Posts tagged ‘Arizona State University’

April 28, 2015

New Arizona State University program lowers freshman year cost to $6,000

by Grace

A noteworthy initiative by a major university has the potential to cut costs dramatically for a student’s freshman year of college.

Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest universities, is joining with edX, a nonprofit online venture founded by M.I.T. and Harvard, to offer an online freshman year that will be available worldwide with no admissions process and full university credit.

In the new Global Freshman Academy, each credit will cost $200, but students will not have to pay until they pass the courses, which will be offered on the edX platform as MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses.

“Leave your G.P.A., your SATs, your recommendations at home,” said Anant Agarwal, the chief executive of edX. “If you have the will to learn, just bring your Internet connection and yourself, and you can get a year of college credit.”

Students can complete their freshman year for “less than $6,000″.

The new program will offer 12 courses — eight make up a freshman year — created by Arizona State professors. It will take an unlimited number of students. Neither Mr. Agarwal nor Mr. Crow would predict how many might enroll this year.

The only upfront cost will be $45 a course for an identity-verified certificate. Altogether, eight courses and a year of credit will cost less than $6,000.

Two common questions about online courses are addressed by this new venture.

Wednesday’s announcement, Agarwal said, is edX’s response to the two major points of criticism that have dogged MOOCs: that the completion rates are too low, and that the courses mostly benefit learners who have already earned advanced degrees.

The expectation is that motivation for credit will spur completion rates, and freshman courses will not attract college graduates.

How much human involvement will be required?

… Freshman composition will probably be one of the last to launch. Right now, he said, the university is planning on having “actual people” grade however many thousands of student essays such a MOOC would produce.

Other issues remain, including the problem that Freshman Academy does not qualify for federal financial aid.  The outcome for this new venture remains to be seen.  If it is successful, it could serve as a model for many other universities.

———

Tamar Lewin, “Promising Full College Credit, Arizona State University Offers Online Freshman Program”, New York Times, April 22, 2015.

Carl Straumsheim, “MOOCs for (a Year’s) Credit”, Inside Higher Ed, April 23, 2015.

April 27, 2015

The search for affordable out-of-state colleges

by Grace

It’s been a few years since I wrote about low-cost out-of-state schools, so it’s a good time to revisit this topic.

What type of students are typically interested in affordable out-of-state public schools?

  • Residents of states that lack good options for affordable public colleges.
  • Students who want to experience living in another part of the country during their college years.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy recommends avoiding most “name brand” * state flagships, which usually expect out-of-state students to pay full price.  Instead, look at other less well-known options.

The New York state universities (SUNY’s) , for instance, represent some excellent values. Unlike many states, New York state has continued to support its public universities at levels other state legislatures have long abandoned.

Another potential great buy is the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, which is a bargain compared to Michigan. I once asked a teenager why he thought that the University of Michigan is so much more popular than the U. of Minnesota, which is located in the Twin Cities. “Minnesota is cold,” he replied. I mentioned that Michigan is hardly a temperate climate. My theory is that Michigan has enjoyed a long and storied tradition of success in the Big 10 athletic conference and the Minnesota Gophers have not.

The University of New Mexico has impressive scholarships even for students with a 3.0 GPA and it’s located in a city (Albuquerque.) I am hoping that a daughter of a family friend, who is a gifted dancer, ends up at the University of Utah’s modern dance program, which is considered as good, if not better, than Julliard’s.The scholarships for nonresidents can be more generous and prices much lower to begin with at schools that have to work harder to attract nonresidents. University of Arkansas, for instance, has tons of scholarships for nonresidents. A huge plus at Arkansas is the tremendous amount of internships for students because of Walmart’s proximity. Walmart requires major corporations to maintain an office in Arkansas so there are hundreds of corporate outposts in the state.

Kiplinger’s most recent Rankings of Top Public College Values shows 54 schools with total annual costs under $35,000.  A California resident facing annual costs ranging from about $23,000 to $35,000 for in-state schools may look to an option like Arizona State University where OOS costs are about $36,000 per year.  Add in the challenges of admission and course availability that persist in some schools in the California system, and the idea of tacking on an extra $35,000 or so in costs over four years by going out of state may seem like a fair deal.

U.S. News offers a list of low-cost schools that may come out to be a better value than in-state choices.

Some regional colleges and universities are so cheap, even for out-of-staters, that they give Home State University a run for its money….

Most of these public institutions are regional colleges and universities in Midwestern or Western states​ that may not entice many 18-year-olds the way, say, New York or California do.

But a Pennsylvanian student eyeing the in-state price tags of Pennsylvania State University or the University of Pittsburgh, both topping $17,000 a year, might start to find them more appealing.

Careful research can uncover affordable options that are perfect for your child.  Here’s a College Confidential thread that can be a resource:

VERY LOW COST OOS COA universities……less than $25k COA for everything!

* UPDATED for clarity

———

Lynn O’Shaughnessy, “Would You Pay $47,000 for the University of Oregon?”, The College Solution, April 20, 2015.

Susannah Snider, “Public Colleges With the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition and Fees”, U.S. News & World Report, September 30, 2014.

