Getting a degree with an Online School has gained a lot of traction lately. It wasn't that long ago when online degrees have a certain amount of stigma attached to them, but ever since people starting flooding the workforce with degrees from online schools, employers have started to take notice.
Online schools have to go through the exact same accreditation process as any traditional higher-education degree program. Now that online schools are growing in both number and popularity, many people aren't sure about how much it actually costs. Tuition costs is a very cost-prohibitive and many people simply can't afford the tuition of a lengthy degree program. Now that online degree programs are so accessible, many people wonder: is it cheaper to get an online degree?
Are Online Courses Cheaper?
The answer to whether or not an online degree cheaper than a traditional one is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. There are many factors at play on both the national and local level. You can research quality degree programs like, Everest University, that have programs that can be completed in only a year. Of course, going to an online school would be cheaper than a big named school, but there are some instances when it would be far less expensive than going to a local community college.
For the 2010-2011 school year, CollegeBoard.org released the figures for the trends in current college pricing. It varies greatly depending on which type of institution you're going to. If you're comparing brick-and-mortar institutions, the pricing applies as follows:
- For a public (two-year) degree the average cost is around $2,700 dollars
- For a public in-state (four-year) degree, the average cost is about $7,600 dollars
- For a public out-of-state (four-year) degree, the average cost is around $20,000 dollars
- For a private out-of-state (four-year) degree, the cost is 27,000
Note: These figures aren't set in stone and vary depending on the institution. With that said, this gives you a pretty good idea of the relative cost of traditional schools and how much it would cost you compared to an online degree. When you're trying to ascertain the full cost of an online program, it gets a little bit more complicated.
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Taking Online Courses Gives You Options
When you're taking online college course, it doesn't really matter which state you live in, you're never an out-of-state student. This is a factor that can be a deciding factor for many thinking about the online option. This is an area for potential savings, because when you're an out-of-state student at a traditional college, the price goes up quite a bit. The average markup for these student is, on average, about $12,000 dollars. When you attend an online college, you pay the same tuition, regardless of your location within the country.
After you go over the various expenses of going to traditional schools versus online programs, you then get down to the dollars and cents where things really start to become more clear. When you're getting an online degree, there are many ancillary costs that people usually don't factor into the equation. When you're attending class online, the only things you need is computer, Internet connectivity, and source materials. After that, you don't have to thing about food, transportation, on-site living expenses, and all the other costs.
If you're factoring in all of the costs, if you want a four-year degree, online programs are usually less expensive. However, if you're just going for an associate's degree or basic training in a trade program, you might want to look into local options. The cost difference really comes into play depending on your specific education goals. If you have any questions, you can always look online to figure out which option works best for you. Just make sure you're asking a lot of questions and that you have a good idea of what exactly it is you're trying to accomplish with going back to school.