Although choosing your area of study is definitely the most vital decision you will make when pursuing an online education, a close second is how much your degree program will cost. Luckily, the flexibility and freedom of online study does not come with a higher price tag. In fact, many online programs are a bit cheaper than their traditional counterparts.
Breaking It Down
Upon your first glance, you may feel that online programs are quite a bit costlier than state traditional schools when comparing tuition only. However, when you calculate in the costs of fuel to travel to a physical campus, lodgings, and related expenses of traditional education, online education usually proves to be a cheaper option.
To ensure that you are getting the best value for your college dollars, check with several accredited online schools to see exactly what costs are involved. When comparing identical degrees and accreditation, you can choose the school with the lowest costs. When you are comparing, be sure to consider such factors as school prestige, additional required credits, and other elements that may make a higher price tag worth it.
Comparison of Traditional and Online College Costs
The average tuition for colleges in the United States is around $2,700 for a two-year school to as much as $33,000 for certain doctoral programs. In state tuition is cheaper than out-of-state and private colleges cost more than public options. For most online schools, the costs of undergraduate programs average around $13,000, while master’s programs range from $6,500 to $8,500.
Remember Hidden Fees
When calculating the cost of your education, make sure you are not looking at only tuition rates. Look for hidden fees, such as technology fees and more that will raise the total cost of your program. When comparing schools. Ask for a breakdown of ALL applicable charges so you can get the most accurate picture of what you are facing.
Use Financial Aid
Before making a final decision on a college, either traditional or online, also take the time to compare your financial aid packages from each school and use these figures to determine your final out-of-pocket cost. Financial aid awards can vary greatly from one institution to the next, even for the same student.
While online tuition rates may seem more expensive at first glance, you will likely find that the cost is comparable, or even lower, for those who choose to attend a good online university. Take the time to compare the facts before making a commitment to any school.