December 13, 2012

Growth in luxury apartments for college students

by Grace

As housing has become a bigger factor in college selection, more schools are featuring luxury apartments instead of traditional dorms.

20121209.COCLuxuryCollegeApartments1

Instead of bunk beds, cinder-block walls and communal showers, these newly built dorms off campus resemble apartments and offer a wide range of amenities, such as walk in-closets and custom-designed furniture. Everyone usually gets his or her own bedroom and bathroom, so the only sharing is in the high-end kitchens that often feature granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances….

These upscale living arrangements typically cost $1-2,000 more per year than dorms, and the boom in college attendance has made investing in these college apartment complexes profitable for some companies.

Developers are profiting from this imbalance. Residences for more than 30,000 beds are estimated to be under construction around campuses nationwide, though the industry’s fragmentation makes an accurate count difficult. These builders rely on amenities to stand out. At the Lodges of East Lansing near Michigan State University, the pool is heated year-round, and there’s an ice-skating rink just for students. During the week, a private shuttle bus takes students to class. On the weekends, they’re driven to and from night-life hot spots.

These amenities make me want to go back to college!

Michigan State University Among the amenities at the Lodges of East Lansing:

  • Indoor/outdoor fireplaces
  • Coffee house
  • Cybercafe
  • Dog park
  • Ice-skating rink
  • Outdoor grills
  • Gym, pool and sauna
  • Tanning bed
  • Private shuttle

University of Central Florida At University House, amenities include:

  • Tanning rooms
  • Putting green
  • Barbecue grills
  • Pool with cabanas and club house
  • Gaming room with multiple flatscreen TVs
  • Internet bar with PC and Mac stations

Texas A&M At the Cottages of College Station, amenities include:

  • Tennis and sand-volleyball courts
  • Pet-washing station
  • Tanning beds
  • Horseshoe and cornhole pit
  • Walking and fitness trail
  • Poolside jumbo screen
  • Fitness center with yoga studio

Arizona State University When it opens next year, the District on Apache will have:

  • Outdoor movie screen
  • 300-foot-long lazy river
  • Steam room
  • Golf simulator
  • Outdoor kitchen

Students should probably enjoy this taste of luxury living while they can.

“Most of these kids are going to have a step down in lifestyle when they have to enter the working-world environment after they graduate,” says John E. Vawter, principal of Capstone Collegiate Communities, which developed the Lodges and the Cottages.

August 13, 2012

Thinking critically about your student loan burden

by Grace

Maureen O’Brien took on student loans totaling $54,000 to help pay for her daughter’s first two years of attendance at an out-of-state university costing more than $49,000 each year.  She had told her daughter to “dream big” and to look beyond lower-cost state schools.

After realizing that in-state tuition is much more affordable, O’Brien’s daughter later transferred to Arizona State University where her brother will start as a freshman this fall.  The family expects to take on loans totaling $70,000 to pay for the children’s college.

In addition to the liability for her children’s student debt, O’Brien is paying on her own $60,000 student loan she took out in 2004 for retraining as a physician assistant.  She also has a small balance from her first college loan from 1996.  More than one-third of her take-home pay is going toward paying student loans.

She has no savings, no money put away for retirement and is thinking of taking on a second job to pay off her kids’ loans.

O’Brien believes college taught her critical thinking.

Despite her family’s growing student loan debt, O’Brien still believes in the value of a college education. She says it was her first degree — in French and international studies — that taught her how to think critically. And she wants the same for her kids.

On the subject of her kids, here is O’Brien’s daughter.

She says she’s determined to finish her degree in environmental studies.

“I can’t afford to go to college, but I’m taking out loans, I’m putting my foot forward and making sure I get an education so that I can get a really good job in the long run,” Emily says.

Environmental studies  –  I’m highly suspicious of the value of these types of interdisciplinary majors since I’m not sure they lead to good jobs.  A degree in environmental science would probably be better.  But that would be a harder course of study, with more rigorous requirements in math and science courses.

Related:  How’s that urban studies degree working out for you? (Cost of College)

February 15, 2012

‘Schools of education focus on fads, not knowledge and skills’

by Grace

There are many reasons for the lamentable state of education in the United States today, but perhaps none is greater than our schools of education.

Larry Sand gives a first-hand account.

My experience at California State University, Los Angeles in the 1980s was typical. The courses were easy. Rigor was non-existent. I took eleven courses for credit, receiving ten As and one B and never once feeling intellectually challenged. There was typically an easy mid-term and a final and a paper (which was supposed to show that I knew how to deliver a lesson).

Sometimes the courses were like being back in grade school. I had a lot of fun in my methods classes, especially in Physical Education, where we played games all period.

Sand goes on to describe some recent trends in ed schools, including the practice of facilitating student discovery instead of direct instruction, whole language,  “Culturally Responsive Education” (CRE), and anti-racist math.

A possible bright spot in teacher education

Arizona State University, with the largest undergraduate teacher prep program in the country, has just this year unveiled a “radical” new program, in which students must demonstrate mastery of specific teaching skills as measured by a popular teaching framework. ASU is using the Teacher Advancement Program, a model run by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Related:  If you want a high GPA in college, you might consider majoring in education.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 220 other followers

%d bloggers like this: