Straighterline and the DOE

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Kizmet, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. msganti

    msganti Active Member

  3. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 Member

    Very interesting... I'm a supporter of SL for GE requirements. I looked at their curriculum and it's pretty decent, in my opinion.
  4. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    this is such a disaster of a program. Besides encouraging debt, students who choose to use financial aid for SL courses will be charged 3x more than what SL charges. Predatory.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yep - still. But I think maybe this site gives roughly the same info:

    I didn't see Jennifer's important caveat about costing 3 times the Straighterline price, though. Maybe I missed it. And hasn't SL been through a thing lately with some courses re: its ACE recommendation status?
  7. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I do not think their ACE status has been in jeopardy. They reached the end of their eval window, which is normal, and renewed on schedule.

    But, here are some numbers to think about.
    If I went to SLcom and signed up for 2 classes and completed them both in one month, assuming no coupons or discounts, my total cost would be about $200.
    If I went to Dallas CC district website as an in-state student and registered for 2 classes, my total cost would be about $360
    If I went to the community college website and registered for 2 SL courses, my total would be about $1000... but I can BORROW that money via student loan or get a CASH BACK award when I qualify for a Pell Grant.

    All of you can do math. For the sad chumps that can't, I'm sure they'll be thrilled by this opportunity since it's being sold as a benefit to the student.

    EDIT TO ADD: the BETTER plan is to do your SL courses on your own ahead of applying to the CC and then using your Pell/loan to get cash back off of the difference at their instate tuition rate.

    SL CEO posted on IC regarding this "opportunity." It's such crap. I can't IMAGINE anyone not seeing through the bunk of this program. SL's CEO wrote this:

    "04-23-2018, 09:47 PM
    Hello Everyone –

    Given that the StraighterLine financial aid pathway is new and unusual, we figured we’d weigh in with some insight and details. As most of you know, StraighterLine is not a college. Therefore, StraighterLine students must pay out of pocket and cannot use federal financial aid. For students that can’t afford to pay out of pocket, they must enroll at a traditional college with higher prices using financial aid. However, given the continued growth of students (like all those in this forum) using course providers like StraighterLine, some in the federal Department of Education are trying to change higher education policy to enable students to use financial aid for providers like StraighterLine. As you might imagine, changing federal higher education policy is easier said than done, so the result is a Department of Education experimental program called EQUIP.

    For this particular program, the Department of Education treats the college as outsourcing some of its coursework to the non-college course provider (StraighterLine), but still requires the student to be technically enrolled at the college to be eligible for financial aid. As now, however, students in the program may transfer completed StraighterLine courses to a different college and degree program when they are ready.

    Because the EQUIP program requires the student to enroll at the college (not StraighterLine), the college sets the tuition and the courses adhere to the college’s calendar. The program is more expensive to deliver because the college incurs real costs to administer financial aid. Also, these courses will have more – and more expensive – substantive interaction than required in our $99 a month offering. Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) has set tuition close to its out-of-state tuition rate.

    We recognize that the price of StraighterLine courses through the EQUIP program is more expensive than on our website and the college’s fixed calendar is less convenient than our typical self-paced monthly subscription. While not yet matching up with our current model as much as we would like, it’s an important first step. Especially as it enables those who otherwise would not be able to enroll in StraighterLine to use Pell grants to do so.

    In the future, the price should come down (though still more than our $99 a month subscription because of the added costs of delivery), and we hope to make the self-paced monthly subscription an option. Keep an eye out for more programs like this in the coming months. Thanks to this community for helping to force policymakers to take steps (even if they are baby steps) to make higher education more affordable.


    Burck Smith
    CEO & Founder
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It sounds like Burck is agreeing with you as openly as he can.
  9. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    "Especially as it enables those who otherwise would not be able to enroll in StraighterLine to use Pell grants to do so."

    Naw, he has it backward.
    To advise a student, for them, a BETTER PLAN: enroll at a community college that accepts SL credit. The student takes a full load for the year (30 cr) and their Pell is kicked back as an overpayment. $5600- ~3000 = about $2600 cash. With their cash, they'll buy books AND knock out the remaining 30 credits via SL at a cost of about $600. They can keep the $2000 and save it for future college expenses. The 300/400 level courses are increasingly more expensive and there are only a small handful of ways to reduce costs at that level. Assuming the student continues to qualify for a Pell, they'll have a nice nest egg toward those expenses. This plan, in my opinion, would best serve students in the most dire financial need (the federal govt identifies them through FAFSA) who have an ability to find an efficiency/opportunity and use it to the fullest.
    Then, to look at growth opportunities for SL, if I were in charge of anything, my role would be creating partnerships with as many community colleges as I could - especially the ENTIRE Colorado Community College System which was previously part of the Alternative Credit Project that closed earlier this year. (the WHOLE STATE was in!) All those bridges will fall down if one of the ACP programs (like SL) doesn't get in there and use the opportunity to create a model that can be replicated at the state level. A lot of states (like my state, NC) adopt single policy that covers all community colleges- in other words, a simple credit acceptance agreement would be implemented in all 58 of our schools. Big ROI opportunities are falling through the cracks.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Jennifer. I must have somehow blitzed a few more memory cells. It was ALEKS that went through the "thing" with ACE, but they're OK now, says a reliable informant:
  11. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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