We know of no product or service,
industry or invention, other than
exporting Online Degree programs,
which can generate enough jobs to
create prosperity in Illinois.
What is "Let's Fix Illinois"?
Let's Fix Illinois is the pilot project of onlineUSdegrees, Inc, a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. The mission of onlineUSdegrees is to make higher education the economic engine powering a new era of prosperity in the Unites States by exporting online degree programs, offered by Regionally Accredited colleges and universities, to the middle class in the emerging world.
Let's Fix Illinois is focused on exporting online degrees from the 68 Illinois colleges and universities which offer online programs. The project will demonstrate success by generating thousands of jobs in higher education, increasing tax revenues to the state.
How will we create a new era of prosperity?
U.S. higher education is the academic envy of the world and Illinois is the 2nd most popular destination for wealthy international students.
Our 10-year Jobs Plan will leverage that academic envy and international prestige by marketing Illinois online programs to the middle-class in the emerging world by hosting enrollment seminars. The seminars will begin with a general assembly giving an overview and describing "virtual classrooms". The general assembly will be followed by college specific 'break out' sessions where we will assist students enrollment in the college and degree of their choice.
What are the expected results for our Jobs Plan?
By globally marketing the 68 Illinois colleges and universities with online programs and providing enrollment assistance, we believe:
we will, in only ten years, enroll 2.1 million full-tuition online international students,
produce 392,000 well-paid jobs in Illinois (1st order of Job growth),
contribute $58.8 billion to the Illinois economy,
generate $11.5 billion per year in additional total tax revenues and
enable legislators to pass a balanced budget, pay off state debt and fund state pensions without raising tax rates or cutting essential services.
Those are really big numbers, are they realistic?
We acknowledge the numbers seem too big to be believable, but when you consider the size of the global market for U.S. higher education delivered by online learning, the numbers become small and achievable.
There are more than one billion English speaking, college age, middle class prospective online students in the emerging world. Plus, US higher education is the academic envy of the world and with over 1 billion prospective students who cannot afford to come to the United States to attend college, our numbers are actually very conservative. Our estimates can be achieved by enrolling less than 1/4 of 1% (0.21%) of the 1 billion perspective students in the emerging world.
How will we accomplish this phenomenal feat?
It is important to understand that we are not creating academic facilities for 2.1 million new students. The colleges and universities already exist. Nor will we will enroll the students all at once. Enrollment will grow incrementally over our 10-year plan and the colleges and universities will incrementally add staff as their online student body grows.
It is also significant that our Jobs Plan is a marketing endeavor, and marketing is quite easy to ‘scale up’. Much easier than manufacturing, for instance.
We have lined up and are ready to execute contracts with international full service advertising agencies and fulfillment services.
Our pilot enrollment seminars will be in China. There are 160 cities in China with over 1 million people. The early seminars will be in cities with only a million people, distant from the major metropolitan areas. When we have fine-tuned our seminars and enrollment assistance protocol, we will ramp up seminar teams and host simultaneous seminars all over China and then replicate the process in select countries in the emerging world.
How will increases in international online enrollment create jobs and who will pay for them?
Incrementally adding large numbers of online students, over the 10-year jobs plan, will require corresponding increases in well paid, higher education jobs including faculty, counseling and admissions staff to name a few. These positions will be paid for by new revenues from full-fare international tuition. The new jobs will be an internationally-funded, growth driven resource that will generate economic prosperity in Illinois.
The financial challenges in Illinois are obvious to all of us who live here. Why will our plan succeed when others haven’t?
Other plans require legislative approval. Many people believe the fiscal crisis ended with a budget. However, passing a budget does not resolve the underlying structural problem, it only pushes the crisis off to next year and every year thereafter. The budget crisis evolved over 30 years of job losses. The underlying problem is a jobs crisis. As jobs and tax revenues slipped away, the need for social services increased and state revenue decreased. Our plan is realistic because it solves the underlying problem and does not require legislative approval.
In contrast to other solutions, our plan is only about job growth.
Isn’t ten years a long time to accomplish our goals?
It took more than 40 years to create the economic crisis that plagues our state. A 10-year plan to restore financial stability, independent of the political process, is a realistic time frame.
Why foreign students? Why not focus on U.S. students?
Because the potential for full-tuition international students is a thousand times greater than tuition-subsidized U.S. students. But this is not to say that US students won't benefit. Online programs will be available to them, and the tuition paid by international students will enable colleges and universities to reduce or eliminate in-state tuition.
Our mission is to restore economic vitality to Illinois. Our jobs plan is laser focused on exporting Illinois higher education to create well paid jobs in Illinois and return our state to prosperity.
With the Internet and other global technologies what is preventing what we propose from happening by itself?
You might think the answer to enrolling foreign students in Illinois online degree programs is as simple as a Google search. But, a Google search is not the answer, it is the problem. Because commission-seeking college brokers pay for preferential placement on international search results, comprehensive and impartial information about online programs offered by reputable colleges is nearly impossible to find.
Personal counseling at on-location enrollment seminars is the key that will connect prospective international students with Illinois online programs. By helping them navigate a process that is very difficult to accomplish on their own we will resolve the Illinois financial crisis.
Are language issues a barrier?
Prospective students need English skills. But, English is a required subject in schools in most emerging countries. Most young people in the emerging world have some English skills. That is why, social media marketing our enrollment seminars in China and elsewhere, will be in English. Only students who are reasonably proficient in English will know about or will want to attend our enrollment seminars.
Parents and grandparents, those who make the decisions and pay for their children's education in emerging countries, don’t speak English or use social media. We’ll invite them to our seminars by local television, radio and print. At the seminars, presentations in English by college representatives and enrollment counselors will be subtitled in the local language.
Who will benefit from our initiative?
Everyone in Illinois will benefit from our Jobs Plan. Our success will assure government employees and retirees that their jobs and pensions won’t disappear for lack of funding. Young people will have educational and employment opportunities here in Illinois instead of moving away.
In fact, young people will want to stay in Illinois because state colleges and universities will generate so much full-fare international tuition, they will be able to provide reduced tuition to Illinois residents. And, really, everyone who wants to see Illinois as a wonderful place to live again will benefit from our initiative.
How can Illinois help?
onlineUSdegrees is a tax exempt, not-for-profit entity. We rely on the people of Illinois who will benefit from our efforts to fund the Jobs Plan. $1 or $1 million, every donation will help put Illinois on an achievable path of job growth and prosperity. Please make a tax-deductible donation. Click here to donate.