The hope, wait, and wish strategy from 10 years ago that didn't work then, still doesn't work now.
While 2020 will be remembered for much more than it's effect on colleges and student-families, it's impact on the world of college has been extreme.
It all began in mid-March with an immediate shutdown of colleges country-wide, sending students home to continue their spring semester online.
At that moment, online studies made their entry point and are now here to stay. There should never be another "snow day" in schools at any level.
However, parents found the student-experience to be much compromised and not worthy of its cost. They also found the colleges unwilling to respond with appropriate financial considerations.
Students and parents became disenchanted with online studies and frustrated with colleges offering little or no live classroom activity; yet families paid the college bill in full.
Students are distraught over their loss of a college social environment, an element of great value to college students. These sentiments will roll forward into the new year.
People have begun to question the value and necessity of college. In response, colleges have claimed the value of their "Certificate" was still worthy of its cost. This tug-of-war is just beginning.
As we sit here today, college enrollment is down substantially, perhaps a million students worth. College finances are strained. Family finances are strained. College graduates remain unemployed at a rate higher than you would believe...50% maybe?
Over 150,000 college professors and administrators have lost their job. Courses have been cut and programs shuttered. Hundreds of colleges are on the brink of financial disaster.
FAFSA Applications are down 20% from a year ago indicating a further decline in student attendance ahead, causing great concern to college officials.
Through it all, elite colleges will continue to increase their cost, having ample demand for their "Certificate" from the top 1% wage earners. Mid-level colleges will face extreme pricing pressure to go with a lower demand. Lower-level colleges will face serious sustainability pressures.
Top DI colleges, including several having endowment funds in the billions (Stanford, Brown) quickly went to work cutting sports from their programs. All told, 50,000 athletes and 5,000 coaches were trimmed. However, it did not trickle down into DIII. As such, college sports will survive!
What we've learned even if we've always known-
It's more important than ever to pick the right college, for the right reasons, and at the right cost.
It's more important than ever to plan for an on time, meaningful degree while building worthy credentials.
It's more important than ever to prioritize items of importance before they become urgent.
It's more important than ever to be involved and engaged in taking ownership of your outcome.
It's more important than ever to be distinguishable, to be the one of ten and not to be in the group of nine.
1. Don't expect students to be rushed back to campus for the spring semester. With the financial hook already set from the fall semester, college officials don't want to deal with testing, quarantining, suspending, and restricting of students. They didn't in the fall either, but they wanted the money. Now, they only risk losing room and board, for which they were reimbursed last spring in the initial Covid-relief package...Texas A&M- $39M, Harvard- $10M!
2. Opportunities for those student-families who get it right are abundant with great jobs and big pay. With new and emerging high-salaried jobs open for qualified young professionals, the future is bright for those who do it right.
3. College will begin to be more accessible and affordable to mainstream America as is very necessary. It will result from the restructuring/ streamlining of college curriculums with intention to shorten the time and lessen the cost of a degree.
4. College-aspiring athletes will be rewarded for being proactively involved in connecting with college coaches. Just like ten years ago. the path to being recruited is to build relationships with college coaches beyond casual emails. This is the athlete's opportunity of which they have clear control over.
For years, colleges have done a bad job of preparing their students for getting a desired job and qualifying them to receive desired pay. This will have to change now as a result of the Covid-College year that's behind us. Colleges have invested mightily in student-appeal over the past twenty years. Their opportunity ahead will be based upon investing in employment-appeal.
Parents are becoming more reluctant to pay for "Certification Value" and will be more inclined to pay for achieving desired outcomes, such as a job!
On that note, I'm wishing everyone here a joyous and prosperous New Year 2021 in the spirit of life success and satisfaction. Thank you for being a CollegeLogic friend and supporter.
I appreciate each and everyone of you!