Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Final Four: Why It Costs More to Sit in the Stands than it Costs to Earn College Credits

Which costs less – attending college basketball games or earning college credits?

Okay, that’s a trick question. But before you answer it, here’s some perspective. Let’s say that you’d like to head out to Indianapolis to watch the men’s NCAA Final Four, or off to San Antonio to watch the women’s. Good for you, but you’d better bring suitcases full of money.

If you visit the NCAA’s Website and click on the “buy tickets now” tab, you will find a variety of packages that let you reserve game tickets and hotel rooms. (These packages are not sold by the NCAA, but by sports travel packagers.) And guess what? If you are traveling alone, you will have to pay about $2,500 for a package that includes a five day/four night stay in a hotel and tickets to the games. If you are traveling in a group of four and you don’t mind bunking with your friends, you can cut that cost to about $1,500 apiece. Those rates don’t include airfare – but they do include hotel breakfasts and a lanyard for each member of your party. (Hopefully, a pretty nice lanyard.)

If you compare those sums to the cost of earning college credits at StraighterLine, you will find that earning college credits really does cost a lot less than basketball tickets. At StraighterLine, you can take as many online college courses as you like for $39 apiece after paying a monthly fee of $99 for as long as you are enrolled in the program.

With the money you save, you can become a college student instead of just watching them run around in short pants. You can also use the money to buy a flat-screen TV to watch the NCAA finals. And after those expenditures, you’ll still have money left to buy lanyards for all your friends.

So think about it. StraighterLine is an extraordinary bargain.

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