How to Determine the Cost and Affordability of an Online University

While you are looking for an online college program, it may surprise you that there is no relationship between cost and quality of online education. Some may think that an expensive online degree is better than the cheap one; but believe it or not, paying more won’t necessarily buy you the best online degree in terms of educational quality. Hence, the cost and affordability of an online degree lies on the following four factors.

Is the Prospective Online School Public or Private?

It goes without saying that public universities cost less because they are subsidized by your tax dollars. In other words, attending a public college means attending an institution you have already helped through your federal and state tax dollars. Because they have already received a reasonable amount through these tax funds, they don’t need to charge a costly tuition fee tothe students. In this way, colleges that are publicly funded always cost significantly less than their private counterparts.

Likewise, publicly funded online colleges are much more affordable than private online colleges. The ranking and affordability of these online colleges can be looked over the internet.

Where is the Online University Headquartered?

The location of your online university matters a lot. Some certain areas like Wyoming where living cost is lesser than an elite city like Massachusetts, the educational expenses are also low. A couple of national surveys have shown that the University of Wyoming costs about $16,000 for its online Bachelors in Business. While, on the other hand, the University of Massachusetts, which is headquartered in high-cost New England offers the same course for almost $58,000. There is a phenomenal difference in the fee amount of both universities.

Is the distance learning program a profit or a non-profit?

Traditionally, a profit organization charges two to three times more than a non-profit business. In the same way, if anonline college is operated as a business for profit, it would make you pay much more for their services.

For instance, the University of Phoenix, which is operated by Apollo Group is one of the largest online colleges operated in US. It is a for-profit company too.

Who is accrediting your online college?

It is observed that the colleges accredited nationally are generally cost less than the colleges accredited regionally. It is a reason that the national accreditation is not as widely accepted and considered prestigious as regional accreditation.

Key Steps to Finance Your Distance Learning Program

There are times when you fall short of financial resources despite of knowing all the above factors. For such events, following are some main steps that you may take.

  1. Financial Aid enables eligible students (whether on-campus or distance learners) to attend the school, college, or university of their choice. Also, students are provided grants and loans on the basis of their financial needs and academic excellence.
  2. When you fill out the application for financial aid, the university determines many things for your eligibility to the funds. Your earnings, investments, assets, and the family size are some of those factors influencing the final decision.
  3. There are a number of universities that offer merit-based scholarships to the students. For such kind of scholarships, you don’t really need to apply, you get awarded as an incentive for your outstanding academic performance. The more your academic profile beats an average profile, the more chances you have to win a merit scholarship.

Relationship between Cost and Quality in Online Degrees

Paying more for a distance learning programcan never assess the education in terms of quality. On the other hand, comparing all online degree options will tell you that the least expensive option comes from a non-profit and public university.

So, whether you are enrolled in a non-profit college or attending a public college for your online education, there is no evidence that your academic profile would get better by attending a for-profit college online only.

Author Bio:

Hannah is a freelance writer by profession. She has always been very passionate about writing, and loves to read some great book too. She holds an online life experience degree in education, which is why she finds writing articles related to students very interesting.

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