Online universities could benefit from the pandemic

The pandemic could be the break for which online universities have been waiting. This fall, students may be leery about going into debt and risking exposure to the virus.

Cato education expert Neal McCluskey says traditional colleges are going to have to make changes.

"They're all gonna have to have contingency plans to move whatever courses they have going on to online instruction."

McCluskey says this is a demonstration of the benefits of virtual classrooms.

"More people are going to realize that they can get a viable education online, that it is less expensive to deliver education online than to do it in person."

McCluskey says there's another way -- online universities.

"It makes a lot more sense for me to stay home and not pay for recreation facilities and expensive dorms and food plans and to get my education, efficiently, in the comfort of my own home, largely sitting in front of my computer."

McCluskey says rich kids will probably continue to go to traditional schools, but others will see the advantage of not having to go into debt and get an online degree.

Lots of students are suing universities to get refunds for in-person classes never held. McCluskey says they're certainly entitled to refunds for fees they paid.

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