In a past not so long ago, a student would graduate from high school and attend a community college or go straight to a big university or college to further his/her education in hopes of getting a decent job to take care of future expenses and retirement. Most of the work would involve a professor delivering a long lecture and/or simply stating his/her name and writing down the assignment for the day. Students would pay tuition for this type of education (that increases roughly 9% every year...twice the rate of stated inflation) in hopes of attaining a degree in whatever discipline - to hopefully find a job when they graduate.
The price of college tuition is astronomical, in some cases, and it keeps going up every year. Students all over the country have protested these persistent increases in the cost of tuition. One reason for the spikes in the cost of education is partly due to the ongoing states' budget shortfalls on which most Universities and colleges depend on. Once this subsidy was cut, a huge part of the cost for a higher education fell back on the students....this spurred sit-ins, protest marches, and even caused some students to not to enroll another semester.
Nevertheless, there are some Universities that are trying a new approach in providing education...almost entirely online...and for free. Schools such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and other top tier schools are engaged in this experiment of offering education online for free. There are several courses available, such as, psychology, business classes, engineering, etc.
So with these top tier schools offering education courses for free...is there a need to pay increasing tuition costs when you can pretty much learn the skills you need over the internet - and for FREE? Not only can you find these courses being offered online at the respective Universities...but YouTube also boasts a ton of educational courses being offered by experienced individuals. I personally have learned a great deal from YouTube and I've listened in on entrepreneurial courses from Stanford University as well.
There is great information (and did I mention FREE information?) to develop minds young and old, and all available to those who have access to the internet. Sure you won't be able to get a degree to hang on your wall - but you'll have the knowledge to be able to start your own company, participate in other startups, or get a headstart and begin working part-time in your major (since you'll know everything already) while obtaining your degree if you so choose. Something to think about! Power to the people.