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Groupon's latest offbeat deal: College tuition

This is yet another test of whether consumers are actually interested in using Groupon and other daily deal services for big-ticket purchases.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 8, 2011 7:56AM

This post comes from Matt Brownellat partner site MainStreet.


Higher education keeps getting more expensive, and daily deal sites keep expanding to new products and services, so we suppose it was only a matter of time before students started paying tuition with Groupons.


That time has come:Groupon is offering a 60% discount on a class at National Louis University, a private nonprofit university in the Chicago area. The deal gets you into an introductory teaching course for just $950, discounted from the usual cost of $2,232.


The "Intro to Teaching" course is for graduate students only, so you'll need to have a bachelor's degree to get in. And while the three credits you get for completing the course can be applied to a graduate degree, passing the course is no guarantee that you'll be admitted to a graduate program. You'll still need to go through the admissions office like everyone else if you want to actually pursue a master's degree. Post continues after video.

Of course, this raises the possibility that you'll shell out a grand for the class and then find yourself unable to actually put it toward getting your graduate degree. But we like it better than the alternative: Putting up a semester's worth of tuition without actually knowing that you're cut out for the material. This way you can try out the program at a deep discount -- and at a minimal time commitment of one evening a week for 10 weeks.


For now, only five of the Groupons have been purchased. The deal must hit 15 purchases to "tip," though it doesn't expire until Saturday at midnight Central time, so it still has plenty of time to cross the threshold.


Still, this is yet another test of whether consumers are actually interested in using Groupon and other daily deal services for big-ticket purchases. The company recently moved into the travel space through a partnership with Expedia, and in April launched its first daily deal on real estate. We're curious to see whether people are really interested in using services like this for major expenditures, or if it will remain relegated to smaller purchases like meals and beauty services.


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