- Prospective students are touting massive open online course enrollment and completion on college applications, often in hopes of differentiating themselves from their competitors.
- The New York Times reports that college admissions officers are viewing these classes on applications as similar to extracurriculars that they don’t necessarily need to verify, because they are interesting but not a game changer for a student’s application.
- Some admissions officers say there’s little confidence in each MOOC’s content or quality based on a course title, leaving their impact on an applicant’s chances minimal for now.
MOOCs and other nontraditional education pathways could get brought into the fold of the mainstream by ongoing work to better study quality and outcomes, as well as legislative pushes to fund such programs with federal education dollars. At this point, MOOCs can represent a student’s drive to satisfy curiosity about courses that are not offered at his or her high school. Weary admissions officers also know they can be used to prove determination and drive with the ultimate goal being an acceptance letter as opposed to new knowledge.
High schoolers already pad their applications with college coursework. Reaching for that designation in the online world is not a surprise move.