Revenge of Econ 101
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“Disruption” is the theme of the moment in higher education policy. In 2008, StraighterLine was the first provider of ultra-affordable online courses outside of the traditional accreditation structure. This talk will outline why online learning is extremely profitable for most colleges and that “disruption” is a way to start driving these profits from colleges to students in the form of lower prices. Smith will also discuss why the existing organizational model of “college” and higher education regulatory and financing structures are ill suited to the delivery of online courses. While this threat to college business models is real and dramatic, the market environment in which the threat is occurring is heavily regulated, heavily subsidized, and extremely political. Such forces will slow the adoption of new models.