MyEdu: A New College Success Tool
Among the most prohibitive barriers college students face is the cost of an education. For many, that issue's compounded by spending more time in school than they really have to. Only a few more than half the country's college students graduate in six years or less; for 4-year learners, that number's lower than 40%. Michael Crosno, a former business teacher, captains a website designed to cut college costs by helping students choose the quickest path to graduation. The site: MyEdu.
What MyEdu Can Do
MyEdu.com began its existence as the website Pick-a-Prof. There, students could grade their professors, thereby helping future classes know which courses to take and which to avoid. Michael Crosno's taken that purpose and run with it, expanding Pick-a-Prof into the current MyEdu, a more comprehensive college-planning site that some think could have a serious effect on the world of higher education.
MyEdu aims to help students plan their entire college path from the beginning, keeping them on a line that will ideally see them graduate in four years, thereby saving any money that might've been lost meandering through higher education. To do so, MyEdu employs a schedule planner tool that breaks down student workload year by year, semester by semester and day by day. Professor ratings still exist, so students can determine which classes may be most beneficial to them. All of this is based on the plan of study and workload students want; MyEdu just helps them devise the best path given their proclivities.
In addition to saving students time, MyEdu also offers economic help in more directly tangible ways. Through a system similar to Amazon.com's used book marketplace, MyEdu provides an aggregate price list of college textbooks from vendors all around the Internet. Students can see which seller offers the books they need at the cheapest price, which can be a major help when books cost as much as $1,000 per year. Part of MyEdu's revenue stream comes from a percentage of those textbook sales, allowing the site to maintain a free service for students.
So far, it seems MyEdu can report some early success. According to The New York Times, their users boast a 70% on-time graduation rate, almost double the standard national figure. Some have taken that success as a potential indicator of MyEdu's power in the world of higher education, including Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education. She's considering a partnership with the company based on initial results, and thinks that MyEdu could end up saving money not just for students and their families but for educational institutions and even federal and state governments as well.
Has Michael Crosno really found a way to make college more affordable, thereby giving more students a chance at success? It's too early to tell for sure, although MyEdu currently operates in 775 institutions, much higher than the 60 that used Pick-A-Prof when Crosno came on board. One wonders, perhaps, how education policy might be changed using this website - will its use become mandated? That seems unlikely, but perhaps schools will adopt their own version of its degree planner, helping students stay on track and get positive results. Might the 4-year degree be poised to make a comeback?
How are Florida community colleges making the 4-year degree work in innovative ways?