mainly macro: A self-fulfilling expectations led recession?

Should-Read: Clare McCann: The False Promises of Online Education: "Caroline Hoxby found that online education may not be the 'low-cost, high-quality' opportunity many say it is...

...Tuition that sometimes exceeds the on-campus price and post-college earnings that do not cover students’ upfront costs. But the report has set off something of a firestorm within the industry this week as researchers and other stakeholders (including several online learning experts) challenged the study’s methodology. That’s because the study, which used individuals’ IRS data to calculate tuition costs and return on investment, estimated a student’s likelihood of being online based on the school’s distance-education offerings. Serious data limitations mean that the author couldn’t know whether each student attends online or not.

A separate, nationally representative survey of postsecondary students shows that, among students attending an entirely online program in 2012, 36 percent were at for-profit institutions, while more than half were at public institutions.... But in the Hoxby study, which uses data from the IRS along with information about school-level offerings,  77 percent of students attending  exclusively online institutions were at for-profit schools. Given the limitations of the methodology, along with these discrepancies across data sources, the conclusions can’t necessarily be extrapolated out to include every online program, particularly for students who attend online programs through mostly brick-and-mortar institutions. Rather, the findings are largely applicable to students at for-profit online institutions...

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