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Expert predicts 25% of colleges will fail in the next 20 years (cbsnews.com)
34 points by ryanmercer 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

You wanted to commoditize higher ed and demand people have degrees just to essentially survive, yet you've defunded higher ed. This is exactly how a market functions. Consumers no longer have the time nor money to waste on degrees which are poor returns on investments, either because they came from a college no one had ever heard of, or because the skillset that the degree endowed is not in-demand. Really this is just the market reacting so I don't feel like its a huge surprise. (I guess the article kind of expressed this sentiment already, but I feel its worth reiterating).

> You


> defunded higher ed

I am unaware of this. I thought public funding increased over the last decade or so.

State schools contributed less to tuition, pushing the burden on to students and parents. They used the money saved to build more impressive facilities to attract more students, and also raised costs.

Students accepted that they will need huge loans to get an education, and institutions invested in more elaborate amenities (sports arenas, rec facilities, apartment-style dorms, huge athletic budgets) to attract the top students and their loan money.

Not even a little bit.

Alright, looks like my "decade" time period was off. State/local funding for 2-4 year institutions did in fact increase 2% from 2007 to 2017 [1], but that figure is negative after adjusting for 18% cumulative inflation.

It's been rising more recently though.

2012-2017 had a 15% increase (20% per student), with only 7% cumulative inflation.

Either way, "defunded higher ed" is exaggerated.

[1] https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tabl...

This could be very, very bad, if it does in fact start to happen with any regularity.

If you have a bunch of colleges go out of business you suddenly have a scenario where degrees from those institutions are either potentially seen as invalid as they can't be verified and/or you have degree mills going "Nnnnnoiiiicccceeee, you want a college degree? Pick from one of these hundred colleges and we will send you aged printed transcripts and a perfect replica of their diploma" and then you suddenly have tens of thousands, or millions, of people with degrees that are fake but can't be proven to be.

Many employers would probably just refuse to acknowledge degrees from those institutions or at least considerably discount their value compared to an applicant that has a degree from a university that hasn't shuttered. Worse, you'd have people still paying for loans for degrees that can't be verified.

Colleges themselves are not the only institutions keeping records about students. For instance, you can send people your transcripts and proofs of graduation through https://studentclearinghouse.org/, a nonprofit

If it happens on a wide enough scale they'll just have to find some other third party to outsource basic aptitude and knowledge tests to. Seems like a very good thing to me.

If the degree was from an accredited college it should be fine.

I'm not sure we have any reason to believe this. There are two reasons given:

1. families had fewer kids after the 2008 recession.

2. Alternative forms of education.

The latter will be good news, if it does displaced old colleges. The former, which is waaay earlier in the article and therefore probably the more important cause (in the opinion of this article) could be swung at any moment by a change in immigration, welfare, or regulatory policies on state (for the latter two) or Federal levels.

I don't see much reason to take this prediction seriously. Are private investments or bonds of some kind in these institutions tanking?

Their tuition is rising at unsustainable rates, and institutions are making huge investments in facilities whose loans depend on the unsustainable rise in tuition in order to pay them off.

The main reason that they surprising didn't talk about is cuts from the states. After state pulled out the support by imposing cuts in budgets over and over, the burden has gradually moved onto consumers. Here's some cost analysis:

Cost of tution/student/mo = 6hr * 5day * 4 weeks * $50/hr / 20 students = $300

Cost of facilities/student/mo = $600

Cost of room and board/student/mo = $600

So at minimum student will need to bear $18000/yr cost. If college is only receiving fraction of this then it will bankrupt.

From the article: "I think we're gonna see a lot more of these sort of flexible, affordable, convenient programs." You want college to be controlled by the free market you have to compete. You can't just keep increasing costs and offering nothing new and not expect consequences.

Those 25% were probably degree mills or scam colleges anyway so good riddance. Too many colleges out there that give out non accredited “degrees” and just extract money from people that don’t know better

Good riddance: it's cosmic justice for the excessive administrative staff and luxury accommodations to go away after decades of extorting students and chaining them with debt.

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