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  1. #1
    dlalum is offline Registered User
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    New online MPA program from USC

    It is expensive, but USC is a great school with a great alumni network. I am always happy to see prestigious schools offering online degrees.

    SPPD to Offer Online MPA Degree - USC News

  2. #2
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    Wow. That's an eye-popping tuition rate...$1,360 per credit hour.

  3. #3
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    The price tag is expensive unless you're funded by the Government.
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  4. #4
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    The price tag is expensive unless you're funded by the Government.
    USC degree pedigree (Brand) can be considered clearly pricey, particularly for those as Tekman writes, e.g. paying their own way (unlikely and in all probability little or no marketing effort toward such) without employment or military /veteran benefit support (e.g. Government /tax payer funded). A high-priced 57-unit Online MPA at $77,520 just in tuition cost alone; only if itís in essence tuition-free / tuition-assisted to the targeted consumer. However, external public sector employment, perhaps organizational development (OD) practitioners /consultants might find utility and practical ROI (?).
    Last edited by major56; 01-11-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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  5. #5
    truckie270 is offline Registered User
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    Northwestern has an online MPA for half the price at $35K. While still cost-prohibitive for most, the Northwestern is ranked higher than USC as far as Tier 1 schools go.

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  6. #6
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanM View Post
    Wow. That's an eye-popping tuition rate...$1,360 per credit hour.
    I can't even fathom... to me, that's like paying $175 for a cheeseburger. The only difference is that the credit hours... aren't delicious
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  7. #7
    dlalum is offline Registered User
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    Northwestern is certainly ranked higher as an overall institution, but not when it comes to the MPA program. USC 's MPA program is ranked in the top 10 nationally. It is also worth noting that the USC online program is offered through the policy school while the Northwestern program is in the department of continuing education .

    I don't disagree that the USC program is way too expensive. I'm not sure how one can justify that price. Even 35k is a lot for an MPA much less what the USC program costs.

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  9. #8
    AUTiger00 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by truckie270 View Post
    Northwestern has an online MPA for half the price at $35K. While still cost-prohibitive for most, the Northwestern is ranked higher than USC as far as Tier 1 schools go.

    Online Master of Arts in Public Policy & Administration Program - Graduate Program - School of Continuing Studies - Northwestern University
    You're comparing apples to oranges, the USC program is offered through their SPPD, while Northwestern's program is through a school of continuing education . There is a distinct difference, even if only perceived, in the quality of each of those programs.
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  10. #9
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUTiger00 View Post
    You're comparing apples to oranges, the USC program is offered through their SPPD, while Northwestern's program is through a school of continuing education. There is a distinct difference, even if only perceived, in the quality of each of those programs.
    In that the USC forthcoming online MPA program version isn’t listed as NASPAA NASPAA - National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration accredited (Northwestern-SCS MPPA also isn’t NASPAA accredited), where’s the distinct /perceived online program quality difference? And on what basis would one conclude the quality of the yet to be launched USC online program in that the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development has yet to officially take its first intake (Fall 2011) of any online MPA students? How might one measure and/or compare actual program qualities between these two (MPA or MPPA) when one (USC ) online program has zero track record? Or should the not yet commenced and untested USC online MPA merely receive a free pass on the back of its SPPD-MPA traditional graduate program? USC seemingly is banking on that with its pricy $77K plus tuition Fall 2011 program /product launch. Consider this apple to oranges correlation … established program (Northwestern) vs. the pending new /late entrant (USC ) online MPA or vice versa.

    Not being argumentative, just some considerations …
    Last edited by major56; 01-11-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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  11. #10
    truckie270 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlalum View Post
    Northwestern is certainly ranked higher as an overall institution, but not when it comes to the MPA program. USC 's MPA program is ranked in the top 10 nationally. It is also worth noting that the USC online program is offered through the policy school while the Northwestern program is in the department of continuing education .

    I don't disagree that the USC program is way too expensive. I'm not sure how one can justify that price. Even 35k is a lot for an MPA much less what the USC program costs.
    I think you are correct with the exception of one thing, the traditional MPA program at USC is ranked in the top 10. The people that care about those distinctions are also the type of people who will not ackowledge that the same program offered online could possibly be of the same quality.

