The cost-effectiveness of earning a bachelor’s degree online is often one of the first questions aspiring college students ask when they’re thinking of enrolling in college to earn a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, the cost is still the largest factor keeping candidates from attending college to earn a degree. The addition of online education has made it possible for many students to attend college who might not have been otherwise able to. Earning a degree online can save you money in many ways.
Why the Expense of Online Education
When considering the ease of earning a degree online, one might wonder why it might not be cost-effective to earn a bachelor’s degree online or any type of degree for that matter. There are a few different reasons why a college or university might charge more for online education.
• Creating an online program can be expensive if the school doesn’t currently offer online education.
• Online courses take more time and cost more money to develop.
• Online courses take more time for the faculty to teach.
• Offering students 24/7 technical support costs the school additional money.
• Training instructors to teach on an online platform can be time-consuming and expensive.
Is Tuition Cheaper for Online Education?
When students consider that online education allows them to study from their computers at home, they often begin adding up the dollars they’ll save on tuition. However, students often discover it’s not as cost-effective to earn a bachelor’s degree online as they’d originally thought at least in terms of tuition. Since the start of online education, surveys have been done on the cost of online education vs traditional education.
U.S. News & World Report states that a 2013 survey of 400 universities garnered some very interesting results regarding online education tuition costs. Approximately 60 percent of the colleges charged the same tuition for online education as they did for on-campus education. A real shocker was that 36 percent of the colleges charged more for online degrees. Students who take individual classes often end up paying substantially higher tuition rates when doing it online.
Where Students Save on Online Degrees
While online students may not always save money on tuition, an online student can save money in other ways. Lodging is a huge expense for college students, whether they live in a dormitory or rent an apartment or private room. College housing can cost $10,000 or more for students. Online students do almost everything from the comfort of their home. It costs money to live in their homes, but it’s not an additional fee when they start college online.
Meals and food is another expense online students don’t have. They may still eat in their homes, but this is substantially cheaper than eating in restaurants or through meal plans that are required in many colleges. Students attending college in a brick-and-mortar college usually pay fees for laboratory use, books, technology, parking and various other activities that online students do not have. The online program may still charge come of the fees but usually at a lower cost.
Related Resource: 20 Best Affordable Schools in Georgia for Bachelor’s Degree
According to a report by U.S. News & World Report, 34 percent of online students considered tuition and fees to be the largest reason for choosing an online program. While this may not be the case 100 percent of the time, distance learning makes it very cost-effective to earn a bachelor’s degree online and enhance career opportunities.