I’ve had hassle writing about larger schooling the previous couple of months, primarily as a result of I’ve wanted time to take a seat again and take inventory of the place we’re, as a sector. When President Biden took workplace final January, he backed an bold larger schooling agenda. He proposed to create a free neighborhood faculty schooling for everybody, forgive faculty money owed, dramatically develop the Pell grant program, and re-regulate for-profit establishments. This plan was clear, daring, and bold. It represented a significant effort to make use of federal coverage instruments to reshape the upper schooling market.
Now, one yr later, it’s extremely possible that just about none of Biden’s proposals will likely be adopted by Congress. Biden’s agenda was good public coverage, for my part, however the actuality is that it was dictated primarily by political want, not an evaluation of the general public good. This agenda was very fashionable with the left of the Democratic Occasion, and backing these proposals, a lot of them first articulated by his opponents within the democratic presidential primaries, was a comparatively painless means of displaying solidarity with the left, assembly them half means, and quieting criticism that the president was too reasonable, too centrist. Sadly, the Democrats by no means had sufficient votes in Congress to go this agenda, and the percentages of its passing have now dwindled to shut to zero.
So the place does that go away us – the upper schooling neighborhood — now? The easy reply is: on the mercy of market forces. The unifying theme of Biden’s agenda was to make use of authorities energy to alter market incentives and alter larger schooling’s present trajectory. Failure to go that agenda leaves us proper again the place we have been in the course of the Trump administration. Increased schooling will go the place the market takes us. Which means a continuation of six main developments:
1. Continued reliance on debt financing to pay for schooling.
2. Robust manufacturers will develop stronger.
3. Advertising and marketing is and will likely be king.
4. Client demand will drive programming.
5. Massive Tech will proceed to enter the market.
6. Market segmentation will speed up.
I’ll clarify what these developments imply for us in my subsequent publish.