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Cut the Crap - Core Undergrad classes

Decrease the base tuition for students in core curriculum courses or remove those core courses; require they be taken prior to enrollment.

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

University curriculum administrators need to recognize that while these classes are important from the perspective of reputation; but, they are often needless expenses for college students. If the courses are removed from the curriculum, students could essentially save 2 years' worth of tuition. If that's not exactly possible, reducing the cost of those course would help the tuition cost for students.

Many high school students enroll in courses to help them get college credit for early college courses. These classes end with AP Tests or dual-credit courses through a local college. The result is having numerous courses already out of the way upon entering college. If the number of credits finished beforehand is sufficient, students (like myself) can save time and money and graduate early. 


Colleges have base curriculum requirements that must be completed before major-specific or school-specific courses can be taken. A lot of students take these curriculum  required classes outside of their actual university (turning to community colleges, online classes) because they are easier and the students typically don't intend to learn from these classes. So what is the point of having students pay $5,000 per semester for 2 years of classes that they have no intention of pursuing any further?


The solution: require that these courses be taken prior to enrollment. High school students either take a break after graduating to fulfill these requirements through cheaper alternatives or apply to universities two years prior to enrollment. Or the university can partner with local community colleges to offer these courses for underclassmen. If a student will be in full-time hours made up of only core curriculum classes which can be taken at community college, he or she should have the option of taking those courses at a much cheaper cost without permanently forgoing their enrollment in the university. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Place to start: survey students who completed their core curriculum in-house.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

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Photo of Shane Zhao
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Thanks for the post Connor! You might be interested to check out Eric's like-minded idea How To Decrease College Tuition By 25%: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/higher-ed/ideas/how-to-decrease-college-tuition-by-25