The Future of Liberal Arts

Liberal arts are in an interesting situation, in that they are not purely focused on getting their students a job afterward. The liberal arts focus on educating students in a way that develops their wisdom above their knowledge. Moreover, the way liberal arts schools are set up, being small and personalized, seems impossible to replicate in any other form of higher education that exists today. So, it seems as though liberal arts as a type of school is safe from extinction, as there will likely always be students that afford and/or want to attend such a school. The trouble, however, is that liberal arts are very expensive, and if the prices become high enough and the degrees are not worth the price, than individual liberal arts colleges will be, and are, at risk. Many liberal arts schools are going bankrupt and closing, because they do not have the endowment or the reputation to keep their schools financially ahead. Unfortunately, with the high demand for college degrees, the value of a liberal arts education to the general public is very little. Sure schools like Occidental believe in giving education to everyone for the betterment of society, this may a be morally great philosophy, but when push comes to shove most people would rather a cheaper education or no higher education before an expensive education that gives a degree that’s value continues to decrease. So, I believe the most pressing issue for liberal arts schools, is that that they cost a lot for an education that betters society and the individual rather than just the individual.

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