The New Proprietary Online Learning Model To Offer Fully Accredited, Postsecondary Education To Busy Adults — Minus the Direct Loan Debt.
THE PROBLEM IS WELL KNOWN, and the personal stories that follow are often tough ones, with a narrative that has become all too familiar.
College tuition costs have skyrocketed over the last twenty years, and the accompanying student loan debt has increased dramatically, financially shackling young adult graduates and too often delaying individual dreams. But what happens when an educational company believes that American colleges and universities have a social obligation to solve the cost crisis?
We like to tell our children that they can “own their future,” and today, fortunately, they have become increasingly assured that we mean what we say. It is one thing to offer encouragement in the form of an upbeat refrain. However, it is quite another to tackle these two enormous impediments to higher education, affecting the majority of students seeking an advanced degree. Swelling college tuition costs and massive student loan debt are, after all, no small matter.
The crush of numbers can still be surprising, not to mention intimidating: 70 percent of 2013 graduates had a median average of just under $29,000 in student loan debt. Only one year later, the average debt load was around $33,000. Even adjusting for inflation, that figure is more than double what students had to pay back just 20 years ago. From 2005 to 2012 alone, average debt jumped a whopping 35%. Americans today owe a staggering $1.2 trillion in student loans, a number that now surpasses total credit card and auto loan totals.
Dreams Delayed By Student Loan Delinquency
As though that was not enough, the Wall Street Journal recently published “The Student Loan Problem is Even Worse than Official Figures Indicate”. In which they reported that nearly a third of all Americans now struggling to pay down their student debt are at least a month behind. Delinquencies on student loans are far higher than other types of consumer credit, and that includes mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans. These are facts that can shake a student’s confidence in the future – specifically, their OWN financial future.
Clearly, something needed to be done.
We asked ourselves, how can any graduate hope to “own their degree,” let alone their future, burdened with heavy college loans? The immediate answer is that students need to be able to graduate college without incurring crippling direct loan debt. But how, amid the skyrocketing tuition costs of the traditional university model that sits at the heart of student debt problem, could that be possible?
Own Your Degree. Own Your Future
As an alternative to the standard university model that sits at the heart of student debt problem, Patten slashed tuition costs, with development of an award-winning outcomes-focused online learning model, designed to make higher education accessible and affordable to all, no matter their age, location, ethnicity or financial situation. Flexible scheduling gives working adults the ability to adjust their pace to meet the demands of their busy schedule. Exams are scheduled when students are ready to take them. Once a student understands the material they can test out of the course and move ahead. With open enrollment and an affordable pay-as-you-go approach, there’s no need for student loans.
Long Term Advantages Of Graduating Without Direct Loan Debt
This allows students working full-time, many of which are parents, to maintain their job and afford their studies in the present. And most importantly enjoy the long-term advantages of graduating without the burden of student debt, creating wider possibilities. Upon completion, Patten University graduates can often hold out for better paying, more promising jobs longer than indebted students. They are also more likely to afford a monthly home mortgage sooner or even start a family years earlier.
Emerging as a new model in higher education, Patten meets all eligibility requirements for corporate tuition reimbursement. So it is no surprise that employer partnerships have played a large role in our expansion. Through tuition assistance employees can to keep their current job and work towards advancing their career at the same time. Since Patten tuition cost is lower than the typical amount offered by employers through tuition assistance, employees can earn their college degree at no cost, books included. This is a game changer.
Increasing possibilities by eliminating the need for additional student loan debt is not only the benevolent thing to do, at Patten we believe it is the responsible thing to do. After all, public taxpayers fund just under $200 billion a year in government aid to higher education. So isn’t it incumbent upon all U.S. colleges and universities to make sure they use every tool they have to increase access and lower costs for their students?
This socially responsible, fully accredited online university thinks so.
About The Author: Bryan Newman, CEO of UniversityNow
With twenty years of progressive leadership experience as a senior executive in environments ranging from start-ups to multibillion-dollar companies, Bryan brings a fully-developed expertise of the higher education industry and global markets to UNow, parent company of Patten University.
Bryan’s career in the field of higher education has involved a variety of non-traditional schools designed for adult learners, but he describes Patten University model as “the best thing I’ve seen in 18 years.”
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