Purdue University, a flagship public institution in Indiana, is jumping into online education by buying for-profit Kaplan University with the aim of creating a new, public online university. The highly unusual acquisition will extend Purdue’s reach to more working adults while building an additional revenue stream at a time when state funding is uncertain.
Essentially, what Purdue will do is create a new, online campus to what Penn State did in creating the Penn State World Campus in the 1990s. Purdue will add about 30,000 students in the process and expand its reach in a major way.
What I hope Purdue can achieve is delivering a Purdue degree through its online campus where tuition covers the cost of academic instruction, but is not used to fund other revenue-hungry areas of the university.
Earning a degreee from a Penn State or Purdue should be dramatically less expensive than earning the same degree on a residential campus.