Hmm… Maybe spending $50,000 per year to bone up on “great books” isn’t such a great idea, after all.
After years of exploiting lax student loan standards and students’ naive belief in a good liberal arts education, the not-quite-Ivys of the northeast are suffering. Schools like Swarthmore, Middlebury, Amherst and Williams are all seeing applications drop. At Williams, the drop is about 20%.
Of course, these colleges get way more applicants than they have slots to fill, so you might think that the drop is irrelevant, but we’re not sure. For one thing, these schools admit a lot of the same people. So Williams is extending offers to people who made it into Middlebury and Amherst. When you figure in their whacked endowments and the fact that more of these students will need financial aid, it’s easy to see how these schools could quickly find themselves in pain.
As for the students, it used to be that many of them could quickly parlay a generic liberal education into something high-paying, perhaps on Wall Street, through a family connection. Now that relative is probably laid off.