Having taught college myself for the past six years, I have to disagree with your projections. Yes, there is some course content that could be covered online, and when I was a student I took one online course (rather useless, as it turned out), and several of my other professors offered copious online resources for independent learning. Now that I’m on the other side of the desk, I also make good resources available to my students, but quite frankly nothing can replace conscientious hard work, let alone class discussion. And even when I do put stuff online, a very small percentage of my students rely on it, since they know I cover most of the important material in lecture.
Perhaps more to the point, putting a class online doesn’t drive costs down anywhere near the “tens of dollars a unit” that you suggest. Instructor salaries are roughly the same for online and in-person courses, and while class management software isn’t quite as expensive as physical classroom buildings, the college still has to invest a lot in infrastructure, bandwidth, etc. It’s simply not true that an online course consists of a few static HTML pages followed by “click here to take the final exam”!
Under my proposal, You'd be out of a job. Isn't that true?
Inasmuch as you are one of those who benefits from the high cost of education, I don't see how you can look at this objectively. The fact of the matter is that very few students actually participate in live classroom discussion and an online undergraduate course could be viewed by thousands of students at a time, thus significantly reducing the cost of a worthless liberal arts degree.
As xzins and I pointed out, we both learned more in our online discussions on theology in the Free Republic Religion Forum than he learned in all his college courses leading to his advanced theology degree. If college were online and the discussions were set up like Free Republic, then I think we could make an undergraduate degree something that NOBODY would have to go into debt to obtain.
Tell me, what was your undergraduate degree in, and what did you learn that you could not have learned in an online environment much cheaper?