America’s $70,000/Year Liberal Arts Colleges Are Like Headless Zombies That Just Won’t Die

Monday, July 29, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Mon, 07/29/2019

Small liberal arts colleges in the U.S. simply refuse to die, despite a torrent of bad news about the U.S. higher education marketplace and the increasing uselessness of their degrees.

Bennington College in Vermont is one such example, according to Bloomberg. It sports famous alumni like Donna Tartt and
Bret Easton Ellis and charges $73,000 per year for admission. Located at the foot of Vermont’s green mountains, it nearly went out of business in the 1990’s and was still under duress at the beginning of this decade.

But the school – and its 700 undergraduates – have hung on. It’s a microcosm of how these types of schools continue to defy the odds nationwide. Massachusetts’ Hampshire College was another institution known for its artisiness than has somehow still hung on.

David Bergeron, a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education who specialized in higher education said:

“They’ve survived because they’ve been able to exploit what they’re good at, and that has enabled them to continue to attract students and retain faculty. The threat of closure has brought a new level of energy.”

The environment of pressure on these colleges has been helped along by the $1.6 trillion in student loans outstanding, discouraging many from even attending colleges at all. The hot-button issue is surely going to be center stage for the 2020 Presidential race and the number of high school graduates is also declining, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.

Meanwhile, immigration restrictions have slowed down the supply of tuition paying students from places like China. Last year, about 33% of colleges saw a decline in revenue from tuition, up 15% from five years ago. The Council of Independent Colleges now estimates that 2% of its roughly 650 members are “struggling financially.” About 12 of these colleges have closed or merged in the last 4 years, including Vermont’s Marlboro College and the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, who have agreed to merge.

The Rest…HERE

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