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Education The Almighty Buck The Internet News

UC's For-Pay Online Course Draws 4 Non-UC Students 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-market-decide dept.
slew writes "In the shadow of Stanford and Harvard offering free on-line courses, The University of California has been attempting to offer pay-courses for credit. UC online took out a $6.9M loan from UC and spent $4.3M to market these courses. For their efforts, they've been able to quadruple their enrollment year over year. The first year results: only one person not already attending UC paid $1,400 for an online pre-calculus class worth four credits. Now four non-UC are signed up. 'UC Online has to pay back the loan in seven years and expected to sell 7,000 classes to non-UC students for $1,400 or $2,400 apiece, depending on each course's duration. China was thought to be a lucrative potential source of students, but few expressed interest. The U.S. military also fell through.' Methinks head will roll on this one..."
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UC's For-Pay Online Course Draws 4 Non-UC Students

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:56PM (#42524629)

    I could go full-time to my local community college for less than that. Hell, I could almost go full time to my local 4-year university for that (paying in-state tuition). And UC isn't even that prestigious.

    They seriously thought the Chinese were going to pay that kind of tuition, for a single course at the fucking University of California, that probably isn't even applicable to a degree? And the U.S. military? Hey, the military may be legendary for wasting money, but even they have limits.

    For that, you would think they would at least have offered a complimentary reach-around.

  • by LF11 (18760) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:11PM (#42524797) Homepage

    What the hell? Full classroom price for an online course? Are they serious? Who do they think they are? The RIAA?

    Also, as a non-UC student, this is wildly useless to me. Free courses are excellent because they can help me through my existing classwork, or I can participate just to enrich my own learning.

    For-credit is useless unless that credit applies at my own university. It might, but it would be a hassle to figure it out, and I am ALREADY paying full tuition at my university. Why would I pay another $1,400 for another class AND have to figure out if it transfers?

    Terrible idea at a terrible price point.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:15PM (#42524849) Homepage Journal

    Who did the marketing research and how much ganja were they smoking when they did it?

    The loss on this reminds me of an ill-considered plans where I worked ages ago. Someone bought a $20,000 system and contract to move EDI packaged records between institutions around the state. I has it foisted upon me (make it work, you peon) and spent the next year chasing down contacts and attending seminars. After a year the person who "bought" the product angrily wanted to know how it was I hadn't made any headway - this because none of the other institutions ever went through on the project and it was effectively dead. Then I had the gall to ask, so how much work are we saving by doing this anyway, and found we would move about 4 records per quarter. 4. End of project. That person should have been sacked, but was promoted. Go figure.

  • Re:Agree 10000% (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:16PM (#42526079)

    I wonder what they spent the $4.3 million in Advertising on... Surely after the first million or two you would have to be wondering why you were getting such a poor response.

    Seriously. $4,300,000.00 on advertising and this is the first I've ever heard of the program.
    Wait for it.
    Trust me, it'll be worth it.
    I work for the UC.

  • by balsy2001 (941953) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:37AM (#42528251)
    I have completed 4 courses with Coursera. I took them because I watched a TED talk and wanted to see what it was like. I was skeptical before the classes started that it could be that good. However, after completing the courses I have to say I was quite surprised at the quality. The 4 courses I took were offered from 3 different universities. I was very satisfied with the experience, and not just in the "it was free so you can't expect much" kind of way. I learned the things that they were trying to teach and was able to put some of it to use in my job to complete a task that I previously couldn't have done.

How can you work when the system's so crowded?