Jan 2019

How Harvard Hurts Small Colleges

Over a quarter of existing colleges will likely fail—that is, close, merge, or declare bankruptcy—in the next 15 years, as I showed in my last post. But a more massive set of failures over a longer timeline isn’t out of the question, which would come closer to Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen’s prediction that 50% of all colleges will fail in the next decade.

There will be several drivers of the failures—a broken business model, a demographic cliff, and disruptive innovation in the form of faster and cheaper options.

But an additional one that falls under the heading of broken business model is the role that Harvard and other well-endowed colleges and universities will play in the struggles of small colleges, some of which have historically had strong reputations.


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