When we founded Perelandra College 17 years ago, we believed online delivery gave educators the ability to serve people without causing them years of debt. We had no intention of enticing anyone to choose us over traditional institutions, only to offer an alternative that could fulfill some traditional requirements such as instruction in writing, for a small fraction of the cost to the student.
At the time, and for several years thereafter, educators and administrators from traditional colleges generally scoffed at the whole notion of distance learning. Gradually though, some of them observed that for-profit institutions were charging as much for online as for classroom learning and recognized the profit potential, as it appeared students weren’t paying for the experience but for the credit toward a degree that would increase their future earning potential.
Traditional colleges such as Arizona State University and Southern New Hampshire University have become mega-colleges by following the online for-profit model. And now, while we face this Coronavirus, even elite “non-profit” universities are going online, and from what I read, they certainly aren’t reducing or refunding tuition.
I grew up thinking education was supposed to make us wise, not necessarily make us rich. Strangely, I still think that way.