The future of higher education in America looks bleak.

I got my BA from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1977. At the time, the university charged no tuition, but “fees” were about $165/quarter for a full load. Of course, as a state university, it was heavily subsidized by state tax dollars. Quite a feat for a state that has no income tax.

The business model for higher education has been changing for a while. Small private colleges are closing or merging because of declining enrollment. State universities are raising in-state tuition as well as out-of-state tuition to compensate for legislature cuts to education, putting a college degree out of reach of many working class learners.

For now, higher education in America is a magnet for foreign students, who are willing to pay full tuition. But as university administrators continue to cut programs and faculty, that won’t be sustainable.

“The future of higher education looks bleak. Money will flow to elites in private schools, who will benefit from comprehensive language instruction, liberal arts, inclusive critical thinking skills, and a global curriculum, and thus have access to global careers in the arts, finance, diplomacy, national security, international business, international law, AI, and other fields. Students at state schools will receive the education that the oligarchs want them to, based on their largesse.”

The future of higher ed