By making more money in the online learning market, colleges can better compete with their peers in terms of quality of education, faculty diversity, and the amount of students who choose to transfer out.
But the same can’t be said of the degree programs they offer, according to an article published in The Atlantic on Wednesday.
The article, authored by the editors of The Atlantic, found that the more programs available to students, the more competitive colleges become.
In particular, the article notes that the number of courses offered online increased dramatically during the 2008-2009 academic year, which saw the proliferation of new online programs.
At the same time, tuition and fees remained relatively high, and students were encouraged to transfer to programs that offered lower cost of attendance.
For example, an online degree program from Duke University that offered only two courses in addition to online lectures and online tutoring had a total enrollment of 3,000 students, while the same program at a private institution had only 8,000 enrolled.
The number of students receiving degrees online at the private university in 2008 was 2,890, while it was only 1,200 at Duke.
While these numbers were still relatively high for colleges that offered a degree in 2011, by 2019 they had decreased by about 10 percent, the Atlantic article reported.
It also notes that a substantial amount of these changes were driven by the increased competition from online education providers like Pearson, which offered more online classes than the universities, making it more expensive for students to enroll.
The most expensive programs for students at private colleges were those offered by the University of Chicago and the University at Buffalo.
The University at New Brunswick, meanwhile, had the second-highest number of online degrees offered, according the Atlantic.
According to the Atlantic, the increased competitive landscape that online learning platforms face is primarily due to the fact that more and more students are opting to transfer into more expensive, specialized online programs, and that colleges and universities are incentivized to provide programs with higher tuition and fee prices, and less value to their students.
Accordingly, a number of colleges have been offering their own online programs for a number the years, like the University and University of Pittsburgh.
However, some colleges have struggled to maintain these programs in the face of competition from their online competitors, according The Atlantic article.
For instance, the University is currently offering a degree that is offered in collaboration with the University Of New Brunswick for $6,999.99.
In addition, many private universities have offered programs that are similar in format to the University’s online degree, which costs $6.99 per credit hour.
However, it’s not just the cost of tuition and other costs that can impact the quality of a degree program.
Many of the same programs are also offered by non-profit organizations, and this can affect their quality, according Toilets, the online education company that runs the Coursera program.
“Our experience is that the higher up in the market you go, the better the value for the students and the faculty,” Toilet told The Atlantic.