Higher Education + Groupon: Shiny and New…or a Legitimate Strategy

Groupon - Higher Education Shiny New Tool

From the Chicago Tribune:

National Louis University on Tuesday will offer a Groupon for a graduate-level introduction to teaching course, officials said.

With the Groupon, prospective students can save nearly 60 percent on tuition for the single, three-credit course and earn credit toward a graduate degree, said Jocelyn Zivin, the vice president of marketing and communications for the Chicago-based, private university.

So what do you think. Has National Louis University stumbled upon a legitimate strategy to market their courses or are they just using Groupon as a “shiny new toy” to get people to talk about their school? The tuition break is significant, but will this deal attract students who are interested in teaching?

The course is described as being “tailored for people with no exposure or experience with teaching” and that it was specifically structured for use in conjunction with a Groupon deal. Seems like a PR stunt to me…especially since they make a point of noting that National Louis University is the first “academic university” to use Groupon to “boost student interest.”

It will be interesting to see if National Louis University releases data on whether or not their Groupon experiment actually worked as an incentive for course enrollment. My guess is that National Louis University is elated with the buzz that’s taken place regarding the school’s decision to be the first higher education institution to use Groupon.

At this point, does it really matter if anyone signs up for the class?