Breakthrough: Online Bachelor’s Degree for $19,200

Jim ShimabukuroBy Jim Shimabukuro

Mount Washington College, accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools, is offering Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Administration: Management, Business Administration: Marketing, Information Technology. It’s also offering Associate’s Degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, and Information Technology. The following are excerpts from the press release, 11/18/13:

With a tuition structure starting as low as $4,800 per academic year ($2,400 per term), students can complete an IT bachelor’s degree for less than $20,000, making it among the most affordable regionally accredited programs in the United States. Mount Washington College also offers business degree programs within the same highly affordable tuition structure.

 Mount Washington College, 3 Sundial Ave, Manchester, NH ‎

Mount Washington College, 3 Sundial Ave, Manchester, NH ‎

Consistent with Mount Washington College’s instructional philosophy, the IT degree program allows students to pace themselves, managing the intensity of work and completion of their degree based on their individual timetable. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of adult learners who are often balancing a full-time job and raising a family with other scheduling demands and life commitments. Student Mentors are there to help right from the start, serving as a resource to students from the time of admission through graduation. 

To apply to the Information Technology program at Mount Washington College, prospective students will be required to have qualifying standardized test scores, previous college credit, or pass the customized entrance self-assessment that measures five separate online learning readiness categories. More information can be found at


This is a breakthrough. It’s truly disruptive — “designed to meet the needs of adult learners who are often balancing a full-time job and raising a family with other scheduling demands and life commitments.” A college finally realizes that online courses don’t have to cost as much as — and definitely not cost more than — traditional and blended onground courses. Now that the sluice has been opened a crack, other colleges are sure to follow.

When colleges unbundle courses from classrooms, they realize that the savings can be passed on to their students. It’ll be interesting to see how these online offering will impact traditional students in on-campus courses and programs. My guess is that many, over time, will opt for this lower cost alternative.

The revolution has begun.

One Response

  1. This really is a big deal. Compare with typical tuitions of $20,000 PER SEMESTER. However, as Jim remarks, this is opening the sluice only a “crack.”

    Let’s begin with the majors offered. Accounting, business administration, management, marketing,and IT are among the least expensive majors to deliver. Contrast, for example, with nursing or engineering. They’re also among the easiest to offer online.

    Next, note the qualifier in the press release, “starting as low as.” Where have I seen that before?

    Despite the limited nature of this roll-out, it has some really significant pieces. The student mentors is a big deal for online courses. You must have help to navigate to a college degree. Even the best student will find it valuable at some point(s) in the degree path. Pacing also is very important because most are doing more than just studying.

    The fact that this is an accredited institution also makes the announcement news.

    Many ask whether we need more lawyers. The same question may be asked about business majors. We have shortages in engineering and health care that this school won’t be filling. Will they deliver the same old business curriculum, or will they turn out entrepreneurs and innovators?

    It’s a step. It’s an important step. But, it’s only a beginning. I’d like to see the flood and see it channeled where it will do our country the most good.

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