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Will the higher ed bubble burst?

An interesting argument here from a couple of higher education experts who draw parallels between American higher education and the and real estate markets, which peaked and blew up, leaving financial messes in their wakes.

Joseph Marr Cronin, the former education secretary in Massachuetts, and Howard E. Horton, president of Boston's New England College of Business and Finance, argued recently that the higher ed bubble is about to burst, the result of too-rapidly escalating tuition and other factors.

They claim the large universities with several revenue sources will survive but smaller institutions more heavily reliant on tuition dollars will be in jeopardy.

This is an interesting argument to me in part because the market analogy misses one point: Universities - at least most these days - are still non-profit enterprises with different constituencies than search engines were in the late 1990s and subprime lenders were  this decade.

But we also know that in the Triangle, small universities are hurting right now, trying to balance budgets and retain small class sizes and instructional advantages that have long differentiated them from larger institutions. 

You can read more about the struggles those institutions face here.


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