Friday, September 04, 2009

The wave of the future? College at $99 a month?

This is from a post I wrote in February:

I have blogged in the past about the problem of rising cost of a college education. In a nut shell the cost of college education has climbed twice as fast as inflation for decades. It has gotten to the point that a college education is not an economic benefit for many.

We may be seeing the beginings of a solution.

College for $99 a Month has an interesting answer to the problem of outrageous college tuitions:

The next generation of online education could be great for students—and catastrophic for universities.
Like millions of other Americans, Barbara Solvig lost her job this year. A fifty-year-old mother of three, Solvig had taken college courses at Northeastern Illinois University years ago, but never earned a degree. Ever since, she had been forced to settle for less money than coworkers with similar jobs who had bachelor’s degrees. So when she was laid off from a human resources position at a Chicago-area hospital in January, she knew the time had come to finally get her own credential. Doing that wasn’t going to be easy, because four-year degrees typically require two luxuries Solvig didn’t have: years of time out of the workforce, and a great deal of money.
Luckily for Solvig, there were new options available. She went online looking for something that fit her wallet and her time horizon, and an ad caught her eye: a company called StraighterLine was offering online courses in subjects like accounting, statistics, and math. This was hardly unusual—hundreds of institutions are online hawking degrees. But one thing about StraighterLine stood out: it offered as many courses as she wanted for a flat rate of $99 a month. “It sounds like a scam,” Solvig thought—she’d run into a lot of shady companies and hard-sell tactics on the Internet. But for $99, why not take a risk?


One of the girls who use to be in a homeschool band with Janine and our oldest daughter did a variation of this. This girl found an accredited university that would allow her to challenge out of classes. In 20 months she challenged out of 90% of her classes. I think she spent one semester in classes. She ended up with a Bachelors degree before she turned 19. While many students her age are taking remedial courses, she is now able to start on a masters degree.

Has anyone tried StraighterLine? I wonder if it could be a university killer?

(Hat tip: Hacker News)

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, public school, public education, education


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lisa said...

Yeah! I am agree with you that cost of college's education has raised day by day.

So it will be preferrable to go for online edcation as it is inexpensive for students.Various colleges offer online courses for students to get their degree in inexpessive way. Online education is also prefferable in this way that it is also time saving method of learning.

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Vida said...

It appears that Straighter Line's classes are $399 each, according to the info on the site; but you can pay $99 a month. The school itself is not accredited and is therefore not eligible for federal financial aid.

As a former homeschooling parent, I advise students to be careful to choose only accredited online degree programs. Otherwise, they set themselves up for problems down the road.

Henry Cate said...

Vida - thanks for doing the investigation. I agree that accreditation is important.

Crimson Wife said...

The more students take advantage of these types of "colleges", the more there will be a "flight to quality" by employers and graduate schools...