Is the college bubble about to burst?

Madison Rexroat

The industry of higher education has expanded significantly for decades, but that expansion has slowed down.

For the past 30 years, higher education has enjoyed a boom of demand and prosperity, with prices increasing nearly 400 percent – even when the median household income growth remains relatively flat. 

Despite the price tag, nearly every other college-related statistic has stopped growing or at least slowed down. The annual growth rate of college tuition is at its lowest rate in years and so is the growth rate of student debt. College enrollment has been in decline for five years and the payback rate of a college education has slowed almost to a halt.

There is also a decline in the number of colleges available as schools, especially small schools, are taking a hit and even starting to close. That rate – the decline in the number of colleges – is accelerating.

The main reason for the decline is that there are fewer people going to college. Declining birth rates have led to fewer high school graduates and therefore, fewer prospective college students.

Whatever the past growth of college has been, the future is now even more uncertain. 

To read the full story by The Atlantic, click here.