Online University
10 Students 10 Questions 10 Answers

Are online degrees actually cheaper?

  • Angelina Casarez Angelina Casarez

    My online degree is no cheaper than going to a traditional school. I do my schooling through Southern New Hampshire University’s distance learning option, so I pay the same tuition as a student actually living at that school would. All students pay a bit less than $1,000 per course. I made sure to compare the costs at many different institutions and I found out that my tuition costs less money than a lot of the purely online schools that I researched.

    Even so, college is not cheap. I am paying for school with a combination of government-subsidized student loans and a Pell grant. My school walked me through the process of obtaining financial aid through the FAFSA, which is the federal application for aid. I appreciate that the school made sure I had all my ducks in a row, so to speak, before I started class. And while I know it will take a long time to pay off my student loans, I view it as an investment in my future.

  • Tanya Faison Tanya Faison

    No, online degrees are not actually cheaper. I have found that online schools are more expensive than traditional brick-and-mortar schools.

    There are resources available to help offset the cost of an online education, though. Some states, like California, offer a fee waiver. If you qualify, the waiver covers the cost of your units. In addition to that, if you get any financial aid, it goes directly to you, not to the school.

    Although it is a lot cheaper to go to a traditional school, online schools do allow you to save money in specific areas. While I was at Kaplan, I paid nothing for books because they were included in the tuition. But at Walden University, you have to buy your own books.

    In the same way that I would pay for a traditional institution, I pay for my online education with financial aid and student loans. Walden went through the whole process of securing funding with me and also ensured that I was able to fully pay for my education. I get the Federal Pell Grant as well as a standard student loan from the government.

  • Jody Galis Jody Galis

    It is hard to say if online degrees are cheaper than on-campus degrees because there are many factors that you have to take into consideration. These include what school you attend, what level of degree you pursue and what subject you study. Schools charge different tuition rates, but you also have to consider what kinds of things are included in the tuition, such as books and software packages. You also have to consider that tuition prices vary according to the level of degree you want. And finally, the subject itself matters. I would guess that a standard-issue business degree might be cheaper to earn online, but a more specialized degree, like digital design, will cost you more.

    In my case, I have had to take out student loans to pay for my degree, but the monthly payments are manageable. I would recommend that anyone who is considering online school take the time to talk with people at the financial aid office. If you do not qualify for financial aid from the government, there are other options like private loans and scholarships that your financial aid advisor can help you find.

  • Krystal Gransbury Krystal Gransbury

    My online associates degree in healthcare administration is not cheaper than a brick-and-mortar option. In fact, it is about $3,000 more expensive per year than the offline schools that I considered. But people need to think about all of the ways that they save that are not immediately evident when they are comparing tuition rates. In my case, my online degree is worth the money that I am paying because I don’t have to give up my salary. Taking online classes means that I don’t have to sacrifice my career for my education or vice versa.

    Paying for school can be a challenge whether you attend college online or offline. Luckily, about half of my education is being paid for with grants. To cover the other half, I took out student loans through the government.

  • Susan Griffin Susan Griffin

    I don’t believe the tuition for an online degree program is cheaper, although I didn’t compare the University of Phoenix’s price per credit to any offline schools. I pay a few thousand dollars for each of my 5-week classes. That seems like a lot, but going to school online allows me to save in other areas. Specifically, the biggest area of savings is childcare. If I went to a traditional school, I would have to get a baby sitter every day, and that could get expensive very quickly.

  • Alleisha Heard Alleisha Heard

    Yes, I think that online degrees are cheaper when you add up all of the expenses that you don’t have to pay. For instance, there are extra expenses that you have to pay when you go to school on-campus, like books. And since I have a young child, I would have to pay for daycare if I wasn’t able to be at home during school. I feel like I save a lot of money indirectly by going to school online, even though my initial tuition might be a little more expensive than some schools.

    Another thing that impressed me about my school is how helpful the financial aid office was when I was securing funding for my degrees. I have had a financial aid advisor from the start who has been instrumental is setting my finances straight so that I could afford to go to school.

  • Brandon Johnston Brandon Johnston

    No, online degrees are not cheaper than offline degrees. They are quite a bit more expensive. Now that I am nearly finished with my degree, I have concluded that I have not gotten my money’s worth for my education, even though my program was accredited and came at a lower cost than many online schools. For example, Ashford University was a lot more expensive for me than a state school would have been since I have paid about $45,000 for 3 years of education. But I knew that I needed to do school online in order to accommodate my life’s schedule, so I didn’t have much of a choice.

    The problem lies mostly with the economic downturn, in my opinion. In this day and age, the expectation is that a person goes to college and earns at least a bachelors degree. But companies know how desperate people are to find work in this job climate, so they don’t have to pay competitive salaries to people, even if they are highly skilled and educated. That means that while college is the most expensive that it has ever been, there is little financial reward for finishing a degree. I have a hard time reconciling those 2 facts because I believe that education is important but it is hard to justify paying this much money for it.

  • Nancy Lockett Nancy Lockett

    No, online degrees are often more expensive than brick-and-mortar schools. Before I committed to the University of Phoenix, I researched other schools and found that there is often a significant price difference between online and offline schools. But despite the fact that online schools are more expensive, they provide many services that help offset those costs. For instance, all of my textbooks are available to me online and I don’t have to buy any extra learning materials. I have paid for software out of pocket, but that was my choice.

    In order to pay for my education, I receive grants and student loans. The University of Phoenix helped me secure that funding. My school helped me through each step of the financial aid process and the financial advisors there made sure that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I am aware that in the long run, these loans will cost me a lot of money. Still, I think that I am paying a fair cost for the quality of education that I am getting.

    Finally, students should consider that scholarships can provide a great deal of financial assistance, but only if you apply before you start classes. So you need to research such scholarships prior to starting school, or else you may find yourself losing out.

  • Cynthia Palmer Cynthia Palmer

    Based on my experience, I would not say that online degrees are less expensive than a traditional school. I say that because I pay more than $1,000 per class, which is much more expensive than similar classes that our local community college offers. We also have to buy books just like we would if we went to an on-campus school, and those can cost several hundred dollars each. I have heard that some other online schools also charge technology fees in addition to tuition, although luckily, Ashford University doesn’t do that.

    At any rate, my schooling is certainly too expensive to pay for out of pocket, so I am paying for my education through student loans and grants. There are some scholarships available through various service organizations, but at the time that I was applying to Ashford University, I had an exceptionally busy schedule so I didn’t have time to check into them.

    Even though I didn’t do so, I would recommend that people check into every opportunity they can find for scholarships because those can make a very big difference in the amount of student loans you will have to pay back. And if you do have to take out student loans, make sure you are capable of making the loan payments as soon as the first installment comes around, or else your credit will be severely damaged.

  • Justin Pettyjohn Justin Pettyjohn

    I am not sure if online degrees are any cheaper than their offline counterparts. I did compare the costs of tuition at the University of Phoenix with other schools when I first considered getting my degree online, and I remember it seemed like they were charging a reasonable rate. But since I am in the military I don’t have to pay for my education out of pocket. I get a full federal tuition reimbursement. All I have to pay is a $90 resource fee, which covers my books.

    On the other hand, my wife is also a University of Phoenix student and she is paying for her education through financial aid offered by the government. The financial aid that she was offered has been more than enough to pay for her entire tuition, and we are both grateful for that.