An Innovative Idea to Reduce Higher Education Costs

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from NCPA,

The cost of U.S. higher education is at the forefront of the national consciousness. With significant political backing, fervent public cries for reform, the ever-increasing emergence of new providers and the gradual acceptance of even elite Ivy League schools to embrace innovations, it is quite possible that a new vision of higher education is emerging, one that can truly stretch the higher education dollar, says Daniel K. Lautzenheiser of the American Enterprise Institute.

What’s the future of higher education?

While online education is not new, colleges and universities have often priced their online offerings at the same level as in-person classes, despite being far cheaper to deliver, and have used the profits to subsidize their on-campus activities.

– The potential of low-cost online courses is most evident in the emergence of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

– In 2011, Stanford University professor and Google scientist Sebastian Thrun offered his course on artificial intelligence for free online, attracting 160,000 students from more than 190 countries and demonstrating MOOCs’ potential while ushering in a flurry of media attention.

Competency-based learning is attracting the attention of national figures. The combined effect is to allow students, anywhere, to progress at their own pace through course material so long as they demonstrate competency, with minimal upfront costs in buying books or relocating to a physical campus.

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