Stanford economist: Elite colleges should not give credit for MOOCs

Posted on January 31st, 2014

Caroline M. Hoxby, an economist at Stanford University, has published a white paper arguing that if elite universities give credit to students who pass their MOOCs, those institutions “could undermine their ability to invest in promising students.” Rather than selling educational programs and services for an upfront fee, Hoxby argues that elite universities instead “invest in promising students who are likely to attain wealth and influence after college,” and whose gifts subsidize the universities’ programs and services. Giving credit for MOOCs may disrupt the traditional “human-capital investments” and erode connections alumni have to their alma maters.