The cost of online degrees has become a matter of substantial importance especially considering the rising popularity in the trend. Gone are the days of studying under trees or learning by apprenticeship. With advancement in technology, learning methods have gone up to unprecedented levels. The computer and the internet have literally brought education to our doorsteps.
Learning through the internet or e-learning as it is known provides a way of relatively easier and hassle-free method of distant studying. Many people are now opting to go for online degrees rather than physically attend a college.
At the introduction of online learning, only a limited number of people could access it due to the high costs. However, recent times have seen costs go down drastically hence opening up online learning to more people. With online learning sites mushrooming up everywhere, matters of cost effectiveness still remain a prickly issue. This is because, in addition to tuition and fees, overhead and subsidiary costs also have to be taken into account before undertaking the degree.
Cost of learning online varies with the institution offering the degree but generally most institutions charge per credit. Different degrees will require a different number of credits hence costs vary.
On the average, online learning is more expensive than learning for four years in a college. For big institutions like the University of Phoenix, the charge is $475 per credit. For most average colleges charges of online degrees fall around $200 to $400 per credit. This corresponds to a cost of $45000 to $50000 for a degree requiring 120 credits. These costs are for a bachelor’s degree.
For a master’s degree, the cost per credit is usually slightly higher. Most master’s degree will require around 65 credits and each credit costs around $400. This totals up to cost of $26000. So generally a master’s degree is cheaper to obtain due to the fewer number of credits required.
It should be noted that for more complex, involving and technical courses the cost may be higher. Examples of such degrees include medicine, engineering, and law.
All online degree programs will have extra costs attached to them. These costs include registration, fees, books, and other academic resources. Other programs may require you to attend a seminar, which may last for several days. In this case, costs for travel, food, and boarding have to be considered.
Overhead costs are also incurred. Online learning requires a computer, a reliable internet connection, source of electrical power, books and other course related resources. All these requirements may constitute quite a large fraction of your expenditure and hence they cannot be ignored.
Getting the best deal
The most notable thing to do before enrolling for an online degree is do enough research and comparisons between different programs. This should give you a rough idea of what it will cost to complete your degree. Also, beware of cons. Some institutions will create a package that looks very affordable only for one to learn about other hidden costs when it is too late.
All said, the cost of an online degree should not be a deterrent to your success.