When you check websites like Groupon or LivingSocial for the latest deals in your area, you expect to find a discount for a hair salon or restaurant — not college tuition.
Well, if you're looking to go to National Louis University, you're in luck if you want to find discounted tuition. The university has made a deal with Groupon to offer 60 percent off a graduate level course.
According to Mashable, the deal will be open to 25 buyers who will also need to complete 33 more credits at full price to earn the graduate degree. It cuts the cost of the course from $2,232 down to $950.
“This is … an opportunity for our subscribers to take the first step toward what could be a new career,” said Julie Mossler, Groupon's communications director, in the Mashable article. “National Louis joins an innovative list of merchants who were the first in their industry to experiment with collective buying power, and do it on Groupon.”
It's an idea that's receiving mixed reviews. Is it OK for a daily deals website to start getting involved with higher education? Will people actually use this?
There are parts of this deal that I agree with and disagree with. Should this discount go to someone just because they happened to find it and click on first? I don't think so — I think there should be some sort of screening process to see that those who deserve it the most get it. Not so much on an acadmic basis, but on a financial need basis.
I don't think someone should change their plans drastically in order to use this coupon, either. If you were already planning to attend this school for the program, I think it's a great idea to use it. But just because the first course is cheaper than usual doesn't mean anyone should just randomly decide they want to attend graduate school. You may have saved some cash on that first class, but you're going to have to pay for the rest … and graduate school is expensive.
That being said, I think it is a good first attempt to see how this all pans out. Will the people who use this deal actually finish out the program? Will this actually benefit the people who need this discount? Will other schools jump on the bandwagon? Only time will tell.
[Image from Groupon]