Online Education by NPR

Getting an Education on the Internet

Exclusive institutions offer a brand name, they offer social networking. Exclusivity never goes out of style. I think it is the – the regional institution, sort of the equivalent of the struggling regional newspaper that don’t have those big endowments, that don’t – don’t have the luxury of rejecting nine students for every one that they accept. They are the ones that are really in danger because online higher education is much less expensive than brick and mortar education. Some of the companies that are involved in this have been able to really drive costs down by only offering classes in – inexpensive introductory courses. And that’s an important distinction to make.

There is a much more developed discussion and it is interesting to read.

If you think about what a college costs right now, they’re taking freshmen and herding them 300 or 400 a time into a big lecture hall, charging them the same price that they charge for senior seminars and basically using the profits from the one to subsidize the other.

Er, not so much.

computer-laptop-guy-w1. No profits from student tuition. Student tuition doesn’t actually pay the cost of school.
2. Most colleges don’t have 300 or 400 students in every freshman class. Purdue doesn’t. UTexas doesn’t. I know community colleges don’t. It’s a straw man.
Yes, some lecture classes have that many students. But not many.
3. Those same students in the senior seminars were once freshman. So, if there were any subsidizing, you could say they were doing it for themselves.

Still, it’s interesting.

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