An Interesting Future for the Liberal Arts

Financially, the liberal arts will have tough couple of decades ahead of it.  Ferrall’s prediction that certain “tiers” of schools will ultimately survive (only a few compared to the many small liberal arts schools that dot the US) certainly has some truth to it due to the fact that liberal arts colleges are closing at present day (ex sweet briar college).  The liberal arts colleges of the future must build strong endowments and have proactive alumni if they are to be successful in a future world that will not appreciate them like they were appreciated in the past.  Large universities and for-profit schools seem to be the future of higher education, but there will be a small place for liberal arts colleges.  Since only the wealthiest liberal arts colleges will survive, cost could be a much smaller factor since schools like Williams and Pomona (with 2 billion dollar endowments and large budgets) can afford to grant large scholarships to deserving students.

In order to cope with increasing challenges, liberal arts colleges must be able to remain relevant, mostly in terms of keeping up with the job market and making sure that the prospective student population still has faith that a liberal arts degree means something and has value.  In the end, public perception to liberal arts colleges will either save them or destroy them.


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