While campus-based schools usually make an effort to provide flexible masters degrees programs (with night classes, weekend sessions, etc.) you can clearly get a wider world of choices by looking at online masters programs, since you’re no longer limited to schools in your immediate area.
Part of that wider choice should include some schools with lower cost tuition. If you’re like many other adults who want a masters to boost their career prospects, that’s an important consideration in your “return on investment” for grad school. The good news is that because so many more schools are jumping into digital teaching, there are more reasonably priced online masters degree programs available now than there were just a few years ago. The for-profit schools that stood pretty much alone in this space now face competition from private schools and even state university systems with big online degree programs.
There’s no one type of school that you can assume will have the lowest tuition. Some for-profit schools, in fact, are among the most reasonably priced, while some state school systems who charge out of state students a premium can wind up being the most expensive.
Your cost will also be affected by the major you pursue and how long you take to complete your degree. As an adult with a job, you may find it tough to finish a master’s in the traditional time of two years. Depending on hour your school charges for classes, taking longer may or may not cost you more money. It’s very tough to pin down an average cost for a master’s degree. Estimates from a wide variety of sources place the typical cost at anywhere from $15,000 all the way up to $100,000 plus, if you choose a truly gold-plated private school. Online master’s degree programs tend to be at the lower end of that scale. A considerable number of them can be completed for under $30,000., and there are several that are a good deal lower than that.
Clearly, it’s not in your interest to choose a school based only on price. You want to avoid any type of “cheap degree” scam that allows you to buy a degree for next to nothing, and study with a school that will give you a good quality educational experience.