The Financial Crisis Hits Education

I wonder what effect this will have on student diversity in coming years. It's certainly going to put pressure on those much lauded Ivy league programs to offer free tuition to lower and even middle income students -- Harvard had announced a free ride to students who come from families earning $60,000 or less annually a few years back. It will certainly also increase the temptation to take full fee paying students -- including more foreign students. Of course, that trend might itself be counter-balanced by the economic downturn. There's anecdotal evidence that some foreign students that once would have come to the U.S. to study are staying home because of plunging local currencies, and a lack of job opportunities in the U.S., since so many companies have hiring freezes on. Then, of course, there's the fact that the U.S. isn't the only place to get a great education these days -- the U.K., Europe, and even the Middle East and Asia are becoming more attractive hubs for foreign students. Too bad for us, since foreign students represent 50 percent of the PhD degrees granted every year in the U.S.