It is without a doubt that the cost associated with going to college and obtaining a degree is one of the most significant concerns for students and this is true for parents who may be looking to return to work or improve on the skills they already have. It may come as a surprise, but many people are flocking to online colleges and universities as a cost-effective, viable and most importantly affordable alternative to attending a traditional college or university. But is it cheaper to opt for the online college degree programs and if so, are there even more perks to gaining your degree from the comfort of your own home?
Online vs Traditional
Colleges and universities that offer online degree programs will be typically cheaper than attending a real college for a variety of reasons. To begin with, as they will solely offer online degrees, they have far fewer expenses to incur than a traditional brick-and-mortar university. This is because, across the board, they do not usually have vast masses of land, property, and buildings to manage, most likely none at all. They do not have to hire and pay hundreds, if not thousands, of personnel each month. This, of course, allows online colleges and universities to offer cheaper tuition rates for the same qualifications. On the plus side of the student to is the fact that there are no commuting costs, including transport and daycare.
Traditional colleges tend to be more expensive than online education, however, it also depends on the type of school. Large universities such as Harvard, Yale or Duke have astronomically high tuition rates, in fact, the average student enrolled at these colleges or universities usually spends on average anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 in tuition fees alone! These figures don’t even begin to cover the cost of materials, books, or living expenses. Many of these students come from privileged backgrounds with their parents enjoying the means of paying this type of tuition year after year. Nevertheless, most of these college’s students receive some form of scholarship or bursary that allows them to subsidise these costs.
Up to recent years, students who attend public, state-based or city-based universities usually find costs of tuition comparable to that of an online school, yet over the last few years, these prices have skyrocketed due to cuts in state budgets as a result of economic slowdown. These cuts have meant that most public universities have decreased the number of grants and scholarships programs to help offset the costs of college, resulting in the knock on rising of fees payable by the student.
If it costs less, it’s better, right?
In the end, the most prominent question that people might ask is cheaper better or worse? It depends. There is no correlation between the costs of a degree and quality of education. It is vital for any student, especially a parent considering expanding their knowledge, to thoroughly research the school they plan on attending and whether they have the time to commit to their intended courses. For example, an operations management degree online will still take up to 24 months to complete so is not the quick fix some feel it maybe as opposed to a more traditional school. Look carefully into the school’s admissions rate, graduation rate and the employment rate of students after graduation. Also thoroughly research the school’s accreditation and the faculty that teaches courses.
However you wish to proceed, plan your time and finances carefully and work out which is the best option for you and your family. Happy Learning!