Some of the U.S.’s most prestigious business schools have fully embraced online learning and now offer degrees for students willing to pay $250,000 in tuition while most of their classes are completed online.

The shift comes after schools turned to online learning when campuses were locked down during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that some of the schools taking this hybrid approach are Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and part-time students at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

The report noted that students that take part in these lessons will be forced to pay the standard tuition.

Brian Bushee, the head of teaching and learning at Wharton, told the WSJ that the COVID outbreak accelerated the move online in every industry. 

“I would be surprised in 10 or 20 years if there were schools that only did in-person and did nothing online,” he said. 

The program at Wharton will start to be offered in 2023 and students will be able to obtain an executive MBA. The decision for these schools to offer these programs come as they grapple with a decrease in enrollment in MBA programs. 

The Journal, citing the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, reported that the number of accredited business schools in the U.S. offering MBAs more than doubled between 2009 and 2020. Part of the appeal was face-to-face instruction and the ability to network. But there has been a shift that shows students less interested in those opportunities. In the last two years, enrollment in fully online MBA programs surpassed in-person programs, the report said. 

A new study from Western Governors University Labs’ College Innovation Network found that students have grown increasingly comfortable with taking online courses, according to

The report said the study noted that 23 percent more students this year claimed ed-tech tools helped to enhance their learning, with the caveat that students “perceive online learning options to be less effective and lower quality than in-person learning.”

The report continued, “In addition, about 66 percent of students said they support the expansion of online courses and fully online programs, with nearly 20 percent reporting that they still ‘feel negatively’ about fully remote/online courses.”

TREND FORECAST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on lockdowns and the impact they have on school-aged children. (See “LOCKDOWN MADNESS: CURE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE,” “SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS KILLING STUDENTS” and “DETROIT SCHOOLS: MAJORITY OF KIDS ABSENT. CLASSES GOING ONLINE.”)

We have pointed out that the lockdowns in 2020 helped speed up the transition to online learning, which is here to stay. (See “MEGA-TREND OF THE FUTURE: RICE UNIVERSITY TURNS TO ONLINE LEARNING” and “INDIA’S ONLINE-LEARNING AN INVESTMENT WINDFALL, SOLIDIFYING ‘INTERACTIVE U’ FORECAST IN TRENDS JOURNAL.”)

With interactive education, students will be able to access the best and most accomplished experts in selected fields of study rather than the one-size-fits-all, outdated educational programming that is now the norm.

Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age, and die. The Industrial Age education model is dying, and the “Interactive U” model Gerald Celente had forecast in his bestselling book, “Trends 2000” (Warner Books, 1997), is still in its infancy.

Thus, the Ontrendpreneur® opportunities that seize upon its growth will provide great rewards.

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