A Closer Look …

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with Anthony Newcombe  

Let’s take a closer look … 

Area:  Education and college students 

Issue:  What can be expected from the “college fallout” due dramatic loss of revenue from the Covid-19 pandemic.  In other words, how do parents of soon to be college students even know which ones will even exist next fall and beyond? 

I hear you folks.  It’s unbelievable what has already taken place over the past 5-6 months in 2020.  Physically, mentally, financially, politically – and otherwise – we all seem to be holding onto our last fiber of sanity (of course, assisted by evening nips of our favorite adult beverage!)  But, how are we supposed to have confidence in the whole process? I mean, does anyone actually have a clue as to what the future of (campus) college holds? Q: When is the SAT/ACT? A: They aren’t counting them this year. Q: What?

However, for those of us who have already sent our kids off to college (many peers, relatives, and good friends), are currently trying to figure out where, and if, we should plan to send them for Fall, 2021 (yours truly). Or, how about the ones who are still trying to figure out the navigation process through the remainder of middle or high school (many others), it’s on all of our minds.  I mean, how could it not? 

We ask, “Will we receive our money’s worth?” Or, “Will the college(s) of our students’ choice even be solvent and open for business when we are ready?”  Basically, we need to know “Who will survive?” I mean, none of us want to go through the rigorous process of college applications – only to see an abyss staring at us all on the other side, correct?!  Are any of the political voting experts also doing “survival polls for colleges?” Something like “Such and such university has a 56% chance of going belly up by 2022 – according to polls at Hanesvillestenber College in Delaware.” Seriously, aren’t many of these colleges already equipped from all of the political forecasting? Quinnipiac? Siena? Bueller? Hello! Anyone?!

And, how do we quantify this process going forward?  Does “virtual learning” equate to the same annual costs as “on campus?”  What’s my R.O.I. (Return on Investment) these days?  Are we poised to get ripped (off)? It’s really something to examine much further. The reason is, if you’re on the college side, you want and need every dollar you can come up with, right?  But, that’s not where we are.  We are on the “other side of the equation.”   Where’s our safety net?

And, damn it, I just don’t know how we can see the value in the 4-year programs like old folks saw many decades prior.  We might need to put our Econ 101 hats on and try to get a grip on what we are now being expected to do. Q: How do we remain both empathetic and business intelligent while educating our offspring? 

Do YOU have any ideas? 

-A.N. 

 

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