Harvard University campus after it shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 25, 2020, photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

commentary

(CNN)

College in America Could Be Changed Forever

Harvard University campus after it shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 25, 2020

Photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

by Charles A. Goldman and Rita Karam

July 7, 2020

The college experience in America might never look the same.

COVID-19 is threatening to upend the models that both public and private higher education depend on in the United States. As universities consider whether to postpone in-person classes until next year, many parents and students may be questioning the value of a traditional higher education.

Colleges and universities have been increasing their use of online learning for years. COVID-19 has accelerated that change, forcing students and faculty across the country to adapt to online methods. Some colleges have replaced all in-person instruction, labs and exams with online delivery.

Face-to-face interactions with professors and other students have been a core aspect of the experience at many colleges and universities.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at cnn.com.


Charles A. Goldman is a senior economist and Rita T. Karam is a senior policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Both are professors at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on July 7, 2020. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.