One of my colleagues and I were commenting the other day that more and more high school graduates seem to be choosing the path of least cost versus the path of elite schools. As family income drops and college has become increasingly expensive, many students are unwilling to take on the debt of a higher level four-year institution. This becomes especially true if the desired profession will not make enough money to pay off an obscene amount of student loan debt.
I saw an article today that describes this situation as the higher education bubble. The author thinks that having a "four-year degree from a decent to elite school" will be less impressive in the future:
Post-bubble, perhaps students -- and employers, not to mention parents and lenders --will focus instead on education that fosters economic value. And that is likely to press colleges to focus more on providing useful majors. (That doesn't necessarily rule out traditional liberal-arts majors, so long as they are rigorous and require a real general education, rather than trendy and easy subjects, but the key word here is "rigorous.")
Update: Please note that I posted this and then noticed almost the identical post at powerlineblog.com. I didn't steal their post - I wouldn't dare - they only have about a few million more viewers than I do.