- Brookline University: Sophomore Year
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The public can be forgiven for falling for this sleight of hand because, for half a century, the story that colleges are still peddling was actually true. Bill pumped money—and students—into the industry and the labor market demanded more college-educated workers. Between and , the number of colleges and universities in the United States almost doubled, and the number of students increased from nearly 3 million to more than 13 million. The baby boom and the entrance into the workforce of large numbers of women only supercharged the growth.
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In , the population of college students in Boston topped , for the first time. In other words, colleges will be drawing on a much smaller pool of customers.
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The new college competitors treat their students as the product instead of as the customer and shape them into something employers actually want to buy. When I tell that to parents of college-age children, they are gobsmacked. They demand to know how colleges can be cash-strapped given the soul-crushing amount of tuition they charge nearly 57 percent of median household income at private schools, more than triple the percentage it was in Between and , in fact, the price of a college education increased at more than twice the rate of inflation for consumer goods and well above inflation for healthcare, the poster child for runaway costs.
To be fair, colleges are giving back an inordinate amount of their tuition revenue in the form of grants and financial aid, and state appropriations for public universities were slashed by 44 percent per student between and When all the demographic and economic trends were in their favor, colleges happily jacked up tuition, and parents kept paying. Federal financial aid programs were supposed to make college more affordable by giving money to students, but may have had the opposite effect.
Some economists, including experts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, have argued that when colleges noticed their students had more money to spend in the form of guaranteed loans, they simply kept raising prices. One of the factors that helped sink Mount Ida was that between the spring and fall of , a significant portion of the freshman class decided not to return. Colleges, like beach resorts, invest heavily in fancy buildings and amenities to attract customers, but these new competitors treat their students as the product instead of as the customer and shape them into something employers actually want to buy.
I saw this play out firsthand when a friend of mine was in his twenties. When he graduated with a 3. Strauss received distress calls from two administrators at the same liberal arts college asking for his help.
Brookline University: Sophomore Year
He declined to name the school. Strauss met the president and listened as he explained how his college was suffering from a drop in enrollment. On other end of the spectrum, some administrators are taking a scorched-earth approach. Last year the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point proposed discontinuing majors in English, history, philosophy, and other liberal arts disciplines.
Other colleges, in the face of an eroding financial position, respond by spending even more to attract new students. But their investments often only make their problems worse. The Hechinger Report , an education-news outlet, found that since colleges and universities have created more than 40, new degrees and certificates. An analysis by Eduventures, another higher ed consultancy, found more than a dozen virtually empty degree programs, racking up costs but generating little revenue. In , for example, 15 schools with recently added casino management majors produced a grand total of 34 graduates.
The first economic impacts we will see from the college downturn are significant layoffs in the higher education sector. Colleges and universities find themselves stuck in a double bind. If they invest, they drive up the costs that are sending some careening toward insolvency. That complex is part of the story of how Mount Ida fell apart. Thirty million dollars later, Mount Ida had a gleaming new student center and a state-of-the-art media lab, but was insolvent. He is a member of a small group of innovative college presidents who are cost conscious and not particularly troubled by flouting academic convention.
Not surprisingly, many of them hail from the private sector.
Brookline university sophomore year by jennifer samson download book
After a career in media, entertainment, and tech, Alexander assumed the presidency of Lasell in and quickly got to work cutting costs. But he was still far short of his goal of delivering an undergraduate education for 30 to 50 percent less than the typical cost. So last fall he launched a program called Lasell Works, a novel hybrid of traditional and online education, with students spending their sophomore year living off-campus, working part time, and taking all of their courses online.
Last year, Lasell gave every admitted freshman the option to enroll in Lasell Works. Instead, nearly triple that number opted in—more than 15 percent of the fall freshman class. When she took the helm in , she was astounded by the opaque accounting methods the college used. This is like consulting your brokerage account to see if your monthly budget is square. Drinan and her chief financial officer redid the books and discovered the school had been operating at a loss for three years.
No one had known. The really bad news is that this kind of accounting is an industry standard. Her discovery of a budget shortfall provided Drinan with a key insight: An undergraduate program on its own is a barely viable proposition. So, she took the programs online. Some New England institutions with deeper pockets are doing it in brick-and-mortar form. Middlebury College acquired and rebranded the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which gave the school access to a new market of students and donors.
Northeastern University built satellite campuses in Charlotte, a white-collar boomtown where the school sells locals career-advancing degrees, in Silicon Valley, and in Seattle. It also crossed the border, opening a campus in Toronto. In , Purdue University rolled out Income Share Agreements, under which students agree to pay back a percentage of their income to the university for about 7 to 10 years after graduating, which decreases the amount of loans.
The campus of Simmons University, which has taken its graduate programs online.
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But when I asked her if she believed in the prediction of an imminent wave of college closures, she put my question to rest immediately. Although the coming downturn is top of mind for higher ed insiders, there has been surprisingly little discussion of it in political or economic circles. Worse yet, to date, no one—not the state, the city, or the dozens of higher ed institutions that may be affected—has conducted a rigorous study of the broader economic impact of the looming crisis.
There seems little doubt, however, that in a town as dependent on higher ed as Boston, the impact will be significant. With everyone else seemingly asleep at the wheel, I enlisted some economists to do some back-of-the-envelope estimates.
The first economic impacts we will see from the college downturn are significant layoffs in the higher ed sector. Worse still, according to the labor-market data firm Emsi, every higher ed job in Boston creates 0. That means we could lose a total of 28, jobs under the more conservative 10 percent estimate. Retail, real estate, healthcare, and various white-collar services would be hit especially hard.
For every college grad the area loses, we lose that much cash as well. Fewer graduates means fewer high-value workers. After all, the number of higher ed jobs in metro Boston has actually increased every year but one since Sergeant at Arms. EL Hendrickson. Marina Brodskaya. Arnie Miller. Susan Rack. Rotaract Advisor. Karen Jacobs. Speaker Chair. Gloria Rudisch. Bulletin Editor. Website Administrator. Social Media.
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