Washington Post education pundit Jay Mathews sees the highly-regarded institutions not responding to the excess demand for their services.
If you owned a factory that was selling everything it made but left 90 percent of orders unfilled, what would you do?

Open more factories, of course.

That’s not the way higher education operates in the United States. The top ranked colleges accept less than 10 percent of applicants. They freely admit that they reject thousands each year just as good as the ones they let in.
His proposal? Franchised branches.  (The idea has been mooted before.)
You probably have some good ideas for prime Ivy satellite spots. How about Dartmouth at Daytona Beach, Brown at Biloxi, Harvard at Huntington Beach, Columbia at Carmel, Penn at Pensacola or Cornell at Corpus Christi?
With qualifications.
I am not suggesting the brand name schools should run the new campuses. They are weak on original thinking, otherwise why wouldn’t they have taken this step already? They might be persuaded, however, to award naming rights to educational entrepreneurs with fresh ideas.

Some companies spend $20 million a year to attach their name to a big league stadium. The chance to use an Ivy name should be worth even more. Just the sweatshirts would be hot items for visitors.

One question to be answered in this scheme: What’s in a name? The popularity of the Ivies does not appear to reflect any significant benefits from attending those leafy campuses. A study by Alan Krueger, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Mathematica Policy Research expert Stacy Berg Dale showed that students accepted by selective colleges who chose not to attend those colleges had incomes just as high 20 years later as those who did attend.
We've been documenting that Spielberg Effect for what feels like forever, and we've offered something simpler that might even work.

1 comment:

Dave Tufte said...

I've remarked for about 15 years that it won't be franchised branches, but rather farm systems. We already are on this path with articulation agreements so that transfers from some schools are first class, and transfers from outside the agreement are second class.