College in America Could Be Changed Forever

commentary

Jul 7, 2020

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

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

Photo by Keiko Hiromi/Reuters

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on 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.