The Future of College

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Over at the Huffington Post Brett Greene interviews celebrity futurist Thomas Frey. Frey, who is admittedly a little unconventional, thinks that colleges in the future will look very different, at least in part because they’ve just gotten too expensive. As he explains:

The first breaking point will come in the form of money. Overhead costs are far too high, state support is dropping, and college tuition is far too expensive. Colleges are pricing themselves out of existence.

Online education can take place at a fraction of the cost. Many of the courses can be packaged and commoditized, and as courseware aggregators begin to sell courses online, there will invariably be course wars where each will try to undercut the price of their competition.

Colleges have huge operating budgets and the corporate world is seeing this as fertile territory to make money. The vultures are already circling.

Frey, who mostly concentrates on helping corporations make money by predicting future trends, is not exactly making a major revelation here (surprise: more online education). His predictions include one very specific, and shocking statistic. Frey believes that over the next decade 10 percent of all colleges in the U.S. will fail due to the onslaught of the Internet. We shall see. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer