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USS University

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on July 17, 2020

6-min read

Our fumbling, incompetent response to the pandemic continues. In six weeks, a key component of our society is in line to become the next vector of contagion: higher education. Right now half of colleges and universities plan to offer in-person classes, something resembling a normal college experience, this fall. This cannot happen. In-person classes should be minimal, ideally none. 

The economic circumstances for many of these schools are dire, and administrators will need imagination — and taxpayer dollars — to avoid burning the village to save it. Per current plans, hundreds of colleges will perish. 

There is a dangerous conflation of the discussion about K-12 and university reopenings. The two are starkly different. There are strong reasons to reopen K-12, and there are stronger reasons to keep universities shuttered. University leadership needs to evolve from denial (“It’s business as usual”) past bargaining (“We’ll have a hybrid model with some classes in person”) to citizenship (“We are the warriors against this virus, not its enablers”). 

Think about this. Next month, as currently envisioned, 2,800+ cruise ships retrofitted with white boards and a younger cohort will set sail in the midst of a raging pandemic. The density and socialization on these cruise ships could render college towns across America the next virus hot spots.

Why are administrators putting the lives of faculty, staff, students, and our broader populace at risk? 

The ugly truth is many college presidents believe they have no choice. College is an expensive operation with a relatively inflexible cost structure. Tenure and union contracts render the largest cost (faculty and administrator salaries) near immovable objects. The average salary of a full professor (before benefits and admin support costs) is $104,820, though some make much more, and roughly 50% of full-time faculty have tenure. While some universities enjoy revenue streams from technology transfer, hospitals, returns on multibillion dollar endowments, and public funding, the bulk of colleges have become tuition dependent. If students don’t return in the fall, many colleges will have to take drastic action that could have serious long-term impacts on their ability to fulfill their missions. 

That gruesome calculus has resulted in a tsunami of denial

Universities owning up to the truth have one thing in common: they can afford to. Harvard, Yale, and the Cal State system have announced they will hold most or all classes online. The elite schools’ endowments and waiting lists make them largely bullet proof, and more resilient to economic shock than most countries — Harvard’s endowment is greater than the GDP of Latvia. At the other end of the prestige pole, Cal State’s reasonable $6,000 annual tuition and 85% off-campus population mean the value proposition, and underlying economic model, remain largely intact even if schooling moves online. 

Who Will Thrive, Survive, Struggle, or Face Significant Challenges?

Over the last month, we assembled a worksheet that looks at the immunities and comorbidities of 441 universities included in US News and World Report’s Top National College Rankings. This dataset compiles numbers from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) maintained by the US Department of Education, US News & World Report, Google Keyword Planner,’s Student Life Scores, and the Center on Education & the Workforce. This dataset should not be taken as peer-reviewed or final. It’s a working document that seeks to analyze and understand the US college and university landscape and to help universities craft solutions. 

We plotted each university across two axes (four quadrants):

  • Value: (Credential * Experience * Education) / Tuition.
  • Vulnerability: (Endowment / Student and % International Students). Low endowment and dependence on full-tuition international students make a university vulnerable to Covid shock, as they may decide to sit this semester/year out. Consumers generally don’t like to pay the rack rate at a hotel whose general manager harasses them and is a bigot. But I digress.


  • Thrive: The elite schools and those that offer strong value have an opportunity to emerge stronger as they consolidate the market, double down on exclusivity, and/or embrace big and small tech to increase the value via a decrease in cost per student.
  • Survive: Schools that will see demand destruction and lower revenue, but will be fine, as they have the brand equity, credential-to-cost ratio, and/or endowments to weather the storm.
  • Struggle: Tier-2 schools with one or more comorbidities, such as high admit rates (anemic waiting lists), high tuition, or scant endowments.
  • Challenged: Sodium pentathol cocktail of high admit rates, high tuition, low endowments, dependence on international students, and weak brand equity.

Click here to enlarge the chart.

The worksheet is here. Our aim is to catalyze a conversation about how universities can adjust their value proposition.

Phase 3 Spread

The US has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the infections and deaths. Phase 1 of the spread was enabled by a mix of arrogance and incompetence. It appears the virus did not get the memo about our exceptionalism and is indifferent to our optimism. The venues for spread were cruise ships and nursing homes. Phase 2 found governors infected with the same arrogance, enabling a younger generation of superspreaders. Again the virus appeared rude and unwilling to read the room, and recognize our desire to return to normalcy. A Phase 3 wave appears to be forming, due to a mix of economic pressure and lack of imagination on the part of academic leadership.

“These plans are so unrealistically optimistic that they border on delusional and could lead to outbreaks of Covid-19 among students, faculty and staff.” 
— Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Psychology Professor at Temple University 

Small college towns across the country are being set up for disaster. Distancing, plexiglass, quaranteams, reconfigured dorms, A/B class shifts … all efforts taken in good faith, doubtlessly endorsed by medical advisors. But on-campus measures will only be effective with adherence to off-campus measures. It’s delusional to think students will keep 6 feet apart.

The bucolic, culturally rich college towns across America may pay a steep price. Many are not prepared for a surge of infections. Some have permanent populations with high numbers of retirees attracted by the cultural benefits of a nearby college. Other at-risk cohorts include cafeteria workers, maintenance crews, security guards, librarians, bartenders, cab drivers, their spouses and family members, and anyone else unfortunate enough to have made the once perfectly reasonable decision to live in a college town. And if/when there is an outbreak, the healthcare infrastructure of these university towns could be overrun in a matter of weeks, if not days. 

What Needs to Happen

University leadership across America should immediately announce fall classes will be all online, no in-person classes. It will be devastating economically for the weakest. State governments desperate for cuts in the face of shrinking tax revenues will need help from the federal government: if we can give Kanye $5 million, we can help save Purdue. The Fed just expanded the “Main Street” lending program to nonprofits, including universities. Alumni who have parlayed their education into fortunes should step up and make sure the next generation can follow. 

But assistance will only go so far. Schools will have to undertake what firms ranging from Nike and Condé Nast to Wells Fargo and Walgreens have done — cut costs and prices. Most important, colleges should not waste this crisis and should demand their organization become facile with big and small tech to dramatically increase enrollments while lowering costs. 

College-town elected officials and their universities should regulate the incursion of superspreaders and ask most/all to take their online classes from home. Living on campus but taking classes online, as Harvard is doing, is dangerous but possibly worthwhile, especially for vulnerable populations like international students, who were threatened with deportation. Creative solutions can be found. Explore all options, instead of being in denial. Denial is more expensive than facing reality.

University leadership and faculty aim to help young people find their greatness. Part of that charge is to instill grit, perspective, a sense of curiosity/innovation, citizenship, and a comity of man. We should lead by example. 

Life is so rich, 

P.S. Join us for a live Prof G Show recording, a panel on the future of higher ed, August 6 at 6–7:30pm ET. Sign up and you’ll have a chance to ask us a question. And on this week’s episode, I spoke to Obama healthcare alum Andy Slavitt about the prospects for a vaccine and how the government can help.

Update: We’ve amended the above post to more accurately reflect the average salary of a full professor across universities. We’ve also amended the US Education: Value vs. Vulnerability chart to reflect changes to school categorizations based on updates we’ve made to our dataset. However, this dataset remains a working document, so for the most accurate categorization of schools, please refer to the dataset. An earlier version of this post also named the “Challenged” quadrant “Perish” — we’ve updated this wording.



  1. Delinda Swadling says:

    I read it a long time ago.

  2. n says:

    Dear professor Galloway, do you think that there going to be a trend for students to prefer joining course online provided by giant tech companies cooperating with prestigious universities since there are numerous amount of universities are struggled and challenged?

  3. Killian Weir says:

    Or…the schools could get real and get their undergrad scholars fully vested in CLEP and hope the pandemic ends after another semester. CLEP= study the book, take a multiple choice test for college credit.

  4. Eric Williams says:

    The implicit assertion is that there would be fewer COVID-19 cases if universities went online instead of in person. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. In many cases universities have lower case rates than their surrounding community, sometimes by a lot. It’s possible that leaving students at home, while getting the school “off the hook”, would result in more cases. The university is some form of controlled community. This said, I can’t assert this with any certainty. I’m just raising the point that given available data and models, I suspect the answer is, unfortunately, unknown and case-by-case.

  5. K. Jensen says:

    What about NH pub. university system? Small system in a small state….

  6. Frisco Kid says:

    This comment section is livid. So many professors are demanding peer-reviewed research from a personal blog. They are also demanding redactions and apologies for tarnishing their brands’ reputations and eroding trust with faculty, parents, and students. If this single piece of content is causing that much uncertainty and disturbance, (rather than being ignored), then there wasn’t much trust in these institutions to begin with.

  7. Rainier Man says:

    Pleased to see my alma mater is not on the list, but ‘we’ know they are at least struggling if not challenged. This should scare the pants out of them enough to change now instead of 10 years. Further, I’m very surprised that Evergreen State College in WA is not on the list. That school is on ‘red alert’ right now. No more photon torpedoes, shields down to 6%.

  8. Keith says:

    Hi, Professor Galloway. I’d like to see Rollins College (in Winter Park, FL) added to your analysis. Amazing work!

  9. D Johnson says:

    Dear Professor Galloway. It would be interesting if you revisited this article. I don’t think the doom and gloom predictions in regards to public health for schools that have re-opened have unfolded. The colleges in Alabama seem to be adapting and the hospital system has not been overwhelmed. The idea that college campuses are Covid cruise ships that will harm the surrounding town has not played out. Sure, college students have gotten Covid but teachers have protected themselves. The Covid cases have dropped on the Auburn campus after an initial surge. The Alabama University system has an innovative contract tracing app for all students. This technology could easily be adopted on other campuses.

  10. James Hasik says:

    My university is back in session, in person, and I have volunteered to teach. My daughter’s university is in session, in person, and I am grateful for it. Honestly, I’m just so tired of these “truth” tirades. Call me at the end of the school year. We’ll see how well this has worked for those who want to hide at home, and those who have sortied out.

    • Linda G Harris says:

      James, you forgot to give us your phone number so we can call you at the end of the school year. And we surely need to to know where you teach and where your daughter attends university so we can evaluate where “truth” actually resides.

  11. Christina says:

    My university went from “Thrive” to “Struggle” and because i cannot see previous versions of the data I cannot tell what caused this change.

  12. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke says:

    Thank you for your work. I see that Mills College of Oakland California is not included in the data set, and wonder if this might have been an oversight.

  13. PanJ says:

    Scott This is a great piece. As we watch colleges reopen and close, i think this data could be updated on a quarterly basis to provide a real world feedback loop for the schools. We will need to prepare for another virus or the secondwave of COVID.

  14. Lydia Cornelia Silva says:

    Hard hitting but realistic. Very challenging for the largely conservative world of higher education. Lydia

  15. james prudent says:

    I want to thank you for your work and I hope you the best. I worked with our UW-Madison system for years on apprenticeship programs, on-line learning, inclusion, ….and have found that while many of our recent Chancellors are willing to talk, the Forces of Resistance behind the curtains (boards, provosts, for-profit companies, state republicans, unions, FASAB, ..) block them from steering their ships away from the abyss. My hope is that SARS2 (rebranded as Covid-19) will force change, but the academic wall is thick. Please keep up this fight and ask for our help. The future of learning and democracy depends on it.

  16. Chris says:

    The endowment per student figure for Union College appears to be vastly overstated – unless its endowment grew by c. $800m this year or Union has slashed enrollment considerably.

  17. Hank Sinatra says:

    Let’s talk about the most important issue… the title of the piece. “USS” stands for United States Ship, and is restricted to ships of the US Navy. “SS” means Steamship, and is found on ships powered by steam (old school). Now most cruise ships use the prefix M/V for “Motor Vessel”, having Diesel engines. Looking forward to an immediate correction. 🙂

  18. Chris says:

    Surprising to not see some of the larger and well known online universities in this assessment (SNHU, Liberty, Phoenix, Purdue, etc.)

  19. Dave says:

    It’s an interesting read but a crazy superficial analysis. For example (and full-disclosure, I have no connection with, but covet the endowment of…), Grinnell is in the “survive” category, yet it could literally operate as-is on its endowment with zero revenue for the next 25 years. I suppose it’s better than it being listed as “challenged,” but still….

    • Joe says:

      This is because Galloway has no idea what he’s talking about … And he’s an investor in on-line education who is trying to convince parents that their child is better off taking courses on line than attending schools like highly selective schools like Grinnell. What Galloway wants people to think is that, if their child doesn’t get into the likes of Harvard, Stanford, etc., then they shouldn’t spend money on schools that are just a bit less selective. They should give their money to an on-line education provider.

  20. Janet Garwood says:

    Where is Purdue Northwest in the data set?

  21. Brooke Spater says:

    It’s not delusional to expect kids to stay six feet apart. My son’s camp in Maine has been a HUGE success this summer. Look up Camp Winona on Facebook and you will see an amazing story, unlike all the doom and gloom being published. Masks have been worn and kids have thrived. Let’s not undermine what kids (who will be our future leaders) are capable of. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  22. Andrew Barton says:

    Your methodology sucks: UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, and Carnegie Mellon all “Survive”…back to the drawing board for your stupid methodology.

  23. John Gates says:

    Originally I found The College of Wooster on the list of institutions in the data set, but now I can’t. I should be there.

  24. carl c says:

    Clemson is prominently displayed in the graphic under “thrive”, but is listed as “survive” in your table. Which is correct.

  25. Professor PJ says:

    Thank you for publishing and highlighting the vulnerability of different universities. The analysis and commentary is a good starting point for what is likely to be a long journey for some of these schools. My university, Florida Tech is listed as perish and it has caused a fair amount of discussion on campus. It also caused our president to quickly dismiss the analysis without directing faculty to the actual article. Our university will clearly have major struggles going forward given the heavy reliance on international students and what is poor overall leadership and a high debt load. There are several comments in this section that discuss Florida Tech and they are spot on. As faculty we want to see the university thrive, however, the administration is not structured for success. As RJ Helper points out the current president, Dr McCay has had a revolving door of leadership. There have been several CFOs, Provosts and turnover of nearly all the deans over the last several years. The current “inner circle” lacks leadership experience. The new provost struggled as a m professor, appointed dean since he is a yes man and has little respect from faculty. As others have shared in the comment here, we the faculty are helpless as many of us are on annual contracts as we have limited tenure positions. This prevents us from talking publicly about our issues and concerns. While Perish may be harsh we have challenges and have seen several rounds of furloughs and layoffs. The latest round of furloughs has cut into essential services. Just this week, we learned that there are not enough support staff to deliver mail and the new expectation is faculty should pick up their own mail. The worst is yet come. Professor Galloway this is a university worth studying deeper as the likelihood of the university failing is getting stronger everyday and the current president doesn’t seem to have the skills or openness to address our issues. Lack of tenure prevents us from taking on the president with a no confidence vote. We tried to get the local newspaper to investigate the concerns but they went quite. Recently we learned the university hadn’t reported sexual crimes on campus which is a violation of the Cleary Act. That investigation is ongoing and fines could be in the millions, Millions which will push the university closer to the brink.

  26. Bogart Holland says:

    Rah. Virginia Mil, Rah, Rah, Rah!

  27. Ray Maruschak says:

    I enjoy your podcast, with you alone, better than Pivot with Kara Swisher.

  28. Mike Harris says:

    You ability to link facts on the ground to future actions and consequences consistently astounds and impresses me. Loyola MD today made the 100% on-line call

  29. Julie M Sisco says:

    The FT Enrollment listed for Saint Mary’s College (IN) is incorrect. However that number does match the IPEDS 2018 FT enrollment for Saint Mary’s College of California.

