In the next couple of weeks, high school seniors across the country will decide where they’ll be attending college—assuming they can afford it. More and more families are feeling the squeeze, as the cost of a four-year institution has more than doubled at the same time that middle-class incomes have risen by just 10%. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools that will help you understand why this trend is so worrisome (and yet why it may not abate), the important role of community colleges, and how higher education may evolve. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.
The ever-higher cost of higher education
“Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of healthcare?…Such totally uncontrollable expenditures…means that the system is rapidly becoming untenable. Higher education is in deep crisis.”— Peter F. Drucker, as quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Why skyrocketing prices are putting universities in danger. Read more here.
- The risk of overreacting to sticker shock. Watch Pomona College President David Oxtoby weigh in here.
The university as gatekeeper to life
“Few organizations in history have been granted the amount of power that today’s university has. Refusal to admit or to grant the diploma is tantamount to debarring a person from access to a career.”
— Peter F. Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society
- Why universities must balance power with responsibility. Read pages 102-104 here.
- How colleges get away with sins “that would sink almost any other organization.” Read Rick Wartzman’s BusinessWeek column here.
The community college as an answer
“The community college was actually designed…to educate technologists who have both the needed theoretical knowledge and the manual skill. On this, I am convinced, rests both the still huge productivity advantage of the American economy and the…American ability to create, almost overnight, new and different industries.”
— Peter F. Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century
- The strength of the community college system. Read page 151 here.
- Which is best? Click here to see one recent ranking.
Will there still be ivy if there are no walls?
“The college won’t survive as a residential institution. Today’s buildings are hopelessly unsuited and totally unneeded.”— Peter F. Drucker, “Seeing Things As They Really Are,” Forbes
- Will the campus really become a relic? Click here to read more.
- Are online universities the face of the future? Listen to Capella University founder Stephen Shank‘s view.