The Truth About Cost Differences Between Online and Traditional College

If you hear someone mention online college, the first thing you probably think of is the University of Phoenix, which so far has been the most popular of web-based college learning environments. But even if online degrees aren’t your thing, surely you’ve at least wondered if there’s a cost benefit to taking classes online instead of by visiting a campus. The truth is that while savings are definitely apparent, the true nature of the savings isn’t so obvious. Here is how it really breaks down:

If Schools See Savings, They Don’t Pass it Onto You

It’s obvious that schools are going to shave off the costs of keeping lecture halls heated and cut down on the amount of carpet cleaning that needs to happen if more students simply attend their courses online, but such savings are miniscule. Miniscule when compared to the overarching costs of the institution’s research budgets and other big projects. By removing yourself from the campus you don’t do much to help a school save money and so that in and of itself isn’t going to net you significant savings.

The Savings are What You Make of Them

Instead, the money that can saved by attending classes online is determined entirely by the student. While the tuition itself won’t change, you can avoid the high costs of living on campus and commuting when not having to physically travel to a campus. But this is based on the idea that you’d otherwise be living in a dorm or driving daily to your university. If neither are the case, then savings❠are imaginary.

If the Education was Cheaper, So Would the Degree

It’s important to remember that education is priced ideally in accordance with its quality. The degree program that costs significantly less online than it does achieved in the real world indicates that the quality of education was itself reduced. To employers, this doesn’t look too good. But to aspiring students, this should be as equally unacceptable. The ultimate savings you can hope to achieve when getting an online education amount to about $5000 during the course of a four-year degree pursuit. Anything less will be the result of a hindered education relative to that of competitors.

The difference in costs to the college is nominal. For students, its a matter of their personal situation. Either way, the simple truth is that nothing remarkable separates either experience from the other. They both provide the same level of learning and as such are priced about the same. Picking one over the other is simply a matter of personal preference.