Online Classes are Big Business

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A rise in online courses has led to a rise of paid services that pretend to be students and do their jobs for them.

I cheated quite a lot in high school. This is not a typo. I can remember writing formulas for chemistry on tiny bits of paper that was then adhered to the bottoms of my dress shoes with transparent tape. I had all the information I needed when I crossed my legs.

That was before the advent of online education. Cheating has, it seems. Entrepreneurs and freelancers are now openly promoting services to help students cheat online educations. These digital cheaters are able to assume the identities of students and then take full online classes.

I reached out to No Need to Study to inquire if the company could host an online English Literature class for me at Columbia University. I was immediately contacted by customer-relations personnel who said that they could help me get an online class at Columbia University and would be able to guarantee a grade of B or better. I was informed that such an arrangement cost $1,225.15.

This made it appear official by adding fifteen cents.

I asked for more information so I could be certain I understood the company. I received the following reply: "We offer the services a pool of academic tutors to take classes for our clients and complete course work."

No Need to Study even provides reference videos of satisfied customers who show how simple it was to hire someone to take their online classes. Muhammad, a customer, tells us that he hired the company for his math lab courses. He said he had taken these classes before but that the questions were difficult. So, he looked for a solution. He continues, "They got it done and did really, really good." "They killed my final math class and app classes with an incredible 90 percent. I can honestly say I have never achieved a 90% on anything else."

There is no direct correlation between the growth in online-education options and an increase in online cheating. There is no direct correlation between the growth of online education and increased cheating. However, there are more online students. According to the 2014 Online Learning Survey about a third all higher-education enrollments in America are now online. Nearly 7 million students take at least one class online. The number of online students is a quarter of the student population, according to other statistics. However, there are still millions of potential clients for ambitious providers who offer cheating services.

Already online education is projected to be a $100-billion global business. This could increase if online degrees have more influence with employers. Online education marketplaces could change higher education. If they can achieve the same status as traditional, on-campus degrees, the online education market could transform higher education. This is what many online education advocates want. Kevin Carey, an well-known advocate for online education, wrote about the quest to establish online education credibility in March in a New York Times editorial titled, “Here's What Will Truly Make Higher Education More Credible: Online Degrees that Are Officially Seen.”

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Online Classes Are Big Business