In light of budget cuts and other struggles in higher education, Florida should consider making its next state university an exclusively online institution according to a Republican Representative Will Weatherford, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Making college more accessible and reducing costs would be two major advantages of the proposal, said Weatherford. According to Andrew Magda, an analyst with education research company Eduventures, Florida would be the first state to attempt such a project. It is hoped that an online university would encourage more students to fill out college applications, and make practical, skills-based degree programs more accessible, which could benefit the state's economy.
"This is a great opportunity for us to bring back into the workforce people who need certain skills or credentials," Gerald Robinson, Florida's education commissioner, told the news source.
The creation of an online college could be one way to address some of the problems faced by education experts in Florida. According to The Washington Post, the state could see up to 17.5 percent reductions in federal education spending in the coming year.
If you're considering filling out a college application, be sure to research whether an online degree program would work for you. Some online courses can be more affordable than traditional campus-based programs.
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