TITLE: Higher Education Has Become A Buyer's Market AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 19, 2016 3:04 PM DESC: ----- BODY: ... as last week's Friday Fragments reminds us.
Much of higher education is based on the premise of a seller's market. In a seller's market, the institution can decide the terms on which it will accept students. At the very elite, exclusive places, that's still largely true. Swarthmore turns away far more than it admits, and it does so on its own terms. But most of us aren't Swarthmore.
The effects of this change are numerous. It's hard to set prices, let alone correlate price and quality. University administrations are full of people confused by the shifting market. They are also full of people frantic at the thought of a drop in enrollment or retention. There are easy ways to keep these numbers up, of course, but most folks aren't willing to pay the associated price. Interesting times, indeed. -----