Michael B. Horn
January 2, 2024
To state the obvious, 2023 was a tumultuous year in higher education. But critical questions around academic freedom, free speech, ideological diversity and more aren’t the only things driving turbulence in the sector.
More instability is in store in the year ahead. As the new year dawns, here are four other trends that could change the status quo in 2024.
1. More colleges will close or merge. Emergency funds from the federal government helped keep many institutions that were on shaky financial ground solvent through the 2023 academic year. That’s no longer the case. And according to a Bain & Company report, two-thirds of institutions must shift their business models to survive and thrive.
Expect more institutions to close or merge in 2024 than did in 2023. According to Inside Higher Ed, multiple institutions have announced closures this academic year, including Magdalen College, Lincoln Christian University, Alderson Broaddus University, Alliance University, Cabrini University, Cardinal Stritch University, Finlandia University, Hodges University, Holy Names University, Iowa Wesleyan University, Medaille University, Presentation College, and various for-profits.