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Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science announced Wednesday it will offer a full master's degree in computer and information technology online through Coursera.

Why it matters: Coursera's first Ivy League degree offering comes as many exclusive universities try to make degrees more accessible to lower income students. The online version of the course costs less than half the price of sitting in a U Penn lecture hall.

The details:

  • The program claims applicants don’t need a background in computer science or a graduate record examination for the program.
  • The total cost of the online program is $26,300. That's, roughly, less than half what the equivalent degree requirements would cost a student in a traditional on-campus program. Tuition for a master’s degree at U Penn varies by department.
  • Master’s degrees for computer and information sciences have grown about 22% in the past year, per the Department of Education.

One diversity thing: Some of the more competitive schools in the U.S. have enrolled more students from families at the top 1% of the income scale than from the entire bottom half of income-earners, per research from the Equality of Opportunity Project cited in the Boston Globe.

Correction: The description of the program's cost has been changed to note that the $26,300 amount is not an annual fee but the total price.

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals, hours from leaving office early Wednesday, hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."