  30. Cori A says:

    Hey, usually really like your content — but, why is Babson (my alma mater) not included in the analysis worksheet when it is included as a logo on the article-heading graphic depicting cruise ships at sea? It gives the impression that you evaluated Babson’s position going into this crisis, when in fact it’s not part of your dataset. Please remove Babson’s logo from your graphic or include it in your analysis. Please don’t play fast-and-loose with these institutions’ names; using the college’s identity without even including it in your analysis degrades your credibility.

    • Mitch M says:

      Agreed; as another Babson alumnus, I would rather have Babson removed if it isn’t part of the analysis.

    • Warren says:

      @Mitch M “Professor” Scott isn’t exactly an academic when it comes to his research (this is him doing the research, not a qualified researcher or academic institution), so have a low bar for his editorial and academic rigor and integrity here. He has succeeded on his narcissism, using facts out of context and not on truth via the details of reality. Don’t read him too deeply, he frequently contradicts himself, ranting on his booze habit one day and says he is sober for years in another setting… *clearly has an alcohol problem as well.

  31. Cary Barney says:

    You can take Marlboro College off the list. It has ceased operations and transferred its endowment, tenured and tenure track faculty, and some students to Emerson College in Boston, and sold its Vermont campus. Marlboro alumni such as myself cannot remember a time when the college was not “struggling” so it’s especially sad to see it go now — especially as your study did not put it in the “perish” category.

  32. Stu-Dent says:

    So can you tell me why NYU has decided to RAISE tuition by 1500 a year? It seems hypocritical. You should name and shame them in your article, since you have tenure!

  33. Matt says:

    NOTE: Your data clearly confuses St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, NY) with Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, CA). Same with the provided chart.

  34. Dr Verlander says:

    Good thinking and analysis, except for the childish editorial comments peppered throughout.

  35. John says:

    It seems to me, that it might be beneficial to take all of the college kids and out then on cruise ships, because we can track who are it better and they are at little too no risk at all. For being a professor, this wasn’t a very objective discussion even if it includes a model and quantitative measures.

  36. Ron says:

    I think you’ll want to check your most recent data sheet. I compared quadrant assignments to earlier ones that I downloaded, and found changes in assignments for 56 schools. For instance, Shenandoah University went from “Struggle” to “Challenged aka Perish.” There were 53 changes in % of international students–one of two factors that influences Vulnerability. I audited a few of those. For instance, the earliest data sheets I downloaded from your site show Ball State University at 0% international students. The one today shows it at 13% The University reports in its Factbook 2%, which is consistent with my query of IPEDS. On the other hand, Middlebury’s international student % goes from 1% in earlier datasets to 11% in today’s. This time, the most recent is consistent with IPEDS (and self reporting). Can you explain what’s going on here? Can you tell us what IPEDS table, variable, and line you’re using (e.g., all international students, full-time, full-time UG, incoming UG)?

  37. rob says:

    (having troubles adding comment) As with any model, the data and weightings (and I assume correct formulae) are important and subjective in the case of weightings. One item that struck me was use of “average tuition” from ipeds. This looks to me to be problematic. I believe he took for public institutions the average of in/out state and for private he took the “average”. The problem is he should be using “net price” which is the actual price paid. Really, he should be using real revenue per student. His figure is pretty bogus since some schools heavily discount or provide aid. For private schools with relatively low admit rates, the “solution” is to admit more students with less need to drive up average revenue. These are the types of choices schools with that lever to pull will have to make. If a school doesn’t have a wait list, it will have challenges. Anyway, some schools he shows as challenged will just admit more students who can pay full freight — happily taking a seat at a more prestigious school. This isn’t rocket science. These schools use outside firms to model incoming classes to meet multiple goals though a revenue minimum is one. Just like this model can be re-weighted, those models will be re-weighted to meet the new, important goal of shoring up revenue. That will mean a couple years of less diversity unfortunately.

  38. Tiffany says:

    Can Fairleigh Dickinson University be added to the list please?

  39. Ron says:

    Mr. Galloway has quietly altered one of his quadrant categories from “Perish” to “Challenged.” But since he posted his blog and study a number of days ago, scores of regional and industry media outlets picked up on it and actually named the names of schools in their regions who are “at risk” of “Perishing.” A few headlines: “hundreds of universities will shutter,” “colleges are on the brink,” “colleges most likely to perish.” Now, how can those schools that Mr. Galloway originally destined to “perish,” reverse whatever doubts he raised in the minds of students, families, donors, community leaders, and others? All based on a poorly designed and executed study, that he admits is still undergoing data corrections. Another thing: Mr. Galloway covers himself with the disclaimer that the study and datasheet have not been “peer-reviewed.” Am I wrong in my understanding that you peer-review research BEFORE you publish and publicly disseminate–to button-down the methodology and data and to make sure it meets research standards–not AFTER? (BTW, while he’s changing the wording from Perish to Challenged, he might also want to edit his introductory explanatory phrase –“Sodium pentathol [sic] cocktail”–still sounds like euthanasia or execution to me, not a “challenge” to be addressed.)

    • Joe says:

      He’s a fraud. I am familiar with one school that he has listed as “Challenged.” But when I ran his data through his stated methodology, the school’s actual rank is on the border of “survive” and “thrive.” Since this was first published, this school went on to admit one the most selective classes in the school’s history with an admit rate below 45%.

  40. MRS says:

    Is there a reason you deleted Wheaton College in Massachusetts and left Wheaton College in Illinois? I see from the comments they both used to be included but then you said you deleted one. Thanks!

  41. Pancho says:

    The CDC put the median age of COVID victims at 78, the life expectancy in the US is 78. I mean logic tells you college student will not really be at risk. I would worry about the older staff, but they can teach online classes, couldn’t they? In 2018, my mom died of the flu…of course she had been battling metastatic breast cancer for several years, but sure, we can blame it on the flu. What they government needs to d is IDENTIFY the vulnerable, old and sick, and make a plan to protect them. EVERYONE else needs to go on living!

  42. Allan says:

    What a data lightweight. Both in terms of this preposterous rubric and about public health risk.

  43. Joshua says:

    Some formulas are dragged incorrectly. See cell AA424 versus AA423. I would recommend locking ranges as well.

  44. Todd Lindley says:

    Insightful opinion piece, but I think he might be out of touch with the current state of faculty on the majority of campuses in the US. Why focus on Full Prof average pay, when that comprises less than 10% of all faculty members? “75.5% of college faculty are now off the tenure track, meaning they have NO access to tenure. This represents 1.3 million out of 1.8 million faculty members. Of these, 700,000 or just over 50% are so-called part-time, most often known as “adjunct.” Source: Dept of Education (2009) When you consider that upwards 80% of all courses are taught by part-time, adjunct, or grad student instructors, it is obvious that the ‘cost’ of instruction per credit hour has been constantly driven downward. Meanwhile, admin positions have increased both in number and in salary. These facts are well known. Not sure why this report leads with such a misleading data point as full professor salaries. That’s like attributing the rising cost of swimming pools to high real estate costs in Anchorage!

    • Susan says:

      Yes, that really jumped out at me. There are extremely few tenure professor hires, even before the COVID crisis. At one of the colleges in my not particularly high cost neighborhood, about half of the people teaching are eligible for SNAP. They set up tables about this at campus events. I’m sure people not involved in academia find this hard to believe because of the narrative of high paid profs, but I know it to be true.

  45. Jim says:

    The tuition of my alma mater has doubled in 20 years; while a prestigious top tier liberal arts college, incurring $70K a year in debt for a degree in the humanities hardly seems worth the investment, especially when including all the SJ craziness that we see. I wouldn’t send a dog to my alma mater if they paid me. The author seems to conflate a school’s future prospects with how he THINKS it should respond to COVID, rather than an honest cost-benefit analysis of a 4-year degree. To all FSA: start looking for a new career.

    • Benjamin Male Avigad says:

      Fcommie, sounds like you could have benefited from ANY college education…or at least a better one.

    • Daniel Bryan says:

      @Benjamin Male Avigad Greatly enjoyed this comment

    • matt says:

      nice. i agree, the debt that families and people are taking to put their kids through school is ludicrous. I just read and Indiana College president speaking about 529 savings.. and their pros and cons. All about family savings… to pay for their schools. No way. enough.. leveraging our families futures out of fear!!

  46. MET says:

    This list is absurd. The colleges likely to perish are those without name recognition, with tiny endowments, that were already on the bubble before Covid-19. The idea that, in NY, Fordham or Hofstra or Bard will perish is daft. There are many, many colleges who were barely afloat in 2019, with now obsolete missions, with only a few hundred students, situated in the middle of nowhere, and it will be a human tragedy for the people who work in them, who attend them, or who graduated from them when they are forced to close their doors. It makes my stomach hurt to think of what that will mean for so many good people. But in a purely analytical vein, it will thin the herd, and it will thus strengthen the remaining colleges and universities.

    • SD says:

      Was wondering about this. I know Bard has had financial issues, but also has strong name recognition. And the Fordham alumni community is fiercely loyal, and I don’t know if that sort of thing is factored in to the equation. I have a family member at one school on this list – Macalester – and I am sure they will struggle because of their high percentage of international students, which they have used as a selling point. But they are also fairly solid and well known, so if they have enough resources to hold on during COVID time, I think they will be fine.

    • Vince says:

      100% correct. And Fordham is thriving through COVID.

  47. Jodi Farley says:

    Hi, I just reviewed the spreadsheet of 436 colleges and noticed the vast majority of the SUNY system (NY) is missing. I’m curious why the SUNYs were left off the list? Thanks in advance for your response

    • Jacob Evans says:

      I’m sure it’s because only the four main campuses (Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook) are national universities. The rest of them are regional colleges.

  48. Ethan M says:

    In your college dataset, you are missing Wheaton College in MA which is ranked #82 by USNews. You include Wheaton College IL, as well as colleges ranked lower. Can you please add Wheaton College MA?

  49. ADN says:

    Instead of using linear formulae, it may be beneficial to perform a PCA and find the outliers.

  50. Stipe P says:

    Note that only national level colleges and universities (as defined by US News) are in the data set. Nearly all of these will have better brand value vs. regional schools. Thus the model suffers badly from what stats folks call a restriction of range problem. I would rather be nearly any school on this list vs. a regional level player. The inclusion criteria account for many questions in the comments about “Where’s so and so university?”

  51. Michael says:

    COVID is not.causing this as much as just accelerating the trends in place for years. Before his death in January, Clayton Christensen said we’d likely see 40-50% of colleges close by 2030. The absolute worst thing we could do now is bail out all these failing institutions that already had one foot in the grave.

    • Dr. Verlander says:

      I agree – NO bailout. Let them resurrect as technical institutes that give students practical knowledge and skills. Things they can get a job with.

  52. Peter H. says:

    UMass Boston in the ‘Perish’ category. Inane assessment. If your ‘methodology’ outputs results like that, it’s typically best to check the methodology. You’re talking about the only public research university in the largest city of the state that cares more about education than any other. Perish. Good call. Given the highly evolving nature of schooling, a thoughtful argument could be made that schools like UMB have a better likelihood at thriving in a post covid world than all but the most elite of private universities.

  53. Sue Haskins says:

    What about Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY?

  54. Ross says:

    Nice article and overall thought process, but the endowment number is misleading – not all the cash / investments held by colleges / universities are in the form of an official endowment. I would love to see this analysis done with the proper cash / investment balances rather than just endowments (which are largely restricted anyway), as liquidity held outside endowments is more important for survival than restricted endowments.

  55. David Consiglio says:

    I find the methodology to be very interesting. I’m hoping you will see this comment and seriously consider this one small critique. The monthly search volume has a disproportionately negative impact on small, and often elite, institutions. The search volume needs to be adjusted based on institution size. I suggest using a ratio of the LOGs of the search volume to institution size [Log(Search)/Log(Enrollment)]. This corrects for the issue and also takes into account the skewed nature of the data. This adjustment will move 36 institutions into different categories which make more sense. It’s very hard to imagine that Smith College will perish with an endowment of nearly $2 billion. This small adjustment moves it from “Perish” to “Survive.”

  56. Beth Ackerman Bolander says:

    What category is Georgetown University in?

  57. Keith Levin says:

    Seems like you are missing schools on the spreadsheet from EM-FL alphabetically. Are all of those schools omitted due to incomplete data?

  58. Cameron Abrams says:

    Is it valid to count USNWR ranking and admit rate as independent contributions to the score when the admit rate is already a major determinant of the USNWR ranking?

  59. Pat Delany says:

    Thank you for starting the discussion. As a father of three current college students, a major correction in higher education is long overdue. The system in general is incredibly expensive, bloated and out of tune with the needs of the labor markets. The value-add of higher education varies tremendously by school, major and individual student ranging from very beneficial to an anchor in the form of student loan debt around some students ankle for life. Like everything else in life, those that better adapt technology, understand the needs and wants of their customers and drive institutional change will win. Many will not and fail except the big state schools. They will be kept open for football and basketball. This is called capitalism, and in the long, run the system and county will be in a better place. In the short run, it will be ugly as it sorts out. Thanks again. I look forward to all the discussion that blog generates.

  60. Heather May says:

    Very insightful and helpful article (and alarming, but isn’t everything these days!) I don’t know where you’re looking at salaries, but I teach in one of the most expensive cities in the country, at an expensive private college, and our median salary for Full-time Professors is closer to $90K.

  61. Bill says:

    Regardless of his methodology and related flaws the general idea that the higher education needs to develop a mean and lean model is legit. For too long students have been extorted into paying crazy tuition in support of bloated school administrations and over paid teachers. With all due respect, in 30 years as a professional consultant working with high net-worth individuals and international conglomerates, I have yet to hear one of them say their success was attributed to a university prof. You are not leading you are lagging so don’t over rate yourself.

    • ADN says:

      I am very curious to know what students (who reported this information) attributed their success to? I would love to know and learn from this to change my value proposition as a professor.

    • Big Jim says:

      @ADN Probably their parents, life experiences (good and bad) they learned from, books they have read, choices they have made, coaches in the professional world, and possibly a prof or K-12 teacher.

  62. CallMeCynical says:

    Another meaningless scare tactic to add to the pile of other meaningless scare tactics from the “experts”. People aren’t nearly as stupid as the media wants to believe. Increasingly, COVID is indistinguishable from the flu in terms of complications and fatalities. When should we expect the apology for the wildly ridiculous assertions that sent the country into an economic abyss?

  63. Me says:

    Except University of Mississippi is already in financial trouble with decreased enrollment and donations. They’re a school with an identity crisis and PC problems on top of all else. I hope it shuts down permanently.

  64. Big Jim says:

    “Phase 1 of the spread was enabled by a mix of arrogance and incompetence.” Once again, academia fails to take the high ground of presenting an objective, unbiased analysis of a given topic, instead infusing its own political bias where it is inappropriate. His statistical analysis is also pretty weak and he seems to lack a basic understanding of virology and how herd immunity can be realized. Greatest outcome would be if 90% of these schools perished (including my alma mater). Our children would be free of the groaning burden of student debt – tuition has increased at 3x inflation since 1970 – and from majors of often very dubious value, and could instead spend those years working and building character. Another unintended consequence would be forcing our professoriate to work in the real world. As Dan Aykroyd’s character in Ghostbusters moaned after his university program was axed: “I’ve worked in the private sector, and they expect results.” It’s true, and maybe a number of underpaid academics will make more money as more productive members of society.

