A recent spate of closings and mergers may signal greater turbulence to come for the private nonprofit sector, whose 1,700 institutions enroll about 30 percent of all students attending four-year colleges. States vary in both their demographic projections and the degree to which their higher-education systems rely on private schools, but informed observers agree that more closures are inevitable. The more important question is, what kind of higher-education system do we want? One that’s composed mainly of elite schools for top students and public universities for everyone else? Or a system that offers a variety of choices, in both the public and private spheres, for all kinds of students? To learn more, read “Private Colleges in Peril” by Stephen Eide.

—Education Next

Last updated July 25, 2018