    There may be slight perception difference in the quality of the USC v. Northwestern U. MPA degrees, but in reality it is insignificant to the point of being immaterial. No matter which school the MPAs are offered from within each institution, the fact still remains that these are ONLINE degrees which will not be viewed as comparable to the offerings of the respective schools within each university by those who care (just like we have been discussing with HES degrees). You are correct, APPLES to ORANGES (APPLES = $77K v. ORANGES = $35K) for a distinction that means nothing to anyone except those in the upper tiers of academia.

    Personnally, I would not do either program since the cost is prohibitive for both compared to the what can be obtained from other great schools for a fraction of the price.
    Last edited by truckie270; 01-11-2011 at 04:06 PM.
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  12. #11
    AUTiger00 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by major56 View Post
    In that the USC forthcoming online MPA program version isn’t listed as NASPAA NASPAA - National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration accredited (Northwestern-SCS MPPA also isn’t NASPAA accredited), where’s the distinct /perceived online program quality difference? And on what basis would one conclude the quality of the yet to be launched USC online program in that the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development has yet to officially take its first intake (Fall 2011) of any online MPA students? How might one measure and/or compare actual program qualities between these two (MPA or MPPA) when one (USC ) online program has zero track record? Or should the not yet commenced and untested USC online MPA merely receive a free pass on the back of its SPPD-MPA traditional graduate program? USC seemingly is banking on that with its pricy $77K plus tuition Fall 2011 program /product launch. Consider this apple to oranges correlation … established program (Northwestern) vs. the pending new /late entrant (USC ) online MPA or vice versa.

    Not being argumentative, just some considerations …
    Don't think you're being argumentative, your points are fair. As I mentioned in my previous post, there may be a perceived quality difference, whether there is an actual one is debateable, but because the Northwestern program is offered through a school of continuing education it could create some biases whether justified or not. It's a kin to someone claiming an HES degree is inferior to otherHarvard degrees.
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  13. #12
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    AUTiger00,

    In my view theyíre both overpriced online MPA choices; and hardly any will enter these programs that are anticipated to be individually responsible for funding their own tuition. And due to the high tuition makeup of both, these (USC or Northeastern) MPA programs just arenít geared that way, or for that particular student population.
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  14. #13
    cfa3 is offline Registered User
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    I called USC yesterday to inquire about the program. Man, I got a sales pitch that shocked me! I am naive though, maybe thats how grad school is......but the advisor on the phone all but took a blood sample for me, told me to get my app and resume in by that evening and he will call me tomorrow.....this was all from "I wanted to inquire as to some specifics about the new online program." It was worse than going to a used car lot. I am really surprised a school of this stature would take that approach..........I was revolted. Not to mention, who would think 77K is fair for a masters degree?

  15. #14
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    This would explain every things about USC .

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  17. #15
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfa3 View Post
    I called USC yesterday to inquire about the program. Man, I got a sales pitch that shocked me! I am naive though, maybe thats how grad school is......but the advisor on the phone all but took a blood sample for me, told me to get my app and resume in by that evening and he will call me tomorrow.....this was all from "I wanted to inquire as to some specifics about the new online program." It was worse than going to a used car lot. I am really surprised a school of this stature would take that approach..........I was revolted. Not to mention, who would think 77K is fair for a masters degree?
    Your experience seems to suggest that USC is moving toward the practices that UoP and others engage in where the admission "advisers" are actually salespeople who are paid a commission for each student they bring in. I have seen this done heavily by UoP reps and, to a lesser extent, by Walden. It's just surprising that such a prestigious school as USC would resort to such tactics. I suppose that the high price necessitates high pressure sales. Very disappointing.

  18. #16
    truckie270 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfa3 View Post
    I called USC yesterday to inquire about the program. Man, I got a sales pitch that shocked me! I am naive though, maybe thats how grad school is......but the advisor on the phone all but took a blood sample for me, told me to get my app and resume in by that evening and he will call me tomorrow.....this was all from "I wanted to inquire as to some specifics about the new online program." It was worse than going to a used car lot. I am really surprised a school of this stature would take that approach..........I was revolted. Not to mention, who would think 77K is fair for a masters degree?
    I had the same experience when I called George Washington U. to get some information on a program last fall. It was very intrusive and totally turned me off to even wanting to know more about a program that I had given some serious thought until that point. I believe that the GWU process was handled by an outside contractor and not the school itself. I think everyone on this board should call USC to get information.
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