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The $10,000 Bachelor's Degree Arrives

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http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-05/the-first-online-10-000-bachelors-degree-arrives#r=rss

Colleges’ spring terms are winding down, which means thousands of newly minted graduates of four-year colleges will soon be entering the workforce, encumbered by more than $29,000 in student loan debt, per average debtor. At the same time, there’s wide debate about how well college prepares students to compete for the kinds of jobs that would help them pay off their debts.

This disconnect at the top of the academic pyramid is being exploited by community colleges and online educational institutions, often to students’ advantage. What they lack in ivy and clock towers, these places make up for by understanding how to cater to busy working adults and their employers.

Today in Washington, the disruption of higher ed will take another step with the announcement of the first nationally available $10,000 bachelor’s degree. That’s $10,000 for the whole degree, not per year. It will be offered by College for America, an online operation of Southern New Hampshire University. The college keeps its costs down by offering classes online. Unlike other online schools, it operates through employers. Companies such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Partners HealthCare, a hospital operator that’s the biggest private employer in Massachusetts, will offer College for America as an employee benefit and as a way to upgrade the quality of their workforces.

I wonder if they can produce a good quality degree at this level? It's certainly a big discount compared to everywhere else.

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Companies such as McDonald’s and Partners HealthCare, a hospital operator that’s the biggest private employer in Massachusetts, will offer College for America as an employee benefit and as a way to upgrade the quality of their workforces.

Pay to work for McD for 2, 3 or more years and for sure they'll oblige with a Degree Certificate.

Another type of indentured service scheme?

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http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/lse/bsc-accounting-finance

'Flexible study at a reasonable cost

You have between 3-8 years to complete the programme (or a minimum of 2 years on the Graduate Entry Route). Fees are payable as you progress rather than as a single lump sum. The following are examples of University fees for the whole programme of study: £4,006 for the BSc degree through the Standard Route and £3,026 for the BSc degree through the Graduate Entry Route. Please note that these examples are calculated using current fees for 2014-15, do not reflect any annual change to fees and assume completion in the minimum time permitted.'

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Didn't the UK pioneer online learning back in the 1960s? Thanks to Harold Wilson I believe. I see you can still get a OU degree for around 11K total (that's an absolute minimum). The only drawback - no shagging except at the summer camps - still if you are doing Engineering that probably won't make much difference.

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Didn't the UK pioneer online learning back in the 1960s? Thanks to Harold Wilson I believe. I see you can still get a OU degree for around 11K total (that's an absolute minimum). The only drawback - no shagging except at the summer camps - still if you are doing Engineering that probably won't make much difference.

I was going to quote London University too!

OU is now £15k, unless you're on transitional funding (like I am) where it'll cost me around £6k. I've heard of a large drop in OU students since last September (something like 30k students, perhaps more) since the costs of courses have risen - due to the govt. funding being pulled.

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The creative destruction of the education cartel cannot be put off forever- but like all such innovations the result will be that what was formally scarce and valuable will become less scarce and so less valuable.

The primary function of higher education is not to ensure it's dissemination but to prevent it- who is kept out matters far more than who is let in and an internet based democratisation of education is the very last thing that educators want to see happen- they are selling scarcity not education- like any other form of information that can be digitized the value of the 'product' is now zero- any lecture can be digitally recreated and disseminated at near zero cost an infinite number of times- so how much can you justify charging for access to it?

I read today that IBM are working to make their Watson AI system available via a smart phone or tablet- so soon students will be able to augment their intellect with something far smarter than Google and the process of learning will start to become a form of cybernetics in which the line between the human brain and it's synthetic counterparts will become increasingly blurred.

So good luck with the idea that education is a scarce good for which large fees can be charged- an idea whose time may just have passed.

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