President Obama is giving a speech Tuesday at Georgia Tech about student debt burdens facing Americans, and the White House says the Atlanta university is the perfect place for him to make his remarks.
Georgia Tech has high job placement rates, debt-free enrollment for certain qualified instate students, and an online master’s degree in computer science, Cecilia Muñoz, White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That online program could be a model for making college cheaper, according to Muñoz.
The program could “..serve as a blueprint for helping the United States address the shortage of people with advanced computer science and other STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths] skills,” according to Tech.
Georgia Tech is one of the first universities to offer an entirely online master’s degree in computer science, and the two-year degree is less than $US7,000. (Typical tuition for a master’s degree at a top school like Tech would usually be 10 times that cost.) The online degree program began in the fall semester of 2013 as a joint venture between Georgia Tech, Udacity, an education nonprofit, and AT&T.
A stalwart in the technology field, Georgia Tech’s innovative online degree has grown into a program highly touted by higher education proponents for offering an alternative to traditional campus learning at much lower costs.
President Obama is a supporter of the online program, praising the high quality course work provided, “at a fraction of the cost of a traditional class,” in a speech he gave at the University of Buffalo.
Tech’s undergraduate college also has an excellent reputation. Tech says 70% of students report having a job or an acceptance to graduate school prior to graduation. Tech also offers the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Program, which provides students with family income under $US33,300 additional aid to ensure they can leave school debt-free.
The discussion, due to start at 1:30, will focus on topics of college affordability and access to higher education, both of which have been major agenda items for the White House recently. The White House unveiled its America’s College Promise initiative in January, which offered two years of community college free to eligible students.
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