The answer is volume. Plus, colleges still receive state funding, application fees and the like for every student they enroll. Officials at UTA and Lamar University also said they’ve renegotiated their contracts to keep a bigger share of the tuition.
Are online classes cheaper than traditional ones? Are they better? It’s hard to generalize.
Experts say online classes tend to have a lot of upfront costs but can be cheaper in the long run. Quality depends on whether the professors work to customize the class for an online format.
The names of some online education companies and their executives have surfaced during recent debates on the mission of the state’s top universities. Perry and some UT and Texas A&M regents have pressed campuses to enroll more students, reduce expenses and put more emphasis on teaching.
Some proposals worry alumni, faculty and students about preserving educational quality at the state’s flagship schools.
UTA offered its first online courses more than a dozen years ago, to serve more students — like those working, raising families or serving in the military. Three years ago, UTA signed up with Academic Partnerships to help with education and nursing online programs.
The company has helped UTA increase its nursing program from 1,900 students to more than 6,600 in just two years.
“Our experience with them has been nothing but outstanding,” said Michael K. Moore, a UTA senior vice provost, who also teaches political science on campus and online.
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