Which is cheaper to run: online or on-campus education?

Will online education become less expensive to run than on-campus education over the long-term?

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, the popular belief that online education is inherently cheaper than on-campus education due to the lack of buildings required is simply inaccurate. The technology and development costs required to bring a degree program online can be immense. The only way online really becomes a cost-saver? Through self-paced scalability where a teacher can simultaneously teach 250 students instead of 25. But how much better does online education need to become where self-paced, on-demand education that requires small amounts of faculty feedback and engagement is at or surpasses the quality of traditional education today?

The takeaway? There are many factors that go into pricing online vs. on-campus education. And institutions have a lot of decisions to make in terms of whether to tier their online experience as slightly inferior and less personalized, but more flexible, or committing to the high academic quality of all programs they offer, regardless of modality.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.