My three 2023 predictions offer a big picture take on ways forward. The first concerns the economy and its impact on higher education.
Adult Learner Demand Archive
In the early days of 2022—buffeted by a few “small” things such as Omicron, massive federal stimulus, roaring inflation, an acute labor shortage, and a sky-high stock market—I fearlessly made three predictions for higher education, something I do every year.
A recent study by New America reported that 55% of respondents said online learning was as good as or better than in-person instruction, up from 37% a year ago.
In August, President Biden announced unprecedented plans to forgive a big chunk of federal student loan debt—an estimated 45% of borrowers will be debt free—prompting heated debate about plan details, who stands to benefit, impact on public finances, and even the legality of the move.
“Colleges cash in on real estate” was a recent headline in Inside Higher Ed, describing how some institutions have sold property to generate cash flow. Enrollment challenges, inflation, and exhausted stimulus funds are driving sales, and property prices are at record levels coming out of the pandemic.
In case you missed it, the latest episode in the long-standing drama known as Pell Grant eligibility reached an anti-climactic conclusion in June. Although the Senate approved the $200 billion Innovation and Competition Act, ostensibly designed to counter China’s...