I’m always fascinated by the potential power of cheap, accessible education. Back in 2013, I wrote about how Georgia Tech planned to offer an online master’s degree in Computer Science for only $7,000. Three years later, the NY Times has a follow-up article on the program. Here are my notes in case you’re stuck behind a paywall.
- Georgia Tech has a Top 10 CS program, according to U.S. News & World Report. Their online version offers lectures from the same professors, the same homework assignments, and the same exams.
- A few other top universities have online versions of their masters programs, but they charge the same tuition as in-person ($40,000+). Georgia Tech’s online masters can be completed with only $7,000.
- Through the use of online discussion software, a CS professor claims he now interacts with online students more often than with on-campus students.
- A study found that this program attracted students that would not otherwise study for a master’s degree. This could be due to cost, geographical limitations, current employment, or other factors. Most enrolled students were older and currently employed while taking courses.
- The first students started in 2014, and the first class of 20 graduates got their diplomas in December 2015. The current enrollment is over 3,000 students.
- The Georgia Tech diploma will read “Master of Science in Computer Science,” exactly the same as those of on-campus graduates. There will be no “online” designation for the degrees of OMS CS graduates.
Promotional video below:
It’s still unknown whether this online degree will have the same impact as a traditional on-campus degree. For now, Georgia Tech is still the only university to offer a prestigious, high-quality computer science degree that is both convenient and affordable. The OMSCS program states their $7,000 tuition is priced to just barely cover their costs. Will any other university attempt an “at-cost” pricing model? What if someone extended that model to undergraduate programs?
On a related note, Khan Academy is trying to combine their free online educational materials with “internationally-recognized diplomas that provide direct access to economic and educational opportunities.” To me, this means need to create an accredited program, which would require human graders at the very minimum even if they used stock lectures and community-based teaching support. Perhaps they can form some sort of volunteer network to keep costs low. Proposal video below:
© MyMoneyBlog.com, 2016.