Report: Some Colleges May Not Survive the Chinese Virus

CAMBRIDGE, MA - DECEMBER 16: A gate sits locked on Quincy Street at Harvard University during a bomb scare December 16, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Police were alerted at roughly nine thirty this morning of possible bombs at four different buildings on the Harvard campus. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Darren McCollester/Getty

Some analysts predict that multiple colleges and universities around the country will be forced to close their doors in the aftermath of the Chinese virus pandemic.

According to a report by Bloomberg Newsanalysts suggest that many colleges and universities around the country will be forced to shut down permanently as a result of the Chinese virus pandemic. Many institutions, some of which are already experiencing declining enrollment, have been forced to offer pro-rated refunds for the abbreviated spring semester which have damaged the institution’s bottom line.

Institutions will suffer, in part, due to the exorbitant cost of attending college in America in the present era. The cost of attending college has more than doubled since 1971 even if you adjust 1971’s cost of attendance with inflation.

“In 1971, for example, the average total of tuition, fees, room and board per year at private four-year institutions was $18,140 in today’s dollars. Compare that to the average cost of attending now: $48,150. Likewise, that average at public institutions rose to $21,370 from $8,730 in the same period. This has fueled the much-publicized explosion of student-loan debt,” the report reads.

The report suggests that colleges and universities have dug themselves a financial hole by engaging in expensive and unnecessary expansion projects. Many institutions have announced expansion plans despite declining enrollment figures. In fact, college enrollment is down 11 percent nationally over the past eight years.

“These trends have only intensified in recent years: more building, more debt, higher tuition. Yet this happened in the face of declining enrollments,” the report adds. “Enrollments have fallen by 11 percent nationally over the past eight years despite significant increases in the number of international students attending American colleges and universities. And that’s not even factoring in the coming ‘baby bust,’ a demographic dip that will likely intensify this trend over the coming decade.”

This would not be the first period in American history in which many institutions of higher education closed at once. For example, the Great Depression, led to the closures of multiple colleges and universities.

“One recent survey of trends in higher education found other eras when schools went under at high rates: during the Civil War, the Great Depression and other periods of collective trauma. Some of these institutions disappeared altogether; some private schools became branches of expanding state systems of public education; others were absorbed by rival institutions,” the report stated.

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