Online learning has significantly grown in popularity over the last decade. While there are many advantages of pursuing your degree online, one important factor is cost. The lower costs involved in getting online degrees, when compared to traditional degrees, makes it an attractive option for students.
Are Online College Degrees Really Cheaper?
A study conducted in 2015 on online college students released a report that states that college costs and tuition fees were the most important factors for students in making a decision.
College costs are calculated in terms of the credit hours that students need to complete as part of their program. The numbers given below may vary according to university policies.
Undergraduate degree: 120-130
Graduate degree: 30-55
By studying data from the top 25 online university programs in the USA, it was found that the cost of an undergraduate degree ranges between $150-$458 per credit hour. It is $257-$539 per credit hour for a master's degree.
Broadly, the individual components of college costs for a bachelor’s degree are categorized as follows:
Traditional college ($)
Online learning ($)
Tuition & Fees
Boarding & Food
Books & Supplies
(Given above is the actual cost structure of an undergrad program in Florida.)
You can see that online degree programs are comparatively cheaper as students can save on certain expenses that aren’t incurred in an online learning environment.
Trends in College Pricing
College costs have been increasing at an average of 2.4% every academic year during the last decade as reported in the ‘Trends in College Pricing’ annual report’ released by College Board.
The rapidly rising college costs and not-so-rapidly rising financial aid have pushed students to look for comparatively inexpensive options to earn a college degree. It is advisable that students check out the university website to compare cost structures and to select the most feasible option.