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The Cost of Online College Courses: Closer to Traditional School Fees Than Many Expect
There’s alot of misunderstanding about the cost of online college courses, and about the real tuition for and associate, undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral degrees in general.
There are lots of
shortcuts available if you want a fake degree from a
“diploma mill” or a non-accredited online school.
But if you want to study at a real quality school, you may be surprised
to find that individual distance learning courses cost about the same
as traditional classes.
The total tuition you'll pay for an online degree, in fact, may be exactly the same as what you'd pay at a "brick and mortar" college for four years. But you'll get a big financial benefit from the fact that you'll live at home while studying. Students at traditional colleges have to budget tens of thousands of dollars for room and board over four years, especially if their school is in a major city.
You also tend to pay for online learning on a “per-course” basis. That’s important, because it gives you flexibility to stretch out your schedule if events in your life make it necessary. In most cases, when a full-time student at a traditional school doesn’t complete the required credits within four years, he or she has to pay for every additional semester needed to finish the degree.
If you study at a state school, you may also get a unique benefit from the "distance" in distance education. Most state colleges and universities charge a huge premium (sometimes almost double the basic tuition) for on-campus students who are not residents of their particular state. There's almost never a premium charged to out-of-state e-learners.
Cost differences: Traditional and Distance Learning:
There are several ways to defray this cost. If you
are employed, particularly by a mid to large-sized company, you
may be able
to get a the company to fund some or even all of the cost of online
courses. The federal government, which has traditionally given grants
only to on-campus students, has shown more flexibility in recent years
about giving financial aid to online students. (Read more about smart ways to pay for your online education
Walden University Readers are sometimes surprised to find a "big name" online school on this list. Walden University is an accredited institution with over 40 years of experience and more than 40,000 students. It offers over 60 online degree programs with more than 300 specializations and concentrations, including:
Colorado State University Global Campus This is the online extension of Colorado State's public college system. The school has high-quality regional accreditation and, unlike most state schools, does not charge a premium tuition to out of state students. The cost per credit is $350. The school also offers a great guarantee: that it won't raise your tuition while you are in school. One of the big hidden costs in college, particularly for adult learners who take more than the standard amount of time to finish a degree, is the way most schools raise tuition each year. A typical student can end up paying thousands of dollars more in the third year of school than at the start. CSU's tuition guarantee can eliminate thousands of dollars in cost, on top of the moderate tuition rate. Offers bachelor's degrees in:
Post University Post University is a private school based in Waterbury, Connecticut, founded in 1890. Tuition is in more moderate than many other schools we've researched. Post currently operates four campuses and a large online teaching program, that offers a great variety of career-focused bachelors and associates degrees, including:
Grand Canyon University
A large private school offering online degrees at a relatively moderate price for a school with strong name recognition across the country. Grand Canyon has a vast array of bachelors degrees in specialties including:
Ohio Christian University Ohio Christian is a private, nonprofit school with about 3,300 students. It was founded in 1948, and offers many accelerated programs. Online teaching is strongly focused on helping adults meet their career objectives. The cost per credit hour in bachelor programs is $385, while associate programs cost $295. per credit, lower than most other schools.
National American University
Offers a vast array of associates and bachelor's degrees at a relatively moderate tuition rate.
Top Schools Specializing In Online Degrees:
Capella is a large, well-known online school with over 35,000 students and solid regional accreditation. It focuses mainly on adult education, with a wide variety of bachelor's and master's degrees in:
- Criminal Justice
- Health Care
- Human Resources
Get info on Capella University
Offers a very wide range of bachelor's, master's and associates degrees in
- Criminal Justice
- Health Care
- Computer Technology
- Information Systems
- Legal Studies
Learn more about Kaplan's degree programs
Iowa-based school established in 1918, Ashford offers a vast array of online degrees online across the range from associate to bachelor and masters, in addition to it's campus-based programs. (Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org.) Degrees available in:
- Business Management - BA & MBA in 19 different specialties
- Early Childhood Education
- Health Care Studies
- Homeland Security
- Sports Managment
Get information on Ashford's online programs
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