Harvard, MIT Part of $800 Million Deal to Push Access to Online Education - The Wall Street Journal

Harvard, MIT Part of $800 Million Deal to Push Access to Online Education - The Wall Street Journal Harvard, MIT Part of $800 Million Deal to Push Access to Online Education - The Wall Street Journal Posted: 29 Jun 2021 04:00 AM PDT Education-technology company 2U Inc., which runs graduate programs for dozens of top universities, is buying web-based course provider edX, a nonprofit founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for $800 million. The deal combines two major players in online instruction as universities around the world push more aggressively into digital offerings. Many schools scrambled to shift courses online when the pandemic shut campuses last year, and they are now expected to build on—and polish—the programs. The sale proceeds will go to a nonprofit, to be run by Harvard and MIT, that the schools say will focus on reducing inequalities in access to education. It will maintain the open-acc

College Consensus Publishes Aggregate Ranking of the Best Online Undergraduate Business Programs for 2021 - PRNewswire

College Consensus Publishes Aggregate Ranking of the Best Online Undergraduate Business Programs for 2021 - PRNewswire

College Consensus Publishes Aggregate Ranking of the Best Online Undergraduate Business Programs for 2021 - PRNewswire

Posted: 16 Nov 2020 11:25 AM PST

The Best Online Undergraduate Business Programs is a consensus ranking of online bachelor's programs in top business schools around the nation. We combined information from three leading ranking systems: Times Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report, and Quacquarelli Symonds. Each ranking was converted to a score on a 100-point scale, weighted equally, and then averaged to reveal a Consensus Score.

The top 25 programs were then ranked from highest to lowest based on their Consensus Score.

The top-ranked online undergraduate program in business for 2021 is from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, followed by the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business, and the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management.

Other schools in the ranking include:
Temple University – Fox School of Business
University of Illinois at Chicago – College of Business Administration
Washington State UniversityCarson College of Business
University of Alabama – Culverhouse College of Business
George Mason University – School of Business
Drexel UniversityBennett S. LeBow College of Business
University of South FloridaMuma College of Business
Florida International University – College of Business
University of Massachusetts AmherstIsenberg School of Management
Oklahoma State University – Spears School of Business
University of ArkansasSam M. Walton College of Business
University of KentuckyGatton College of Business and Economics
University of Massachusetts DartmouthCharlton College of Business
University of MissouriRobert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
University of Massachusetts LowellRobert J. Manning School of Business
Auburn University – Raymond J.  Harbert College of Business
Mississippi State University – College of Business
Louisiana State University – E.J. Ourso College of Business
San Diego State University – Fowler College of Business
Kansas State University – College of Business Administration
University of North Carolina at GreensboroBryan School of Business and Economics
Ohio University – College of Business
University of New MexicoAnderson School of Management
West Virginia UniversityJohn Chambers College of Business and Economics

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IG: @CollegeConsensus

SOURCE College Consensus

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5 Questions to Ask Before Enrolling at an Online College - Money

Posted: 30 Oct 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Before the pandemic forced nearly every college online, digital and remote courses were already growing.

For nearly a decade, online learning options have been drawing new students while the more traditional college options have declined. And early undergraduate enrollment numbers for this fall follow that pattern: Primarily online colleges grew enrollment nearly 7% since last year, while overall undergraduate enrollment looks to be down about 4%.

The high degree of access and flexibility offered by online programs means they are likely to remain a popular and rewarding choice for many students. But online classes aren't foolproof or for everyone, and they're not all the same. You should be prepared to skip past the ads and fast-moving enrollment pitches some schools make and instead carefully compare programs, teachers, school types, and costs.

If you're considering taking classes online, here are five questions to ask before starting.

Is online right for me?

It's crucial to start by asking whether you're the type of student that's likely to succeed in an entirely online format. That may not be the case.

"Online is right for some students," said John Katzman, founder and CEO of Noodle Partners, which helps colleges manage their online programs. But, he says, "To succeed in an online program, it helps to be organized and motivated. And, of course, it helps to have a place to work, with privacy and a reliable wi-fi connection."

