There are many challenges and opportunities for the future of college. Selingo says “the definition of education has expanded, and with it, so too has the market of providers” (119). I think this touches on a huge challenge and opportunity for college. It’s this idea that college is no longer traditional. What we think is a traditional college continues to shift and change. This is a challenge because traditional colleges can no longer count on being the only valuable option within the higher education field. It’s becoming more and more acceptable to pursue online education or to attend for-profit schools, all of which guide students away from what we consider to be the typical college approach. How can current colleges remain popular and remain modern when there are increasing numbers of alternative ways to receive an education? It is a lot less expensive to take online courses than it is to attend a physical college, let alone a liberal arts one. Can current colleges prove that their degree is somehow worth more or that the experience is worth the higher cost? That’s a challenge that colleges have to meet sooner rather than later.
This is also an opportunity for colleges to realize they need to change in order to stay competitive. What worked 10 years ago might not work now. Graduates face debt, high unemployment rates, and a host of undesirable outcomes when they come out of college. This is an opportunity for the ‘traditional’ colleges to prove their continued and existing worth. Can they continue to prove that they are relevant? This is also an opportunity for students to demand more from their college, more financial aid, more support, more whatever they need as colleges are going to have their hands tied. Colleges should be made for the students. The typical college student is evolving, which means colleges should evolve to fit them.
Selingo hits such an important point that the educational field is so temporary and new in a lot of ways. What’s working now might not work next year, but the field is expanding and there’s no denying that.