2U went public in 2014, and the company's stock is now nearly double its initial offering price ($25.42 per share at press time), but the company remains quite choosy about who to work with. Founded in 2008 to help universities to create online, degree-bearing programs, 2U has chosen just 14 school partners for a combined 32 programs.
Today, the Landover, MD-based company is announcing its newest addition: a J.D. program with the Syracuse University College of Law. (It’s already working with Syracuse to provide six Master’s programs in Communications, Business, Management, Information Studies and Computer Science.) Finalization of the deal still rests upon approval from the American Bar Association and the state of New York.
Tuition for this online J.D. program will be the same as the on-campus experience, which runs approximately $47,000 per year. Paucek says this pricing arrangement is the norm for all of its programs. 2U keeps roughly 60 percent of revenues from students who enroll; the rest goes to the school.
“This is perhaps one of the highest profile law school to go online,” Chip Paucek, 2U’s CEO, tells EdSurge. He believes his deliberate approach to working with renowned universities is key to company’s success. In the company’s first four years of existence, it only worked with three universities to develop four online programs. On top of that, 2U asks for a big commitment upfront: It will not sign contracts lasting less than 10 years. Students seem to be happy: Paucek reports that 84 percent of students who have enrolled have either finished or are still in their programs.
Of 2U’s current partners, the next contract expiration date isn’t for another six years, Paucek shares. Most schools seem happy, too: USC’s Rossier School of Education—2U’s first partner—recently extended its contract through 2030 for a Master of Arts in teaching and TESOL, as well as a EdD. in Organization Change and Leadership.