You are here

Articles: Revenues

Online education providers say university and college clients considering developing MOOCs as a long-term strategy need to think about the economies of scale gained and how long courses can last before the content gets out of date.

See which colleges and universities are paving the way in analyzing business models for MOOCs

An increasing number of colleges and universities are offering MOOCs, but few have crunched the numbers to determine whether these online courses can succeed as a business proposition. Where return-on-investment conversations are happening, they generally aren’t leading to comprehensive analysis.

Some institutions, however, are paving the way in their attempts to analyze the potential of MOOCs as a business model.

With funding cuts threatening research and other projects, some institutions hoping to promote innovation are following the trend of raising money through social networking.

Leaders at public flagship universities, regional institutions, and community colleges are reporting more capped enrollments than in past years, according to “2013 National Survey of Access and Funding and Issues in Public Higher Education” released last month by the Education Policy Center at The University of Alabama.

In the life of an institution, the chief financial officer helps drive the big narrative, but also digs down into the day-to-day. A CFO is strategist and analyst, decision-maker and inspirer, and protector and possibility-seeker all in one.

The prospect of employees with more money to invest, easier-to-understand investment options, more personalized customer service, and lower fees has colleges and universities rethinking their retirement plans and moving toward a single retirement services vendor.

Congress passed a continuing budget resolution in March, funding the federal government for another six months. Included in that resolution was an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) prohibiting the National Science Foundation from funding political science research unless it is certified as promoting America’s national security or economic interests. Political science receives roughly $10 million annually in NSF research support and was the only academic discipline singled out.

Bringing a shopping cart experience to online donors so they can give to multiple areas but only check out once is a big step for institutional advancement offices to make. Yet, as involved a project as that is, there are always enhancements that can be made to the shopping cart itself and to other areas of the giving website. Here are 15 ideas and actions worth modeling:

How might a company or institution profit from a MOOC? Here are eight possible strategies, as outlined in Coursera's contract with the University of Michigan.

Massive open online courses are all the rage. By allowing anyone to take an online course—in the original form and without receiving a recognized credential from an institution—MOOCs appear to skirt the edges of the complex, multilevel regulatory framework governing American higher education. By different names, these courses have actually been around for years, but the promotion of MOOCs by prestigious American institutions has created a tsunami of interest. In the age of the MOOC are fascinating possibilities for advancing access to quality higher education.

At Tuesday’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Barack Obama discussed the importance of education at all levels and after putting emphasis on early education and job training for high schoolers, he asked colleges and universities to work to make higher education more affordable for students. 

A particular anonymous couple, both Cornell University alumni, could be considered the proverbial advancement officer’s dream. They met in high school, attended college on scholarship, embarked on successful careers after graduation, and raised three children—all of whom attended their alma mater. Recently retired, they’ve now decided it is payback time.

They have joined other alumni, some fraternity and sorority groups, and a state grape growers association in choosing to channel their philanthropy through a donor-advised fund (DAF) account administered by Cornell.

Type “MOOC” (massive open online course) into Google, and you get 2.7 million hits. Type in “MOOC business model,” and you get about 110,000 hits, most of them considering what a viable business model will or should be. More concretely, referring to the websites of the most popular online course providers—Coursera, Udacity, or edX—one is hard pressed to find a clear business model that works, in particular for the institutions that provide the course content.

Could the admission of Grand Canyon University (Ariz.) into the Western Athletic Conference help change the perception of for-profits among the higher education community?