Improving Academic Performance

Benefits of Online Education

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Jul 09, 2010 @ 02:39 AM

The founders of MyGuru all attended well known undergraduate institutions (Northwestern University, Indiana Univeristy, University of Missourri) and obtained their MBAs from very high priced, yet very respected graduate schools (i.e., Northwestern/Kellogg & University of Chicago/Booth).  So, we are very much proponents of the "traditional" eductional track and generally skeptical of the value of for-profit colleges and many "distance" education programs.

With that said, one of us has become involved with a company that offers online college courses for $99 a month that transfer to a growing number of universities across the U.S. - the company is called StraighterLine.  The reality is that the internet has made it possible to deliver education in a variety of different ways, and much more cheaply than ever before.  StraighterLine has built an innovative educational model around this fact.

Via self-paced, online study, a student can earn the equivalent of a freshman year of college credit (the courses are all typical "core" courses, like freshman Math, English, Economics, and History), and then transfer that credit to a degree-granting university via StraighterLine.  Our favorite example involves Kentucky, which has a state law that requires all public universities in the state to accept all credits earned at community collegs in the state.  SL has an agreement with a community college in Kentucky to accept all of its credits in full.  The means that, with few exceptions, any StraighterLine student can a) do his or her freshman year at StraighterLine online, b) transfer credit to this particular community college, and then c) apply to the University of Kentucky.  In so doing, literally over $20,000 in college costs could be saved relative to simply enrolling at the University of Kentucky straight away.  In this economic climate, what a powerful option.

In fact, in a recent interview on the Daily Show, the governor of Minnesota touted the potential of online college for $199 a month, without realizing that StraighterLine offers college credit for $99 a month today.