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The Corner


Joined: 03/05/2015 Posts: 17450
Likes: 19136

Interesting but a very slanted and self-serving take from a startup guy

This is the long form of his elevator pitch of 'why you should invest in my e-classroom startup'.

Credentialing: He overemphasizes the credentialing on the admissions front-end and ignores/dismisses the credentialing of completing the curriculum over a 4+ year interval and graduating. Online degrees with tougher admissions requirements are still going to be seen as second-rate because they have lower standards and lower effort to complete. And everyone knows they are mass-market with lower admissions standards to boot. The online education industry has a SEVERE credibility problem to try to catch up to literally centuries of reputation building by residential universities.

Gap Year: He is wildly exaggerating the potential reduction in admissions next year. No way 10-30% of residential admissions will be replaced by 'gap years' or online offerings except in schools that are not offering a residential option.

Revenue Model: Most schools LOSE money on professors and undergraduate curriculum. It is their loss leader while they make money on federal and state grants-in-aid, donations by alumni, endowment earnings, proprietary business activities that are tax-advantaged (e.g. real estate speculation), and room and board markups. Online alternatives give up all the profit centers in exchange for a more efficient way to deliver the money-losing side of the business. Its like the National Change Bank skit from SNL - how do you make money teaching students at a loss? Volume.

(In response to this post by Hoos in da house)

Posted: 05/19/2020 at 2:39PM


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