The Future of the Liberal Arts

In order of liberal arts universities to thrive in the future among the obstacles bound to be presented by the economy and that of the next generation of students. When considering all that could and will possible take place within that of the liberal arts community it is hard to predict what is exactly going to transpire. The largest factors that are inevitable to take hold in the future of the liberal arts include tuition cost, university funding, and financial aid alongside progressing social issues regarding equality, social norms of higher education, and economic stability. The future of higher education, specifically in regards to the liberal arts, depends highly on that of the economic stability of this fine nation. Liberal arts universities depend heavily on endowments and funding from private donors in order to keep up with that of larger, state schools. Many Liberal arts universities, according to Victor E. Ferrall’s book Liberal Arts At The Brink, these “colleges with small endowments try to catch up. They grind away, searching for six-figure donations and hoping for a seven-figure gift” (Ferrall, 2011, pp. 25) when they really should be focusing on the resources they already have and how be smarter about their expenses. Even with the funds they do possess, universities need to manage tuition costs and available financial aid services, but most importantly ensuring a quality education for its students at the lowest possible cost. However, among the struggles involved in ensuring a low cost and financially supported education for future students, liberal arts universities hold the upper hand when it comes to providing students with hands on learning and personal relationships with their professors and classmates. I think that if liberal arts universities are to be considered successful moving into the future, they will need learning to appropriate and manage spending of funding while increasing the effects of ever-changing social issues as time progresses. In essence, liberal arts institutions can be the future of education, if they can hold on to the “specialness” that makes them unique will increase efforts of collaboration to “help them adapt and survive” (Ferrall, 2011, pp. 68).


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