Top Trends in Education
There have been a lot of changes in the education world over the past few years. The government has been cracking down on for-profit schools and their enrollment practices. Large Universities have started to launch more online degree programs and competition is fiercer than ever before. There have also been budget cuts in state schools leading to layoffs in multiple departments. Most schools are doing more with less. In many schools enrollments have increased so it is weird to see the budget cuts taking place. For schools that have not developed online courses they are hurting the most. The education industry is counter-cyclical; meaning when the economy is doing well and people have jobs enrollments in schools actually decrease. On the other hand, when the economy is in a slump or recession more students go back to school. They feel they have to get a degree to be more competitive when searching for a job or impress their boss to keep their job.
Even though online education has increased over the years, there were a couple of schools doing business unethically, according to the United States Government. The government felt Kaplan University and University of Phoenix were enrolling students that were not necessarily qualified for their online degree programs. They would admit the students and help them with all of their financial aid paperwork. Unfortunately, the students were not passing the courses which led to them defaulting on their student loans. So the students were incurring debt, late fees, and not receiving their degrees. This was a big issue according to the government and their investigations. They went in and cleaned house so to say. Both schools had to lay off employees due to the government’s findings.
Online degree programs have had their share of criticism over the years, but that hasn’t slowed them down. Now that state Universities are launching online programs the public view an online degree as equivalent to a campus program the majority of the time. Because schools like Boston University, Penn State, and University of Cincinnati offer online classes and degree programs employers are starting to accept more and more degrees completed online.
In summary, even though enrollments in online degree programs are up some schools are feeling the heat. They have since altered their enrollment practices to stay compliant with the United States Government. State schools are offering more and more online programs to stay competitive in the market and increase their revenue. And finally, remember the education industry is counter-cyclical so if enrollments are down it could be because the unemployment rate is also down.