Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering in which colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the internet, reports TheBigMoney.com. The business model that sustained private U.S. colleges can’t survive. The real force for change is the market: Online classes are just cheaper to produce. Community colleges and for-profit "education" entrepreneurs are already experimenting with dorm-free, commute-free options. Distance-learning technology has just hit its stride after years of glitchy videoconferences–and will keep improving. Innovators have yet to tap the potential of the aggregator to change the way students earn a degree–much like the news business in 1999. And as major universities offer some core courses online, we’ll see a cultural shift toward acceptance of what is still, in some circles, a "Phoenix U" joke. It’s hard to predict the precise pace of change–but it’s possible that within 15 years, most college credits will come from classes taken online…

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