Joanne Jacobs predicts the residential college experience will soon be out of reach for most students.
In the near future, the residential college experience will become a luxury item, I predict. Most people will decide it makes more sense to hang out with their friends, play beer pong, root for a professional football team and earn a low-cost career credential.
This quote comes from a post where Jacobs wrote about Michael Gibson’s perspective on the four elements of a traditional college experience.
- Academic — study time
- Tribal membership — loyalty to an institution
- Friends, community, and network
- Status that comes with being identified as an alumnus of a particular school
Although he foresees significant changes for higher education, Gibson isn’t quite sure how these elements will “crumble”, recognizing that “the bonds of tribe, status, and friendship are very strong”. The academic element may be the easiest to replace, with new options enabled by technology,
How do you replace the status bestowed by a traditional college degree?
Time will tell if the loyalty, community, and status that college students seek will be continue to command high tuition prices, or will be obtained by other less costly methods. Is status the most important benefit a college now offers? It depends. Many graduates value their college friendships and networks the most. However, status would seem to be the most difficult element to replace if college no longer offers it. As suggested by Jacobs, even without college I can find like-minded friends and a professional football team to support.