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The Unbundling of Higher Education. Jeff Selingo February 22, 2012. Keys Ingredients to Disruption . Hubris. Unwilling to hear opposing viewpoints. Skepticism of anything new. the newspaper industry had all three. how disruption killed one major revenue stream.

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the unbundling of higher education

The Unbundling of Higher Education

Jeff Selingo

February 22, 2012


“The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader.

Everyone who stands between those two

has both risk and opportunity”

-Larry Kirshbaum

Head of Amazon’s NY Publishing Unit


record enrollments

Source: U.S. Education Department


the great credential race

Source: U.S. Education Department


and rising prices

Source: The College Board


students were willing to go any college and…

pay almost anything for a degree.



Lots of college grads on unemployment line…

but worse for high-school graduates.

Unemployment Rates Among Individuals Ages 25 and Older, by Education Level, 1992–2009

Source: The College Board



a shifting paradigm in debate over the cost of college…


Enough is enough:

families could no longer use their homes as ATM

Source: Pew Research Center


What am I paying for?

A question where colleges and public disagree

Source: Pew Research Center/The Chronicle


how/what will I learn?

will I get a job?

will I make enough money to pay off my debt?


key question: what are the less tangible aspects

that define your college experience

that can’t be easily be replaced

by fragmented, simplified services

on the Internet?


The Coming Disruption

Most at Risk

Lower level and core course

The network

The credential

Least at Risk

The “experience”

Maturing students

The student/professor


Then: student services

Now: academic rigor

2000 20091


a lost decade?


the guiding questions

what’s your ambition?

where to play?

how to win?

what actions will enable you?

how do you drive change?


Jeff Selingo

Twitter: @jselingo