Forging the Future: How Much Affordability Can Higher Education Afford?
From WCET and SREB
This fall we have convened over 60 educational technology leaders from more than 30 states in an examination of what role technology can play in making Baccalaureate degrees significantly more affordable. Using the target price of $10,000 suggested by Texas governor Rick Perry earlier this year, and working in teams, the experts identified the issues, trends, and uncertainties surrounding affordability today – and looked at events that could potentially alter affordability in the future.
The results of the investigation give us both tactics that are immediately available to increase affordability using our current fiscal structures and, more importantly, suggest ways we can dramatically impact affordability in the future. In the former we can reduce the cost of a degree, in the latter, the time-to-degree.
Where to start? First and foremost, we wanted to test the affordability implications of applying extensive amounts of technology in providing a Baccalaureate degree. Working from focused discussions with stakeholders, 39 factors of affordability were developed. These included questions like, “Should a new institution be created to deliver a $10K degree in your state?”
Forging the Future participants (online leaders from more than 20 institutions across the U.S.) were asked to rate the importance and predictability of the factors and the results were plotted to identify factors that were highly important and predictable (trends) and those that were highly important but less predictable (uncertainties).