  65. Carolyn says:

    One big issue is thinking that any state will close one of its major public universities. While consolidation of smaller schools is certainly possible, the idea of any public university with at least 5,000 students closing is pretty much unthinkable, especially with a lot of private universities going under. Public universities typically do not rely on endowments but rather on state appropriations and they are often high admit rate campuses by design. Most of the federal money for university bailouts will likely flow to these campuses rather than more expensive privates.

  66. Bridget says:

    What about. schools not in the dataset?

  67. ernst j says:

    Galloway’s MO: predict failure, get it wrong, apologize, predict more failure. here Galloway chops up data of dubious origin and resells it as prime longaniza. here’s my prediction: he’ll be wrong. again.

  68. Ron says:

    If you deconstruct the datasheet and formulas, the analysis is designed such that a certain number of schools have to perish, struggle, survive, or thrive. The two IF formulas by which the assignment is made compare each school’s Value-to-Cost score and Vulnerability Ratio to the median of each for the total population. I know enough statistics to make trouble for myself. But logic suggests that if there were normal distributions of the two scores, one-half of the schools would be above and one-half below each median, hence distributing the population into quarters into the quadrants. It looks about right, since 21% are assigned to Thrive and to Perish, and 23% are assigned to Survive and Struggle. The analysis compares schools to themselves, not to any verified or expected standards of performance. You can try this out for yourself. Remove the first group of schools assigned to Perish, and you’ll get a replacement group of Perishers. I ran just under 30 iterations, until no one perished, for 530K students. Remember that the study only involves national colleges and universities. Per IPEDS, there are 4,000 private and public degree-granting schools in America (excluding proprietary), 2,500 awarding a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 1,740 “convention” institutions (when you remove specialized schools like art schools, free-standing health care schools, etc.). The study captures less than 20% of non-specialized, bac-degree or above schools. So run the datasheet a second way. Assume that the regional colleges and universities not in the study look like the bottom half of national institutions (since they probably do have lower endowments, lower expenditures per student, lower hit rates, etc.). Add them back in as “dummy” institutions until you get 1,750 records in the data sheet. There is a general shift up the “capability” matrix of the original schools and 58 of the initial “Perishers” now stick around for another day. There are some other problems with the study: 1) It uses sticker-price tuition and fees for value equations, rather than net out-of-pocket costs. Hence, ROI is based on the stated price, rather than the actual cost. If you replace from IPEDS statistics on net cost for tuition, you’ll see a lot of private colleges (that discount with scholarship) improve in value, as well as schools with larger proportions of Pell-eligible students. Also note that public tuition rates are “blended”–and average of in-state and out-of-state, and not weighted for in-state and out-of-state students. 2) The instructional expenditure per student metric rewards a school, like U of Chicago, to spend $50K+ to educate a full-time student, when CWRU can do it for $17K and Elon (who will Perish) for $8.5K. Why does the study advantage excessive instructional expenditures, rather than efficiency and optimization–the capabilities that drive viability? Shouldn’t this be an optimization metric? 3) Using endowment is so “old fashioned” as a single sign of financial strength. Higher ed, like most industries, has used a set of strategic financial ratios for 20+ some years, which Forbes aggregates annually into a financial grade. That would be the better metric. Schools that have business models that don’t need endowment are punished. 4) And what about this web hit volume thing? It’s wonderful that OSU get 1M searches a month–great football program!–but does that mean its brand equity is 4X stronger than Stanfords? If you convert the metric to “per student,” like instructional expenditures or endowment, then little ol’ St. John’s College MD (the “great books” school) excels at 42.3 hits compared to OSU’s 18.8. And does Denison or Oberline really need that many hits to enroll their classes? Finally, 8 of the 10 metrics use relate to the “classical” American college and university and focus on undergrads. What about schools that have alternative business models that do quite well and are inventive on other performance criteria. So enough of this. I’ve been in higher ed research and strategy for 40 years, and I’m always tickled when someone discovers they can download IPEDS data. Fact of the matter is that colleges and universities will need to adapt to changing conditions, as they always have (think how Catholic women’s colleges became the pioneers in continuing education in order to survive). Those who can, will do so because they align their business models to the needs of our communities and offer differentiated value among their competitors (where will I play? how will I play? how will I win?). 10 data elements on a spreadsheet deriving scores to compare two medians ain’t gonna predict that.

  69. Dr. Karen Gellman says:

    Your “data” did not load, but from comments it seems like you are using endowment/tuition for wealth, vs admission rates for desirability/survivability which is painting with a fairly broad brush. The two institutions I am most familiar with, Cornell and Bard, both seem poorly analyzed. Cornell, for all its reputation, spends the vast part of its salary budget on middle management, which gives returns neither on educational value nor endowment. For instance, when I went to vet school in 1991, there were 1.5 deans. Now the vet school has a dozen, plus much worse student:faculty ratio. On the other hand, Bard, where my son attends, has 2-4 MacArthur grant recipients among faculty and alumni every single year, only attracts the type of student who want its particular culture (hence low waiting list) and despite having low permanent endowment, has wildly impressive fundraising because of their world-wide mission. I would be astonished if they did not weather this particular storm, in that the president has already announced their budget is met . I suspect that many of your other classifications are similarly flawed.

  70. wapu says:

    Hi Prof.G As a faculty spouse I find the data very interesting and would like to make a Tableau dashboard out of it for learning purpose. May I ask your approval to use the data and cite your blog (I will publish my dashboard on my Tableau Public page if I am authorized by your team)? Thank you.

  71. Julia says:

    Please run for president.

  72. Ann says:

    I noticed that you have listed Fordham in the “Survive” quadrant, but the spreadsheet says “Perish”. Why is there a difference? In addition, Robert Morris was acquired by Roosevelt University earlier this year, which means it has essentially perished already. UMass-Boston is another example of a mislabeled school (“Perish” above, “Survive” on sheet). Is there something that accounts for these differences?

    • Annmaria Tierno says:

      I forgot about RMU PA, and see that your list is not the Chicago campus, but the PA campus.

  73. Don says:

    It would be interesting to see some modeling data around how long universities with less than $100M in endowment can survive an extended pandemic. Have you modeled the impact of revenue from 50% tuition, 50% room/board on the bottom line for a subset of schools. If you are a Robert Morris or Gannon with less than 50M in endowment this could be challenging. Is it safe to Assume those smaller STEM schools (IIT, Florida Tech) will be hit harder given the large number of internal students on those campuses and their lifetimes may be significantly reduced just based on loss of revenue.

  74. CJ Molloy says:

    This data is quite interesting but there are some universities on the perish list that have ample endowments so it is not clear why they are on the perish list. Schools like Brandeis (>1B), Denison (>750M) and Dickinson (>450M) are on the list. It would seem they could weather this storm. Those smaller schools with endowments south of $75M seem to be the ones who will be most impacted. Have you studied a subset of these universities to determine how long they can survive, especially those schools whose revenue will be hit hard by less tuition money and significant re-education in housing and ancillary revenue those universities need to survive

    • Tina J says:

      I would agree the list of schools that are labeled as “perish” seems off. Can the authors explain why schools like Fordham, Hofstra, Brandeis, Denision that have endowments above 500 million are listed. One can explain away those smaller schools with endowments under 50 million. I cant see Fordham or Brandeis closing their doors

  75. Dr RJ Helper says:

    The international student data for Florida Tech does not appear accurate. Over 35% of our undergraduate students are international students and at the graduate level even higher. This is a university that has been floundering for some time and the pandemic will bring huge challenges. Extreme cuts have been made but likely are not deep enough. Senior administrative leadership (i.e. Provosts and Deans, CFO, head of advancement, etc. ) below the president constantly changes and there is a real void in experience. The current president is treading water and will likely go down in history as the president who lead the university to the brink of disaster. As you know most staff are on an annual contract basis as there is limited tenure faculty roles. If the faculty could take a no confidence vote for the president, without the fear of losing their jobs they would and it would show NO CONFIDENCE for Dr McCay. It is sad and perhaps Professor Halloway and his team can study this university and will see what gross mismanagement looks like. The board of trustees dont appear to be active in trying to correct the issues. Prior capital campaigns raised little money and counted Gifts that should never have been counted. This university will need to dig into its endowment as it has ample debt and COVID will push it to the edge

    • Former faculty says:

      The blog and this post has generated some discussion on the FloridaTech campus and amongst former faculty. The president sent out an internal email that mentioned comments about the university’s financial strength without commenting on where it was. Faculty quickly started to circulate the actual blog through their private emails as we worry about retribution for our comments. Dr Helper is spot on in his comments. The university has its issues and for years there has been a revolving door in senior leadership. Many have been ill equipped for their roles but where placed there since they said “yes” and would not challenge leadership. .If leaders haven’t done what the president has asked they are either put out to pasture or let go. Dr McCay learned this from his predecessor and that deception and bullying are effective leadership traits. Will the university survive is up for debate. One thing that is clear, universities like FloridaTech that have small endowments, inexperienced leaders and an unusually high reliance on international students, high debt loads will face greater headwinds than those organizations that possess experienced leaders and an open environment. Not having tenure forces faculty to keep their thoughts to themselves until they leave as they fear the consequence of not getting their contact reviewed. I can attest to that and am now grateful for tenure at my new institution. I agree that a deeper analysis of FloridaTech would be of interest to other schools that are on the brink and need a reminder of what integrity and focus are about. It would also bring hope to faculty and staff at Florida Tech who are committed to the university and want to see meaningful change

  76. Melissa says:

    Louisiana State University – main campus is missing from the database.

  77. Milo Minderbinder says:

    Just hold classes in space rented from Costco or Sams Club. They seem to handle crowds, including at-risk demographics, fearlessly. Get on with life. You’re likely to get it, highly likely to survive it, and and capable of reducing contagion. Don’t be petrified, especially in the presence of self-proclaimed wizards.

  78. janet says:

    Why do the ratings keep changing? schools that were listed as perish a few days ago are now “survive.” And the reverse. ones listed as survive and now perish. And, some “struggle” are now “perish.”

    • Edo says:

      Because it’s a knife edge and it’s hard to predict where some schools will land. But the the quadrants are still very helpful. If you are firmly in the top right hand corner you will probably stay there.

  79. ML says:

    Please highlight the caveats more. As the chair of our faculty budget committee, my own university has vulnerabilities — but not to the point of warranting the Perish label here. We are actively engaged in scenario planning for different enrollment enrollments, had a more diversified and larger student body than listed here, built up reserves and bond rating in the last ten years, and have ranked well for adult learner, online programs. As the author notes, universities with options for commuting/online students should score higher as well.

  80. Rebecca says:

    Echoing some other comments: Data about the schools featured in your 4 quadrant graphic does not match the spreadsheet analysis. Smith is suddenly a “perish” UMass Boston is to now “survive.” Fordham is now perish. Which gives me pause to the validity and accuracy of this entire data set and the haste in which this model was created. Either update the graphic and the article, or provide further updates to about how your analysis is evolving and changing based on new data, feedback and corrections. At best, this seems like it was quickly put together by grad assistants without the benefit of oversight and review. But hey, it makes great headlines and fodder for the media cycle.

  81. Babson College says:

    You put Babson in the image at the top, but then you didn’t rank us! I understand that USN calls us a specialist school and doesn’t rank us. However, many of the other metrics are available, such as selectivity, endowment, and Niche ratings. Where do you put Babson on your 2×2?

  82. Randy says:

    Nearly every institution in our country has been shaken up and turned out on the table. Universities are having their turn now. Half the majors are useless, and the general ed components have gone from knowledge to indoctrination. Maybe all the ‘—- Studies’ Profs can join their former students in minimum wage service jobs. At least they will not have $100K in student loans to worry about.

  83. Amy Todd says:

    You inexplicably moved UMass Boston from Perish to Survive yet the tuition figure remains inflated by 50%+ because you average in-state and out-of-state tuition, weighing them equally. That is a major distortion for most public colleges and universities and one which deflates your value to cost ratio. UMass Boston (my employer, alma mater and son’s soon-to-be college) is the third most diverse campus in the country. Most of our students live at home. Most are working. We have enough actual problems without having to defend ourselves against reckless research. Please go back to the drawing board and issue a retraction on behalf of all of the communities you have harmed.

  84. Vivi says:

    Mhc s admit rate is down to 30…. and our waitlist is long…

  85. V Turn says:

    2 questions: 1) Fordham on chart shows as surviving but on spreadsheet as perish. Am I reading it wrong? 2) where does Providence College fall on list?

  86. beatrice says:

    superficial and irresponsible, this type of shallow marketing initiative could endanger brands and good solid learning institutions in time of Covid. Basically your foolish initiative can do more damage than covid.

    • Randy says:

      Speaking of ‘shallow marketing’, I looked through the pile of University brochures we received a few years ago for my son. All the same, smiling happy students and engaged Profs. No mention of minimum wage adjuncts or Grad students who barely speak English, doing the actual teaching. Not a word about incompetent ‘diversity’ Profs hired just to make the numbers look good. Only one talks about ‘outcomes’, you know like teaching skills that result in a real job upon graduation. That school is where he went.

    • ProfR says:

      @Randy Speaking of racism, it sounds like your issue is less with the educational system and more with your distaste for ‘diversity’.

    • Charles says:


    • Heather says:

      @Randy What’s your problem with adjuncts dong “actual teaching”?

    • Heather says:

      @Heather *doing

  87. Kristin says:

    The placement of some logos in the quadrant visual does not align with the data – for example, the data shows UMass Boston as a ‘Survive’ institution, while the graphic (incorrectly) places the logo under ‘Perish.’ Other news sources are already citing this inaccurate assessment with headlines like “Clark University, Mount Holyoke College, UMass Boston and Dartmouth are most likely to ‘perish,’ according to new analysis”. While there is value to this analysis, that value is undermined by if the easiest way to consume the information – the graphics – are inaccurate.

    • Amy Todd says:

      It got moved (see my comment above). A retraction should be issued and publicized.

    • Urbie (Clark '85) says:

      Allow me to “Harrumpf!” at the prof’s assessment that Clark has “low brand equity.” But just to be on the safe side, I’ll send them some cash!

  88. Kenneth Mayer says:

    Some colleges and universities have been inadvertently omitted–VPI (Virginia Tech) is #74 in university rankings, but it is missing from the spreadsheet. I haven’t checked for other omissions.

  89. John F. Power says:

    I believe that you have somewhat missed the point. It should be absolutely untrue that students can’t go back to in person classes. The process, while somewhat inconvenient for the students, is relatively simple. For any campus that has space around it (most suburban ones) have the students simply come to campus, get tested and be REQUIRED not to leave until the semester is over. Limit interaction between staff and students and require professors to live on campus quarantined like boarding high schools. Not ideal but really close to the traditional experience. And a BIG win for those schools that can accomplish it.

    • Naz says:

      Worked well for those prison populations. Oh, wait…

    • Joshua S. Kreitzer says:

      Who would want to go to a college where one was forbidden to leave the campus for the whole semester? I’d rather stay home than go to a college like that. Under normal circumstances, even students at the military academies are allowed to leave the campus once in a while. Not to mention that many colleges don’t have fences or walls around the whole campus and shouldn’t be expected to post guards around the campus 24 hours a day to stop students from leaving.

  90. HM says:

    Replotting with percentiles for value and (100-vulnerability) shows some interesting patterns.

  91. Walid Hawana says:

    We have to take these warnings seriously…we cannot afford to close our eyes thinking it is a hoax! More than 140,000 Americans have died and hundreds of thousands are now infected and we still not sure of this pandemic… Students in college buildings definitely will not keep their social distance…ER at Ellis hospital will be waiting for our students if we don’t do our job right. Technology will help us with online teaching, so let’s use it or lose our students’ lives.

