Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Higher Ed Became More Brutal During 2020-21 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic was the largest news item in US higher education in 2020 and the beginning of 2021.  It certainly had an effect on higher education enrollment and revenues.   But the larger story, according to author Gary Roth, was that the “College Dream is Over.”  

College is supposed to be a transitional space between K-12 education and good jobs. But savage inequalities in the K-12 pipeline, alienating and sometimes questionably substandard online education, and fewer good jobs at the end of the pipeline meant that more students would be unprepared for college and for work life in the brutal tech (fintech, medtech, and edtech) and gig economy.  

Banks and big businesses (including brand name universities and for-profit colleges ) were bailed out twice in 2020 by the federal government as student debtors only got temporarily relief.  

Savage inequalities in the K-12 pipeline intensified with online education and the hollowing out of America continued.  

Under the Trump administration, privatization, deregulation, and lack of transparency  (in gainful employment, defense to repayment, student loan repayment rate) were the rule.  2021 shows promise for progressive change, but we'll have to wait and see if anything gets done to reduce the College Meltdown.  

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