College one-two punch

Two fascinating articles.  The first is a futuristic view of online higher education:

In less than two months, she had finished four complete courses, for less than $200 total. The same courses would have cost her over $2,700 at Northeastern Illinois, $4,200 at Kaplan University, $6,300 at the University of Phoenix, and roughly the gross domestic product of a small Central American nation at an elite private university. They also would have taken two or three times as long to complete.

And if Solvig needed any further proof that her online education was the real deal, she found it when her daughter came home from a local community college one day, complaining about her math course. When Solvig looked at the course materials, she realized that her daughter was using exactly the same learning modules that she was using …

The second is a harsh reminder of why the first might not be so bad after all:

If you were going to come up with a list of organizations whose failures had done the most damage to the American economy in recent years, you’d probably have to start with the Wall Street firms and regulatory agencies that brought us the financial crisis. From there, you might move on to Wall Street’s fellow bailout recipients in Detroit, the once-Big Three.

But I would suggest that the list should also include a less obvious nominee: public universities.

Is this latter article based on work by some radical subversive half-wit?  Try William Bowen, former President of both Princeton and the Mellon Foundation.

I don’t know that anyone can predict the future of Higher Ed, but I’m guessing it will change more substantially than K-12 over the next 50 years.

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