University absorbs cost of missing federal aid for online program

It’s sort of the academic version of a buffet vs. a la carte, consumed at one’s own pace. A typical degree will require mastering eight to 15 competency sets under the flexible program. The competencies and assessments for each degree will be determined by UW faculty, who also will handle grading.

Thursday was the launch day for the first 40 students in four of the five flexible degree programs offered through UW-Milwaukee and UW Colleges. The fifth program doesn’t launch until March 3. Additional programs in the flexible format are expected to be announced by other campuses over the next few years.

Each of the current programs accepted only 10 students to start this month. Additional students will be added the first of each month as the program ramps up. Students can enroll at the first of any month, year-round.

UW officials have said that if just one-third of the 700,000 to 1 million Wisconsin adults who have some college credit could earn a degree, it would significantly raise the state’s number of college graduates. Currently, 26 percent of Wisconsin adults have a degree; the national average is 28 percent.

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