Online learners deserve the same engaging experience as traditional learners — and colleges have good reason to make it happen.
As we all know, a college education isn’t cheap. For institutions of higher learning, there is a massive opportunity to expand potential enrollment to students who might not have the time or financial resources to attend brick-and-mortar institutions on a full- or even part-time basis. There is also the benefit of enabling students to extend their digital lives into their education.
Unfortunately, however, many colleges and universities are squandering this opportunity. For the past several years, many of these institutions have somewhat begrudgingly embraced the idea of rolling out online education programs, mainly because they must in order to survive and meet the expectations of students today.
Statistics indicate the global online education market is expected to top more than $130 billion in the next few years. Meanwhile, on-campus enrollment is dropping, and the number of students turning to online education is steadily growing. But there is more to these trends than meets the eye.
While colleges and universities are investing in and offering online programs, they are not taking them as seriously as they could. This may stem from a lingering misconception that online curricula are not as rigorous as their face-to-face counterparts. Even when universities do create something innovative, such programs are often buried so deep in the organization that almost nobody knows about them, including the students.
This must change if colleges and universities hope to compete for students and deliver the kind of education they desire and deserve.
When we look at the changing demographics of incoming students today, it’s clear why:
- 28 percent of students now have children
- 62 percent of students must work
- 40 percent of students are 25 or older
- 33 percent of students come from families earning less than $20,000 per year
- 28 percent of students are taking some or all of their classes online
Today, students are not sold on the value of taking on $200,000 in student loans for a degree. Moody’s Investors Service reports that net tuition growth continues to fall. According to Moody’s, 25 percent of private colleges operated with deficits in 2017, and research indicates expenses are outpacing revenues by 2 percent at state-run colleges nationwide. Unless institutions of higher learning make meaningful investments in online learning now — even when faced with budget and time constraints — their future viability will be in doubt. They’re going to be left in the dust by universities that do go down this path.
How to Deliver Superior Online Learning
Colleges and universities have two basic options when it comes to online learning. First, they can opt to build the online practice themselves, committing staff and resources to developing these new products, implementing marketing strategies to identify and recruit students, and adapting infrastructure (online registration, payments, financial aid, student records) as they plan for more online students.
The second option is to outsource the entire operation. There are online program managers that are happy to offer this service — if they believe your specific degree will be marketable. But they will take a sizable portion of the revenue generated for the course, requiring your college to keep online tuition rates just as high as in-person classes. As other institutions launch their own online programs, and the battle of supply versus demand prompts them to lower tuition rates, institutions that rely on OPMs will not be in a strong position to compete.
Regardless of the model chosen, it’s important to embrace pedagogies that leverage synchronous (live) instruction. Merely depositing reading assignments and an occasional video lecture in a learning management system treats online learning as second-class education compared with the types of active debates and discussions you get with in-person or synchronous online instruction.
Online learning should be treated as another business or school within the institution to provide best-in-class modeling for academic departments and faculty, as well as delivering operational efficiencies for the college to thrive in recruiting and supporting students. Many institutions remain unable to make that migration, and most still have their asynchronous content buried in an LMS.
But there are examples of universities and institutions that are getting it right. At Arizona State University, for example, online learning isn’t viewed as substandard to traditional education; it’s just different from it. The university actually has an entire organization dedicated to building innovation into its online education offerings. Indeed, the EdPlus program has its own CEO, a former ASU dean, as well as a team for designing and scaling effective digital learning models. From 2012 to 2018, the university reported that the number of its students graduating with online degrees increased nearly 600 percent to more than 7,000 annually, and the number of programs scaled from 33 to more than 170.
Key to those results is ensuring that online students don’t slip through the cracks. ASU assigns every online student a “success coach,” and the university staffs over 60 of these coaches to support 30,000 students. In fact, EdPlus has several hundred employees. But that journey began with a commitment, a modest investment and a top-down desire to innovate. ASU hired the right people, who may or may not have come from traditional higher education backgrounds, and then empowered them to make the changes necessary to thrive. While decades ago, other colleges may have looked down at online learning and the efforts ASU was exerting, the proof is in the results. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find any institution out there that doesn’t wish it could have the same type of online results that ASU is delivering.
