The College Contraction Has Begun

Hamilton Nolan:

An entire generation of Americans has been sold the idea of higher education as a panacea for all ills. That generation of Americans is now shackled…
 Last year, US college enrollment registered a notable decline for the first time in decades. The college boom had peaked. Now, the contraction begins.
 It starts around the margins—community colleges and shitty “for profit” colleges losing students who recognize that they are not necessarily a good investment. A year ago, experts said that “signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years.” That prediction appears to be coming true.
 Bloomberg today surveys the doom that is now creeping into the smaller, weaker, less popular, less financially stable class of private four year colleges. As their own enrollment declines—and without the huge endowments necessary to fill the holes—they risk falling into “death spirals” of continuing cuts and falling popularity, until nothing is left. After the shock of the recession, the weak of higher education are beginning to fall by the wayside:

Via Marc Eisen.