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Rising Cost Of Education

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					Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING                       1




                             Scenario Planning:

                           Rising Cost of Education
Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING                                                                      2

                          Scenario Planning: Rising Cost of Education

      Scenario planning or thinking is a “structured process of thinking about and anticipating

the unknown future, without pretense of being able to predict the future or being able to

influence the environment in a major way” (Scenariothinking.org, n.d., para. 2). When applying

scenario thinking to the rising cost of education our group created a matrix that helps anticipate

the unknown. This type of planning allows for people to examine possible future developments

and the impact it will have on society and organizations as a whole. Scenario planning also

allows for decision making that is proactive to change. This paper addresses four scenarios

(Appendix A) dealing with the rising cost of higher education spanning from public investment

options to private investment options and its implications.

                                            Scenario 1

Lessen the Impact

       In order for education to become more affordable, scenario one implies that more state

and national policymakers will demand greater accountability and call for increased types of

regulation. Regulation will include limits on tuition increases and fees and political procedures to

change them. Colleges will hold down costs by using non-tenured teachers such as graduate

students and lecturers (Weston, 2009). Scenario one is already coming into play and implies that

universities will continue to charge more and more fees as a result of lack of funding. At the

University of Massachusetts, “fees across the four-campus system increased so consistently that

they are now about four times the cost of tuition, which has remained at the same level since

1999.” (Time, 2009, para. 4).
Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING                                                                     3

                                           Scenario 2

Economic Decline

      Given the economic decline, states are finding themselves cash strapped with regard to

appropriations to schools. However; in order to increase rankings and appeal, many universities

are shelling out top dollar for bigger and better dining and sports facilities, and on campus

housing (Weston, 2009). Implications of this scenario suggest that Americans will question

whether cost increases are justified and if the educational mission is of secondary importance.

                                            Scenario 3

Private Schools Cut Back

      Given the weakened economy, giving programs for private universities have taken a hit

(Weston, 2009). Another issue for private universities is that they have far more applicants than

they have room for. “The number of college-age people is expected to grow from 17.5 million in

1997 to 21.2 million by 2010” (Weston, para. 8). Meanwhile, the most prestigious schools

haven’t expanded. Implications of this scenario suggest that public anxiety and skepticism will

trigger a reduction in support for private schools, decreasing donations and funding.

                                            Scenario 4

Free Education for All

      Scenario four paints the picture of a “socialized” education system where everyone can

receive a college education for free. We envisioned a program modeled after military service.

This program would state that in return for four years of public service one may receive six free

years of college. Implications of this scenario suggest that many Americans would engage in this

program and existing universities might not have enough room or staff to endure.
Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING                                                                 4

                                          Conclusion

       If any of the scenarios show signs of not happening, the education institutions should

continue to strategically plan to enhance their learning and teaching methodology. Long term

vision statements which encompass the constant evolution of a university as a business as well as

learning facility will help with long term growth and success of the organization.
Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING                                                            5

                                        References



ScenarioThinking.Org. (n.d.). What is Scenario Thinking? Retrieved October 6, 2009, from

       http://www.scenariothinking.org/wiki/index.php/What_is_Scenario_Thinking%3F

Time. (2009, September). Hidden College Costs: Rising Fees. Retrieved 10.6.2009, from

       http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1838872,00.html

Weston, L. (2009). The Basics. Retrieved October 6, 2009, from

       http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/CollegeandFamily/P74829.asp
Running head: SCENARIO PLANNING   6

Appendix A

				
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