On Monday, December 15, fifteen higher ed associations sent a letter to Congress asking that a portion of the Obama economic stimulus plan be allocated to higher education. The letter indicates that 18 million Americans are attending higher education institutions, and since 18 million represents six percent of all Americans, a corresponding six percent of the allocation should go to higher ed.
In 2003, Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske published the book Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods…And How Companies Create Them. As partners at The Boston Consulting Group, Silverstein, Fiske (now the CEO of Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc.) and others worked to research the consumer purchasing trends in the United States and overseas. The phenomenon that they identified was the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for certain goods even in times of economic downturns.
Earlier this month, I posted an article on The College Board’s annual report, Trends in College Pricing. There is a companion report to Trends in College Pricing, Trends in Student Aid. Published since 1983, this year’s Trends in Student Aid report is only 20 pages long but is supplemented by a website that provides detailed information on all aspects of student aid.
The College Board has published an annual report on college pricing since 1998. The report looks at tuition and fees, room and board, and other related costs at colleges in the United States. It also reviews the net price of college after subtracting financial aid grants to students. Colleges are categorized as public four-year, public two-year, and private non-profit four year.
American Public University System and its two universities, American Military University and American Public University, have served online learners, many of them working adults, since the early 1990’s. Since that time, utilization of the internet, broadband availability and other technologies have continued to evolve and the number of studies reporting methodologies for success has increased as well.
Universal education in the United States is no longer a novel idea; in fact, K-12 education has become something most Americans take for granted. Even with issues of access and affordability in the world of American higher education, the possibility of obtaining a college degree is not out of the question for most Americans. For many in the world, however, education is far from a “given;” millions of children in developing nations never see the inside of an elementary school classroom and the concept of achieving any level of postsecondary education seems as likely as sprouting wings and flying to the moon.
Our programs and courses have been online since 1996. There are several organizations that track the progress of online post-secondary enrollments including Eduventures and the Sloan Consortium. There’s no doubt that the convenience of online post-secondary programs is a major reason that more and more adults are continuing or furthering their college education through online degree programs.
The founder of American Military University, Major James P. Etter, was passionate about the need to provide an affordable college education to service members. We matched our tuition to the semester hour rate maximum reimbursed by the Department of Defense (DOD) which is currently $250 per semester hour. We do not charge an application or admissions fee.
It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine these days without reading an article about the affordability crisis in higher education. For the past twenty years, tuitions have increased at a rate about twice that of the consumer price index. Many institutions cite the national statistics on the value of a college degree as the justification for charging increasingly higher tuition.