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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Future of Small Private Colleges

My 2 cents on what is happening:
  1. Small colleges participated in an arms race for tuition charged and amenities, paid for by student loans.
  2. Parents and students are finally questioning the value of a small college that would buy a house. More money is now owed for college debt, than for credit cards, and it forces graduates with school debt, to put off a lot of things in life such as marriage, buying a house, and kids.
  3. The continued lack of success of graduates finding jobs has made the value of a small private college questionable.
  4. Moocs, online courses that reduce cost will have a huge impact in the near future.
Since I did get my MBA from a small, private college program that is 2nd or 3rd tier (top 50 in some surveys) with a bit of student loans, I do have a few opinions on the matter. MBA and Law Schools are also not the guaranteed meal ticket they used to be.

My thought on colleges:
- Go for the best value.
- If you can't get into a top tier program, and go to a state school.
- Select the program your interested in, and then the college
- Find out the employment rates and pay for graduates of the program at your school.
- Find out the graduation rate for the colleges your interested in

My thoughts on Graduating:
- Your goal in going to college is to graduate. It's not the college experience. Getting a great college experience, and not graduating, is just a waste of your time and money.
- Your time is valuable! Go to school full time, and graduate ASAP.
- Working full time while going to college part time usually does not work. It is better to go to school full time and get it done.
- They money you make before graduation is usually a lot less than you will make after graduation.

References:
Small Colleges Sink Further into the Red - The American Interest
Private Colleges Fight to Keep Data Away from Students - The American Interest
It Doesn’t Matter Where You Go to College - Time Magazine
Do We Over-Invest in Non-Traditional Students? - Minding the Campus

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