Technology is key to reducing college education costs

Technology is key to reducing college education costs


Technology is key to reducing college education costs


Ever growing college education costs are becoming a great problem for students worldwide. Especially in the USA, where the student loans are almost as high as housing debts, according to Forbes. Is there a way to reduce the costs of college education and at the same time improve the quality of an educational system?

Two major causes for the increase in tuition fees and general college education costs are cuts in the budget for education and an increasing number of students. In order to keep the quality of programs and teaching staff, colleges turn to such a short-term pricing strategy.

While this move used to sound logical, it actually leaves the impression that college councils haven’t been coming up lately with any plausible ideas on how to optimize the costs.


Is today’s high-level education actually worth it?


Beside ridiculously high costs, there’s even a bigger problem. As technology progresses, it’s becoming more apparent that skills acquired through traditional educational models do not suffice for the modern market. Very common situation when students have to take additional courses after college to fill in the gap or acquire additional skills that needed for work, for example, like an essay writing.

In the era of Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy… and hundreds of other online free learning platforms, it is far easier (and cheaper) to gain practical knowledge this way and then hop quickly into the job market.

Technology allows the students to learn on the go while providing them with up-to-date knowledge. There’s no need anymore to jump through a lot of expensive hoops in order to land a job you want.

So, in order to gain back their relevancy on the market, colleges have to implement a blended approach – traditional education + modern technology.

Such a combination would help:

1) To improve traditional teaching models, as they aren’t bringing any more results, thus making degrees useless on the market

2) To optimize and reduce the costs of college education


How to reduce the costs of college education with technology


There are numerous ways to do that, and all of them require the active involvement of professors and students. Let’s go through 5 ideas that could be implemented really quick, with reasonable efforts and probably immediate results.


1.eLearning Platforms


Place-based education was popular since the founding of a first school. Professor talks, students listen. We have to accept the fact that things have changed.

MOOCs became quite popular since MIT released free lectures and course materials in 2002. If we would replicate the model of MOOCs and implement them into the regular education system, that would allow students to drastically save money and time.

They would have no relocation costs, no costs of living. They could work while studying, thus acquiring the necessary job experience.

Colleges would spare a lot of money on classrooms, bills and even teaching staff. Once recorded lectures and modules could be reused many times and only updated when needed. That would leave time for high-quality mentoring and practical assignments that require teamwork and guidance.


2.Mobile Learning


The same principles apply to the increasingly popular mobile learning. An average US mobile user spends 5 hours per day on their mobile device. Mind-boggling, right?

Official college apps with optimized chunks of learning materials could be a perfect opportunity to hijack students’ attention and help them to learn on the go, in a cafe, while waiting for a bus…

This would shorten the time needed to share information and insights, making it easier to assign tasks, providing real-time collaboration, and reducing costs related to place-based education.




Chatbots are becoming quite common and popular nowadays. Chances are you’ve had a conversation with a chatbot  at least once so far. They have proven to be quite effective at providing quick support.

For example, if a student needs help from a student support office during the weekend, a Chatbot algorithm could provide a FAQ. This would cut administration costs and spare time.

If they can’t remember a definition of a term during a lecture, Chatbot could also provide snippets of information from the previous lecture.

That would prevent unnecessary interruptions during the class. A professor could cover all the topics he has to, while the student won’t be needing any additional classes afterwards just to keep up with the pace.


4. AI, Deep Learning and Standardized Testing


Standardized tests are a controversial topic, with many pros and cons. One thing is sure – they require a lot of time and resources to assess and analyze.

AI & Deep Learning would definitely solve this problem because they can assess and analyze large chunks of data faster than any human. Analyzed data could help in finding weak points, certain patterns in progress, measuring students’ interest, and provide valuable insight into a current state of knowledge/satisfaction/motivation… among the group of students.

After analyzing patterns, AI could provide students with personalized quizzes and tests, in order to help them out with difficult topics.

This kind of automated learning process requires a lot less money than it would require to hire someone.


5. E-Workbooks

An average US student spends roughly 1250$ on college books during an academic year, not considering amount of money that spend on side academic writing services like Pro-Papers. Now multiply that with a number of students. E-Workbooks would not only save money but also budgets of colleges.

AI could be used to assess assignments or provide an additional learning experience for students while reading, like links, additional references or interesting facts…

It’s 2019. It’s time to save trees.

The greatest benefit of technology is that it can be applied to almost everything today. There’s no reason to be afraid that technology would replace us. It would actually allow to optimize our everyday mundane tasks, automate them, and focus on creativity.

The same applies to colleges and professors. It would allow them to adapt quickly to a fast-paced world, cut the costs and save students’ money. Most importantly, it would create an opportunity to leave the paperwork behind and focus on real teamwork, innovations, and creativity.


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