The last time the Higher Education Act was rewritten, the iPhone was just a year old. Apple’s app store had just launched. The nation was entering the Great Recession.
In the decade since, few places changed more substantially than our nation’s colleges and universities. College tuition grew at four times the rate of inflation over the last ten years. On-campus enrollment declined while online learning accelerated. Big data is now used to spot students at risk of dropping out. And the demographics of higher education are undergoing a shift on par with the post-WWII era’s influx of GI’s on campus.