Low-Cost B.A. Starting Slowly In Two States
Career College Central summary:
In the last two years, two Republican governors — Rick Perry in Texas and Rick Scott in Florida — have challenged their states’ public colleges to develop bachelor’s degrees costing no more than $10,000, less than a third of the average sticker price for tuition and fees at a four-year public college. Governor Perry said he hoped 10 percent of the state’s degrees would meet that goal with online learning and new efficiencies. Governor Scott sought low-cost degrees in high-demand fields.
Now $10,000 degrees are available in Florida and Texas — but not for many students, not for many majors and not on the flagship campuses. The original goal was that the degrees would use new teaching techniques and technologies to bring down costs; so far, many of the programs are unchanged.
In Florida, the two dozen former community colleges that offer both associate and baccalaureate degrees all volunteered to meet the $10,000 challenge, but several programs are not yet under way. The state universities are not in the program.
Broward College, which has 67,000 students, is offering the low-cost baccalaureate in its four smallest bachelor’s programs — middle-school math education, middle-school science education, information technology, and global trade and logistics — and seeking a total of 80 students.
To qualify, students must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and be Florida residents, in college for the first time, and committed to continuous enrollment. But most Broward students drop out before completing a two-year degree. And among those who earn an associate degree, many transfer for their final two years, or have no interest in the targeted majors.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES