- After years of aggressive expansion efforts, higher education is facing the consequences — according to Moody's, overall debt levels for rated institutions more than doubled from 2000 to 2011 while donations and investments shrank by more than 40% relative to the debt.
- While debt has swiftly reached a tipping point for universities, they are not alone — the total amount of student debt currently exceeds $1 trillion and nearly one in every six borrowers' student loan balance is in default.
- Experts and school officials are predicting an imminent reshaping of the field of higher education — Harvard's annual fiscal report claims "the need for change is clear" as institutions face a decreased "ability to generate [...] new resources".
- As prospective students become aware of the decreasing value of the higher ed degree, the sudden emergence of MOOCs are becoming an increasingly viable and economically-friendly alternative.
From the article:
"Some call it the Edifice Complex. Others have named it the Law of More, or the Taj Mahal syndrome.
A decade-long spending binge to build academic buildings, dormitories and recreational facilities — some of them inordinately lavish to attract students — has left colleges and universities saddled with large amounts of debt. Oftentimes, students are stuck picking up the bill. ..."