October 23, 2019
Read time : 4 min

College enrollment decreased by 1.7% between spring 2018 and spring 2019. That trend has been consistent during the past eight years and is representative of a changing view of a college education. Here is how higher education is changing.

Higher education in the United States is now a business enterprise and no longer is it considered to be a universal social institution dedicated to the betterment of humanity. The Great Recession accelerated the shift in the opinion, but the reality is that it's been slowly changing during the past 20 years.


Students are more diverse, less likely to attend school full-time, and more likely to be older. Seventy percent of all students work while attending school, and 26% are parents. As students become more diverse in terms of income and race, schools have to address this. To address the genuine need for diversity, higher education has to be prepared to insert developmental staff members to match the changing faces of their student bodies.


Student studying on a laptop.

Technology is changing the way students learn on campus, and an increasing number of students enroll in online classes. The digital revolution is completely changing the way students learn. As more universities embrace screen learning, there are new courses created to address and meet this need. There are now a wide array of higher education institutions that are entirely digital since that's where the students can be found.

Tuition costs

Tuition prices have been steadily increasing, and one in five adults is in debt because of student loans. Students and parents often wonder if the cost of college is worth the investment. It's not just the academic quality of education, but what comes after school that's important as well, namely job placement and earning potential. Affordability, debt and shrinking government funding mean that the sustainability of the higher education landscape is in serious question.

By 2020 the landscape of higher education will be almost unrecognizable. The old geographically based university is on its way out, and that might help smaller schools survive. Hybrid classes taught by instructors who use innovated technology will undoubtedly embrace a pedagogy that's more reliant on group and individual projects in place of in-class lectures.

Up to Us student gives presentation at Oakland University

Up to Us is a program designed to tackle the real problems of higher education right at the start. You owe it to yourself to understand the overall impact of college education, and how paying for higher learning might impact the rest of your life. Up to Us focuses on driving bipartisan communication on issues that are important to you and the country. That's why it works with student lenders on campuses around the country to help raise awareness about the potential adverse effects of shortsighted fiscal policy on their future. Find out how this program can help.