debt burden. One of my daughters friends majored in rhetoric and liberal arts in college. Now at 30 she still works at Target and has over 70K in debt. Several of her friends that went into STEM have serious jobs and their debt is already almost paid off. I feel in the future students will be far more specific in what they will major in. It wont be so much about finding oneself, which was popular back when I went. Now its far too expensive to do that.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
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Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
I think thats because of the debt burden. One of my daughters friends majored in rhetoric and liberal arts in college. Now at 30 she still works at Target and has over 70K in debt. Several of her friends that went into STEM have serious jobs and their debt is already almost paid off.
One can, however, get a STEM degree from a 4-year college and still achieve a liberal education in the process.

Also, the cost - in pure dollars as well as debt - is merely part of the evidence that such an education is no longer thought to have value. If it was, we would as a society work to make it more accessible, not less.
I feel in the future students will be far more specific in what they will major in. It wont be so much about finding oneself, which was popular back when I went. Now its far too expensive to do that.
Which is really not a good thing, though "finding oneself" is kind of a vague reason to do anything.
 
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Jan 2015
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Cost is just part of it.

Leftist indoctrination is another.

Why pay 100k for an "indoctrination" to be the top SJW of your class and never be able to get a job?
 
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HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
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This was interesting from the link

While the recent dip in enrollment — and subsequent row of local college closures — has been attributed to a number of factors, experts say the enrollment trends are set to fall off a cliff. The reason is that the 2008 recession resulted in a historic downturn in the U.S. birth rate — effectively lighting the fuse of an 18-year time bomb for American colleges. Studies estimate that nearly 2.3 million fewer babies were born in the United States between 2008 and 2013, and the birth rate has continued to drop since then.

According to Meehan, the decline will result in a 32,000 to 54,000 decrease in the number of college-aged students in New England beginning in 2026.

Some experts predict that anywhere from 25 percent to even 50 percent of private colleges will close over the next decade. Several small schools in Vermont, most recently Southern Vermont College this week, have already announced plans to close. In Massachusetts, Newbury College will shut down this spring, while last year saw the abrupt closure of Mount Ida College and Wheelock College’s absorption by Boston Universit

Maybe this is a "regional" thing?

The top Universities in CA still get more applications than available spots.
 
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