College Costs

  • Stop... Watch... Save with StraighterLine

    Barry Lenson

    There’s a simple reason more and more college students of all ages are taking StraighterLine online courses. College shouldn’t cost arm and a leg After all, online college courses should cost less than their offline equivalents. Which is why here at StraighterLine we’re always surprised when some for-profit colleges charge so much for the same basic introductory online courses we provide. The average cost per course is more than 5x cheaper at StraighterLine. Maybe that’s why Fast Company named us one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies in Education” and Inside Higher Ed said we offer the “... lowest-cost set of credit-bearing courses on the Internet.” There’s more to our story, including a special offer ...

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  • How to Avoid Defaulting on Student Loans

    Barry Lenson

    Students in Record Numbers are Defaulting on Loans . . .  “College students defaulting at record rate,”an article that Meghan Hoyer wrote forUSAToday, reports some sobering statistics that have just been released by the U.S. Department of Education. Last year's 8.8% default rate surged to 13.4% this year. Nearly half of defaulting borrowers attended for-profit colleges, despite the fact that they make up only 28% of the total borrowing pool, and 13% of all enrolled college students. That’s all pretty bad. But let’s turn for a moment to a question that could be closer to your own heart. How can you avoid borrowing too much to pay for college, then being unable to pay it back? Some of the answers to that questi ...

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  • College Shouldn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg

    Barry Lenson

    There are lots of reasons why college shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. One is that if you pay an arm and a leg for anything, you are going to look like a boomerang. But there are lots of other reasons too. If we start throwing numbers around, the whole issue of how much college costs can become pretty abstract.  That’s why I decided to create two pie charts to help us visualize what we are talking about when we say that college is claiming far too much of a typical family budget. So here we go . . .     Those charts help me visualize the reality that as an expenditure, college is claiming way too much of many family budgets. One solution is to use low-cost online learningto reduce educaitonal expenses to an ...

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  • Free Online College Courses MOOCs vs. StraighterLine

    Barry Lenson

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) have been making the news a lot lately. Just this week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced plans to fund research that will explore the role that MOOCs can plan in American higher education. But at the moment, what is your best educational option and value - free online college course MOOCs, StraighterLine, or something else entirely? The answer is, it really depends on your educational goals and needs . . . If you just love learning and don’t care about earning credits for the courses you take, MOOCs are probably your lowest-cost learning option. Think of them as a jumbo online adult school where you can study something that interests you without paying for courses. If y ...

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  • Why Is College so Expensive?

    Barry Lenson

    While I was in New York City a few days ago, I overheard this conversation on the Broadway uptown bus. Three people who looked like current college students were talking . . . “It’s just too goddam expensive.” “What’s too goddam expensive?” “College. College is too goddam expensive.” “You’re not XXXXing me it’s too expensive!” “Why is it so XXXXing expensive? Why does it cost so much?” And the conversation went on in pretty much the same vein. Actually, I’ve been hearing a lot of conversations like that lately, and I bet you have too. And it’s no surprise. When a college degree costs as much as a pretty nice house, something has gone seriously out of kilter. But let’s return to the ques ...

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