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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flashpoint: Private colleges focus on innovation, mission to compete in new world of higher ed

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"How are private nonprofit colleges, with their higher tuitions and liberal-arts bent, going to compete against online, competency-based, and other options?" according to Richard L. Ludwick, Independent Colleges of Indiana.

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That’s a question that you hear raised in the media and other places these days. What surprises me most about it is the assumption that private colleges and universities operate in some rarefied academic atmosphere, far removed from market forces and realities.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Having spent my career in higher education at public and private institutions across the country in enrollment management and academic programming, I know firsthand that private colleges exist as close to the market as you can get. They have no government subsidies or taxpayer support to depend upon. Other than for the select few with jaw-dropping endowments, they are dependent upon tuition revenues from parents and students and the generosity of alumni and other supporters — in other words, consumers in the higher-education marketplace.

 

So, how do they compete and, in most cases, thrive? The answer: To quote one of them, being “mission centered and market smart.”
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Source: Terre Haute Tribune Star


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