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Not Going to College is Smart

October 29, 2021

The education news journal InsideHigherEd.com reports on October 26 that “Since fall 2019, undergraduate enrollments have dropped by 6.5 percent.” Community Colleges “netted a 14.1 percent enrollment decline since 2019.”  Enrollment decline at Lane Community College in Eugene Oregon required firing of 300 part-time employees and student workers in spring 2020 and vacant positions were not filled.

There are exceptions.

Enrollments at institutions with a specific clientele like Catholic Notre Dame held steady or in the case of the Mormon University of Utah enrollment of 34,424 shattered previous records. The University of Wisconsin at Madison also welcomed its largest-ever freshman class this fall, enrolling 8,465 first-year students.”

My 2017 book on American higher education predicted this decline and, ultimately, the death of high tuition degree granting institutions of higher education.

Why would I be so bold?

During the Pandemic, classroom instruction was replaced by improvised distance learning courses, but tuition was kept at the same high levels as before the Pandemic.

Imagine what you would happen if you bought a car that wouldn’t start.

Independent car dealers would switch to better models, but American colleges and universities can’t escape costly state authorization and federal regulations and accreditation costs. They must pass those costs onto their students while blocking competition from solely low cost Internet institutions.

Thank the Good Lord that students have wizened up to this scam and some private sector employers are offering training programs for new employees and no longer requiring a college diploma. Only employment in government and public education require a college degree.

Ultimately our system of higher education will change or experience even greater enrollment decline.

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