The disruptions in Higher Education

Higher education seems to be falling apart. The strength it once had in the country in which the expectation of college for students was practically a requirement in their lives has been diminished. Universities all across the country have been feeling the heat of the direction in which higher education has turned. The value for higher education has fallen and a variety of factors are responsible for its downfall. In his book “College Unbound”, Jeffrey J. Selingo argues that there are five main disruptions in education: schools not being able to afford staying open and falling into debt, states have lessened their funding for state schools, fewer students can fully pay for college, technological based alternatives to college are getting much better, and there is a growing gap in how people value the concept of going to college. Each of these factors seems to take a hard blow to college institutions. Many colleges and universities have been aware of their money problem for a while. As we have learned in class, many liberal arts colleges have not been able to sustain themselves monetarily and have had to close. This problem increases as states continue to diminish their funding of the state schools which are so desperately in need of funding. This monetary problem only increases the schools’ problem because the only way the schools can continue to stay open is by increasing their tuition, but this leads to the third disruption of students being unable to fully pay for college which causes more students to leave college with debt. Colleges get no respite right now when it comes to staying open. Not only do they have to focus on their money problems, but they are also being flanked by technological advances in online colleges which are influencing students to take online courses rather than actually go to college and pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit in a classroom. To top off these multiple disruptions in higher education, a value gap has also become apparent and continues to grow. People have started losing faith in college and are wondering “‘is it worth it?’” (71 Selingo). Considering how effective some online colleges are becoming and how ridiculously expensive real colleges are continuing to become, I really just do not know how to answer this. Right now our society has more value on true college students, but one day in the near future, college educations may no longer be such a necessity and when that day comes that online colleges gain true acknowledgement and people find that college is no longer worth the price, higher education will find themselves in an impossibly difficult situation.

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