College is often one of the most enjoyable parts of the lives of American students. It’s a time of discovery, with studying and socializing being priorities of course. Campus life is full of wonder and challenges, and there are plenty of internships and externships to prepare oneself for a career.
But the coronavirus has changed all that, if not fully than at least partially. The changes are bound to be permanent, in one way or another.
What is going to change the most? Most likely there will be a big shift to affordable or free online college degrees and certificates.
You can already find some college courses for free on the internet. Simply visit the website of your local community college and there is likely to be some courses available at no cost. Pretty soon the local four-year universities will offer at least a few classes to be taken for free, if not a lot of them.
It is the way of the future for college programs to become more affordable and less costly. And eventually it seems likely that universities will offer zero tuition programs on every major. It is inevitable.
Make no mistake, colleges and universities will still find ways to make money if there is no revenue from tuition. There are student fees for this or that and extra fees for miscellaneous things.
The world is well aware that working from home and attending school remotely are both the new normal. Schools and colleges that offer cost-free programs that lead to in-demand jobs are likely to gain many advocates and lots of enrollees.
Free is a powerful magnet, and it works especially well when the object is a college degree or specialized certificate. The days of over-priced programs with debt-burdened graduates are going to be a thing of the past one day.