More March Madness

No question, these are fascinating times for most colleges and universities. And while the month of March often brings a mood of uncertainty and madness during a normal March season, this year things are even more exacerbated by the FAFSA delay and the impact it is having not only on prospective students and families along with current students and families, but also on the personnel in financial aid and admission offices. Adding the continuous concern and consternation that is lingering in the minds of higher education leaders who already know about the decline in the number of prospective students, questions about affordability, and the need to convey the inherent value of attending college, it means March is full of unsolicited mental and emotional madness.

As we have noted previously about the changing landscape facing private higher education (and public, too), these are definitely changing times.

Nearly 25 years ago we had several quotes related to the importance of change:

  • “Observe always that everything is the result of a change.” —Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius
  • “If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” —Ancient Chinese proverb
  • “There are always two parties. The party of the past. The party of the future. The party of the establishment. The party of the movement.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Movement is a necessity today for all colleges and universities. Continuous change and improvement while also consistently retaining your core identity should foster future success and diffuse the March madness that is permeating so much of higher education today.

Lawlor Recommends

Due to all of today’s circumstances, colleges and universities must continue to rethink higher education. Identifying “what matters and what doesn’t matter” is essential. Taking on this process can bring about innovation and creativity, and if it is done through active collaboration, it creates an atmosphere that facilitates positivity and will lead to continued success—and most importantly, neutralize the existing March madness. Yes, we are continuing to live and work in a marketplace that presents a genuine conundrum for many, but having an edupreneurial mindset will help all of us continue to develop and implement viable solutions—and enjoy future success.