Growing interest in online college as economy continues to turn around
NORCROSS, Ga., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It has been nearly two years since the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) deemed the recession officially over. According to NBER, while not overtly noticeable, gross domestic product is reported to be growing, industrial production increasing, income expanding, and the unemployment rate slowly improving.
However, the fallout continues to have impact at the state level where budget cuts have had significant effects on health care, services to the elderly and disabled and education. In fact, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Georgia's FY2011 state funding for public higher education has been cut by $151 million or 7 percent. As a result, undergraduates at several public universities have experienced a 16% tuition hike starting with the fall 2010 semester.
Moreover, Georgia is not alone. The same report listed a total of 43 states that have cut higher education since the start of the recession in December 2007. When setting budgets, states are focusing on spending for health care and K-12 education, leaving higher education to make up the shortfall on its own. In addition to increasing tuition and fees, some states have considered more drastic measures such as closing departments or entire campuses, limiting student enrollment and laying off staff.
Online College is a viable alternative for retraining and earning a degree
While Georgia's unemployment rate has slowly started to improve and new claims have fallen by 38% during the first quarter, at 10.2 percent, it remains significantly higher than the national average of 8.9. This lack of employment has caused many would-be workers to consider returning to school to brush up on skills or to retrain for new careers. However, the impact the economy has had on the state's higher education system is not making it easy.
The good news is online education schools such as Ashworth College (http://www.ashworthcollege.edu) offer accredited degrees that are as much as 50% less the cost of their brick and mortar counter parts, making it possible to earn a quality college education without spending a lot of money. The curriculum is comparable in quality and developed by working professionals to ensure that graduates have the job skills that matter most to employers.
"At $240 a class, tuition at Ashworth College is considerably less than four-year public or private institutions. We are an incredible value, and more and more students are recognizing this," said Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Ashworth Vice President of Education. "Additionally, for working adults going back to school, our study 'anytime, anywhere' format allows students to continue to work if they choose."
She went on to explain that because there is no added cost for textbooks and other expenses typically associated with higher education, such as room and board, childcare and transportation costs, are reduced or non-existent, it allows many working adults to benefit from nearly $4,000 in additional savings.
Additionally, because Ashworth offers low, interest-free, monthly pay-as-you-go payment plans, students graduate without incurring any student loans debt.
About Ashworth College
As a leader in online education, Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence spanning 25 years, offering students worldwide more than 115 online college programs, online certificate programs, career training and high school online diplomas that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth also offers military education online as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.
Headquartered in Norcross, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. James Madison High School is further accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). SACS CASI is an accreditation division of AdvancED. For more information, visit http://www.ashworthcollege.edu.
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Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Ph.D.
SOURCE Ashworth College