New Year Brings New Opportunities for Higher Ed

The holiday season is over, and while the new year has kicked off for most higher education professionals, the concern and consternation that seems to permeate so many campus cultures today is still lingering. Most colleges and universities report being down in applications. Discount rates are going up, and tuition revenues are declining. Costs and expenses are increasing for institutions, and operating deficits are becoming more prevalent. Inactive contentment and attachment to days gone by often stifles the recognition that the marketplace has evolved.

Fortunately, the reality of the marketplace is serving as a catalyst for thinking differently about how best to maximize opportunities to enhance education experiences (product), affordability (price), convenience and schedule compatibility (place), and personal attention and mentoring (people), as well as to increase awareness, consideration, and selection for these value-added experiences (promotion).

Assessment and assimilation in all of these areas is critical to future success. And now is the time for real innovative, edupreneurial thinking and doing that creates distinction and enhances value.


10 Predictions for the ’20s

John Katzman of Noodle Partners (who also founded Princeton Review and 2U) asks “Will Higher Education Roar in the ‘20s?” (Inside Higher Ed)

Long-term ROI

Liberal arts colleges tend to have higher returns than most other types of institutions, especially over the long term. (Georgetown CEW)

What Employers Seek

“Problem-solving skills” and “ability to work on a team are the top attributes employers look for on a candidate’s résumé. (NACE)


Lawlor Recommends

Yoko Ono once said, “Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” There was a time when college admissions and higher ed leaders were often thinking ahead about enrolling the projected class and perhaps enduring a bit of “summer melt.” Now, the heat is already on for so many people in the college and university community who have been filled with winter wonder—curious and concerned about whether or not anticipated/projected revenues and expenses will be in alignment. Without question, all of this is a catalyst for the entire campus community and particularly leadership to discuss, discern, and do things differently—and with perseverance. It is a necessity.

And if members of the campus community choose to demonstrate their perseverance with passion and persuasion, then they will most likely experience what Albert Camus shared about himself: “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Think and do differently now—it will facilitate warmth.