Your Wallet Will Thank You: Online Degree Cost An Option To ConsiderIn the past couple of years, the overall cost of attending a public or a private college has increased dramatically to the chagrin of students and parents alike. Not only do parents have to dig deeper and tighten their belts even more, students are also working more to meet the costs of textbooks and other living expenses. In fact, due to the amount of people who cannot attend a traditional college because of higher costs, many give up on higher education altogether. Yet there is another answer - online education. An average online degree cost is decidedly lower than attending a traditional college and inflation rates are lower as well. Think about this: you work from home, mostly use your own materials, and are communicating virtually with teachers and other students. While the cost per credit might be the same or even less, tuition for a ground school depends on location, campus upkeep, the salaries of staff and other expenses like sports and campus events. You are not typically paying all of those costs as an online student.
While there are plenty of financial aid options and scholarships that colleges help you maneuver and apply for, the fact remains that costs will continue to rise. There are many reasons for this, including inflation. In a college setting, the rate can be anywhere from 4 percent to 6 percent annually. This is a dramatic increase when talking about dollars and cents. For example, if you are paying about $10,000 for your freshman year as an out-of-state student, with the inflation rate, you can expect to pay an additional $400 to $600 in your sophomore year. While the government will make getting federal loans easier and more affordable for students, it still might not be enough to offset the rising prices.
A recent study conducted by Mint.com for the 2009 and 2010 school years revealed that for public, four-year, in-state and on-campus students, tuition inflation was 6.1 percent. A private, four-year on-campus degree inflation rate was 4.3 percent. A look at the past five years shows that tuition costs for public schools have increased by 24 percent. Any economist, or regular citizen for that matter, understands that the more demand there is for something, the more it costs. More students are seeking a college degree today, which means that as demand increases, so do costs. Colleges, in effect, take advantage of the demands by hiking prices in order to pay for teacher and staff raises, renovations or new facilities altogether. While this is necessary in many respects and well-due for teachers and out-dated facilities, it seems as if the student is the one paying for these upgrades years later, or in many cases, unable to pay at all.
These facts and many more rest in the argument for an online education. Most that attend an online degree program are adults that cannot afford to take time off of work, or they have other obligations that can prevent them from attending a traditional ground school. The online degree course is more affordable and flexible in general. They can be working full-time while paying for the costs of going to school, or have a better likelihood of affording the loan repayments afterwards. The key to an online education, however, is to research a program just as thoroughly as a traditional ground school and make sure that it will fit in with your future goals for a new career or advancing the one that you already have. As for your wallet, well, it will certainly praise the low online degree cost and your decision for choosing it.
by: Emily Sismour
About the Author:
Sarah writes about Online Education for University-bound.com - a resource site for those interested in earning a degree online.
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