It is becoming increasingly common for recent college graduates to head right into master's degree programs -- even if they can't afford it. This isn't surprising considering the incredibly high costs of such programs, according to The New York Times. Tuiition for a computer science master's degree costs $57,000 at the University of Southern California and over $43,000 at Syracuse, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon.
Georgia Tech, which has one of the top-ranked computer science programs in the country, is offering an online master's course in computer science for just $7,000, charging students the smallest amount possible to make enough money to keep the program going. For some perspective, a three credit course at USC costs $5,535, while at Georgia Tech such a class would cost $510, according to The New York Times.
Charles Isbell, a senior associate dean in Georgia Tech's College of Computing, told The New York Times that the online program allows him to connect with his students better than before.
"I spend more time helping them with assignments online than I ever do on campus. The experience for the students and for me is much richer online," he said.
The on-campus computer science master's program has around 300 students, while nearly 4,000 are enrolled online, The New York Times reported.
The online classes offer a convenient alternative for nontraditional college students who may be older or employed, as well as an incredibly affordable price tag that is almost impossible to compete with. For those who are rooted where they are and have families, it is a great opportunity.
It will be interesting to see if other institutions take a page out of Georgia Tech's book and work towards making college more affordable for everyone.
Lead Image Credit: George Postoronca via Flickr Commons