Wells College sits on a picturesque campus full of trees on the shores of New York Lake Cayuga, with brick buildings that go back to its foundation in 1868, a year in a different president, Andrew Johnson, was challenged.

It has a modest endowment of $ 24 million and enrolls a little more than 400 full-time students. It is quite different from the image of Blue Blood and Cash Institutions such as Harvard University, with $ 42 billion in dotations and 36,000 students.

Your margins are so thin, in fact, that the past can, when the wells can face the perspective of the pandemic that closed its campus in the fall, the president of the university, Jonathan Gibralter, wrote that The closure could push wells over the edge. "Wells will simply not receive enough income to continue operations," he wrote in a letter.

As it turned out, the university could keep classes in person in the fall, and donations have put it. Stable standing, Gibralter said last week. But a new threat is on the horizon, universities and private universities, especially smaller, without much deniming space that are already facing a decrease in the number of traditional university-aged students in the coming years.

In the White House is now a president who promises to make university, or at least public, as well as those predominantly who comply with color students,

eliminate the barrier of enrollment It could be transformer. Studies estimate that millions more may obtain higher education in public and minor service institutions.

, but it would also mean private universities and universities, which would still be charging thousands a year in tuition, they would find themselves compete for students, who could go somewhere else and not have to pay tuition.

To be sure, presidents of private institutions such as Gibralter, Gary A. Olson A. Olson and Pomona College de Pomona, G. Gabrielle Starr, said in interviews with its own universities. She would survive. Sufficient students will want what they offer, smaller class sizes or, in the case of private universities based on faith, a religious community, to pay it.

"If public higher education should be free of enrollment." We will go the storm by offering an educational product in a way that public universities do not provide, "said Gibralter." I really believe that universities of Private liberal arts offer a unique and special type of education. "

But there will be many who could fail, said Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Schools and Universities.

" And that would threaten a wonderful system of higher education in the country that is the best in the world due to its great diversity, "he said.

" They are going to be involuntary consequences, "said Mistick. Many communities that trust In his local universities they will suffer, he said, comparing the impact of university closures to the decimation of the main streets in small cities with the proliferation of large box stores. "Look what American Malling did to the little ones S wonderful cities, "she said.

But Morley Winograd, president of the free university campaign, could be the price of achieving a greater good.

on Tuesday launched a study that commissioned, estimating that the registration in private colleges and universities of four years, non-profit will decrease by 12 percent, or 270,000 students, in the first years Subsequent to the adoption of Biden's free. College

but, on the other hand, Winograd, main member at the center of the Annenberg School of the University of the Annenberg School of the Southern University of Leadership and Communication Policy and the EX Policies Advisor Senior to Vice President Al Gore, said enrollment in the public community colleges

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