If ever there was a state with its finger on the pulse of flexible learning technology, Massachusetts would be it. Colleges like Bunker Hill have been offering online courses for well over a decade, but it’s the work that Massachusetts’ household names in education have put into distance learning access that have garnered the most attention from students and educators. Campuses like Massachusetts Institute of Technology broke new educational ground in the last decade by offering MIT OpenCourseWare. These online offerings, available completely free of charge, present students with the materials from 2,150 courses online. Since May 2012, Harvard University and MIT have also teamed up to present edX, a hub of online learning and massive online open courses that are complementary and accessible to anyone with an internet connection and access to a computer.
Massachusetts Colleges Online is a conglomeration of 15 community and nine state colleges that have combined their course and program offerings. This portal creates an easy-to-access, flexible option for students who already reside in Massachusetts to study online, as well as those looking to explore out-of-state learning. These are just a handful of examples from the 81 schools in Massachusetts that currently offer distance learning courses.
Massachusetts was either in line with or below the average U.S. tuition rates in 2014 at the two and four-year education level. Over the span of the decade between 2002 and 2012, enrollment for full-time students did increase in Massachusetts at just above the national average of 19%. Private school tuition in the state was some of the highest in the country in 2012, while state funding that same year was the third lowest in the U.S. at just over $3 per student for every $1,000 spent on tuition. Between the 2006-07 and 2011-12 school years, state appropriated funding dropped roughly 8.5%. Still, over a ten year period between 2000 and 2010, enrollment increased by 22.5% in the state. Students who participate in MOOCs or distance learning, non-credit classes are not figured into these rates.
There is much more information about Massachusetts’ university and college offerings in our comprehensive list found below. Students can also learn about one or more of the many scholarships available to current and prospective learners on this page. Visit the State Facts page for more stats concerning enrollment and tuition rates, and explore the Higher Learning page for links to more resources and state-sanctioned programs in Massachusetts for students.