A recent NYT article reports that the high cost of gas has caused college students to opt for online classes more and more. Unlike students at Wesleyan,
The vast majority of the nation’s 15 million college students — at least 79 percent — live off campus, and with gas prices above $4 a gallon, many are seeking to cut commuting costs by studying online.
For the most part, this affects community colleges, which offer a lot more online courses. However, the article takes it a little extreme when the president of a community college in Florida expresses “concern that mounting fuel costs could force some students to drop out of college altogether, especially since only a fraction of courses at most colleges are offered online.”
Also, the article recognizes that online courses do exclude certain categories of people, mainly those students who live in rural (and to add, poor inner-city) areas:
“The infrastructure doesn’t exist to give all rural students clear online access,” said Stephen G. Katsinas, a professor at the University of Alabama. “Rural America is where the digital divide is most dramatic.”
It appears that this is more of an incendiary piece to fuel the dreaded gas-scare uproar, but maybe for once Wesleyan’s on-campus living rule can be appreciated.