>> Apr 17, 2013
Tuition and fees at a traditional U.S. public university rose 4.8 percent in 2012, costing an average of $8,655, according to Bloomberg.com. What about student debt? According to Federal Reserve data, 37 million Americans share about $1 trillion in student loans. FinAid.org estimates that student loan debt is increasing drastically — at a rate of about $2,853.88 per second. Understandably, students are struggling to keep up. With traditional college tuition increasing every year, college is become significantly less affordable.
Forgo the traditional college campus and switch to online. Gaining knowledge through accredited online colleges is just as informative as the traditional classroom setting and benefits everyone. Stay-at-home mother's looking to change their career can easily study a new degree online. Men going through a mid-life crisis won't have to leave their 9 to 5 jobs to pursue a new career. And younger students looking to save cash and not go into debt will find better alternatives online.
The Online Trend
A 2012 Northeastern University study revealed that online colleges could take over the traditional classroom environment in the future of education. In the study, more than 1,000 interviews were conducted about online trends. The study found that 83 percent of interviewers found higher education in need of a shake up. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed believe online degrees will be just as respected as traditional four-year degrees and more than 60 percent of them say online programs offer the same quality of learning.
You can work on your homework from the convenience of your living room, saving you time. The time and money spent commuting to and from campus is gone. Gas is approximately $4 a gallon, making students spend at least $100 a week on gas alone. Remember those student parking lot passes costing an arm and a leg? Don't have to buy those anymore, either.
Universities are keeping up with the online trend by offering free online classes. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are being offered at select universities including top schools Berklee, Stanford, Duke and California Institute of Technology.
MOOCs are online courses anyone can take from anywhere in the world, which are taught by elite professors. Students subscribe to MOOCs through the Web in which a variety of courses are offered. Clinical Problem Solving and Intro to Artificial Intelligence are a few examples. Growing MOOCs are offered through companies like Udacity, edX and Coursera. Although these courses are offered free of charge, generally no academic credit can be earned. However, with so many students making noise about wanting MOOC courses for credit, action is being taken. According to dailyfinance.com, students are telling the MOOC developers they want credit opportunities. President of edX Anant Agarwal thought that it would be three years before noise was made about the credit issue. But it's only been months.
Coursera now offers classes from 62 universities, including 29 international universities. Since its launch in April 2012, Coursera has registered 2.8 million students and is seeing about 1.4 million course enrollments monthly, according to techcrunch.com