10 Ways Coronavirus Will Change College Forever
It may be too early for some to sound the alarm that Coronavirus will change college forever. However, there are some pretty smart people who are already seeing the writing on the wall. And, as one Forbes writer put it, that may not necessarily be a bad thing.
In the following article, we’ll be looking at the 10 biggest changes to college that we can expect as a result of Coronavirus. Get ready, because this may not be the school you planned on attending. And ultimately, you might be okay with that.
1. Permanently Lower Tuition
Okay, we’re going to start with an easy one. As colleges delve deeper into the Coronavirus crisis, they’re going to be telling a lot more of their students to stay home. It’s going to be much harder to justify the sprawling campuses, the high-priced architecture and construction, and the higher salaries of tenured professors.
With massive cost-cutting likely ahead, the quickly-swelling tuition and fees are going to become harder to justify. The longer this goes, colleges will need to cut their losses to keep their students on board with the reduced bells-and-whistles.
2. Democratized College Degrees
As schools move further into online degrees, you’re going to see the process become more student-friendly. That means you’ll be able to get a full degree from behind your computer. You’re going to have more freedom-of-choice in which degrees you pursue online and which institutions you’re able to get them from.
3. Ending Student Extortion
Something else you’re likely to see the end of is the way colleges and universities are able to easily take advantage of students through exorbitant fees and ridiculous textbook prices.
Yes, colleges and universities have had a license to overcharge students for the most mundane things for quite some time, but now that the structures on which these practices were built are under attack, the justification to continue the practices is no longer there. In this time of massive disruption, students will find other ways of accessing the materials they need.
4. Less Political Indoctrination
It’s no secret that colleges and universities are largely hubs of left-leaning education and principles. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but college is where students need to go to hear differing opinions.
Along the way, the differing opinions are fewer and fewer, thus removing the arena of debate that is so healthy to solving the world’s problems. This political indoctrination will become more a thing of the past as students get away from the environment and the one-on-one sermonizing of their professors.
5. Smaller Campuses
Colleges and universities will have a much tougher time finding use for their sprawling buildings and campus greens in the coming years as the Coronavirus rages on. As revenues decrease, there may be a need to unload some of that real estate.
As a result, college campuses will start to shrink in size. This could open up more opportunities for businesses, provided those businesses are in Corona-proof sectors or sectors that have learned to adjust the way they do business (restaurants, for example).
6. Lower Book Costs
We’ve already touched on this in the student extortion section. However, it deserves its own place here since college textbooks have a much higher markup than ordinary books and textbooks.
Of course, some of that markup is understandable as we’re talking about niche books with tons of research behind them. But to put the full cost of that on the student who’s already struggling with exorbitant tuition and fees is a bridge too far. With more classes and materials moving online, it’s only a matter of time before these costs start coming down.
7. Reduction in Out-of-State Tuition
Another obvious place for reduction is in the area of out-of-state tuition. These fees for students are often arbitrarily high, and they are used as a way of milking out-of-state residents. It looks like we’re starting to enter a competition phase, however, where the student will hold more power over the institution.
It only makes sense. When most of your extracurricular activities are shut-down or in a state of limbo, academics will be more the measuring stick. On that grounds, out-of-staters will be more sought-after and lower tuition costs will be a good recruiting tool.
8. Deemphasis on Collegiate Sports
We’re already looking at a highly unlikely football season. Considering the massive revenue-generator that is for universities, expect more of the same from the sports that are lesser in popularity. The longer this goes, the less important sports will be to students’ decisions when picking a college or university.
9. Greater Emphasis on Skills
Colleges and universities will start to make more room for marketable skills in their curricula. You’ll see less emphasis on the arts and other more academically-driven degrees where the job market is not in high demand. That can be somewhat depressing for arts-minded people, but the trade-off will be a higher likelihood of leaving college with a well-paying job. Look for the lines between trade schools and universities to blur more and more.
10. More College Prep in High School
Last but not least, the global marketplace has made college-prep more important than ever before to the modern high school student. In many districts, you can already graduate with an associate’s degree at the same time that you receive a high school diploma.
That will continue. However, the more kinks that are lined out of the online teaching system, the more options will be open to high school students before they formally enroll in college. As a result, students will be spending more of their time on college preparation and less time on their extracurricular activities. One day, it may even be possible that a student graduates high school and walks directly into their junior or senior year of college.
Coronavirus Will Change College Forever But That Is Not Necessarily Bad
We think it’s safe to say that Coronavirus will change college forever. And not all those changes will be unwelcome. But what do you think? Have we covered all the bases, and do you see the future of higher education significantly affected in the long term? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]