By Natalie Schwartz
While it makes sense for the institution to carve out a niche, it remains to be seen whether its bet on graduate online education will pay off, said Michael Horn, who has authored books on college and the future of education.
“It does make sense that this may have been their only path to maintaining solvency, and they have a certain angle that is attractive,” Horn said. “But it doesn’t feel like a guarantee by any means.”
The university’s graduate enrollment has fared only slightly better than its undergraduate enrollment. From the fall of 2013 to the fall of 2019, graduate student enrollment fell 30.5%, compared to a 34.5% decrease in undergraduates, according to federal data.
“This is the worry,” Horn said. “You’re already hemorrhaging students.” While graduate enrollment has grown during the pandemic, the university will be in a competitive market for online programs, he said.