  92. Arthur says:

    Scott Galloway is a fear-mongering hypocrite who intentionally designed his “research” to get “evidence” to support his own theories. He uses fancy terms and analytics to make it seem like his research is legitimate but any trained academic can see right through it. It is clearly unscientific and severely biased in so many ways and was just produced to serve his agenda and get him more visits on television news shows. He is as egocentric as it gets. Ignore anything he says. I wish it were possible to cancel his culture.

    • Randy says:

      No doubt a lot of people in academia feel as you do. That is what makes his predictions more likely.

    • Arthur says:

      @Randy . Not quite Randy. My opinions are based on fact, not a political position. My guess is that you, too, are a member of the herd of political sheep manipulated by talking heads because you don’t have the intelligence to think for yourself. You, Randy, are part of the problem, not the solution.

    • David says:

      “I wish it were possible to cancel his culture.” Some real honesty here. In the old days that would be snarky sarcasm, but now I can’t be sure.

    • Cole says:

      I don’t think this was supposed to be scientific, Scott is far from a scientist. The dawg was just showing his work on how he came to his prediction.

  93. RGT says:

    It might just be too much traffic, but I cannot do a thing with the google doc, including seeing enough of the university names to tell who they all are. Could that column be widened and/or could the data be made available soon in excel?

  94. Supriya Rao says:

    Lookin forward to attend webinar

  95. Dave says:

    If you want the actual data (as many people have asked for) – just copy in the browser all the cells and paste into Excel. Easy. – I just did it.

  96. Tom says:

    Scott, Nice analysis. In looking at the data, it looks like you created your four-quadrant chart by plotting the Vulnerability Score against the log of the Value-to-Cost-Ratio and binning across the median values. It seems to me that breaking this data into four quadrants is misleading. For instance, American University (Value to Cost 0.45; Vulnerability 0.9) is expected to thrive, while University of St Thomas (Value to Cost 0.41; Vulnerability 0.43) is expected to struggle. You might do better calculate the distance from the diagonal. Binning can still be accomplished by taking quantiles of the distance metric. This would, following the example, shift American University into the “Survive” category, and U of St Thomas to “Thrive.”

    • Dave Maynard says:

      this change seems quite rational if this is to become a useful tool. Additionally state schools seem consistently undervalued by the easy and almost entirely inaccurate assumption of the 50/50 split between instate and out of state tuition. The spit should instead reflect the percentage of students in the given status…for most schools this would look more like an 80% instate 20% out of state ratio.

  97. J Producer says:

    Scott – In your videos on The Four you mentioned that NYU Stern charges $7,000/hr for your course and pays you about $1,000/hr. So why don’t you set the example of cutting costs by resigning your position and offer to teach for free? Methinks that prescribing the medicine is easier than taking it.

  98. Matt says:

    Could it be possible to have an editable version of the file? Generally I would like to be able to run a filter so I can look at the data per state or per designation. I agree with a fair amount of it but I think past is prologue. In other words the covid virus is pouring gasoline on a fire already started. High end MBA programs have already moved mostly online. Labbed sciences seem to be the only real holdout.

  99. Glen Friedman says:

    Very interesting and sad perspective. Babson College was not in the data set, but was in your illustration. How did it rank?

  100. John Whitney says:

    I really appreciate your analysis. Is there any plan to expand the list? As an example, in Kentucky there are significant regional state universities (Morehead State, Murray State, Northern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, and Kentucky State) that are not included in the current study.

    • Ryan Cartmill says:

      Agreed. My alma mater (Eastern Michigan University) isn’t listed, yet much smaller schools in Michigan are. I’m assuming this was an oversight?

    • Stipe P says:

      @Ryan Cartmill Only national level colleges and universities as defined by US News are in the analysis. Regional schools were not included. Thus, Hope College is included, EMU isn’t.

  101. JR says:

    In an otherwise excellent article , the political sniping and barbs only help ensure that many people who need to take this seriously will tune out. Stop the politics . If students can take classes online from home , why can’t international students take classes online from home? If there’s a legit reason for international students to be treated differently , then explain why instead of just calling people names. If the best answer is really to prevent these schools from having students on campus (your argument is compelling) , why is the President a “bigot” for keeping international students in their home countries ? Come on: if this is as serious as you suggest , then everyone including international students needs to make the same sacrifice and stay home.

    • kevin citron says:

      because orange man bad

    • Stacey says:

      International students still in the country would’ve been under visa violation if Trump had his way with invalidating their visas if their schools went totally online. Have you been asleep on this issue for the past month? That’s why he’s a bigot.

    • Ed says:

      @Stacey: Hmmm. You sound like a university professor from the humanities department

  102. Alex says:

    While I appreciate the goal here, this analysis is dangerous, in part because this type of analysis should have current data. While I appreciate that metrics should be brought to educational decision points in general, there seems to be a lot of information incorporated into this list that is outdated (full time tuition at SJC Annapolis last year was $35k, not $56k (maybe average net price is a better number for this)), and also, too many of the colleges/universities are treated as if the program is entirely commoditized. For some of the other smaller schools on the list, the age of this data is a problem (more for schools that reject surveys, btw). In truth, many of the liberal arts schools (some of which have been in a near perish column since the late 1990s) cannot be analyzed in such a generic way. Programs that tend to be successful based on small class size and engagement are not properly compared, even in cost alone, to programs that teach through large size courses led by non-tenured faculty. Its like comparing a Birkin bag to a plastic tote; you cannot compare a school with a 10:1 ratio to a school that offers a 198:1 ratio. The categorization of all these programs as essentially the same, because they produce the same thing, i.e., a graduate, is a problem. The smaller colleges and liberal arts colleges have managed through financial chaos for years and have learned how to prune a budget. The bigger issue for these schools will be how many faculty can they retain in a lean year. Other data points in the analysis that might need more attention, if one were, for example, producing an actual discussion guide of this subject: alumni support, legacy admissions, and some screen on % admit – some schools have not run a branding campaign to get application numbers higher; some schools used to run those campaigns because the application fees paid the cost of running the admissions office; some schools have populations that are relatively self-selecting (SJC for two, but there are many others, some of them religiously oriented). Also, your calculation of endowment per student – this is questionable, many schools have annual reports that set out an audited figure for endowment; that is the figure that should be used; I’m not sure I see that in the figures here, and if so, you have to get the student population figure correct. I wish there was a way to measure the value of smaller schools and liberal arts schools here; after all, many parents pay extremely large sums of money for these features in private K-12 schools; its hard to see the value diminish at the college level and the cost of operating these schools is not the same as a large university or even a state-funded school (cue discussion of philanthropy model v. prestige pricing v. state funding). Of course, the issue here is whether these schools can survive the pandemic which takes place in a time of radical reconsideration of education as a goal (this seems to be a good place to suggest that you incorporate a “value” ranking, like Kiplingers, into the analysis); many of these programs already have the experience of surviving decades of changing tastes, and maybe that can help them survive the damage of this pandemic (and potentially, this type of analysis).

  103. Ian says:

    You have incorrectly used Buffalo State College’s data in place of the University at Buffalo. Both are SUNY schools, but the latter is a huge national university (over 30,000 students) while the former is a small, regional college (just under 8,000 students). You used the data from the latter when I believe you should have been using the former.

  104. Rastin says:

    My son has been accepted to several colleges but has chosen Brandeis over others because of its reputation. Now I see in your list Brandeis will perish but all others will survive. How reliable is this analysis? Should he try to enroll at other colleges?

    • Angela Self says:

      Hi, Im currently a junior at Brandeis University. We just received our financial aid awards and I’m pretty sure that the school was going to perish then no one would be receiving large amounts of financial aid. The school has a large endowment also. I’m glad he has chosen Brandeis!!!

    • Arthur says:

      The study is significantly flawed due to an incomplete assessment of data that contributes to the financial success of a school. Politics seem to be the motive for most of this gibberish. Do not accept anything Galloway says as accurate. His predictions are worse than the Weather Channel’s but based on the same limited logic. I guarantee that schools like Brandeis aren’t going anywhere.

    • paul says:

      Please, please for the love of all that is holy, do not make any decisions about your child’s education based on this blog post. Brandeis is a fine school. Additionally, it’s highly likely that many of the details in the analysis presented above are untrustworthy. For one thing, too much of the data he’s relied on is out-of-date or just plain inaccurate. Even on a fairly charitable reading, this is far from a reliable study.

    • Dvora C Walker says:

      @Angela Self they would still offer financial aid. Check out the NYTimes Magazine articles entitled: What College Admissions Offices Really Want to understand why they would still give your son a good financial aid package.

  105. Patrick says:

    Hi Scott, Forgive me if you’ve already addressed this. Among many of the pending calamities to higher education I worry about financial aid. If I’m an administrator in charge of balancing the budget of a college/university, I would find financial aid as low hanging fruit for something to cut. I understand why this could happen but am not happy about how this would affect lower income families/students. Please expand upon this in future if possible.

  106. Mohammadali says:

    Thanks brother

  107. Kathleen says:

    Please carefully check your data. For, example, your scores for Dickinson College are much lower than those in Niche right now. Students rave about their experience there (A- overall and A+ for the quality of professors).

    • Sarah R Raley says:

      As a Dickinson College alumnae, I can attest to their secure financial footing and value of education. Founded in 1773, they remain backed by committed alumni and guided under strong leadership. Maybe you meant Fairleigh Dickinson.

  108. Phil Morgan says:

    The US needs to lose a significant portion of its colleges and universities in favor of more short term, less expensive technical, trade and subject/career schools that could be completed in 1-2 years or less. College is not for everyone and a better supply of fully prepared and trained technical and trade workers could go a long way toward returning America to a position of having a stronger middle class with better salaries and more opportunities for everyone.

    • Annoyed Professor says:

      I can honestly remember the same being said in the early 1980s – as technical schools grew, friends and family left the big state school we were attending (as first gen kids too) for DeVry, ITT and others. Our German exchange student went back home to Mercedes mechanic school. All got good jobs. I’m still paying some (admittedly very small) student loans 30+ years later. They’re banking some retirement. A prof mentioned to me in undergrad that “there should be no shame in non-college degree training.” Indeed, diversity of education might make for a less polarized country. For the middle class of my grandfather’s era, elementary school would suffice. My dad’s high-school diploma did the job. By my generation, a bachelors degree was necessary. At this rate, my daughter will need a graduate degree. This feels unsustainable to me.

  109. Mar says:

    What about the population herd immunity that some believe we (as a country) are already quickly approaching?

    • AK says:

      Who believes that the USA is approaching herd immunity? Even in Madrid, with the highest infection rates seen, they are nowhere close to the 60% scientists believe is necessary for herd immunity to have an effect. NYC is even further from that figure. The USA as a whole…it’s a distant speck. Add to that the fact that many scientists think the immunity one gains from exposure to the virus may only last 2-3 months and you see how it is very very unlikely that herd immunity will ever be a factor in our country.

    • Shira V Ben-David says:

      I’ve heard at least one testimony from someone who’s contracted it twice, so it’s even harder to calculate herd immunity since not all people who contracted the virus are immune.

  110. Dario Ringach says:

    100% agree

  111. FrancisT says:

    This is a bit over the top. Small liberal arts colleges with high tuitions and questionable value thriving while well established research universities only surviving? I don’t buy it.

    • Joseph Urban says:

      Agreed. RPI has beaucoup de research $ while Lehigh charges a premium to become an engineer whose first year salary is very close to to the last. Apples != Oranges.

    • Marc says:

      Yes, let’s respond to voodoo study written by someone who has made a career out of espousing market fundamentalism with even more attacks on liberal education (which, gosh, is an education that says there’s value outside of the market & interests of Uber-wealthy). Galloway is the perfect example of the idiocy of his own thinking. Just think of all the mathematicians, programmers, etc. who are devoting their energies to targeted advertising algorithms rather than doing something with real social value.

  112. MilesT says:

    BBC website reporting today that a number of UK universities will get emergency loans from government to enable them to stay open and start autumn term (on top of general government job retention scheme money, aka furlough). A couple are also offering guaranteed places (and place offering was disrupted by key last year school exams being cancelled, with teacher supplied grade estimates being issued instead). Other websites report shortening of staff contracts on renewal (to lower costs of potential restructuring/layoffs).

  113. Dan Kline says:

    Dear Prof. G – Would you please write a new blog post with the accurate data highlighted ($104k rather than $140k) as well as extend your analysis to schools other than the R1s (which do not do the bulk of the undergraduate teaching in the US). In your misreading of the data – and the highly viral nature of your claims – you have added to the difficulties higher ed faces by inflating the claims on the right that “professors” (as if we are only one thing) are overpaid and underworked.

  114. Lauren says:

    The University of the South (US News #43 Liberal Arts) is missing from the database.

  115. Ben says:

    IMO, there needs to be a coordinated effort by state schools (e.g. Ohio State, Ohio U, Kent State, etc.) to coordinate the offerings and degrees at each of the schools (e.g. OU is the business school, Kent State – engineering, Miami – premed, etc.). Consolidate classes, drop professors / administrators / programs that don’t provide a positive NPV for the student. If someone wants a liberal arts education, let Ohio State provide a broader degree. There is a way these state schools can survive, but they need join the real world. A restructuring advisor would tell them that they need to trim the fat.

  116. Sally May says:

    I would LOVE to hear a rebuttal from any of the colleges or universities on the PERISH list!!! Great post!

    • Arthur says:

      It’s not a “great” post. It’s an inaccurate and incomplete assessment of the state of colleges and universities. Ignore it or you’re falling into the fake news trap.

  117. A. F says:

    I’m suspicious of data that says that 50% of people have tenure, especially since the data used here is 5 years old. A HUGE portion of school budgets goes to construction, administrator pet projects, and athletics (paying those expensive athletics coaches). Even at Tier 1 insitutions (such as my own), adjuncts, part-time, and non-tenure-track faculty teach 70% of the courses–and I wonder if those folks were included in that data. “Professors are expensive” is the most common reason why institutions claim they need to cut salaries and lay off professors. But, for example, some universities are shelling out MILLIONS to consulting firms (to deal with all the scandals/lawsuits in particular). I approve of the messaging here (YES, LET’S GO ONLINE!) but there isn’t sufficient, convincing evidence here to support these economic claims.

    • Mike R says:

      A.F, the post clearly says “full-time” faculty. The data in the linked source contains the footnote “3 Includes instructional, research, and public service faculty”. Yes, part timers and adjuncts (redundant?) teach a lot of courses at “research” universities like the one I work at. They’re not in the denominator.

  118. Deana says:

    Scott, what are your thoughts on community colleges?

  119. Patrick says:

    Can anyone comment why University of Alabama is listed as “Perish”?

    • Mike R says:

      Patrick, UA-Birmingham is listed as thrive on the spreadsheet and the graphic, UA-Huntsville is listed as perish on the sheet. I don’t see U of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) listed on either.

    • Arthur Shifrin says:

      @Mike R Alabama is listed under the letter T, The University of Alabama.

  120. Jo Knobl says:

    I don’t see Rollins College. It’s highly ranked in US News South Universities Regional. Would you add to your spreadsheet? Thank you!

  121. Jose Araujo says:

    The infection rate until the age of 19 are very low… People are always asking for more informed decisions, but when a decision is in line with the data we have and is against our believes we systematically ignore it. I was expecting more from Scott honestly.. between Covidiocy and Covidwardice there are many sensible positions.

    • Andy says:

      What percentage of a typical college campus is under the age of 19? By the beginning of sophomore year, basically all students are 19 or older. Freshman classes are likely the largest due to drop outs, but when you lump faculty in you’re looking at maybe 25% (and probably less) at the beginning of the year. So you’re starting out with ~75% of the students and faculty in your 19+ category, increasing daily as the students age. He clearly states “There are strong reasons to reopen K-12”, presumably the low infection rate being one of them, so not sure exactly what data you think he’s ignoring.

