Dowling is a good example of the kinds of threats higher ed is facing, and is the article’s focal point. Readers will recognize enrollment decline, revenue declining, and tuition rising:
Dowling’s enrollment peaked at 6,379 in 2005 but dropped to 2,453 by the fall of 2014. Tuition and fees have climbed steadily, from $22,530 in 2004-05 for in-state students to $44,672 in 2014-15.
Their solution isn’t closure or a queen sacrifice. “Dowling announced this month it is negotiating with an ‘academic affiliation partner’ in a bid to survive.” They are also exploring programs in drones, apparently.
The article also mentions small colleges doing well, which makes for a good balance. But the point remains that higher ed is facing huge pressures, and some small colleges are on the edge.