Changing the way Colleges do Business

Colleges and universities must change the way they are currently doing business.  Jeff Selingo, editorial director at The Chronicle of Higher Education says, “Higher education must make up for the mistakes it made in what I call the industry’s “lost decade,” from 1999 to 2009.”  This lost decade saw a high demand for higher education and the schools realized that they could raise the cost of tuition and that families would do anything to send their kids to college, including taking on huge amounts of debt.  Not only did students go into huge amounts of debt, colleges and universities took on substantial debt which included extravagant student housing, recreational facilities and other services that contributed little to actual learning

Selingo also says that the best way for colleges to shed expenses is to embrace technology and offer online classes (some of them even free to anyone).  This would reduce the overhead cost and everyone would benefit.  Another way to reduce cost is to set up networks among schools so that any student in this affiliation can take a course which is best suited for them while getting the best quality of instruction which goes with it. Making credits easier to transfer would also help.  Too many times, students have to retake similar classes which really only pads the pockets of these universities.

These are all good ideas to start with.  I agree with the fact that it is very hard for a student in today’s world to get a degree without building massive debt.  Using some of Selingo’s ideas would be a good start to begin reducing this burden.  Once colleges go back to the formula that education should come first and not the bottom line, both students and colleges would benefit from this type of partnership.

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