1/Let's talk about colleges, and how screwed they are.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
2/Pretty much everything about the in-person college experience is a COVID risk.

Parties and campus social activities are some of the highest-risk activities. Simply living in dorms is a pretty big risk. In-person classes are somewhat of a risk as well.
3/A study from South Korea suggests that college-age people are the fastest spreaders of COVID.

japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/07/1…
4/Death rates are low for young people, but a lot of them get scary long-term symptoms. (And they can spread it to older people who die.)

twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/s…
5/But empty dorms lose money. So many colleges are preparing to pack the dorms, out of concern for their pocketbooks, even though this will probably cause a lot of illness.

insidehighered.com/news/2020/07/2…
6/Like so much of America, they're facing what they think is a short-term choice between money and health, and they're choosing money.

americanprogress.org/issues/educati…
7/Many are choosing to hold in-person classes, too.

1. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…

2. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
8/Note that Trump and ICE are helping to force their hand, by threatening to bar colleges' highest-paying students (international students) from entering the country if classes are held online.

bnnbloomberg.ca/u-s-bars-forei…
9/Another likely reason colleges are going ahead with on-campus student life and in-person classes is that they're afraid that too much distant learning will cause students to wonder why they're paying so much for "Zoom University".

twitter.com/DivaLaci/statu…
10/My colleague @tylercowen believes that online classes could spark the beginning of a long-term shift away from the traditional college model of education.

I'm skeptical, but it's probably something that's on university administrators' minds.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
11/So colleges are choosing $$$ over health in the short term. But in the long term they may lose both. Having a lot of kids get sick will reduce parents' trust in universities as stewards of their children's safety. That could accelerate any shift away from traditional college.
12/When you add this to a big drop in international students and (probably) a big drop in state funding, it means colleges are in big financial trouble for the forseeable future.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
13/And that means college towns are in big trouble too.

Remember, colleges do a LOT to spur economic growth, especially through research activities that draw in private business.

academic.oup.com/joeg/article/1…
14/College towns have been a bright spot in the U.S. economy for decades now, and that could be in danger.

eml.berkeley.edu/~moretti/socre…
15/Small towns in declining regions often depend on the revenue that colleges bring in, from international students and the government.

That's in jeopardy now. Expect more regions to sink into decline.

bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
16/The only real solution to colleges' woes would be a big federal bailout, but with Republicans in charge, that ain't happening.
17/So no matter what colleges do about COVID, they're trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Unless President Biden can coordinate a big university bailout, there are dark times ahead for one of the U.S. economy's core institutions.

(end)

bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…

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