  122. Robert Hess says:

    Yesterday, I commented pointing out that Prof. Galloway’s quantitative analysis fails to take into account “soft factors,” such as student/alumni loyalty or the uniqueness of an institution. Since then, several posters have pointed out various flaws in the actual data used for the analysis. No doubt, there are other flaws or issues that have not been flagged yet, and that’s only natural for a work in progress. Given that many parents of college students, and college students themselves, are currently trying to figure out what to do in the next academic year given Covid-19 — should they perhaps defer enrollment for a year or take a leave of absense? — I find it at best not helpful, and at worst misleading, to assign colleges and universities to one four of four categories, especially the “perish” category. At least some parents who read that the institution at which their child is enrolled is expected to perish due to Covid-19 are bound to get panicked and possibly pull their son or daughter out of school. While that may turn out to be exactly the right decision in hindsight, Prof. Galloway’s analysis does not provide a sufficient basis for such a decision right now, at least not as the analysis currently stands. Aside from frightening parents and students, the “perish” category also is bound to needlessly and unjustifiably hurt at least some, and probably many, of the listed institutions. They are having a tough time maintaining enrollment as it is. So, I would respectfully suggest that Prof. Galloway add a few appropriate qualifiers along those lines at the outset of his analysis. It would in no way diminish the value of his analysis, but perhaps prevent needless anxiety or worse.

    • Sean says:

      Does this count as a “qualifier”? It’s in the merged cell in row 1 that begins in column B: “Note: This data should be taken as directional and relative — we use percent rank to evaluate each metric relative to the 437 schools analyzed. There are many variables not included here that may bolster this scoring — some of which we’ve thought of but have not yet found strong datasets (i.e. universities with hospitals or a high share of students who commute are likely less vulnerable) and some we have likely not thought of. Higher education faces an unprecedented crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; we hope this data can help us see the outlines of this crisis, and advance the discussion towards facing it. We welcome suggestions, thoughts, pushback, or things we may have missed at feedback@section4.” Full disclosure: my daughter is matriculating to a school listed in the “Perish” quadrant. I view Mr. Galloway’s work as a data point, among many.

    • Emily says:

      @Sean – That is a qualifier, but surely a marketing professor at a major business school should realize that what will get reported about this post (and therefore what the general public will mostly likely read/hear) isn’t the note in the third paragraph of those merged columns, but rather the inflammatory language being used, especially the ‘perish’ label for schools. And, indeed, that is exactly how this analysis is being reported.

  123. Chebyshev says:

    Hi Scott, “…25% of the infections and deaths.” Did you sum up infections and deaths to arrive at the %? If so, the number has no information content. Older people, being in the higher mortality rate age bucket, are scared and let it cloud judgement. We don’t sacrifice future of our kids for our sake. It is usually the other way around.

  124. Eli Castro says:

    Interesting data, however, there are points where it doesn’t quite add up. Taking one “perish” school for example – St. John’s College – NM. The average tuition is listed at $54,000. However, the maximum (list price) tuition is $32,000 as of 2017. Full time students are listed as 514 – however the school is limited by charter to 400 and has never hit that max number. Actual full time enrollment is about 350. Instructional Wages per full time student is listed as $0. This is incorrect. Faculty members are paid. Without some validation of data, use of these data sets to draw conclusions seems premature and can have real world impact on public perception of these colleges’ long-term potential. Further analysis is needed before these sorts of findings are published. I did not validate others on the list, but this alone was concerning.

  125. Ed says:

    The comment about net tuition is reasonable. Not clear what type of analysis was conducted to determine correlations of these and other factors. IPEDS data is a function of what gets put in by the schools themselves and as such there should be some caution used in relying on the numbers. School rankings vary a reasonable amount depending on who is doing the ranking. Was this analysis conducted on all schools and what determined what schools made the published list and which did not? All this being said, I have always believed that the high end (Ivy’s and schools with a STEM or other value proposition) and the low end (well run community and publics) would be fine, so the utility of this analysis in those areas is of limited value. The real unknown is what happens to the big middle and whether this analysis actually provides some insight. Thanks for the effort to get this discussion started. It is worthwhile. Remember there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Not sure yet what we have here, but it is a start.

    • Julia says:

      Yes, there are issues with the IPEDS data. I looked at Pomona College which is listed as having 0% international students, which is what IPEDS lists. But on the school’s website it lists 12% international students. So this is a big difference, but Pomona would still likely end up in the thrive category if that were corrected. But 60 schools are listed in the spreadsheet as having 0% international students which I just don’t believe… so I would question the quality of the data going in as well and also the arbitrary – above & below median bucketing using his 2 created indices.

  126. Brian says:

    The average undergraduate tuition appears to be the list price rather than the net tuition actually paid by students before student aid. I’m not sure though, but it looks that way for my college (list price rather than actual price). Does anyone know the answer? Thanks.

    • Jane Carrie Hoffman says:

      You are correct. Between need based aid and merit awards, the net is often less.

    • Brian Meier says:

      Thanks @Jane Carrie Hoffman. It seems to me that average net price after scholarships and grants (not loans) is the better number to use in the tuition column since it is the actual price paid by students. The final value to cost ratio would look much different for many private schools (I think?).

    • Joe. W says:

      @Brian Meier yes. the private school I attended offered 70% of students financial aid, and the average scholarship offered was over $40,000. That would significantly change the “value-to-cost” ratio. I don’t think it’s right to include tuition in the equation when you can use average annual cost instead

    • Ben says:

      I think gross tuition may be the right number if people on scholarship are being subsidized by those (specifically international students) who are paying the full price. If those who are paying full price don’t see the value and leave, those that are being subsidized are in for a rude awakening.

    • Phil says:

      Using sticker price is an embarrassingly bad choice for the model. Makes me really doubt that he understands how university finances work and calls the whole model and analysis into question. % of total revenue from tuition and % of total revenue from housing (both available in IPEDS) would be an even better measure than net tuition price, though. It’s actually a very direct measure of the vulnerability he’s trying to estimate from sticker price.

  127. Lauren Sundstrom says:

    Your provocative, studied voice during these unprecedented times is appreciated and welcomed, and your spreadsheet provides a new platform to consider. Thank you for getting the party (um, not party) started. Still, as noted, soft factors don’t squeeze into a spreadsheet (or those oft annoying rankings) easily. As such, I must join the commenting ranks to defend my alma mater: Colorado College’s nimble, flexible, and innovative block plan should weather the pandemic better than most, and CC is reportedly trying to bring tuition down to compete with in-state schools. Plus you know from your recent vacay how great Colorado is otherwise, offering a rare, sunny location for a top school. Here’s to lower tuition, better access, more thriving, and less perishing going forward on all fronts. Thanks again.

    • Lauren Sundstrom says:

      Grinnell — another leading school — has wisely joined this (not) party, offering a modified block plan this fall.

  128. sglover says:

    No finer measure of Galloway’s clairvoyance than his genius insight that *Mike Bloomberg* was the candidate who’d rally the masses against Trump. If Galloway’s playing fast and loose with salary stats, or simply isn’t equipped to interpret them correctly, well, it shouldn’t surprise.

  129. Carol Gill says:

    Very worthwhile. You pressed all the buttons.

  130. Scott Galloway says:

    Thanks for the feedback.  We’ve made/are working on several updates to the post and data set: –The $140k average salary data point was incorrectly labeled. That is the average salary for full professors at institutions “characterized by a significant level and breadth of activity in doctoral-level education.” The average salary for full professors at all 1,018 institutions surveyed by the American Association of University Professors in 2017-18 was $104,820. And as several commenters have highlighted, instructional duties are carried out by a range of faculty, from full professors to graduate teaching assistants. The challenge facing university presidents is not that their instructors make too much money, however—far from it in many cases. The issue is that instructional salaries are difficult to cut in a crisis. Tenure protects highly paid full professors, while the assistant professors and lecturers who carry much of the teaching load (i.e. bring in tuition revenue) are already struggling to make ends meet on their lower compensation. Furloughs and salary reductions may not have the desired effect as the brunt of the cuts will likely be sequestered to non-tenured faculty who can offer greater ROI to the institution.  This dynamic could drive talented young academics from the field, upset long-term research and training projects, and undermine the mission of the institutions.   –There have been several requests to see data on other schools.  Penn State was (errantly) deleted and Wheaton listed twice–changes made. The sample was taken from US News and World Report’s Ranking for higher ed.  It’s unlikely we’ll add additional schools as we would need to pull data from other sources and run into apples/oranges issue(s). –Due to the high volume of traffic on the Google Sheet, it can be clunky/hard to work with. After a couple weeks of feedback, we may publish the data in more agile format (e.g., Excel).  Scott

    • Brad Franco says:

      But the vast majority of tenured professors are associate professors who make significantly less. How do you not know this? Seriously. It’s the biggest blunder made in this whole discussion offaculty salaries.

    • Greg Roper says:

      @Brad Franco

    • Greg Roper says:

      Thank you, Brad. I tire of people listing “full professor salaries” as if this is equivalent to “people doing full-time teaching” or even “people with tenure.” This conveys a completely inaccurate view to the general, non-academic public who do not know about the ranks of professors (adjunct, assistant, associate, and only then Full) and thus do not know that this counts only those at the very top of the pyramid. The majority of professors out there are not sitting on six-figure salaries. It’s beyond misleading. And Galloway should know better. The vast majority of people teaching full-time do not even come *close* to six figures, and dedicate their lives to their students for far, far less.

  131. Andrew Cognard-Black says:

    I followed the BusinessInsider reprint of this article to this blog post. Scott, it looks like the full professor salaries at Research/Doctoral was originally used, and the BusinessInsider version replicates that error and gives a vastly inflated sense to readers about what college faculty earn. I assume you know how to connect with them about an errata.

  132. Sean Robinson says:

    Did you lie intentionally about average full professor salaries or did you just fail to understand the IHE article you sourced the erroneous statement from? Why have you neglected to highlight and correct this error, despite it being pointed out to you repeatedly? Do you think that you should face accountability for your error?

    • Bill says:

      Yes it’s outrageous. We should CANCEL Scott from his own page. Who’s with me?

  133. Brad Ferguson says:

    Love the comments – especially from the entitled, stuck in denial.

    • Bill says:

      @Brad … I bet we enjoy the comments from the smug and superior even more.

  134. Paul R says:

    “There is a dangerous conflation of the discussion about K-12 and university reopenings. The two are starkly different. There are strong reasons to reopen K-12, and there are stronger reasons to keep universities shuttered.” A dangerous conflation? Let’s get back to the primary danger, which is that of contracting COVID. K-12 schools, by electing to resume classes in person, put students, staff, and all with whom they interact at serious risk. But damn the torpedoes, the push is on to return. And with assurances of “enhanced cleaning protocols,” and wishful notions of how children will attend to personal hygiene and distancing, this thinking is as delusional and dangerous as the type pointed out by Prof Galloway. His otherwise solid piece marginalizes these risks by implying that these children can/should return to school. As an elementary school teacher with 30+ years of experience, I’d like to see concern over student and staff welfare be a shared one, K – grad school.

    • Susannah says:

      Couldn’t agree more. We K-12 teachers are at as great a risk or more than university faculty for contracting spreading, and suffering/dying from the virus. Anyone who doubts this has obviously never had to tell rooms full of children (including 12th graders) how to blow their noses or wash their hands properly. It’s insane to think that students will comply with CDC guidelines–assuming schools even have the resources to implement them, which many do not–when they can barely remember to…I don’t know, follow MLA formatting guidelines? Keep their hands to themselves? Etc. Would *love* to hear those critical reasons for why we should have to re-open for in-person classes, though. Please, tell me, why your need for childcare outweighs my need to, uh, be alive. I’m all ears.

    • Jeff says:

      Exactly! As much as I respect Galloway, I was shocked when he “conflated” opening the school year for K-12 with college campus openings. K-12 is a microcosm of the college pandemic incubator. If one grade schooler is infected and remains “infective” for two weeks, then eventually just about every kid in the classroom will become infected. Then, of course, the parents (and teachers) will become infected. To my mind, this is a perfect super-spreader scenario.

    • Bill says:

      Sorry Paul but all the evidence is that children under 10 do not get sick from COVID, nor is there a single case in the entire world of a child under 10 infecting an adult. Teachers in the UK are very keen on staying at home and scoring political points therefore do everything they possibly can to exaggerate the risks, making ever more absurd demands in the interests of “safety”. Of course I am certain you and your colleagues would not indulge in such reprehensible behaviour.

    • Bill says:

      @Susannah Yes indeed we’re all, uh, doomed! Presumably you teachers are all on the government payroll so will, uh, get paid no matter what. It’s a bit different out here in the private sector. I recommend you hide under the kitchen table until all risks have been eliminated from life. We will leave food parcels on your doorstep, ring the bell and run away quickly. Well, at least until society collapses or we all die.

    • Mark says:

      @Bill that’s not necessarily the case. Israeli schools (including kindergarten) had to shut down because of COVID outbreaks. (While we may not have direct evidence of a child under 10 infecting an adult, I’d say that the experience in Israel is at least cautionary.)

  135. Quycksilver says:

    I’m a full professor (albeit in the humanities), and 141K is well more than double my salary. It’s also double the salary of my dean.

    • Bill says:

      Sounds like Art History prof’s aren’t taught how averages work.

    • scott says:

      @Bill as several have pointed out, the $141k metric is only full professors at universities with doctoral programs. Even so, a median would be more useful than a mean here, right?

    • Brandon T Kendhammer says:

      @Bill The number he’s citing here is for full professors at Carnegie R1 universities. If you include all tenure-track and instructional track faculty in positions requiring PhDs across all 4-year institutions, that number is pulled down by half or more. I’d say this was a nitpicking point, except many of the schools being discussed in the article are not Carnegie R1 institutions (which means their instructor costs are lower than implied in the text of the article–the spreadsheet data seems correct, however).

    • Joe says:

      @Bill Sounds like you don’t know how to read salary data

  136. Mark Clayton says:

    Thank you for very perceptive comments. Sadly, we are conducting a great natural experiment to see whether your model is predictive.

  137. MilesT says:

    For contrast, UK media in the last week or so are reporting around 13 universities (from 130, 10%) at risk of bankruptcy in near future (before Autumn term reopening). More likely to follow in next 1-2 years (with a high dependence on tutition and government research grants rather than alumni endowment or investment income). Most are planning full return to onsite for Autumn term but numbers likely to be reduced by large scale absence of foreign students due to lack of clarity regarding Covid19 quarantine for travellers from outside UK, ongoing lockdown and Covid19 prevalence, and visa situation post BrExit (for students from EU).

  138. D. Anthony says:

    The average salary of a professor with a PhD is not over $141,000. Check the Chronicle article and table again; this isn’t what it says. That is the average only for full professors (excluding associate and assistant) and only at doctorate-granting institutions. The actual average professor salary is much lower.

    • Abhishek says:

      Exactly! Only an endowed professor who’s been teaching for 20+ years makes anything close to that at my university. That figure seems very fishy to me.

    • Brennan says:

      I can’t believe anyone thought for a second that average professor salaries were this high! This needs to be fixed. Full professors make $104,820, Associate professors make $81,274 and assistant professors make $70,791 (on average).

  139. Bill says:

    I am surprised that such a smart author and bunch of commentators all seem to some degree to be taken in by the “we’re all doomed” COVID narrative. This disease is pretty much harmless to 98% of the population, IFR is less than 0.4% and if you are under 50 you have more chance of being struck by lightning than of dying from COVID. Universities should be pushing on and reopening for the Fall and encouraging students to have the full range of experiences the Prof and I had.

