If you are interested in online colleges and you need more information on the cost of these colleges, this article is just the thing for you. This article seeks to answer the question, “How much does online college cost?”
There are many reasons why students pursue online degrees. Some students pursue an online degree because they want to avoid long commutes and save on transport fare, others pursue online degrees because they work full-time and would like to obtain extra certification without giving up work. Others pursue online education because it provides relative affordability.
This article is a guide to help you determine the cost of online colleges. This article will provide a detailed insight into the tuition rates for remote learners as well as the costs of virtual access, and other costs.
Are Online Colleges More Affordable?
The cost of online programs is different from the cost of on-campus programs. Affordability is relative to your financial status. An online program allows students to access their coursework without having to give up on their jobs while traditional learning might disrupt a student’s work schedule as it requires them to be physically present for classes.
Students who are parents might be interested in online programs as it helps them avoid the cost of enlisting caregivers. When you look at these factors, an online program provides students with the means to cut costs on a lot of things.
How Much Do Online Colleges Cost?
It is important to take some factors into cognizance when considering the overall cost of an online college. A student should not only calculate tuition and fees but other indirect costs that can increase the cost of an online program significantly. These factors include:-
1. Net Cost of Online College
Net cost refers to the total amount payable as tuition. Tuition for online learners is generally charged on per credit basis. For instance, a college may charge $100 per credit for a bachelor’s program and the program consists of 120 credits, by this calculation, the total cost of the online degree is $12,000
Of course, the net cost also factors in financial aid, scholarships, and grants. These can help reduce a student’s tuition significantly. It is important to note that online students may not be eligible for the same financial aid that on-campus students are eligible for.
2. Online School Fees
Most colleges and universities require applicants to pay application fees which are usually below $100. Some schools do not demand application fees for certain groups of students, such as veterans, active-duty military personnel, or their families.
Online learners can avoid paying fees for campus-based services, such as meal plans, mandatory student health insurance, or parking they will however, need to pay fees associated with remote education. For instance, a college may charge technology fees or online learning on a per-course or per-credit basis.
3. Books and Supplies
The most common indirect cost incurred by both online and on-campus students include textbooks and other course materials.
At the beginning of each semester, instructors distribute a list of materials that learners must acquire to contribute to class discussions and complete assignments. While students can often rent books for free at their college’s library, they may still need to purchase certain single-use materials, such as workbooks.
Online learners at some schools may pay a fee for virtual access to all of their textbooks instead of buying hard copies of books. Colleges typically provide a compilation of videos, articles, book chapters, and problem sets and then charge students an annual rate to review these materials on their devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones.
4. Transportation for Any On-Site Requirements
Online learning appeals to many students because they are not required to commute to campus. Savings on transportation depends on how far a student lives from school. Online programs help students save money on gas, parking, and vehicle maintenance.
Online students may also avoid paying certain transportation-related fees. For example, some colleges charge in-person students annual fees to use buses that shuttle students from one part of campus to another.
However, you may still need to occasionally visit campus even if you choose to pursue your education online. Some colleges in fact require all students, regardless of how their intended mode of study, to attend an in-person orientation program when they first enroll in classes.
How Can I Save Money on an Online Program?
There are several ways you can reduce the cost of pursuing an online program. Below is a list of the five most popular ways to reduce the cost of distance education programs.
1. Attend a Public College or University
State colleges and other public universities usually cost less than private schools, even for online learners. Your education will cost less if you qualify for in-state tuition or other financial aid opportunities available specifically to public school students.
2. Transfer Credits from Community College
Many online colleges allow students to transfer credits from other institutions, this reduces their overall cost and the time required to earn a degree.
If you are interested in a bachelor’s, you should consider starting your education at a community college. Community colleges charge far less than four-year colleges, and they often maintain transfer agreements with public colleges and universities in their state. These agreements make it easy for students to transfer credits if they maintain a certain GPA and meet other requirements.
3. Apply Work, Volunteer, or Military Experience
Some colleges offer credit for volunteer service, military experience, or prior work. To be able to receive this credit, students must submit a demonstration of their experience, such as a sample portfolio of work or a military service record, along with their college application materials.
Some schools may require students to take an exam assessing specific skills and knowledge instead of requesting a portfolio of work.
4. Search for Free or Low-Cost Books and Course Materials
Books and course materials can be on the high side, but students can often find free or low-cost alternatives.
Public and College libraries might carry some of the books you require for your course. Students can also buy used copies of the books they need. E-textbooks might also be a cheaper option.
5. Apply for Financial Aid
Ensure that you apply for as many financial aids set aside for online students as possible. The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This body determines students’ eligibility for federal grants and scholarships.
We hope that this article has helped you to determine how much online college cost.