A competent financial advisor may be able to save their clients tens of thousands of dollars in college expenses through a fairly straightforward understanding of merit-based scholarships, which we recently wrote about.
But it bears mentioning that an emerging trend would allow consumers of higher education to save hundreds of thousands of dollars, and advisors would be remiss if they were not fully briefed on the rapid changes taking place in online education.
Want a Stanford education without the $59,000-a-year price tag? The growth in massive open online courses (MOOCs) now makes that possible.
Of course, you don’t get the on-campus experience with all that that entails—close interaction with teachers and fellow students for some, parties and football games for others—but the ability to learn from world-class experts is now widely available.
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More available perhaps than many would think. While many have heard of MOOCs, few probably appreciate how explosive their growth has been.
Dhawal Shah, who while taking one of the first MOOCs from Stanford in 2011, founded Class Central as means of keeping track of the continually expanding menu of online courses, has recently tabulated where we stand two years into the MOOC experience. (Although a Stanford MOOC attracting 160,000 registrants galvanized public attention in 2011, some say the first MOOC, or a precursor MOOC, launched as early as 2006-07).
In an article written for education technology publication EdSurge, Shah summarizes MOOCs’ rapid progress: “200+ universities. 1200+ courses. 1300+ instructors. 10 million students.”