Online higher education has a bad reputation. That's understandable. Historically, graduation rates were low, learning was hard to verify, and credits were over-priced. But that's no longer the case.
Competency-based education (CBE), a small and growing niche of post-secondary education, offers demonstrable and work-force aligned learning. These programs, like College for America, are non-profit, regionally-accredited, and workforce-aligned. Most importantly, they're affordable.
Average in-state university tuition is $9,139. College for America is $2,500. This affordability is because competency-based universities are not encumbered with the secondary costs of brick-and-mortar universities.
Learning is improved through a project-based curriculum that ensures they master the material. This provides artifacts that students can show employers to demonstrate learning. Here's what it looks like for a student:
When paired with employer-funded tuition reimbursement (as seen at Starbucks) it's possible to imagine a world where working students can go to college for free.