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Why Universities Should Wise Up and Retain Their ‘Users’

Here’s a question: Can you name a service provider that kicks out all its paying and engaged members for no reason after four years? Answer: universities.

After playing this game myself for a while, I haven’t come up with very many examples of organizations other than schools that willfully throw out engaged “users.”  When you step back for a second, this sounds like a crazy thing to do.  

There are some good reasons why universities operated on a fixed, set-length schedule historically. But technology is changing the game significantly enough that it is time for universities to move away from limited-time engagement and towards a lifelong subscription model.  

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But some sort of on-going subscription service could help universities provide a huge amount of value to their alums and grow the business necessary to support that mission on an ongoing basis. I personally can’t wait until I can re-enroll indefinitely.  

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Dave Morin, Diego Berdakin and 2 others commented on this article.
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Universities are well positioned to provide better service to their alumni than other educational institutions by moving towards a subscription model where “graduates” of a four-year program would continue to be enrolled for a few hundred—or thousand—dollars a year.