    • Jason says:

      Bill: You are conflating 98% survival with 98% harmless… there are emerging long-term effects of this virus that result in significant organ damage. It is disingenuous to suggest that this virus is “pretty much harmless to 98% of the population.”

    • Kari J Craun says:

      Sixteen percent of the US population is over 65. The COVID 19 death rate in this age category ranges from 10% for those aged 65-74 to 30% for those age 85 an older. Students are not the only ones affected by this as they will be out and about in their communities infecting lots of other people. Sure, we can roll the dice and let a few more tens of thousand people die while we hold on to the past with a death grip. Literally. Or, we can make some adjustments to our lifestyle for another six months to a year and get past this while we wait for better therapeutics and a vaccine.

    • Anne says:

      Any disease that puts 20% of those with symptoms into the hospital is not harmless. Doctors continue to find new symptoms, including long term effects such as neurological damage, even for those with “mild” cases. This is not “pretty much harmless.” Also consider that COVID-19 IS assessed as 3X as infectious as the flu. It now looks like we may not develop long-term immunity (so no herd immunity) and it’s calculated that left unchecked, 60 to 80% of the population will contract it. Do the math. This means that if we don’t take this seriously millions will die, and many more millions will become seriously ill, possibly with permanent physical disabilities. And a 2% death rate is terrible, regardless.

    • Bill says:

      @Kari J Craun @the rest of you … as I am sure you know I am not advocating doing nothing or “letting tens of thousands of people die”. Strange how the (presumably) educated wheel out this ridiculous non sequitur. Anyone would think your expensive educations had made you incapable of resisting groupthink. Let’s protect the vulnerable. The facts are this is harmless for anyone under 50. I am sure you and plenty of others can “make some adjustments to our lifestyles”, presumably focusing on yoga, growing our own vegetables and making soda bread, whilst millions of jobs are destroyed and hundreds of thousands of cancer patients go untreated. Let’s not think about them, let’s watch the economy tank whilst we feel good about “saving lives” and accuse anyone who questions this insanity of wanting to “let tens of thousands die”.

    • William T Regno says:

      I think you should double-check your “Fox-News/One America” survival rate. Currently in the U.S. the Covid Death rate is still above 3% – furthermore, survivors are leaving the hospital with damaged organs that will result in long-term medical issues. In particular, many younger people between the age of 20 and 30 that had moderate to severe cases are leaving the hospital with pancreases performing like a 40-year old. Others leave with Brain damage, others with the effects of strokes, others with Kidney damage. All of these medical conditions will impact the one and only thing you seem to care about – our economy — but, you are probably a baby-boomer with less than 10 years to live and you just don’t give a damn about anything but your poorly funded retirement account.

    • Joe W. says:

      @Bill Are you 15 year old? You clearly lack the critical thinking skills.

    • Sean says:

      @Bill: You seem to pretty educated, so I’m sure you know what a “straw man” argument is. What I can’t figure out is why you would think this is helpful in an open forum. Isn’t the goal to make sense of a world where objective truth isn’t assured and shouldn’t be assumed?

    • Mike says:

      A .4% IFR, applied to the entire US population, implies about 1.5 million deaths (3-4x the number of US deaths in WWII over a similar time span). Good to know what kind of idiot/monster you are.

  140. Robert Hess says:

    I appreciate that Prof. Galloway is taking the time to attempt an quantitative analysis of what is going to be the greatest challenge higher education has ever faced in this country. I understand the basic quadrant structure, but am wondering about what factors provide the basis for value. From what I can tell, only monetary/quantifiable factors enter into the analysis, such as the net present value of a four-year degree. If so, this would leave out “soft” factors, such as student and alumni loyalty, the percentage of students that pursues post-graduate degrees, or the uniqueness of an institution (in terms of curriculum, campus (life), location, etc.). Though such soft factors are hard or even impossible to quantify, they clearly play an important role in the continued success of an institution. But I do understand that this is work in progress and not meant as the final say on the matter. Obviously, much depends on how exactly the pandemic will develop in the coming months. And those developments will not be uniform across the country. New York University might be able to reopen for in-class learning in spring, whereas UCLA may have to continue online. Or vice versa. So, for those of us who are parents of incoming or current college students, let’s all take a deep breath and not assume the worst for now. The small liberal arts colleges my two kids are (slated to) attend are on the “perish list”, but for reasons I won’t go into here, I highly doubt that either school will have to close. And the same will no doubt be true for many other vulnerable smaller schools.

  141. Alex says:

    Can you plot a school like Ithaca College on the scale? Its a top 10 in the Northeast (per US News) but not on your list… I’m an alum and think the experience was highly valuable – would like to see how the merits stack up on your scale.

  142. David Vacchi says:

    I appreciate the intention here, but who are you? I’m not sure I’ve heard of any schools anticipating going back to full student rolls on campus. Some are inviting some, some are inviting most, as not noted some are inviting none, but none are inviting all. The problem with this article is the premise, which is just as ridiculous as “no one will contract Corona Virus”. Your article is part and parcel of the “panic first, think last” culture that has been modeled by the media and is ruining our country. If your intention was to create dialogue, all you’ve done is further polarize the community with this article. If you want dialogue, you have to start with some stark realities – the ridiculous growth of the student costs for attending school and how that is the core of your problem – not the pandemic. As you mention, the Cal system has a good value proposition (however the state is bankrupt and too heavily subsidizes college). Despite ridiculous costs, too many students are going to college, taking on huge debts, and not graduating – this has been a growing problem for 30 years that no college has lifted a finger to mitigate. Despite the Marxists who drive the agenda for higher ed, the economy is essentially a limited free market, and the pandemic will only bring about what should have happened long ago: some “SS schools” going under and a lot of students not going to school (hopefully those who have no business going in the first place). What this article also fails to acknowledge is that what we’re doing with idiotic proposals like this is further prolonging the life span of COvid-19 – you cannot stop the virus – even by stopping all college students from going to campus. But consider this: while you’re correct to assume that college students will not socially distance in all cases, you’re actually way off base on their likelihood to wear masks as if it is cultural statement and a fashion statement, its already happening – even with “adults”. Despite some vulnerability, it is also clear that the under 35 population is at a substantially reduced risk for both infection and serious illness from Corona virus for some reason. These are healthy young people who have either had the virus and not shown symptoms, or not had it (don’t have it) and are not at risk of bringing it to campus. The risk only lies in a college’s ability to create a “bubble” and keep their kids on campus 24/7 – I would argue this is problematic at best, but again we may be underestimating this population, which is no longer the irresponsible/selfish Millennial generation, but a more responsible Next generation. They get it. If “old/vulnerable” retirees are doing what they should, they’re not enjoying their bucolic college town anyway they’re staying at home – what’s the big deal if we try to bring as many students as possible to college – there’s no such thing as a comparable online class to an in person class – we have to agree on that and the higher price tag for more prestigious colleges comes with a promise of a better campus experience – Harvard is not worth $75,000 per year as an online institution – except to the 1 per-centers who might only be looking for a prestigious diploma and an alumni network to connect into after graduation. Most campuses are the same: it’s not worth going only for an online experience. The “creative” thing to do is to use your logic to convince “expensive” schools to temporarily lower their tuition to balance the quality scales with online an in-person experience. This article is mostly lunacy and should only serve as a source of information to dismiss like much of the farcical media these days. Let the “grown-ups” at each institution make their own decisions, lets the chips fall where they may, and if some schools go under, OK – we needed that anyway.

    • Robert Hess says:

      My son’s college-to-be, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, plans to reopen with all students on campus and taking regular classes. I am sure that Prof. Galloway is not just paranoid and has a sound basis for saying that many colleges/universities are planning to reopen with in-class instruction in fall. I am hopeful, though, that many of those institutions will announce at some point – after students have enrolled and paid tuition – that they will teach online after all.

    • Amy J says:

      While I hear what you’re saying and you make many excellent points, in my experience, this post-millennial generation is far from “getting it”. I have no delusions that they will behave in the same way that all young college students have behaved for generations.

    • Joe W. says:

      The private college I attend will be inviting all students back in the fall for mostly in-person classes. It would be impossible to keep students from leaving campus and spreading it the the greater community. My college is requiring masks to be worn in classrooms and other public spaces, but there is no way for them to dictate who we meet and party with. College students will be college students. Exponential spread is real. Also many Professors are older and would likely get severely sick if they contracted Covid-19. The hospital in our town would not be able to handle an outbreak and would be overwhelmed very quickly. Ideally, classes would be completely online and tuition would be cut in half or less.

  143. Mark J Collins says:

    Scott, Good article —thanks for sharing. I cannot locate Merrimack College on the list and was wondering about your thoughts on that school. I worry about these schools that are heading back to in person classes and in residence students. I think you are correct that many are simply in denial as their survival depends on those revenues that otherwise will be gone if they go simply on line. Thanks again for sharing the article and if you get a minute could you let me know your Thoughts on Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. Best, Mark

  144. Kathleen E Patrick says:

    I can’t make the spreadsheet usable: When I try to look at colleges in the middle of the pack, I can’t see what the column headings are. Also, sorry that I can’t make head nor tale of your final vulnerability score: some are 1.5 or 1.41 and have completely different thrive/perish conclusions next to them.

  145. Matt Dominici says:

    Babson shown as a cruise ship, but not listed on the actual worksheet….

  146. JC says:

    I also think his final pivot to saying that all schools should not be online does not take into account the degree to which the schools will be proactive in health and safety measures. Some schools are preparing much better than others and the culture of the college will also be a by-product of student behavior. To use his metaphor, not all cruise ships were infected at the same rates…but the ones that were, those cases were very bad indeed.

  147. Karin says:

    I think we all went immediately to the spreadsheet to look up our alma maters. Mine wasn’t even on the list. Ouch! New College is Sarasota. Here in the UK, the government plans to cap the number of UK students universities can admit. Here students won’t be allowed to trade up. They will be held down so weaker institutions don’t perish. Bit shit really.

  148. Greg Britton says:

    Strong piece. One small point: That average salary of $141,476 is for professors at doctoral institutions. For all institutions, it’s closer to $105,000.

    • David Vacchi says:

      Hi Greg – you’re only partially correct, or you’ve been caught in the authors semantics trap – “professors” are the group of people who teach all college courses at colleges, it is also the faculty rank of the minority of teaching faculty – those are the people who average $105,000. Most faculty make far less than that – as the median salary (50% line) was $76,000 in 2017 – the author’s $141,000 number is farcical. Ask any assistant professor – they all make less than $76k and a good number of associate professors do as well. Cheers

    • Scott says:

      @David Vacchi For me, the author lost all credibility with this claim. It’s completely ridiculous.

    • Charlie Mitchell says:

      @David Vacchi I’m glad someone called out that absurd stat. Those numbers are grossly inflated. It uses an average without acknowledging the enormous salaries that medical and law professors receive as well as teaching administrators who make a great deal more than your average professor. At the same time, you’ll get no agreement with the statement “Despite the Marxists who drive the agenda for higher ed…” What is your proof of this claim? Conservative media loves to trot out some course from places like Berkley or Portland as proof that every university is some socialist indoctrination center. I’ve been teaching for twenty years — in the arts no less — and have seen nothing but university administrations bend over backwards for conservative students and right leaning organizations.

    • D Anthony says:

      @David Vacchi when the author said “professors with a PhD” I took that to mean he misunderstood the meaning of the “doctoral” in that section of the data, thinking it was about the credential of the faculty member rather than the level of degree granted by the institution. I’m not sure how any professor could make a mistake like that though. It makes the $141,000 wrong on multiple fronts—and by almost double.

    • Ashley smith says:

      @David Vacchi I am an assistant prof on a tenure track and I make a lot more than 141k. So do all of my friends and coauthors at other universities at the same stage in their careers.

    • Amy J says:

      @Ashley smith You must be at an elite university or in a state with a high cost of living. I am at the same point in my career at a tier 1 research university and don’t make anywhere near that. Nor do many full professors. I suspect this is very regional as I am in the south. Despite your fortunate situation, the stats the author presents for “average” salary are not accurate.

  149. Johnna R Hobgood says:

    Spot on Scott. The 140+ University of Washington Frat outbreak this month is a leading indicator of how bad this could get in universities.

  150. Giorgio F. Alberti says:

    Very interesting !

  151. Fred says:

    I get that they built a spread sheet. Unclear that the categories are built on any analysis. Example: how did they determine the dividing line between struggle and survive?

    • JC says:

      This is my big question too

    • Theo says:

      @JC @Fred – Got this from the sheet – hope it helps. The schools are percentile ranked across the categories and bucketed using the rule: 1.)Struggle – Ranks in bottom 50% value + bottom 50% vulnerability. 2.)Survive – Ranks in top 50% value + Top 50% vulnerability 3.)Thrive – Ranks in top 50% value + bottom 50% vulnerability 4.) Perish – Ranks in bottom 50% value + top 50% vulnerability NB – higher the vulnerability rank the more susceptible the institution

    • David Vacchi says:

      The spreadsheet creators acknowledge it is not science, it is just conceptual – no stats to see there. But it is fair to acknowledge that no matter what schools do in the fall, some are going to go bust over the next 12 months – I’m OK with that too.

  152. Lisa Roberts says:

    Why is K-12 so starkly different?

    • Felicia D says:

      Primary school functions as childcare, so the economy reopening is largely dependent on working parents being able to return to their jobs. Children also need in person instruction and social opportunities for their brain development.

    • Cam says:

      @Felicia D As a lifelong elementary educator, the first half of your statement is the most depressing and true thing I’ve read in a while. It’s forcing many people into unsafe situations who don’t want to be there. As soon as we hear teachers being called heroes, it’s time to jump ship.

    • Joe W. says:

      @Cam If we shut down in March and April, we wouldn’t even have this issue. I blame Trump and the fake news that people so often consume nowadays. How have masks turned political? A lack of critical thinking, bad science literacy is what leads to this.

  153. Ssp says:

    I will be glad to see these cesspools of communists and marxists disappear forever. Universities and Schools are a relic of the Industrial Age. Good riddance to all of them

    • Dan says:

      And what would you like to see in their place? Nothing? No more higher ed? Trump University, perhaps?

    • Xavier says:

      @Dan I think Ssp is just emotional and upset because so many higher education institutions are censoring so called conservative voices (eg Ben and Jordan++). Old fashioned liberals were proud to be tolerant of a variety of ideas and would appreciate good intellectual debate. Today’s leftist instructors choose to indoctrinate students rather than teach them to critique multiple points of view – seeing the good and the bad of various approaches to life, government, business, etc. I try to be objective but it sure does look like big leftist money is pulling the strings at universities. Get rid of that influence and perhaps these organizations and our country can be saved. Short of that – yes – shut them down and start again. Sometimes it’s the only way. Bad businesses go away. Why not bad and corrupt schools?

    • Samjj says:

      @Xavier may I ask you to please list some legitimate and truly scientific, evidence based and intellectual “right wing” speakers that have been censored? I think we should be open to wide discourse from all circles In a well researched market place of ideas however garbage in = garbage out and the two you mentioned don’t make the cut. They play with words and straw men, and are intellectually dishonest bullshit artists. There are certainly some so called “left leaning” speakers that don’t deserve to speak at universities too.

    • Randy says:

      @Samjj Thought experiment. How many non-tenured Professors would dare Tweet out ‘All lives matter’? Compare reaction on campus to any tweet that supports Marxism.

    • David Vacchi says:

      @Xavier Excellent and well-made point!

    • Joe W. says:

      @Randy This analogy is flawed.

