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Burns' Analysis of College Solvency Featured in Major News Outlet

Rachel Burns

Insights from Rachel Burns (McBee PhD), a senior policy analyst at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, are featured heavily in a article on financial solvency at US private colleges.

Burns provides an overview of strains and opportunities for schools with smaller endowments and context for the recent acceleration of college closings. 

Burns notes that federal assistance during the pandemic provided a critical lifeline to struggling schools. “Institutions that were not in a great place prior to the pandemic survived the pandemic because of that additional funding, but now they’re back where they were before,” said Burns. 

The article also cites Burns on falling enrollments experienced by some institutions. “Another issue is the demographic cliff that is coming really from the declining birth rates,” Burns said. “Then there are enrollment declines because the cost of college has increased so substantially.”

Despite these costs, Burns says that college credentials are still valuable on the job market. While high school graduates are able to find jobs, Burns adds that “[T]he workforce is evolving so quickly that most jobs will require, if not some college education, a four-year degree.”

Overall, Burns is optimistic about the financial future of higher education. While acknowledging the “devastating” hardships caused by closures, she said some reductions to the overall number of schools are potentially beneficial for field because they “allow the limited resources that we have at the state and federal level to go to the institutions that are most likely to provide high quality education for students.”

Read the article at: 


Type of News/Audience:


PhD, 2018

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