Monday, February 17, 2020

Fewer Chinese Students and Fewer Colleges and Universities Sounds Like a Win To Me

SCMP |  Many Chinese students see the United States as an ideal place for college, despite the current tension between the two economic superpowers.
But students and their parents need to exercise caution. A stark demographic drop is coming for US colleges. The US high school population, which has been declining, will drop significantly by 2026. This will strain an already financially stressed industry.

Like any investor, it will be important to look at a school’s current financial condition and assess how well it is run for future viability. As a start, here are three areas and specific metrics commonly tracked by schools.

First, how good is the college at their core function(s) of teaching and/or research? If they’re poorly run in key functions, they’re likely to be poorly run administratively.

Look at the following for the school overall and by major/college: graduation rates, retention rates, teaching scores, number of books and articles published recently, research funding and per cent of external funding. External funding is a quick measure on how competitive research and approaches are.

Second, how effective is the school in getting students to their goal of discovering a career, getting an advanced degree, or getting a job in their desired country?

Look at the percentage of students using career services, satisfaction rates, and the percentage of students graduating with a job or accepted to graduate school by major/college. Schools should publish these numbers so be wary of any place that doesn’t.