Universities have an internet bomb in the basement.
In less than two months, she had finished four complete courses, for less than $200 total. The same courses would have cost her over $2,700 at Northeastern Illinois, $4,200 at Kaplan University, $6,300 at the University of Phoenix, and roughly the gross domestic product of a small Central American nation at an elite private university. They also would have taken two or three times as long to complete.
The whole article is well worth reading. It misses an elephant or two in the room, though. First, a significant part of the meteoric rise in tuition is government interference in the market in the form of guaranteed student loans. In general, if prices are going up you’ll find the not so invisible hand of government.
The article further laments what might happen to universities once they go the way of newspapers.
But other parts of those institutions will be threatened too—vital parts that support local communities and legitimate scholarship, that make the world a more enlightened, richer place to live. Just as the world needs the foreign bureaus that newspapers are rapidly shutting down, it needs quirky small university presses, Mughal textile historians, and people who are paid to think deep, economically unproductive thoughts. Rather than hiding within the conglomerate, each unbundled part of the university will have to find new ways to stand alone. There is an unstable, treacherous future ahead for institutions that have been comfortable for a long time. Like it or not, that’s the higher education world to come.
That’s a feature, not a bug. Universities have become hidebound cauldrons of left-wing indoctrination. When they are no longer able to milk the public teat to pay for the brainwashing of undergrads education – actual education – will improve. As for those deep thinkers, I don’t worry for a minute that they’ll find a productive place in a vibrant, free economy. It’s an economy that will be less burdened by ivy-league parasites.
Bring it on.