SolveYourProblem Article Series: Online Degrees
Is An Online Degree Program For Me?


     Is An Online Education Cheaper or Not?

The debates concerning online degree programs continue. For many people, it is about traditional classroom learning versus online learning. For others is it about cost. Does it cost more to study online or in a classroom setting? The answer depends on the cost of tuition for the school and what types of computer programs and other materials might be needed to compete a degree program. Some degrees are less expensive than others because the overhead is lower. With other programs, like culinary arts, or even computer programming, is the latest computer programs are needed, the cost could be in the thousands. It just depends on what one will be learning.

Usually the tuition for online classes is the same as traditional classroom classes. But sometimes, if a university is trying out a new online class, they will charge less to take the class because they want to see if it will be a good class to continue offering online. These classes are just as good as other classes. Many times, schools offer some classes online, but not all classes. These usually cost the same amount of money.

Online classes for medical transcription and other data entry or secretarial professions might even cost less when taken online. The need for a classroom is gone, instructors are paid less because they do not need to prepare lectures and spend time with a student if they have questions. Online classes that do not require extra equipment are usually cheaper. But some schools just charge more. This is because they do not expect a person to shop around when deciding on an online class. But this is not always the case. Many people want the most form their money and will comparison shop. Many schools offer financial aid, which covers most of the cost for the classes and supplies.

Some online degree programs cost a lot more than traditional classroom study. These degrees are usually in math, English, or history. Many universities offer low residency advance degree programs where people meet every six months for a week or so and then go home and work on projects. These programs, though very beneficial, can cost thousands of dollars for enrollment costs, and in many cases, cost extra money in travel costs. But it is a requirement for the completion of the program, that everyone attend the residencies. Other programs that do not include meeting twice a year can also cost money.

Whether or not online classes are cheaper or more expensive, it is important to choose the right program. Online classes are more convenient for some people. For others, going to classes keeps them focused. Research all options before committing to any program. Ask questions and be sure to know how much extra materials are going to cost per year. Also, ask about low residency programs. While more expensive, students will have the opportunity to meet other students and instructors. This can create an environment that seems much smaller than if taking an online class and not meeting another person. Lots of people are intimidated by not communicating with other students and instructors. But many online programs are set-up this way to keep a fast moving pace and allow people to make their own study schedules. This is also done to cut down on cost. Low overhead means they can charge less for the classes. This appeals to many people who are on a budget, who do not want to apply for financial aid, or for those who just want to take a class or two, not complete a degree program.

Before enrolling in any online degree program, find out the total cost for the program. Decide if not seeing other students or sitting through a lecture is the right learning environment. Ask other people who have graduated from on online degree program and see how they felt and if they saw the cost as too high. Lastly, try to understand individual study habits. Online degree programs can be as expensive as any traditional college program, or they can cost a little less, it just depends on the university offering it. It is worth the time to research all options before deciding on a program.

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