So, one might ask, why aren’t other universities doing this?
Online Learning Must Be Engaging and Interesting
One of the reasons is that the type of technology needed to enable truly meaningful online education hasn’t been there. But I think a more likely reason is that, perhaps, we’ve become too comfortable as educators. Many of us believe that students are willing to accept substandard learning modes, so when we deploy online learning tools, we just do what we’ve always done. We give them books to read, videos to watch and some generic set of activities and pretend it’s all quite sufficient.
In reality, it’s not adequate at all. Just as you had rock star professors in colleges drawing big crowds because they were informative, compelling and entertaining, you also need those fundamentals in online education. Web-based learning must be interesting, engaging and give students the ability to learn their materials in a hands-on and interesting manner.
The technology is being created to make that happen, blending physical and digital components such as augmented and virtual reality, HD cameras, and even 3D printing. But even if you have the greatest technology in the world, it still won’t be enough if your institution doesn’t also accept the idea that online learning is here to stay. It must be a part of your culture. It should be at the forefront of everything you do.
During tough times, the organizations that make the difficult decisions and focus on strategic growth will ultimately have the best chance for future success. Those that choose to do the minimum when it comes to online learning programs are setting themselves up for failure. Those who get innovative and creative with web-based learning, on the other hand, stand to earn a reputation as flexible, modern educators.
Hearing that you have to have a root canal is probably one of the scariest things you can hear when you visit the dentist. A root canal is an endodontic treatment that requires the medical repair of a diseased or injured tooth. According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are 15 million root canals performed each year.1 Stigma about the pain of a root canal is one part of the dread you may face when hearing you need the procedure, but the second thing most people worry about is the cost.
Whether your dentist refers you to a specialist or they do the procedure themselves, there are certain costs that depend on the damage to your tooth. Based on if you have dental insurance or not, here is what you can expect to pay, along with the basic information to know about getting a root canal.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
On average, expect the cost of a root canal without insurance to be around $1,000.2 It is very difficult to estimate the cost without the specifics of your situation, but this info can help. Root Canal treatment usually involves several steps. These factors determine the cost of your root canal:
Your choice of dentist or specialist
Consultation & X-ray fees
Anesthesia and medication to prevent or treat infections
Root Canal location: Front teeth are less expensive than back teeth due to the number of roots or canals.
Extent of damage
Finding a Good Price for a Root Canal
The price ranges above can be confusing if you want to know exactly how much a root canal will cost you. According to FAIR Health, a non-profit organization, a reasonable cost for a root canal will average:3
Front tooth: $762
How Much Will Insurance Pay For a Root Canal?
Dental insurance that covers root canals may have waiting periods, limits, co-pays, or deductibles. Here’s how it works:
For example, your root canal will be $1000. If your limit for the year is $1500 and you have already used up $500 for other dental work, you have $1000 available for your root canal. It doesn’t mean you will get $1000.
Find out if there is a deductible or co-pay.
Your insurance may only cover up to a percentage of the cost of the root canal; on average, this could be 35%- 50% of the cost; the best dental plans may pay more.4 Call your insurer to find out how your insurance plan works.
If the dental insurance covers 50% of the $1000 cost of the root canal with no deductible, then your insurance would pay $500 for the root canal, and you would have to pay the remaining $500 out of pocket.
If the cost of your root canal exceeds the limit you had available; then you would have to pay anything over the limit out of your own pocket.
Getting Financing for a Root Canal
There are many options to get dental cost financing like a using a medical credit card, or getting a dental loan.
You may also consider the benefits of using an HSA or FSA.
7 Tips to Save Money on Root Canal Cost
There are a few strategies you can use to save money on the cost of the root canal.
Use a dental discount plan
Find out if you get a discount by paying in cash or one payment
Look for an organization in your state that can help with dental costs.
For example, Dental Lifeline provides free dental care to qualified individuals.5
Check pricing with several dentists or endodontists
Negotiate the cost
Strategically use your dental insurance
Check if you can claim part of the costs through coordination of benefits on a domestic partner or spouse’s insurance
Look into when the limits on your dental insurance reset
Consider the timing to get the most from your insurance
Look into dental schools or endodontic schools to do the procedure
Will Medicare or Medicaid Pay for a Root Canal?
