Martin Center column highlights an affordable college option

Vance Fried writes for the Martin Center about higher education that won’t break the bank.

At TEL Library we’ve taken a major step toward reducing the cost of college with the launch of our Courses-on-Demand program. Through this program, students anywhere in the U.S. can take college courses that are entirely self-paced and allow students to start anytime they desire. The all-inclusive cost of these courses is $44 per credit hour, which includes all fees and course materials.

For those waxing nostalgic about the good old days when college was affordable, this is better than the good old days. Inflation-adjusted to 1970 dollars, our pricing translated to $6.68 a credit hour, and that’s without a dime of state or federal subsidy.

TEL Library is a non-profit educational publishing and technology organization located in Oklahoma City. Our mission is to make a quality college education affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time. We aren’t an accredited college, but rather partner with regionally accredited colleges and universities to provide online and blended college general education and advanced high school courses. We piloted our courses with 998 students in 2019 and are now making them available to the public through our Courses-on-Demand program. …

… The student pays $99 per course for a 3-credit-hour course. That $99 includes all course materials and instruction, as well as technology and exam proctoring fees. In addition, the student pays the partner college a $200 annual enrollment fee that covers up to six courses, then $33 for any courses above the six-course limit. If the student only takes one course in the year, their cost is $299, or $100 a credit hour. For six courses and up, the student pays $44 a credit hour. That means a student can take a year of college for $1,320.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...