Saturday, April 9, 2016

Which Colleges Wont Make it to 2020 if They Don't Change?

Expect increased university closings in the next 5 to 10 years. Small liberal arts colleges are suffering an epidemic of increased competition and skyrocketing costs that are making their financial bottom line difficult to keep in the black. Without change many of these schools won't make it through the next decade.

Change is difficult and tradition is something that may force some of these colleges out of business. I am impressed that many schools with less than a thousand students were able to keep their doors open for, in many cases, over a hundred years.

The next few decades will be different than the last 100 years. The fundamental building blocks of how education operates has shifted and small boarding colleges will not be able to keep operating without finding new sources of revenue and lowering expenses.

A few ideas on how to save small colleges from collapse:

Collaborate or Consolidate: Collaborate or share services with other universities in the region to lower overhead expenses. The alternative to this is to close one campus and consolidate students to another campus by merging.

Move More Online: Small colleges can enhance their student body without having to invest heavily in facilities by moving online to create a larger student body.

Specialize: A few colleges may want to move from liberal arts education to IT, Business, Engineering, or high end markets that attract specific students and generate greater market penetration.

Increase Advertising: Small universities are not always savvy in marketing and may need to beef up their campaigns to attract more paying students.

Create Endowments: Faith based and focused universities can consider donations, investments, and other methods to expand/create larger endowments to shield them from market changes.

Go International: Small colleges can consider attracting international students willing to pay more.

Day School: Colleges can break tradition and open their schools to day/evening learners that are not boarding to expand their paying population.

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