Medicare will not pay for most dental care, including a root canal6
Medicaid covers dental services in some states7
Some Medicare Advantage plans may pay
Where to Get a Root Canal: Dentist vs. Endodontist
An endodontist is a specialist, where a dentist is a generalist. You don’t have to go to an endodontist to get a root canal, of the 15 million root canal procedures done, general dentists did 72%, and endodontists did 28%.1 However, consider that endodontists have years of advanced training and are experts in pain management.
Removing a Tooth to Save Money vs. Doing a Root Canal
A root canal may seem really expensive and you may be tempted to save money by removing the tooth instead.
Never remove a tooth instead of getting a root canal to save money. The costs of tooth removal may be more than root canals when you consider the cost of dentures, bridges or implants, plus the extraction.
If it is suggested to remove the tooth as opposed to doing a root canal, ask for a referral to an endodontist or get a second opinion to make the right choice.8
With all this information, you should have a better idea of the cost of a root canal as well as the tips you need to save money on root canal therapy to get the treatment you need as soon as possible.
Basics to Help You Understand How Insurance Works
U.S. Bancorp is eliminating thousands of branch workers as it adjusts to changing customer preferences, according to a person briefed on the decision.
The cuts will be in the low thousands, the person said, asking not to be identified because the number isn’t public. In a memo seen by Bloomberg, Chief Executive Andy Cecere said U.S. Bancorp “made the difficult decision to eliminate their jobs because customer behaviors have changed.” The total represents less than 2% of the bank’s workforce, according to spokeswoman Molly Snyder. The company had 74,000 workers as of Oct. 16.
30 NOV 2016WORKING PAPER SUMMARIES
The Stock Market and Bank Risk-Taking
by Antonio Falato and David ScharfsteinIt is clear that risk-taking by financial institutions is one of the main causes of financial crises and severe recessions. Yet we know relatively little about what gives rise to such risk-taking in the first place. This paper presents evidence that a focus on short-term stock prices induces publicly-traded banks to increase risk relative to privately-held banks. The findings provide support for the view that compensation schemes should require management to hold stock for longer periods to mitigate their incentives to pump up short-term earnings and the short-term stock price.
We present evidence that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices and earnings leads banks to increase risk. We start by showing that banks increase risk when they transition from private to public ownership through a public listing or an acquisition. The increase in risk is greater than for a control group of banks that intended but failed to transition from private to public ownership, a result that is robust to using a plausibly exogenous instrument for failed transitions. The increase in risk is also greater than for a control group of banks that were acquired but did not change their listing status. We establish that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices helps to explain these findings by showing that the increase in risk is larger for newly public banks that are more focused on short-term stock prices and performance.
Full Working Paper Text
Working Paper Publication Date: September 2016
HBS Working Paper Number: NBER Working Paper Series, No. 22689
Faculty Unit(s): Finance
Private equity buyouts are a major financial enterprise that critics see as dominated by rent-seeking activities with little in the way of societal benefits. This study of 6,000 US buyouts between 1980 and 2013 finds that the real side effects of buyouts on target firms and their workers vary greatly by deal type and market conditions.
We examine thousands of US private equity (PE) buyouts from 1980 to 2013, a period that saw huge swings in credit market tightness and GDP growth. Our results show striking, systematic differences in the real-side effects of PE buyouts, depending on buyout type and external conditions. Employment at target firms shrinks 13% over two years in buyouts of publicly listed firms but expands 13% in buyouts of privately held firms, both relative to contemporaneous outcomes at control firms. Labor productivity rises 8% at targets over two years post buyout (again, relative to controls), with large gains for both public-to-private and private-to-private buyouts. Target productivity gains are larger yet for deals executed amidst tight credit conditions. A post-buyout widening of credit spreads or slowdown in GDP growth lowers employment growth at targets and sharply curtails productivity gains in public-to-private and divisional buyouts. Average earnings per worker fall by 1.7% at target firms after buyouts, largely erasing a pre-buyout wage premium relative to controls. Wage effects are also heterogeneous. In these and other respects, the economic effects of private equity vary greatly by buyout type and with external conditions.