How Much do Online Degrees Really Cost?

June 1, 2011 by  
Filed under About Online Degrees

How Much do Online Degrees Really Cost?

College is expensive. The fact is inescapable, whether someone is fresh out of high school and needs to raise the money for higher education, or someone looking to go back to school in hopes of finding a better job, college is a huge dent in a checkbook. Now there is an attractive alternative to attending classes and moving somewhere else to attend school, colleges offering online degrees.

Colleges offering online degrees market themselves a number of ways. Some will emphasize the convenience, allowing people to go to school without quitting their jobs or without needing to arrange babysitters for children. One claim commonly made by online college proponents is that the cost of obtaining a degree from an online school is much less than an on-campus costs.

But how much does it cost to get an online degree? Many of the same application fees are the same when applying to an online college, some wave the fees while others can cost from approximately to 0 dollars.

The pricing for classes can be a bit harder to compare, many traditional schools charge a semester-based tuition, whereas most online colleges charge by the class or by the credit hour. The average cost per credit hour of an on-campus education is 9, online degrees average 2. There are schools both online and off that charge much more or much lest, but on average the cost of classes is more when taken online.

The cost of books is similar, with the cost of books varying depending on the emphasis of study and the individual class. On average a bachelor’s degree will cost ,947 in books. It’s also important to remember that taking an online class requires a computer, which can cost a few hundred dollars, to several thousand. Most college campuses have computer labs allowing students to overcome this financial hurdle, but those looking at online degrees need a computer.

With a computer comes the need for an internet connection. Internet prices vary depending on the provider and the bandwidth, but most should expect to spend at least each month. Depending on the length of time spent on earning a degree online, the cost of an internet connection could be more than one thousand dollars to obtain an online degree.

Once a degree is completed usual graduation fees still apply. Caps and Gowns are often purchased for graduations from online colleges, and most schools charge a graduation fee to process the final paperwork for obtaining a degree.

Overall, the costs are very similar for online degrees or traditional classrooms on college campuses. The only cost difference is in the housing fees associated with living on a college campus. However, most people earning an online degree have little need for housing since many are often already working. Ultimately the decision about pursuing online degrees is about lifestyle and not cost.

Michael Moss
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