Unless higher education policy changes sharply, the college establishment is likely to carry on as I have described it in this blog series — protected (via accreditation and law) from competition and in full command of public aid, prices, and enrollment.
We need strong and fundamental policy reform of higher education.
And it should come, in my opinion, in the form of a substantial, tightly regulated move by Congress and the US Department of Education to allow new organizations into the college sector.
Specifically, we need public policy that permits high-quality non-profits focused on economic mobility and real-world operating companies in need of well-trained employees to take a run at college in novel ways.
These new entrants should have access to existing public funding for higher education in exchange for merciless accountability for outcomes, in particular the graduation and job placement rates of their students.
With new entry – and only with new entry – might we get the level of innovation, cost control, and quality improvement that we need in higher education.