- Nonprofit colleges and universities are using aggressive recruitment strategies to recruit online students, strategies commonly used by for-profit institutions.
- According to the Atlantic, Online Program Managers (OPMs), which build and maintain distance degree offerings, can command 50% or more of tuition earned from online student enrollment.
- A significant percentage — 80% — of online degree programs are outsourced to for-profit companies, which draw more than $1 billion.
Meeting the demands of a growing global student pool is the mission, but schools yielding half of their online student tuition revenue to businesses which build and operate online learning modules may not remain as a solvent business expense.
With an increased light shone on community colleges and rising support from state and federal governments for two-year institutions, price points for online degree offerings at four-year institutions will soon have to adapt to competition from peer institutions and two-year schools. Demand for online learning is expected to dramatically increase in the next five years, but that demand will extend across the higher education landscape.
To this end, Ivy League schools and other institutions with deep endowments and wealthy donors may lead in developing on-site administration for distance learning, and may have the upper hand in using the same aggressive recruitment tactics to provide students with an affordable online degree option, in the face of rising costs for schools which don't, or can't, bring the service in-house.