Colleges Saw a Flood of Students at Recession’s Peak—and Discouraging Results

Katherine Mangan, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Nov 18, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In 2008 the recession hit and colleges and universities saw a flood of new students looking to improve their knowledge and skills between jobs while the economy recovered. Six years and tens of thousands of dollars later, how did they fare? Not so well. In a nutshell, the system failed them. "Only 55 percent of the students who entered college in the fall of 2008, at the peak of the Great Recession, had earned college degrees or certificates by May 2014, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center." In view of those numbers, open online learning looks like an attractive alternative indeed. See also Inside Higher Ed on the same story.

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