Distance Learning

State University System of Florida Looks to Double Online Enrollment

A system of 12 public universities in Florida has set a goal that will double student enrollment in online classes within a decade. The State University System of Florida (SUSF) wants 40 percent of undergraduate credit hours completed online by 2025.

According to a News4Jax report, at the most recent Florida Board of Governors meeting, the Innovation and Online Committee said that cost is the main factor driving the transition to online courses. The committee wants to make online classes more affordable for students, citing the fact that last year students actually paid more on online classes at certain universities compared to on-campus classes, due to distance learning fees that would range from $15–$55 per hour.

"Most SUS institutions assess a distance-learning fee to cover the incremental costs of developing and delivering distance education courses," according to the board’s report titled “The Cost of Online Education.” At the beginning of this year, the legislature capped the distance learning fees at $30 per hour. Still, students can end up paying more for online courses versus on-site.

The Florida Board of Governors and university leaders are working on ways to drive down the cost further, to provide an incentive for students to shift to online classes.

To learn more about the system’s plan, including SUSF’s cost-saving and cost-avoidance strategies for online education, view the report.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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