Will American Universities — And Their Sports Programs — Go Bankrupt Because Of COVID?

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been traumatic for most of us would be a massive understatement. The economy is in tatters. Many people have lost their jobs. The government has routinely spent too much time debating how the country would best be served during the pandemic, and too little time actually helping. And over a half-million people are dead — mostly our beloved grandparents.

But American institutions are under tremendous pressure because of the COVID-19 tragedy as well. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses have shuttered their doors forever. College sports programs have been shut down, many never to reopen — and the revenue they generate has vanished as well. Many are asking whether or not our colleges will go bankrupt as a result of this pandemic. And what will happen if they do?

While many fear the closure of colleges will escalate in the next ten to fifteen years, others aren’t nearly as worried. Professors Antony Davies and James Harrigan of the Duquesne University and the University of Arizona, respectively, argue that higher education will only become stronger as a result.

The pair wrote: “Just like any other venture, colleges will go out of business when they become insolvent. There is nothing special about a college in this respect. Since 2016, some 52 colleges and universities have closed their doors or merged with other institutions. With the new reality of COVID-19, this trend will accelerate. Big state schools and those in the Ivy League will come out the other side to be sure. But small liberal arts colleges will not be nearly so fortunate.” 

You can click on https://www.t-plaw.com/ for more information on individual or business-related bankruptcies, which are becoming more common lately — mostly because of the economical impact of COVID.

The professors argue, “But that’s only the beginning of the very bad news for at-risk institutions. The COVID-19 related downturn has caused any number of young people to ask themselves whether they want to go to college at all given the exorbitant costs. For the first time in decades they are asking the right sorts of questions about college. The most important question, of course, is whether college is a good investment.”

To be fair, these questions have been asked on a smaller scale for years as college tuition costs have skyrocketed. There’s no debate on whether or not America needs higher education for its economy to thrive, but not everyone wants to go if it puts them in a financial hole for the rest of their lives. What’s the end result of this quandary? We can expect the arguments on free college for all to become stronger in the coming years — because without skilled workers, America will fall behind the rest of the world. 

The pair of professors believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because colleges that survive the financial crisis will have to focus their efforts on delivering the best education for a lower cost rather than delivering a desired college experience at a higher cost. College sports programs should experience a grace period as a result.