Half of all US colleges to be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years

From Abigail Hess at CNBC:

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, but Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half are bound for bankruptcy in the next few decades.

In his recent book, “The Innovative University,” Christensen and co-author Henry Eyring analyze the future of traditional universities, and conclude that online education will become a more cost-effective way for students to receive an education, effectively undermining the business models of traditional institutions and running them out of business.More.

Reality check: If so: No one cares if the snowflake is holding a social justice revolution in Mom’s basement in front of a screen full of assignments. He’d better raise hell wherever he can in the meantime.

See also: Wow! U just cut sociology and other “useless” majors. Yes, hard to believe, but true. Sociology is a way of training Orwell’s Outer Party, the educated class whose control of information keep others from freedom.


  • Norman_In_New_York

    The great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called changes of this nature “creative destruction,” as an obsolete business is replaced by a more modern and cost effective one.

    • Watchman

      – basic mobile phones vs iPhone
      – fax machines vs email and MMS
      – pagers vs mobile phones
      – horse-drawn carriages vs trains vs buses
      – records vs CDs vs Spotify
      – typing pools vs word processors
      – blackboards vs whiteboards

  • Watchman

    STEM students crossing off the days until they can do their entire degree online – but knowing they will likely be forced to do some XYZ-Studies subjects in person before they are allowed to graduate.

  • Jaedo Drax

    Well, most universities have too many administrators, and too many useless “teachers”.

    I’m sure the hedge funds that happen to run a university will be fine (see Harvard, Yale, Etc.)

    • Dave

      And way too many useless courses!

  • DMB

    In Ontario the Liberals spend millions of dollars to not only renovate and expand colleges & universities but transform them into something that resembles the taj mahal meaning they have become opulent in look and design. All the school administrators need to do is come up with a dollar figure and the government gives them a blank cheque. The government in return boosts about how they are “reinvesting” tax dollars into education and infrastructure. On line education will drastically undercut the cost of education for so much is spent on administrative salaries and infrastructure. One day many of these institutions will become “white elephants” burdening municipalities.

  • Hard Little Machine

    If true not a bad story but HBR is known for making hyperbolic statements about the future.

    • Alain

      A better story would be the closure of all of them.

    • Good point but there are other signs of a spent force too – obliviousness comes to mind

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  • WalterBannon

    Half Of All US Colleges are worthless,

    the other half like Berkeley and Harvard are even less than worthless at twice the price

  • Oh, well …

  • Blacksmith

    I cannot see this as anything but a positive development.

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