There might have been a Wal-Mart University.
As the world’s largest retailer weighed its options for making a big splash in education, executives told one potential academic partner that Wal-Mart Stores was considering buying a university or starting its own.
"Wal-Mart U." never happened. Instead, the retailer chose a third option: a landmark alliance that will make a little-known for-profit institution, American Public University, the favored online-education provider to Wal-Mart’s 1.4 million workers in the United States.
A closer look at the deal announced this month shows how American Public slashed its prices and adapted its curriculum to snare a corporate client that could transform its business. It also raises one basic question: Is this a good bargain for students?
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