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Education The Almighty Buck The Internet News

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

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 @06:03PM (#42524717)

    In most civilized countries education is free not a commodity to be bought and sold, the market spoke and this universities education got handed the real market price, zero.

  • by 3vi1 ( 544505 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:05PM (#42524741) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure how they justify the cost, when it probably costs them all of $20 to manage the average online student. I guess people realize this, and for that kind of money they want the *full* college experience with hazing and all that.

    I'll just stick with Coursera - it's free and awesome, (As long as you just want the knowledge and don't care about credits.)

  • Re:Not worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:27PM (#42524987) Homepage

    The prestige of an American university does not warrant the cost. We pay for the implied value of the college we go to, and it is cheapened when the class is not taught in person.

    The professor is one thing, but it's not connecting with your co-students that is the real downfall. Nothing sharpens your mind as much as having to discuss/cooperate/compete with other very bright minds and you're not networking the same way either. The professor is of course also good, but most of it is just putting all these people in the same room and watch the sparks fly.

  • Re:beaurocrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:28PM (#42525007)
    Why would they get fired? They literally made THOUSANDS of dollars for the university. PLUS, they spent their budget for the year, so next year's advertising budget will of course need to be raised by 20%.

    You're not thinking institutionally, and you know that one bucket is not connected to another bucket.
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:34PM (#42525055)

    There is way to much put on getting a degree / a 4 year or more one.

    I say more 2 years ones / more tech and trades schools with apprenticeships.

    College costs to much and takes to long they has to be ways to cut time and costs.

    Also not everyone is college material and a lot of people should not be there. There are people who are better in tech / trades schools.

    The tech / trades schools are being held back and getting a bad rap from having to be part of the collgle system.

    Look at tribeca flashpoint it's a real good school with lot's of real hands on work but it's only a 2 year place so in some cases it's will not get you past HR.

    I saw a job posting for a master control job at a Major sports channel that wanted a 4 year communications degree so whats better some with 2 years of very hands on work in media working with hardware that you will see in master control or a 4 year communications degree that was a lot of theory and non tech communications parts to it.

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

    by rgbscan ( 321794 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:38PM (#42525105) Homepage

    Well considering they only offer 4 classes, and have 6 more pending approval.... that's a very, very limited audience available. I mean, one of the classes offered is "The Joy of Computing". Really? I actually would be interested in this sort of thing, as an adult college student with my employer picking up a lot of the tab. The class selection really leaves something to be desired though! If I could really knock out most of my degree online thru them I'd be interested. Having 4 weird elective classes online isn't going to attract anyone.

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

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:45PM (#42525183)

    These big schools and their even bigger price tags. What the flying fsck are they smoking?

    Not only that but they expected China to be a major market? Chinese students have US University level pre-calculus in elementary school.

  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PraiseBob ( 1923958 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @07:17PM (#42525519)
    Where on earth did they spend that huge advertising budget? They could've bought a superbowl ad, hundreds of regular tv spots, thousands of radio spots, tens of thousands of online impressions. But nobody here has even heard about it, including current UC students.

    Why pay so much when you can audit most courses for $10 - $200 at almost any university? Ivy League schools like Princeton charge a paltry $150. It is a tough sell getting someone to spend $1400 to audit a boring online course at a state school.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray