John Brown University in Siloam Springs recently announced that earning a minimum of 45 transferable credit hours is no longer required to enroll in its JBU Online program.
That means that students could earn a four-year bachelor’s degree from JBU without ever stepping foot inside a classroom.
The change was already in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools across the state to go online-only, said Josh Price, director of enrollment of JBU Online. It was done in response to growing demand from prospective students.
“We found that a lot of students who work full time, and they may have families and busy personal lives, they really liked the online format because it allows them to complete the coursework on their schedule,” he said.
Price said the hope was that removing the requirement would lead to higher enrollment at JBU Online. And more students have expressed an interest in enrolling since rolling back the requirement was announced, he said.
In addition, beginning this fall, tuition for JBU Online classes will be lowered to $300 per credit hour from $425 per credit hour.
JBU Online, which uses online learning system Blackboard, offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, liberal arts, organizational leadership and psychology.
JBU Online students can also receive an additional discount on 2020 summer courses, which cost $249 per credit hour.
The first summer session started on May 11; the second begins July 6. JBU Online had 109 students sign up for the first session.
If the pandemic has had any effect on JBU Online, it’s that students who wouldn’t have considered taking an online course before are considering that now, Price said. “I think, if anything, we could see even more demand for online education,” he said.