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Clearly, higher education is a costly enterprise, both in and of itself and in its price or tuition. Higher education’s cost can increase at much greater rates if revenues increase commensurately.

Jerald Feinstein

This is a known problem and the business models and pricing strategies are changing fast. Just consider the Google business model - - - free for users and earning advertising revenue on the back-end.

Now flying stealthily under the radar are schools such as World Education University or WEU ( http://www.theweu.com/ ) - free to the student while earning revenue on the back-end - - WEU has substantial backing in their effort. Look at StraighterLine ( http://www.straighterline.com/ )- very inexpensive and all courses are accredited - no financial aid as courses are so inexpensive students pay with their credit card.

The free market is quite adept at adjusting to needs and the supply demand curve is working overtime as higher priced and lower quality schools are going out of business as noted daily in the headlines.

Lloyd comments: Thanks for your good input. Unfortunately, changes in business model and pricing strategy generally are not taking place in the non-profit part of the private sector - and as you note, as a consequence some lower brand schools in that sector are going out of business. Many more are indeed likely to disappear in the future. As your examples show, most of the innovation is in the for-profit sector. However, the non-profit sector is putting up a strong delaying defense through its control of accreditation. Thus, StraighterLine's courses are not accredited since course accreditation does not exist at the powerful accreditors. ACE certifies that StraighterLine's courses are college-level, but that does not mean that they get accepted for transfer by as many non-profit institutions as logic would suggest should be the case.


As a parent hunting the higher education elephant this discussion is very helpful. What needs to be added is a parent willingness to negotiate with higher education. I am surprised many parents simply do not. The response is, " We can negotiate, " is heard to often. Parents, do your part. We will all benefit.

Lloyd comments: absolutely correct. The colleges are madly working to maximize income, and often conclude that a partial pay student is better than no student.

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