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US: First-year online pathway program launched

Three US institutions have joined forces with online course provider StraighterLine and education management business Campus3 to create a ‘First-Year Online Value’ program that allows international students to start their studies in their home country while waiting for a visa.

The program allows international students to start their studies in their home country while waiting for a visa. Photo: Pixabay

The initial focus is on students from India, South and South East Asia and the Middle East

Launched in January 2019 and offered entirely online, the pathway allows students to “potentially save over $40,000” while combining up to two semester’s worth of online coursework with additional enrolment assistance and academic support.

“Students can potentially save over $40,000”

Upon matriculating at a participating school–  currently consisting of Fisher College in Boston, National Louis University in Chicago or New England College in New Hampshire – up to a year’s worth of credit can be transferred.

“Attracting international students [to the US] is getting tougher and tougher,” explained Campus3 CEO Andrew Subryan.

“This program lets universities and colleges offer a more affordable option while giving prospective students a potential edge in the study visa approval process.”

Speaking to The PIE News, director of content at StraighterLine Beth Dumbauld said their college and university partners are excited about the value of offering a low priced pathway program to international students.

“It’s a strong offering to help them differentiate themselves from other schools, and at the same can help them deliver value to their students prior to their matriculation on campus,” she said, adding that the partnering schools were chosen based on their commitment to supporting international students.

Dumbauld explained that at a cost of $2,000 for tuition per semester (15 credits), the program enables students to earn up to a year’s worth of credit that can be transferred, upon matriculation, at one of the schools participating in the program.

“This allows students to start in year two of their degree program upon arrival in the US or Canada,” she explained. “With the tuition savings, students can potentially save over $40,000 – depending on their chosen university and city – with the pathway.

“Additionally, as an online student, students can study from where they already live, which eliminates the average $10,000 per year in housing and living costs that most traditional college students have to pay.”

Dumbauld told The PIE that the initial focus is on recruiting students from India, South and South East Asia and the Middle East, where Campus3 has an established recruiting base.

“Students will be guided through the college admissions process by Campus3, who will also help them with visa paperwork,” she added.

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