Online forum members discover zero-tuition college degree source
Birmingham, Ala. - Members of degreeinfo.com, an online forum where comments on colleges and degree programs are posted, recently discovered a new sponsored tuition program being tested by Andrew Jackson University. The accredited but little known university was conducting what was intended to be a controlled market test for a sponsored zero-tuition program. One of the invited participants, after looking the program over, alerted his online discussion forum friends to the new program, referring to it as “almost-free.” Word traveled fast and the university was soon deluged with requests by forum participants who wanted to see if the zero-tuition program was a come-on or actually almost-free.
Forum members searched for “the catch,” hesitant to believe that the cost to enroll at Andrew Jackson University could be reduced as much as indicated. After some detective work, forum participants soon found that costs, for example, for three graduate courses could be reduced from around twenty-three hundred dollars to about six hundred dollars. Convinced the program was legitimate and the savings substantial, they began enrolling and spreading the news.
Andrew Jackson University president Don Kassner said that his institution, while opening the program to the public, has put an initial limit on new enrollments. “We didn’t want to overburden our admissions, registrar and student services departments with more new students than we could handle. We pride ourselves on the attention we give each student and we did not want to risk compromising this important part of what we are,” stated Kassner. The limit, now at one hundred enrollments per month, is expected to increase as the university adds staff.
When asked how Andrew Jackson can cover its costs without charging for tuition, Kassner replied that one of the biggest expenses colleges incur is the cost to recruit a student. “A recent Wall Street report estimated acquisition cost per student to be as high as twenty-seven hundred dollars. We’ve eliminated that cost by working with sponsors who recruit for us. And we pass our reduced cost on to the student,” said Kassner. “Sponsors get more attention, we get more students and everybody is happy, especially the students,” he concluded.
Andrew Jackson University www.aju.edu, located in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, offers eleven degree programs, all online, and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council www.detc.org.
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