When Richard C Levin left his tenure as the President of Yale, he left a legacy of a best time in Yale's history. Among the many things he will be remembered, '20' is the amount of trips he made to China since 2001.
There is no dispute that Chinese students had become the largest source of revenue increase for US colleges. A fast had long known by their peers in Singapore, Australia and Canada and England. Anyone who could not see this by now already missed the boat, unfortunately. It is especially fatal for small colleges. A few years back, Chinese students went to no name colleges in fly over states such as Kansas and North Dakota. Today they are increasingly aware of options and alternatives. Those who had not built a foundation with Chinese students must face fierce competition with major universities and elite colleges.
Many independent colleges are struggling to attract local students, not aware of the fading away of opportunities for survival. Although the gloomy economy plays a factor, but the real threat to independent colleges is their refusing to adjust to students need.
Liberal arts curricula is not marketable. Progressive professors still have the chance to smuggle their ideology in the college experience, but they need to package it with a job oriented approach. Alas, many small colleges are working the opposite way: market a vocational education curricula in a package with label of liberal arts.