The initial public offering of eCollege (Nasdaq: ECLG), which develops software that allows colleges to offer courses online, got off to a respectable start on Wednesday. The company priced 4.5 million shares at $11, above the proposed range of $8 to $10. Shares closed up 3-1/4 to 14-1/4, a rise of more than 29.5 percent.
eCollege is an intriguing company in an intriguing field. Students can actually use eCollege to earn everything from an associate degree to a doctorate by take courses online. While the relative value of this kind of education may be questionable, eCollege is clearly in a fast-growing market. So far, more than 100 universities are using eCollege to offer more than 500 courses online.