The issue of the price and cost of distance education courses has been discussed in the past in numerous publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. There is a long-held belief among legislators, governors, and other leaders that distance courses should cost less to produce and deliver. Therefore, the price paid by enrolled students should also be less.
WCET last conducted research on this topic in the spring of 2012 in conjunction with the Campus Computing Project. To re-evaluate the trends in this area, we formed a committee to draft questions and conducted a survey in 2016. The goal of this report is to present updated, detailed information about the price and cost of distance courses as viewed by 197 survey respondents who are on the front lines of offering distance courses. We also conducted interviews with leaders who have researched this issue to gain their insights on the future.