Higher education's sea change – Axios

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Enrollment is down, longstanding traditions are crumbling and applicant pools are changing dramatically.
The big picture: Higher education in the U.S. is in the midst of a sea change, forcing schools to adapt with the times.
What's happening: College enrollment had been trending downward, and the pandemic accelerated the trend.
The stakes: The number of colleges closing over the last decade quadrupled compared with the prior decade, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Colleges are responding to dropping enrollment by introducing hybrid and online learning options. And universities are trying to lower hurdles to admission during the pandemic by scrapping standardized testing requirements.
Between the lines: Another longstanding tradition of higher education — U.S. News' annual college rankings list — may also be wavering.
State of play: The demographics of college students broadly have also shifted.
Yes, but: Institutions are still far from closing the disparities in enrollment among historically underrepresented groups.
What to watch: One group of institutions bucking the dropping enrollment trend is HBCUs. Applications to top-tier HBCUs jumped as much as 30% between 2018 and 2021, per PBS NewsHour.
Go deeper … Colleges are upending majors


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