CHICAGO — Forget cheaper teeth whitening or pizzeria coupons, discounted tuition is the latest Groupon deal.
The Chicago-based group coupon site has partnered with National Louis University in Chicago to offer a reduced rate for an introductory graduate level teaching course. While Groupon has offered language and fitness classes before, it is the site's first time for a tuition deal worth academic credits.
"We realize in order to thrive in the competitive environment of higher education, we need to be where our students are, speak to them in a way they are used to speaking, and many of our potential students receive daily emails from Groupon," university president Nivine Megahed said in a statement.
Groupon lets users sign up for deals based on location, so the one for National Louis University would be advertised for people who ask for Chicago-area deals.
The course costs $950 on Groupon, which is about 57 percent off the $2,232 tuition price. It's called "Introduction to Teaching" and is worth up to three credits for the 36-credit master's degree in teaching which takes around two years to finish. A bachelor's degree is required and the class runs 10 weeks.
University officials said it was an attractive option to cater to their diverse 4,000-student university in downtown Chicago where the average age is around 34, many are working professionals and most are enrolled in graduate studies.
Joselyn Zivin, a university spokeswoman, said Groupon seemed an appropriate approach, especially because many of the students also fit into target Groupon demographics.
"Those sort of divides between what old school universities and the sort of new world of social media and how people learn about things are really breaking down," Zivin said.
She said the deal might also attract people who want see if teaching is right for them but don't want to fully enroll in a masters' degree program.
The chance to buy the coupon started Tuesday and ends Friday.
"This is the type of experience you could only find on Groupon," Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler said in a statement. "We're constantly looking for innovative organizations like National Louis University to help subscribers discover new passions and pursue their interests. This is a great way to explore a career in teaching and determine if it's something you'd like to pursue."
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