The Future of a Liberal Arts Education

Looking into the future, a liberal arts education contains challenges and opportunities. One of the great opportunities for the future of liberal arts is the growth of technology and new ways of teaching with this new rise in technology. New technology opens many doors for teaching, thus increasing student skills with new forms of learning. Also in the future, liberal arts colleges will strive to maintain small classes in order to create better one on one teacher-student relationships and instill critical thinking in the classroom and for life after college. On the down side, liberal arts colleges face the challenge of rising tuition costs and expenses to keep the college up to date on classrooms, dorms, facilities, teaching staff, and technology. Liberal arts colleges have already increased tuition so drastically over the past few years that it makes for a big challenge to think about the future and even higher costs. Ferrall writes about liberal arts costs in his novel, Liberal Arts at the Brink, “We have seen that competition has not reduced liberal arts college tuitions. It has advantaged well-off colleges and well-to-do students. It has tended to concentrate even more wealth in the hands of the richest colleges, increasing the already severe disparity between the rich and poor schools. By fostering high-risk endowment investment strategies, it has made even the richest colleges more vulnerable to recession and other financial reverses. It has causes the shaky financial condition of a majority of liberal arts colleges to become even more unstable” (81). Ferrall is noting that rising tuition costs will grow the disparity between a higher economic status families compared to a low economic status family.   The middle class will become completed wiped out due to these rising costs. Students will begin to lack the opportunity to go to a liberal arts college because it is beyond too much to pay for. Clearly, one can see that the future of liberal arts colleges holds many new opportunities yet challenges, the most pressing challenge being the rising costs for a liberal arts education.

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