Katzman also notes research showing that students who need extra learning support or accommodations may not do well online.

Of course, how well a student does with online courses depends not only on their personal learning styles and needs, but also on the style of online teaching a program is offering. "If the program you've signed up for is nothing but Zoom lectures, you may find yourself snoozing," Katzman says. "All online is not created equal. Ask the schools you're thinking of applying to if you can see examples of their online course materials," he says.

Is there a campus I can access?

Even as online education has grown, it's increasingly become local. Now, most online students take classes less than 50 miles from their school's physical campus. In addition to being able to meet with an advisor or a professor in person, many key learning and support resources exist on campus — resources that may not be available online.

"Online students should insist on a tour of the library, even if it has to be done virtually," says Kevin Walthers, president of Allan Hancock College, a public community college in California. Because, he says, "A college library is more than just books and journals. A good college will make the library the hub of the academic program, with librarians teaching classes or providing training in research methods and media literacy."

Katzman, of Noodle, agrees with the importance of having access to a campus. He says another, often overlooked, advantage of studying locally is that you'll have more recognition in the job market. "Local employers know people from that school, they've hired people from that school, they trust people from that school," he says. "In Minnesota, for example, employers love Carleton and they love Macalester. They have no opinion about Tulane. But, of course, the opposite is true in Louisiana."

Is the school a for-profit?

Knowing what type of college you're considering is important because they can operate very differently, especially online. Not all for-profit schools are bad, but many have had significant problems, including low completion rates and leaving students with high debt obligations. Employers can also view them differently.

In almost every case, if the program you want is offered online by a local community college, that's a better option than the same program at a for-profit college.

"Any class or program taught by a for-profit college is almost certainly available from the local community college, taught by more qualified faculty for a much lower tuition rate," Walthers says. "And online students have the advantage of being able to choose from any community college in their state without paying a premium for non-resident tuition."

According to a 2018 survey of tuition, for example, the price per credit hour at a for-profit, two-year college was $601, compared with just $135 at a public community college. And the Department of Education estimates that a year of tuition at the median two-year, for-profit college costs $27,356, while the median cost at a public two-year college was $9,787, as of 2018.

While community colleges will be your least expensive bet, there are other factors to consider as well, says Sara Leoni, CEO of GreenFig, which designs job-ready business skills courses offered through colleges. "At the end of the day, you need to solve for the learning outcomes you're trying to achieve."

If you're looking for a specific skill to help you take on more responsibility (and pay) at work, a short, not-for-credit certificate course may be your best option. But if you're looking to completely switch careers or start a job that requires college, you'll probably need to look at degrees offered by two- and four-year colleges.

How large are the classes and who's teaching my class?

New research shows that in order to be effective, online classes should actually be smaller than in-person ones. Unfortunately, some schools pack too many students in their online offerings or hire inexpensive, less qualified teachers to teach online.

It's smart to ask not only about the number of students in a specific online class but also about the school's average class size for online courses. Also ask about the instructors for online courses — for example, whether they are full-time, on campus teachers or remote teachers only.

"I would want to know, who is the instructor, and what are their credentials or experiences?" Leoni says. "Do I think they have the background needed to lead a course where I can achieve my learning outcomes?"

How am I paying?

Since some online schools have run into trouble by pushing student loans as part of registration, leading to increased student debt and loan defaults, it's essential that you understand what you're paying and how. Ask specifically whether the school is getting money directly that is actually a loan in your name, money you owe whether you graduate or not.

"Families need to read the fine print when signing up at a college. Specifically ask if the financial aid package includes loans because proprietary [for-profit] schools will sometimes show loans in a way that makes it look like grant aid," Walthers says. "First-generation students are particularly vulnerable," he said.

Finally, keep this in mind: Education can be the best investment you ever make, but it is an investment. Asking good questions can help you make it wisely.

More from Money:

Why Isn't Tuition Lower if Most Classes Are Online? Good Question

Learning a New Skill Can Help You Get the Job You Want. Here's Where to Find the Best Online Courses

Enrollment at Community Colleges Usually Rises During Recessions. This Fall, It Plummeted


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