May 24, 2019 | 62° F

Find new solutions to college expenses

Perhaps the biggest problem with college — aside from unrelenting workloads and nasty hangovers — is how absurdly expensive it is. According to the Project on Student Debt, graduates of the class of 2009 went into $24,000 worth of debt on average just to pay for the privilege of obtaining a degree. Whereas most students look to scholarships — or generous relatives, perhaps — to help defray the rising costs of education, some students at the National Louis University in Chicago (NLU) can now look to an unlikely source of aid: Groupon. According to the Huffington Post, the University is teaming up with Groupon in an attempt to promote its graduate teaching program. Groupon will offer students a 60-percent discount on the tuition for an introduction to teaching class, cutting the original tuition amount for the class from $2,232 to $950. While it's an admittedly odd partnership — an institution of higher education and a website which generally deals in cheap meals — we find ourselves amused by and admiring of the idea.

Levels of student debt are at record highs these days, and that fact has sparked an understandable amount of discontent on campuses across the United States. For example, recall last spring, when a mob of students stormed University President Richard L. McCormick's office, demanding affordable education. This partnership between NLU and Groupon is a way of meeting just such a demand — albeit, a strange and imperfect way, but a way nonetheless. Couple today's economic climate with the vast sums of money schools demand from their students, and we're at the point where we'll take anything we can get.

The pairing is also interesting on another level: It acts as a way for NLU to attract students to an introduction to education class. These students may have never given a second thought to such a course, but under the inducements of this deal, they could find themselves in love with the idea of teaching as a profession. As Jocelyn Zivin, vice president of marketing and communications for NLU, told the Chicago Tribune, "There are all kinds of factors in the K-12 world that are really discouraging teachers and people seeking teaching

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