    • Sean says:

      @Randy: Have you seen anyone tweet out All Lives Matter except as a repudiation of Black Lives Matter? Interestingly, I never see All Lives Matter as a response to Blue Lives Matter.

  154. MilesT says:

    There is a long running well regarded example of a different model: The Open University in the UK. Chartered and fostered by UK government in the 1960’s with largely distance learning and flexible course length model from the start, designed to improving access to higher education for Batchelors level in later life and selected masters (including MBA).

  155. Andrea Kennedy says:

    I find it ironic that Americans are still clinging to their 4 year degree. Kids graduating from the IB system are already more literate than people who have attended four year universities in the US. That’s the real problem Scott.

    • Donkey says:

      What a donkey comment from a moronic Karen.

    • Dan says:

      Ridiculous comment.

    • Jeannie says:

      I love my elite alma mater with Pac 12 football. I love my son’s elite uni too and am mourning the loss of normalcy that he is going to zoom school in the fall and not living on campus. I happen to agree with you, it is a very American tradition. It is hard to give up, the struggle is real.

    • Randy says:

      Unfortunately, the country is filled with indebted graduates from ‘top’ colleges who have few salable skills. I know several who have turned to code academy -type classes and are somewhat gainfully employed. Others who are struggling. All their tuition loans did fund the diversity Profs and keep SJWs from picketing the campus.

  156. Randy says:

    Excellent article, great research. What would be a great followup is how Universities should respond to cuts, assuming the figure out how to respond to COVID. The choices are not good, and politically deadly. For example. State U has to cut departments, Governor cut budget. The STEM departments turn out employable grads who contribute to alumni giving drives. The ‘— Studies’ departments turn out unemployed kids who cannot even pay off student debt. But, they are the part of the Diversity stats which keep activists from protesting in front of CNN trucks on campus. The answer is obvious, which means it will not happen. American Universities made this bed. Now they have to sleep in it.

  157. Juan Carlos Wandemberg says:

    Spot on Prof G! The universities that will thrive are those that will deliberately move from their comfort zone, not because the odds are against them but because they can still afford to do so, and undertake a tropophilic path ASAP!

  158. Aaron says:

    Interesting dataset. Would be curious to hear Scott’s take on other HBCU’s and whether they thrive or perish according to the methodology used? Nice work – enjoy listening to Pivot with you and Kara S.

    • Ted says:

      @Aaron, I was wondering the same, I looked at the data and there are at least five HBCUs ranked: Hampton, Howard, Morehouse, North Carolina A&T, and Spelman. Three “struggle”, one “survives” and one “thrives”. Howard is the “thrive”, has a high Value rating. There is a link halfway down in the article to the data.

  159. Vic York says:

    The “Law of the Jungle”. Only the strong will survive. Liberal Arts Colleges are DEAD. Universities that offer STEM curriculum are the future. Employers want to know what you can do for them in the skills area. They don’t care about art history, middle English lit, or Greek philosophy.

    • Kai says:

      “Liberal arts” includes science and mathematics; employers bemoan the lack of critical thinking, communication, and ethical habits of mind that they see from many graduates with focused technical degrees; And many liberal arts majors (eg English, Spanish) have the same or higher lifetime earnings than professional -degree holders. And there are a lot of unemployed petroleum engineers out there. Do your research.

    • David Vacchi says:

      I would disagree Vic – The current Liberal Arts college is about dead because it has run amok with social experiences and BS willing the curriculum rather than focusing on psychology, sociology, English, Rhetoric, etc. STEM is dying because it is anachronistic, unless you’re in engineering or computer science (really cyber security) – what we need is to get back to Liberal Arts degrees from 75 years ago that produced some of the most creative minds and best leaders of the 20th century who were critical thinkers. Colleges and universities across the nation are failing at providing the working world with graduates who have the three most desirable skills: critical thinking, oral and written communication skills. Higher Ed is simply failing in this regard. If we got back to basics, and went to a 3 year Liberal Arts degree for under $20k per year, we’d have a winning model for students, colleges, and society.

    • Joe W. says:

      @David Vacchi I mostly agree. Offer solid, genuine liberal arts degrees for a reasonable price and less people will pay $40k for a useless business degree. Critical thinking, written skills etc are useful in any field you chose to go into. I also think a lot of it has to do with our failing K-12 system. Abolish the police and give the money to social workers and education.

  160. Christopher Simons says:

    I do not understand your use of the sticker price for average tuition. Even for colleges for which “merit discounting” is offered for most or even all students regardless of financial need.

    • David Vacchi says:

      Which country are you referring to Chris? There are next to no merit scholarships in the US any more and if you’re in the shrinking middle class you’re totally screwed for affording college due to no merit aid, no scholarships, and no financial aid. The economically struggling and the uber rich have it made, but that’s not the majority of college-goers.

    • Robert Hess says:

      @David Vacchi It is simply not true that there are next to no merit scholarships in the US anymore. In fact, most 4-year institutions offer some sort of merit aid – because they have to in order to compete. The problem is that these are not the institutions most students/parents want to attend/pay for. Everyone wants to go their state flag ship university – which predictably offer no merit aid because they don’t have to.

    • Joe W. says:

      @David Vacchi No sure where you’re coming from. My college offers 70% of students financial aid. The average scholarship is over 40k. The average portion covered by the college is over 50%.

  161. Trip O'Dell says:

    Spot on as usual Scott, the challenge isn’t just about the top of funnel problem (admission/attendance) its also about optimizing for higher lifetime value and ROI for students, faculty, and students. That starts with with disrupting an entrenched pedagogical and business model that dates back to the Medieval period (1088). The exclusivity (highly selective) halo of universities is grounded in their traditionally constrained supply and access to the prestige of being among the “chosen few” to get to attend and compete at that level. Its the same logic that made the NFL elite (which is a similar racket enforced by the NCAA). In both cases, these are industries being disrupted by the same factors that made them powerful to begin with, artificially constrained supply, based on factors that haven’t existed in a decade. Education isn’t special, this is the same pattern that hit other industries like Media (Netflix), Journalism (Craigslist, Google, Facebook, Blogs/Youtube), travel (Expedia, Uber, AirBNB), retail, publishing, wholesale, logistics, fashion (Amazon – note, I’m former Amzn)… In addition to Universities, keep an eye on pro sports (Fortnight), education publishing (too long to list), Fast Food, Commercial Real Estate, – It’s ALL the same business model. Artificially limiting supply is a death march. Like Bezos famously said “your margin is my opportunity…”!

  162. John Scott says:

    The college business part of our economy doesn’t know how things work because they are weaned on an endless supply of funds from sources other then themselves. Higher education has been a cash cow for the elite herd for years without serious evaluation of the end product that they were producing. Difficult times are on the horizon, but it just might be the best thing that could happen…schools will return to offering a high quality education that will be burnished with wisdom. Remember wisdom? That forgotten ingredient that can make everything better.

  163. Amitabh Bhargava says:

    Surprisingly Virginia Tech and James Madison University are missing

    • Stacy says:

      Thinking Tech should do well; getting more popular and endowment of more than $1 billion. Not sure about JMU but hoping!

  164. Greg Dubrow says:

    Some interesting data points, but needs some refining here and there, and more documentation. For instance, is FT students an FTE count or just the raw number of FT students? Some schools on this list have PT enrollment. So this matters for the endowment calculation and other measures. Also, how are each of the Credential, Experience Education Scores derived? Using the US News rankings in conjunction with some of the other measures, like endowment per student and admit rate present a confounding variable issue. While admit rate is no longer in USN scores, they use other measures of selectivity like standardized tests, which has it’s own inherent issues. And endowment is made up in part from alumni giving, which is a metric in USN ranking. Some accounting of vulnerability should also take into account the mix of undergrad::grad students and the type of grad students. What’s the mix of doctoral or professional? Within grad populations, what’s the reliance on international? Also, in the text of this piece, the line about average professor salary is a bit misleading, even though there’s a link to the chart. The figure quoted, $141,476 is for full professors at Doctoral level universities. There’s a lot of variance by rank & type of school.

  165. Lizzie H. says:

    Wow this is depressing. Especially since we just paid the bill for daughter’s college, and it’s in the “perish” category.

  166. dan says:

    curious if the int’l student %’s are correct? Bates, Vassar and Pomona showing 0% int’l can’t be right. Those are top-30 schools…

    • Greg Dubrow says:

      I did a quick check and the Vassar number is off – from their 2019-20 common data set submission they have 200~ international students out of 2441 total students. (apologies if this is duplicate, I didn’t see the first reply post)

    • Prof G Team says:

      Hi Dan, good point, this data is from the Dept of Ed and is self-reported by universities. However, you’re right, according to the schools, those percentages are off. We’ve updated that data and are looking into a few others. Thanks!

  167. Roman L. Weil says:

    My second comment on this subject. The SEC has fourteen schools, of which twelve have data at the moment. Of those twelve, nine Thrive, two Survive, and one Perishes. That one is The University of Alabama. I’m a Roll Tide guy and must believe there is a data error. How can Arkansas Thrive and Bama Perish? Forgive me, Hogs. BTW: Professor G doesn’t analyze this point, but one other commenter does mention it. Cornell has said that it believes students are safer back at school under the watchful eye of campus police and other safety guards than roaming around un-monitored at home.

    • Marigold says:

      Look at the original equations in the post. My suspicion is the tuition difference between AL & AR

    • Andrea says:

      This old man is a racist to the core. As a former student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, on numerous occasions, I’ve heard him openly stereotype Black, Latino, and Asian students, offensively comparing them to the White students. For all the future minority students at Booth, avoid his Financial Accounting classes at all costs.

    • Sheryl says:

      Just to follow up on your comment about Cornell… After a thorough analysis, Cornell decided their students are safer back at school in the fall because (1) more than half of Cornell students planned to return to Ithaca to their off-campus apartments regardless, which put the community at greater risk if not overseen by the school (2) their vet school is able to do their own pool testing of the full community on a regular basis with results within 24 hours, independent of third parties testing companies, and (3) have the resources to fully quarantine as needed. I think these types of capabilities or lack thereof should be weighed into the education delivery decision. Schools that can’t do this as well should not pretend it’s safe. States should not be allowing those with weak plans to reopen.

  168. Brett Elkins says:

    Scott. Great information and thanks for sharing. Your ex roommate and friend form the better School USC. Best Brett Elkins

  169. Rex Minge says:

    This scenario has been due for years, good work. I don’t, however, see the data for contributions from sports in the analysis. It is very likely that college athletics are going to be drastically cut and with them, an enormous revenue source. The athletics departments are going to be cut at a very large number of schools, those schools are dead.

    • Act Math Prof says:

      Only about 12 universities in the US make money from their athletic programs. At my large state (but not flagship) university, students pay an athletic fee of about $700 per year. In addition, the academic side subsidized athletics to the tune of millions per year. Our football team has a long losing tradition and so few students attend the games that the university has to buy up thousands of tickets to make it appear that we have the minimum attendance required to stay in the division. Nevertheless, the football coach is the second highest paid employee of the university. We would be healthier financially if we eliminated athletics, or at least the football program. (We do have an excellent golf program which attracts strong student athletes, some of whom have gone on to win major tournaments. But that doesn’t make us money, either.)

  170. Doug says:

    Prof G is always a good read and as lately is the case disagree with his assertion. Schools should come back in the fall as these populations are not at risk. The stats simply show that if you are under 55 you aren’t going to die from this. Let’s stop with the ridiculous fear mongering as if these kids are going to stay at home and not spend time with other people in person away from campus. As for college it has become a waste of money and time. The value is gone and schools are run by marxists. People should get to starting a business and get on with making money and forget that these buffoons have anything useful to add to their already hijacked K-12 education. I am telling anyone in my family under the age of 25 that going to college is a huge financial mistake at the time point. Get a trade certificate and get to work.

    • chris gargan says:

      Well, Doug, as someone who taught college for almost 40 year and taught in a program with a 93% placement rate in our industry I would just say that not one single thing you wrote is accurate, But considering how many people are claiming that opinion is the equivalent of facts I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    • Joe W. says:

      What you really mean is higher education should be far cheaper and available to more of our youth..

  171. JOHN FORBES says:

    Hi Scott, Speaking of arrogance in the University system, the lack of transparency in pricing structure and the difficulty in purchasing the product at most universities is unbelievable. I’m a startup consultant with 35 years of experience who has recently ended up doing a lot of work with intellectual property. Since I have found myself helping my clients write a lot of patent descriptions lately, I’m considering getting certified as a patent agent, which is typically a one year post graduate certification program. Most of these programs are offered online, as most professionals are not going to move to a college town for a year just to get a certificate (not to mention potentially contracting COVID!). However, when you go to the university websites it is almost impossible to find out how much these certificate programs cost! Many of them seem to have an arrogant “apply for the program first and if we deign to consider your application, then we’ll tell you how much it costs” attitude. If there was an online university website that just made it obvious how many spaces were available and how much the program cost, I probably would have signed up by now – providing some much needed cash inflow for them for the fall semester that doesn’t even require a physical seat on campus. When will universities realize that they are just another business selling a product, and that reducing this kind of friction in the transaction will result in higher sales? I’d like to hear your opinion on this.

    • Doug says:

      Don’t forget a lot of the empty promises that schools tell you are waiting on the other side. Maybe in your case it is a necessary and important post grad step but think about the thousands of bartenders and call center reps who thought paying 30k a year for a social work degree was a good idea.

    • Marigold says:

      Imagine that they already realized their cert programs are no more than a product and that sales diminish if the price is listed on the menu. Why list the price without getting to sweet-talk you into a sale?

  172. Abe says:

    Looks like (based on the attendance figures and ranking info) that University of St. Thomas in TX is confused with the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Otherwise, thank you for the for the analysis and underlying data.

  173. Roman L Weil says:

    While I’m a faculty member at Univ of Chicago, I’m from Alabama. Roll Tide. I wonder why Auburn thrives and Bama perishes. I can’t manipulate the spread sheet enough to figure this out. I know how to do spread sheets, but can’t get my cut and paste around this one, yet.Thanks for doing this fantastic data compilation.

    • Andrea says:

      This old man is a racist to the core. As a former student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, on numerous occasions, I’ve heard him openly stereotype Black, Latino, and Asian students, offensively comparing them to the White students. For all the future minority students at Booth, avoid his Financial Accounting classes at all costs.

    • JC says:

      If you Select All, and copy (Ctrl+C), you can paste (Ctrl+V) into a new Excel spreadsheet that is much more malleable.

    • Eli Castro says:

      From Excel, create a new sheet and go to the data tab – there’s a “from the web” option under the “Get and Transform Data” section. Just paste the google sheet URL in there, and it’ll take care of input. Once in Excel you may have to copy all that data to a new sheet and there are some places where values came in as text, but it’s easy to manipulate and gets around working in the Google Sheet directly.

  174. Don Halldin says:

    Here is an idea. These communist indoctrination camps could start by eliminating every “studies” department and major. Laying off hundreds or trans-lesbian-Marxist studies professors. Shrink administrative staff by 40%-50% (just to get back to 2010 levels) Higher education in the US used to be the world leader. If you still believe they are you are not looking seriously. Burn them all down and start over with a model that isn’t 100% corrupt.

    • Doug says:


    • Remy says:

      Hilarious. It always amazes me how many people think that universities are overrun with Communists/Marxists intent on indoctrinating students. If that were the case there would be A LOT more Marxists in the world. Lol.

