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September 20, 2012 11:00 AM For-Profits Prior to Community College?

By Daniel Luzer

One for-profit college has an interesting new plan to try to appeal to students: use us to get credits before attending community college.

According to a piece by Joanne Jacobs at the The Hechinger Report:

Nearly half a million community college students are on wait lists in California this fall. UniversityNow, a “social venture” based in San Francisco, is offering a low-cost, online option. California community college students will be able to sign up for 19 general-education courses offered online by Patten University at the community college price: $46 per credit ($138 for a three-credit course) plus $40 total for books. Courses will run from Nov. 5 through Dec. 21.

Wait-list, it’s worth pointing out, doesn’t mean the same thing for students applying to California Community Colleges that it does for traditional students. Because of increased demand, many community colleges in the state have told students they can’t attend until space becomes available. This leaves many out of luck. Patten University at least gives such students the option of earning credits in the meantime.

Online Patten courses are normally about $73 per credit.

The Patten credits will “probably” transfer, explains Jacobs. But the company tells students to “double check with registrars to confirm credit transferability prior to registering for classes.”

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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