David Brooks joins the list of people who think that higher education is going the way of the daily newspaper:

What happened to the newspaper and magazine business is about to happen
to higher education: a rescrambling around the Web.

I wish he was right.  But I’ll bet against it.  As I’ve repeatedly argued, education is largely signaling.  Part of what you’re signaling is conscientiousness and conformity.  An unfortunate implication is that the first students to sign up for online alternatives will be correctly stigmatized by employers as lazy rebels. (more here)

Am I wrong?  I’m happy to offer Brooks the same terms my co-blogger David Henderson accepted last year:

I propose that we use the official numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Table 212
2009 is the latest available year of data.  29.6% of 18-24 year-olds
were enrolled in 4-year institutions.  I bet that in 2019, that percent
will be no more than 10% lower.  Rounding in your favor, I win if the
number is 26.7% or more.  If the number is lower, you win.  If the data
series is discontinued, the bet is canceled.  Stakes: $100 at even odds.

As always, I’m happy to tinker with the terms.