Affordable Online Degree Options Now Available

With people across the country demanding a fair opportunity to earn a higher education, schools answering with affordable online degree programs

Supporters of online higher education opportunities have fought diligently to turn the promise of more affordable college education into a reality and have the course availability reach more people than ever before.

While online degree programs from colleges and universities across the country are helping with this, there’s a little-known industry of for-profit “middlemen” that is skimming off up to 80 percent of all proceeds, which may be effectively thwarting the potential that online degree programs offer.

The official title for these people is “online program managers.” These are companies that have been hired to connect universities with individuals who want a graduate degree. These students are viewed as being a source of needed revenue at a time when reduced undergraduate enrollment and drops in state funding have tightened the reigns on higher education budgets.

The process of hiring these online program mangers makes it easier and faster for private and public nonprofit universities to find interested students, compared to developing their own marketing plan. The exchange for this easy process is educational institutions giving up a large amount of the money that the programs usually bring in.

Experts have stated that this is one of the factors that is keeping the prices of online MBA programs higher than what they would be if the schools didn’t have to hand over such a large amount of their revenue.

While a lot of attention and focus is put on for-profit colleges and universities that have students with often worthless degrees or no degrees, this type of profit-driven business has become integrated into higher education. It’s an industry that started approximately 15 years ago, and at the time, it was done to help nonprofit colleges that wanted to increase online programming options, along with educational technology companies that saw the potential profit offered by helping them.

Since the industry emerged, it has evolved and expanded, but the arrangements in place between OPMs and colleges in a traditional manner look something like this: the programs offered are marketed by OPMs, students are recruited, students are counseled through the process for admission, enrolled, and given what’s needed to succeed in the online courses. The programs are largely created by and maintained by these companies.

Today, there are some colleges taking strides to combat this setup, opting for more affordable marketing methods and putting the education of the students first – before profit. While profits are still important, as they are necessary for educational facilities to remain open, those in support of this evolution believe that a higher quality education offered at more affordable prices in an online setting is going to be enough to encourage individuals to enroll in ongoing education and take advantage of the available programs.

Unfortunately, these programs aren’t yet widespread and there’s only a handful of institutions that are even attempting to recruit students using methods besides the OPM third-party companies. When choosing a program for online education, it’s important to consider the factors here and determine if the cost of the program is actually due to the high-quality education received or just increased prices to cover the cost of the third-party company to continue marketing the courses that are available and bring in new students.

Contact Info:
Name: Dr Marisa Kelly
Email: Send Email
Organization: Suffolk University

Release ID: 88924971