Higher education needs an overhaul. Here are 9 changes that need to happen to make college worth it again.



a group of people around each other: An increasingly ugly secret of campus life is that a mix of helicopter parenting and social media has rendered many 18-year-olds unfit for college, writes Scott Galloway. Andrew Kelly/Reuters


© Andrew Kelly/Reuters
An increasingly ugly secret of campus life is that a mix of helicopter parenting and social media has rendered many 18-year-olds unfit for college, writes Scott Galloway. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

  • Scott Galloway is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and professor of marketing at NYU Stern. The following is an excerpt from his new book, “POST CORONA: From Crisis to Opportunity.”
  • In it, he explains how the pandemic has catalyzed a question American households have been afraid to ask: Is the traditional college experience worth it?
  • While the changes might be disruptive for some, many students could stand to benefit from these adjustments, Galloway says, especially women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ communities at universities. 
  • From decreasing costs of four-year universities and junior colleges to taxing private K-12 schools and endowments over $1 billion, he suggests nine different ways to make higher education more accessible and equitable. 
  • “Only 32% of Americans go to college, and cost is not what keeps the most exceptional kids of any income level from getting to college,” Galloway writes. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When we can let all this restart, and give the on-campus experience a chance to compete with the virtual, a generation that comes of age in the pandemic may not perceive the same value in the proximity my generation cherished. By the time the virus is contained, we may have raised a micro-generation of innate distancers. Even post-corona, and a return to proximity, the temporary elimination of the college experience will have catalyzed a question American households were afraid to ask: Is it worth it?

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After a month taking classes at home, most students were likely desperate to get back to campus. After a year without the “traditional” college experience, plenty of people will begin to wonder how much they miss it, and what it’s really worth.

Moreover, the need to rethink how campuses are utilized, and the injection of online tools into the college toolbox, is going to expand the notion of the college experience.

For many students, it already looks nothing like the brochures.

Around 20% of college students live with their parents, and over half don’t live in college housing. Twenty-seven percent of full-time students work at least 20 hours per week. In the near future, schools looking to reduce density on campus are likely to move toward rotating schedules (such as four-to-six-week modules rather than four-month semesters). Schools could encourage or even require students to spend a year or more away from campus, or invest in satellite campuses, as my school, NYU, has done in Dubai and Shanghai.

Finally, we cannot overlook that even for those participating in the “traditional” college experience of lecture halls and discussion sections, dorms and dining halls, there have long been inequalities and inefficiencies.

Disruption is an opportunity to better serve the broader community. Women, people of color, gay, and transgender students have had to fight, and still have to fight, for an equal place on our campuses.

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Here’s What Analysts Think Will Happen Next

Eagle Materials Inc. (NYSE:EXP) shareholders are probably feeling a little disappointed, since its shares fell 6.6% to US$85.25 in the week after its latest quarterly results. It looks like a credible result overall – although revenues of US$448m were what the analysts expected, Eagle Materials surprised by delivering a (statutory) profit of US$2.31 per share, an impressive 29% above what was forecast. Following the result, the analysts have updated their earnings model, and it would be good to know whether they think there’s been a strong change in the company’s prospects, or if it’s business as usual. Readers will be glad to know we’ve aggregated the latest statutory forecasts to see whether the analysts have changed their mind on Eagle Materials after the latest results.

Check out our latest analysis for Eagle Materials

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Taking into account the latest results, Eagle Materials’ seven analysts currently expect revenues in 2021 to be US$1.55b, approximately in line with the last 12 months. Per-share earnings are expected to jump 106% to US$6.95. In the lead-up to this report, the analysts had been modelling revenues of US$1.56b and earnings per share (EPS) of US$6.64 in 2021. So the consensus seems to have become somewhat more optimistic on Eagle Materials’ earnings potential following these results.

The analysts have been lifting their price targets on the back of the earnings upgrade, with the consensus price target rising 5.9% to US$99.88. Fixating on a single price target can be unwise though, since the consensus target is effectively the average of analyst price targets. As a result, some investors like to look at the range of estimates to see if there are any diverging opinions on the company’s valuation. There are some variant perceptions on Eagle Materials, with the most bullish analyst valuing it at US$115 and the most bearish at US$70.00 per share. This shows there is still a bit of diversity in estimates, but analysts don’t appear to be totally split on the stock as though it might be a success or failure situation.

One way to get more context on these forecasts is to look at how they compare to both past performance, and how other companies in the same industry are performing. These estimates imply that sales are expected to slow, with a forecast revenue decline of 1.5%, a significant reduction from annual growth of 6.2% over the last five years. By contrast, our data suggests that other companies (with analyst coverage) in the same industry are forecast to see their revenue grow 4.7% annually for the foreseeable future. It’s pretty clear that Eagle Materials’ revenues are expected to perform substantially worse than the wider industry.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing here is that the analysts upgraded their earnings per share estimates, suggesting that there has been a clear increase in optimism towards Eagle Materials following these results. Fortunately, the analysts also reconfirmed their revenue estimates, suggesting sales are tracking in line with expectations – although our data does suggest that

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