Groupon Offering First Education Deal

Sep 7, 2011 11:52am

For the first time ever, Groupon customers accustomed to deals on restaurants, hair salons and fitness classes can snag a discount on a slightly more obscure item – graduate school education.

National Louis University in Chicago is now offering a coupon for a 57 percent discount on a graduate-level introduction to teaching course. The class is being offered for $950, a big break from the normal price of $2,232. This is the first time a school or university has used Groupon, a hugely popular website that negotiates big discounts with popular businesses.

“It’s an unexpected thing to see from the consumer side,” Joselyn Zivin, the vice president of marketing and communication for National Louis University, told ABCNews.com. “This is just an innovative new way of serving our mission.”

Zivin said the university has received an outpouring of interest from its peers in the higher education community who want to know if this is going to be the next big thing in the business of education.

“We don’t know yet. Groupon doesn’t know yet. We’re king of all in this anticipatory wait-and-see mode,” Zivin said.

The university is offering 25 spots through the deal, and at least 15 people have to buy in order for the deal to move forward. As of Wednesday morning, five have been purchased.

Prospective students have until Saturday to cash in on the digital discount.

In a tough economic environment, when education can often be incredibly costly,the deal also allows prospective teachers to get a feel for whether the profession is really what they want to commit to, before enrolling full-time in school. In addition to meeting three hours a week for 10 weeks, the class includes 15 hours of field experience.

“This is a social media generation of people who are looking and relating to each other through their experiences. This course allows them to try it on and see if they’re really up for it,” Zivin said. “We’re the new kind of university.”

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