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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:
Sullivan University Online Sullivan is a private university based in Kentucky with about 6,000 students. It has a strong emphasis on real world learning, and is widely known as "Kentucky's career university." Tuition is quite moderate on all programs, and the school offers an unusual tuition "lock in" option that protects students from rate increases while they are in school.
Offers Associate's Degrees in:
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 many bachelors degrees in specialties including:
Top Schools Specializing In Online Degrees:
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
Keiser is a very unusual case of a school that changed from for-profit to non-profit status in 2011. Established in Florida in 1977, the school has 14 campuses around the world and a very large and well-known online degree program. It has regional accreditation (the best kind) from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and has long pursued a goal of preparing students for real careers. Keiser offers a vast array of online associates and bachelors degrees in these areas:
- Criminal Justice
- Sports Medicine
- Video Game Design
- Biomedical Sciences
- Elementary Education
- Information Technology
- Business Administration
- Social Media Communication
Get free info about Keiser's degree programs
Colorado Technical University
CTU is a large institution based on Colorado Springs with over 25,000 students. It has solid regional accreditation (the best kind) and has been ranked #1 Best for Vets in the category for online and non-traditional universities by Military Times Magazine. Offers associate's and bachelor's degrees online in
- Criminal Justice (multiple specialties)
- Project Management
- Information Systems (multiple specialties)
- Electrical Engineering
Learn more about Colorado Tech'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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