    • Xavier says:

      @Remy What do you mean? Who do you think are voting for Bernie and AOC? The young indoctrinated who were not taught to evaluate a variety of ideas on merit…just believe what the professors ..most of whom are career academics …tell them to be true. I had a crazy leftist when I when to school and it took me 5 years in the real world to realize he had no grasp of reality. These kids will hopefully learn but it might be too late. Leftist Dems (not the good ones) totally controlling Government by that point with ANTIFA marxists burning down your town and taking your property.

    • Joe W. says:

      @Xavier The vast majority of professors are not “trans-lesbian-Marxist studies professors” Administrative positions should definitely be reduced however

    • paul says:

      @Xavier Are you actually claiming that the people voting for AOC are college students? In what reality do college students make up a significant portion of the 14th congressional district? Just ridiculous.

  175. Alex says:

    @ProfG – well played. Question – what do you think of un-bundling college? goes along with Sprint/Section4/Modeul2 on ‘rundles’ – what if I could take fungible classes from various vendors, but receive sole certification from one provider? is there break up value?

    • Doug says:

      This is actually a good idea for starters. It would also mean college takes less time not more like we are trending.

  176. BH says:

    On the value component of the analysis, I am curious as to why you chose to use the sticker price of tuition instead of an average net tuition per student number, which in some cases can be much lower and is inherently more reflective of the actual cost to attend these institutions. I suspect that this would make many of the strong schools even stronger since the schools that are very strong in terms of wealth (a component of the vulnerability score) tend to be able to have more generous financial aid programs.

    • Phil says:

      Using sticker price is an embarrassingly bad choice for the model. Makes me really doubt that he understands how university finances work and calls the whole model and analysis into question. % of total revenue from tuition and % of total revenue from housing (both available in IPEDS) would be an even better measure than net tuition price, though. It’s actually a very direct measure of the vulnerability he’s trying to estimate from sticker price.

  177. Laura Peck says:

    I am teaching MBA on line so your comments are very interesting for me.

  178. Lloyd Bishop says:

    But, thanks for doing it – very interesting – I’ve talked about your thoughts on higher ed for while – I just would like to be better able to look at the data

  179. Nick says:

    You say the average salary of a professor with a PhD, before benefits, is $141,476. But in the very source data that sentence links to, that is the average salary of a full professor at doctoral granting institutions (in 2017-18). Not the same thing at all.

    • Matt says:

      Yes–I noticed that too. I think the data is misrepresented in two ways. First, the average salary listed in the article is not for professors *with* a doctorate, but professors *at an institution that grants doctorates.* Also, by referring to the “average salary of a professor” it implies an average for ALL professors of any rank. The chart breaks up salaries by rank, and the $141,000 figure is specifically for “full” professors. So while referring to “professors” is technically correct, most people will interpret it to mean professors in the generic sense, not professors in the “full professor” sense. If you scan further down the chart it shows that the average salary for a “full professor” across institutions is about $104,000. Factoring in Assistant and Associate Professors (not to mention instructors) would bring the figure down even further. Perhaps not central to the piece, but that’s a pretty big error in describing faculty salaries. People already think faculty get paid a lot for doing nothing–this kind of mistake doesn’t help.

    • RiskyBusiness says:

      The two natural explanations that come to mind are either that the author doesn’t know how to read a chart or that he is deliberately distorting the numbers; both are quite likely possibilities coming from a business school professor. You might wonder how someone in academia could see a number like 141K and not be suspicious. But you have to remember that business school professors are paid obscenely despite mostly being failed economists (a non-tenured hire straight out of grad school can get close to 200K at a good school) so perhaps the author just has no idea of reality.

  180. Lloyd Bishop says:

    Agree with the comment that it needs rows and columns frozen – , with all the data it is nearly impossible to use otherwise

  181. Alex B says:

    Such a tease. You label a ship Babson at the top but don’t include them in your spreadsheet.

    • Radhika Khurana says:

      ! I had a similar question- will this list be updated with additional colleges ?

  182. BD says:

    Any thoughts on how research soft money and university health care systems would factor in to this? Depending on how a Research I university is structured, it seems it could add to the viability of an institution apart from the undergraduate mission.

  183. Barry Didato says:

    Scott: I hope this can be shared more broadly. My Daughter attends Elon University in North Carolina. I am pasting the cover note the Elon sent with its invoice to all parents: **The amount for tuition ad fees for the 2020-2021 academic year has been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the 2020-2021 academic year** **Elon University reserves the right to add or drop programs and courses, to institute new requirements when such changes are desirable and to change the calendar that has been published. Unless otherwise indicated, such changes will be applicable to all students enrolled at the time the change is adopted as well as to all students who re-enroll after a period of absence. Every effort will be made to minimize the inconvenience such changes might create for students. Elon University reserves the right to increase overall tuition, cost per credit, education fees, and room and board charges on a semester basis.** For Elon, they have a clear priority of economics over the health of 6,700 students, their families, the staff and administration. Horrifying.

    • Joe W. says:

      this is what happens when tuition increases over 1000% over a few decades. Administrative positions need to be reduced also

  184. Amitabh Bhargava says:

    Fascinating post and extremely useful worksheet. However, as of now one cannot filter or freeze panes on the sheet and that makes it extremely cumbersome to use.

  185. jeff bronchick says:

    Well, there are two issues here that do not have the same correlation implied by the piece. The first is the “price, arrogance and BS system that passes for learning” at many of our nation’s universities. That deserves its own secular tombstone. The second is the good professor’s poor math equating “infection rate” with ANYTHING else statistically relevant in the real world. There is plenty of “science” out there for readers. Let’s all read it.

  186. MJG says:

    Wheaton College in MA was initially in your data set but now it is not there. Any particular reason? It does meet all of the criteria of the other schools listed.

    • Prof G Team says:

      Hi MJG, Wheaton is still there — check out row 430!

    • MS says:

      @Prof G Team Nope – there are two Wheatons. One in MA and one in IL. The only one I see is Illinois

  187. Lauren says:

    Good to see your school NYU sharing the sacrifice by raising tuition. Are you protesting against that?

  188. Misse says:

    My head is spinning over this disaster. My brother and I went to small “prestige” schools for fine art and music. There is no way that you can learn either of these professions (studio arts, ensemble chamber music, plus dance, etc) via zoom and I’m concerned for these institutions. I doubt that these schools have large endowments—graduates are on the low income side of life. Just another worry.

  189. Greg Broer says:

    Any chance you can make the spreadsheet downloadable?

    • Amanda L King says:

      Agreed. I would love to download this so I can replicate your calculations for my own university.

    • Prof G Team says:

      Hi Greg, due to high traffic on the document, Google has disabled downloading/freezing the rows/columns. We’re working on a solution, but in the meantime, email and we can help you get access.

    • Reg says:

      @Prof G Team Just copy and paste all (ctrl-a, ctrl-c, ctrl-v) the data into excel, voila.

  190. Shannon says:

    This is good, but I don’t wonder whether you’re missing some of the politics of this, particularly for public institutions. For example, you have UMass Boston as one of the perish schools, but I can’t see legislators allowing the only 4 year public institution in the most important city in the state go under, particularly since it’s the only majority-minority 4 year college/university in the state. Private institutions don’t have states backing them, but public institutions do. To the extent that politics matters (and it does), that complicates this analysis somewhat. That doesn’t mean that all public institutions will survive – some will fail. Only that the public institutions that survive won’t necessarily be the healthiest, and the ones that perish may not be the weakest.

  191. Courtney says:

    Hi, I’m in Austin and curious if you have any thoughts about UT. I don’t see anything unique or irreplaceable about their undergrad programs, but their graduate programs are very research focused and make contributions to may fields. Their medical graduate programs have well funded labs and have been focused on vaccine and pandemic research for several years now. In addition, they just finished the addition of the UT/Dell Medical School teaching hospital. It seems pretty vital to have programs like that at a time like this. UT’s business school has its own spin as well. In addition to traditional paths of study, the school has partnered with our main startup hub, Capital Factory to give business students exposure to the startup sector and emerging tech. This makes sense to me, as anyone wanting to work in these areas can’t afford to sit in a classroom for two years, just to graduate and find out they’re already behind. Do you see a scenario where certain schools like UT become graduate only institutions? TX State has great undergrad programs and is cheaper than UT. Even Austin Community College classes are at the “generically decent liberal arts college” level instead of “high school 2.0.” They also have a of 2 year certificate programs for very high paying jobs. Curious on your take. Thanks!

  192. L Jacobson says:

    Eager to see you add St Edwards University. Not just because I got a kid on scholarship there, but because it’s across town from thriving behemoth University of Texas at Austin. How do they compare in getting through all this?

  193. Jason Hoffman says:

    I thought that plexiglas was a joke, but I love the idea of the Prof. G enclosure at the NYUZoo…

  194. Steve W says:

    A couple quick comments: The two purchase decision making groups (the parents and the students) will be reevaluating the ROI to buy a specific brand of education. Most parents recognize that the networking for future job placement is a significant component in the decision to buy-upwards. Many parents also bluntly don’t care as much about the actual education, as getting troublesome adolescents out of their house, which is another wholly different reason to buy education. When delivered remotely there is less reason for the actual education experience to be “live” as pre-recorded lectures have long been seen as useful in remote learning. From the student’s point what will motivate them? If the experience is all remote – meaning they won’t get to experiment with life’s vices, may be living at home, and bluntly face a very different life-partner hunt, will they go for the same things as an on-campus selection? Doubtful that as many will pay for out-of-state tuition if they are actually going to take classes at home. What snow belt student is going pay a premium to “virtually attend” a sunshine school? Unless the perceived value is there, they will go for what gets them qualified (I use that term loosely) for employment the quickest & cheapest, as it may only be in that workplace that they escape home and “get to be young.” Potential winning universities may be those who figure out a way to provide a marketplace acceptable degree (as the marketplace seldom looks at the actual education when hiring) quickly, with a good margin of profit, and while meeting the requirements/expectations for awarding a degree avoid busting the students chops too much. Truly we may be headed to a world of “McDegree” delivered by remote learning where all the prior preconceptions about duration of years spent in schooling give way to a tested accomplishment advancement method. It is become a very different world of higher education, where anything that carries over has to be high ROI or the education marketplace will purge it. Great article Prof G, but I think Scott you may be harboring a deeper sense of a greater magnitude of change than you have been willing to outline?

  195. Deb Moshier-Dunn says:

    Thanks for this study Prof Scott! I’m watching faculty and admin struggle to figure this out in a vacuum, which in the “greatest nation on earth” is unforgivable. Keep the info flowing so Universities and their towns and states have real info. I see struggling within admin levels based on who is on the ground and “gets it” vs higher who are only seeing dollar signs. It’s painful to watch, and I would love to see federal help but that’s not going to happen with this admin in denial… My niece is attending Quinnipiac- online now and planning on on campus from Sept-Nov. They don’t come back from Thanksgiving break – all work from then on is online. It’ll be interesting to see what Governor Lamont does… Thanks again!

  196. Eric says:

    Before I read the article. I saw the picture. I thought you would suggest an NBA type bubble for colleges. Cruise ships are docked and schools need a way to quarantine and isolate the students. Are any schools/companies considering leasing a cruise ship for the year, quarantine everyone for 14 days and then have at it? Just kidding – maybe. Otherwise, great article – agree on shutting down universities and getting our k-5 kids in particular back in school.

  197. Curious says:

    Wondering what the strong reasons are for opening K-12? Would love to see that covered in a future post. Especially public vs. private, young kids vs. teenagers, etc.

  198. Jon says:

    A rare swing and a miss for Prof G. (that is, not counting stock calls on AMZN, et cetera). College is the perfect place for college-aged folks. You are correct that they will not social distance, but the best place for these knuckleheads is among other knuckleheads. The worst place for irresponsible people is to have them at home infecting their parents and grandparents. By the way, for this age group of kids, the seasonal flu is more harmful than the flu that originated in Wuhan … so their safety isn’t really a concern. As for other folks on campus, I have a news flash for you … wear an N95 mask and you are fine. If you are really afraid or have an underlying medical issue, have the school give you a $1,200 Powered Air Purifying Respirator with a P100 filter (99.9% particle filtration) that can protect you from the virus, tuberculosis, and most bio-agents. I wonder if your concern about in-person college is really based on your own personal concern about teaching at NYU (which as a fellow germaphobe, I can relate to).

    • Phillip Beard says:

      A significant part of Galloway’s argument is that having on-campus classes and social activities are *civic* issues with serious consequences beyond the gates of a U. The alleged hardiness of many students (not all–how many long-term neurological/ lung issues are we willing to call “acceptable casualties”?) and the dubious ability of teachers to insulate themselves with a mask (how is someone in a P100 mask, which resembles what workers in auto paint shops wear, going to hold the room?) are fragmentary answers to the larger issue, which is: inhibiting the spread of a pandemic that has killed 130k + US citizens as of 19 July. And the USA is not managing this well–our infection curve resembles that of a few other authoritarian, denialist regimes, like Brazil’s. What happens when the US adds U-towns attempting function normally to current trends? Not to worry. Let the discussion leader don P100 gear and give it a trial. She’ll be fine. Meanwhile, the mandate to suck it up through the surgical gear and get in the physical classroom seems born of a false dilemma: the physical classroom is not an existential necessity for most serious learning or scholarship to happen, especially if the room, as in my academic building, has no opening windows. Some civic leaders in the 1918 pandemic seemed to have more creative, open air solutions for a number of pandemic issues (how about tents?) than 90% of academic administrators, with cramped, profit-based imperatives which drive them pretend the pandemic is irrelevant, or rationalize its threat, and then stop thinking further. Compartmentalizing this risk by saying “X” subset of a town will be “fine” doesn’t make the public health problems that spreading the pandemic involve (maxed out hospitals; mobile morgues [Texas and Arizona *today* with no U. openings yet], and U towns are a dandy place to accelerate spread. How much spread are we willing to tolerate on top of what the sunbelt states now face? And why would we tolerate accelerated spread, or more fatalities and long term health risks *to people other than students* when it isn’t existentially necessary for any school to do so?

    • PLB says:

      The sentence should read: “Compartmentalizing this risk by saying “X” subset of a town will be “fine” doesn’t mitigate the public health problems that spreading the pandemic involve (maxed out hospitals; a need for mobile morgues [Texas and Arizona *today* with no U. openings yet], etc.”

    • Joe W. says:

      @Phillip Beard I agree. The vast majority of students would not see a big difference in the quality of their education. I am a STEM major, and if anything, the quality of my education increased. Lectures were recorded and could be re-watched, Professor emailed us their versions of notes etc… The pros of keeping students at home outweighs the pros of letting students back on campus

  199. Random Dude from Colorado says:

    Hey Scott, Any reason why CU-Boulder isn’t in the dataset? CU-Denver appears to be, but I can’t move the cell to if that’s inclusive of the whole CU system or not (it shouldn’t be).

    • PennStater says:

      Penn State University is also missing.

      • Prof G Team says:

        Hi @Pennstater, we added Penn State in — thanks for flagging!

        – Prof G Team

    • dude says:

      @PennStater Babson College is missing too

    • Gregory Woodman says:

      @PennStater It is the last University listed on the sheet. Survive? Penn State will THRIVE! Not seeing a billion dollars of research factored in to the grid. Plus the google ranking being number 1(by huge numbers) and Scott is big on brand name equity and marketing and I think he missed on this one.

    • All B1G schools except Northwestern and Michigan are “Survive.” I think this is because their endowments are not large enough to offset the high international student populations. says:

      @Gregory Woodman

    • Prof G Team says:

      We’re waiting on some updated data for CU-Boulder then will add them! And added Penn State — thanks for flagging @PennStater

    • CTipper says:

      @Prof G Team Virginia Tech?

    • AndrewF20 says:

      @Prof G Team – I don’t see James Madison University on the list.

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