On Line Masters Degrees May Cost $100

“Financiers at Charles River Ventures have already pumped $5 million into Thrun’s online-ed startup, Udacity. ‘I like to back people who have disruptive ­personalities,’ explains CRV partner George Zachary. ‘They create disruptive solutions.’ Udacity’s earliest course offerings have been free, and although Thrun eventually plans to charge something, he wants his tuition schedule to be shockingly low. Getting a master’s degree might cost just $100. After teaching his own artificial intelligence class at Stanford last year—and attracting 160,000 online signups—Thrun believes online formats can be far more effective than traditional classroom lectures. ‘So many people can be helped right now,’ Thrun declares. ‘I see this as a mission.’”