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Cheap On-Line College Class Threaten Higher Education

College for $99 a month may eventually destroy our traditional system of higher education. One fifth of the student population in 2008 took some sort of distance learning course showing a major increase in online student population compared to only one year prior. Companies like StraighterLine offer online courses in subjects like accounting, statistics and math that are now competing with state colleges and universities for a fraction of the cost.

With recent increases in fuel prices and tuition many students are shifting away from these traditional methods of education to online college. Much the same as the destruction of the newspaper industry, technology is creating a shift could eventually result in a mass student exodus that would decrease state college and university incomes, spelling an end to many undergraduate programs.

Though accreditation stands in the way of full acceptance of all courses offered through online resources, it may be only a short time before barriers are broken and traditional education systems will find themselves in competition with their new technological foe.

Title: College for $99 a Month

Source: Washington Monthly,  November 19, 2009

URL: www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/feature/college_for_99_a_month.php

Author: Kevin Carey

Faculty Evaluator: Carlos Benito

Student Researcher: Joe Hanley

Sonoma State University

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