Taking a course online has many advantages, including the ability to take classes from your home. You can avoid the costs associated with travel and parking fees, and you can save money by not having to buy books, supplies, and textbooks at a campus.
Fortunately, students can find alternatives to traditional textbooks that are both inexpensive and helpful. Some of these materials are free or low-cost, while others are subscription-based and offer discounts. This is an excellent opportunity for students to save money and reduce expenses.
A recent study shows that over one-in-five students said that the cost of books influenced their decision to take a class. While these costs are relatively high, they can be eased with a few simple steps.
First, ask your professor if you can save money using an older textbook edition. This may help you save money over the semester. Alternatively, you can share books with classmates. Often, your instructor is willing to work with you to come up with an affordable alternative.
An online college can be a much cheaper option than an in-person school. This is due to the lower tuition, textbooks, and other school costs. The amount of money you will save can depend on the type of degree you choose. Online courses can also help you avoid the long commute to and from campus.
Students planning to attend an online school can save a lot of money by choosing an associate’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree. These degree programs like marketing degree online typically cost less than a bachelor’s degree and can save you thousands of dollars.
Tuition rates vary significantly from institution to institution. For example, a public school can significantly discount in-state students. Private colleges generally have higher tuition rates.
Other Course Materials
Taking courses online can be expensive. The average cost per credit hour in public and private colleges is $316 and $488, respectively. Enrolling in a school outside your home state is also very expensive. The national average cost of a bachelor’s degree online is $54,183.
There are ways to reduce your course material costs. One way is to use open-source course materials. This is commonly called OER. Several universities are adopting this approach.
Another option is to choose a fixed-price textbook. This will ensure you’ll have access to many of the course materials you’ll need for your class. A college can also make a digital textbook version available to students, which is cheaper than purchasing a hard copy.
Saving Money From Commute
Taking online college classes is a great way to save money. You will not need to pay for gas to get to and from campus. You will also be able to take advantage of networking opportunities that you would otherwise miss out on. You may even apply for federal or institutional aid to help cover school costs.
While many factors determine the best option for you, you should consider your family situation, your lifestyle, and your academics. If you are close to your parents, consider staying home. This will mean that you will be closer to them, and they will be better-taken care of. This can reduce the stress of adjusting to life in college.
Institutional Financial Aid
Whether you’re a first-time student looking to go to college or returning after a period of absence, institutional financial aid can help you get the education you want at an affordable price. However, not all colleges and universities offer the same institutional aid.
The average institutional grant for full-time, first-time undergraduate students increased by 87.3 percent between the fiscal year (FY) 2008-09 and the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18. The share of full-time first-year students receiving institutional grant aid ranged from 16 percent at public two-year colleges to 81 percent at private nonprofit four-year colleges.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the average institutional financial aid rate was 18.4 percent in the FY 2008-09 school year, rising to 24.1 percent in the FY 2017-18. This number is a proxy for the average cost of tuition at a college or university.