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Deal of the Day: Tuition Cuts?

September 7, 2011 Digital Media Solutions

GrouponYesterday, National Louis University announced they are running a Groupon “deal of the day” coupon offering a 60-percent discount on tuition for a grad-level course. This interesting approach has, at the very least, garnered a great deal of “buzz” for the school, with over 100 articles to date, in a wide range of publications (not to mention a lot of activity on Twitter and other social media sites).

As the first offer of its kind, the school took on a number of risks by testing out this marketing strategy. I suspect in the coming days, we’ll hear the usual suspects share in their criticism over how this is another sign that the for-profit sector is turning education into a commodity, and how it illustrates that for-profits are willing to stoop to any level to recruit new students.

But when you read the fine print, it actually appears that the opposite may be true. In fact, the Groupon deal offers a discount on an “Introduction to the Profession and the Craft of Teaching” course that was designed specifically for Groupon, to “guide you through making the right decision about whether this vitally important profession is for you.” Upon completion, the course credit can be applied to a Masters in Education degree at the University, but no further commitment is required.

This may actually be a really effective way for prospective students to ensure they are a good fit for both the school and the course material, without the financial and other personal commitments a full degree requires. And by using Groupon to promote the deal, I suspect the University reached a much broader audience than they could with through other, more traditional channels.

Many schools struggle with retention concerns; one of the biggest challenges is finding ways to better screen for students that are prepared to take on the demands of a program before they begin. Maybe National Louis University is on to something here by offering a highly-discounted opportunity for students to “test the waters before taking the plunge.”

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Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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