Will the pandemic shut down colleges?

Students in 2020 are facing a completely different college experience than their parents, older siblings, or even former high school peers one to two years ahead of them. Many families are worried about the changing landscape of higher education. This is one of those hot-button topics.

I am getting a lot of inquiries about the article in Business Insider about a business professor’s predictions for university closings. It is the topic of much debate among counselors, but we basically agree that there is much to be skeptical about in the article.

For instance, I was surprised to see some top schools on the endangered list. But when I looked closer, I see that author Scott Galloway uses percent of international students as an indication of university weakness. However, many of the top colleges strategically recruit and generously fund international students because they value that diversity on campus. They could divert those funds to other areas, if they wanted to, and their % of international students would go down.

There are many other criticisms of the author’s approach, which are listed in comments below his main post. Suffice it to say, that I am not wholly accepting the author’s conclusions.

I also believe that what will be important is not what universities have done in the past, but how they creatively adapt in the upcoming year. Those schools that think they can do things the same ol’ way will be in jeopardy. Those that respond proactively to the situation will benefit and thrive.

Photo of Duke University West Campus by Woubishet Z. Taffese on Unsplash

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