How Much Does Online College Cost?

For those who are considering online college as an option for higher education, they will need to first review and understand online college cost.

While most brick-and-mortar colleges engulf two tuition rates, in-state and out-of-state, many online colleges are moving away from these figures. With an online presence that is equal to students residing both in-state and out-of-state for that institution, they are coming a single rate for their online programs, uniting the once-divided tuition.

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Average Cost For Undergraduate

An average study of the more popular online institutions provides a range of $300-$400 per credit hour for their course. For many students who are not residents of the institution’s state, this is a bargain compared to out-of-state tuition prices throughout the nation.

Also, many of these institutions are listed as either non-profit or private, showing that maintaining competitive online college cost is desired by these institutions.

While this number is still higher than courses offered by local community colleges, those who are seeking a Bachelors of Arts or Science program are unable to match these rates at much traditional public or private universities.

Additional Fees

Once the initial $900 to $1,200 fee is applied for the course, many institutions include an additional lab or technology fee that provides the student to the campus portal and resources.

… lab or technology fees are required because certain software and programs are necessary for the delivery of the online content of the course. They vary in price depending on the institution.

Used to maintain their digital classroom, lab or technology fees are required because certain software and programs are necessary for the delivery of the online content of the course. They vary in price depending on the institution.

Many resources find this as a way to build upon the tuition fee that was initially applied. However, they fail to report that these same fees are tacked onto courses at traditional universities across the nation as a way to cover the cost for the same technology usage, but in the classroom.

Fees Not Found Online

  • Room and Board
  • Meal Plans
  • Parking or Transportation Fees

One of the leading reasons that students are turning to online colleges is the lack of room and board. Because the online classroom can be accessed anywhere, many do not have to acquire campus housing, which minimizes the tuition costs tremendously compared to students studying in physical colleges.

Another cost that students studying online get to cut from their financial obligation is meal plans. At traditional institutions, the students living on campus and even commuter students have access to meal plans that are charged per the semester. For those studying online, they have the ability to not include this as a part of their tuition payment.

Finally, there are no lingering fees for transportation for students planning to study and obtain their degree online. Since there is no reason for them to travel to the institution, they are not subjected to the fees that commuters and students who live on campus with vehicles find themselves responsible for across the nation.

Tuition Costs Remain Low

Because these students are taking courses online, institutions are able to keep their costs for new building low or reduced from previous years. They are also able to hire more adjunct faculty to maintain the growing workload of online students.

They are provided a group of instructors that are often also working remotely, which thereby reduces the faculty cost for the institution.

This faculty pool is diverse and provides an opportunity that is unique to students obtaining an online degree. They are provided a group of instructors that are often also working remotely, which thereby reduces the faculty cost for the institution.

With the ability to minimize the need for full-time staff and buildings, these institutions are able to maintain a low online college cost.

Choose Your Program

After gaining an understanding of the online college cost, what it entails and how it differs from the traditional tuition of a college, all that one must do is to determine their program of study and which institution will fit their needs.

While the tuition initially may seem to be a higher rate than some in-state programs, consider the number of fees that will be eliminated when they obtain their degree online.

Sources: USNews.com, Forbes.com

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