The Corner

Politics & Policy

College Enrollment Crash ahead — Which Schools Will Survive?

The trends look very bad for colleges. An enrollment crash is coming that will thin the herd. Which beasts will be left breathing?

Professor Rob Jenkins looks at that question in today’s Martin Center article. Twenty colleges, he points out, have closed since 2016 and once the big enrollment decline hits in a few years, many more will find themselves in desperate trouble. Leaders worth their salt had better start planning now, he argues. Those plans ought to include downsizing, deflating, discounting, dot-connecting, and depoliticizing. In short, offer more educational value for less money. Read his piece for the details.

Jenkins concludes, “Those institutions that make this adjustment will likely survive. The rest may very well find themselves joining the ranks of the newly defunct, wondering what went wrong and blaming people like me for being unwilling to enable their excesses with unlimited tax dollars.”

Yup. American higher ed has had its seven fat years and seven lean years (at least) are ahead. Governments won’t have the money to bail schools out. Rejoice.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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