While the cost of university education is steadily increasing, it can still be very affordable to earn a bachelor’s degree online for most people. With planning and careful consideration of costs and living expenses, most undergraduate students can save a considerable amount of money by avoiding unnecessary expenditures. The opportunity to earn an accredited online bachelor’s degree has greatly expanded over the years since broadband Internet service was first introduced early in the 21st century. Whereas online learning was once relatively expensive and exclusive, it has now become a viable alternative for most students looking for vocational training in a profession of their choice.
Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree
The variance in cost per credit hour of an online bachelor’s degree can be quite large, depending on the institution and the degree program. Online degrees must be accredited according to a different standard than traditional degrees, so not all programs can be offered online by every institution.
The cost per credit hour of an online bachelor’s degree can range from less than $100 to over $1,000, depending on factors such as university ranking, lab costs, class size and student resources. Some schools may promise students a rigorous online vocational training without providing an accredited bachelor’s degree. The cost of unaccredited programs at private, for-profit institutions may not be less than the cost of accredited programs at comparable public schools.
Not all students need to receive a degree from an accredited university to enter the career of their choice. However, all students should understand the benefits of earning an accredited bachelor’s degree online. Getting an accredited degree online is equivalent to earning a traditional four-year degree at a residential university. Students of accredited online programs can transfer their credits to other schools, and they may choose to pursue postgraduate education at any accredited university.
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Return on Investment for Online Bachelor’s Degrees
One of the benefits of increased access to online bachelor’s degrees is the greater return on investment for a four-year education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest-growing occupations in the economy can be obtained through online training programs. From nurse practitioners to physician’s assistants, the top-paying and fastest-growing professions require only a four-year degree or less.
Most online vocational schools specialize in providing bachelor’s degrees and certificates for these in-demand professions. A bachelor’s degree in nursing could lead to a six-figure salary in just one or two years after graduation. Similarly, a bachelor’s degree in computer science could lead to a six-figure income and a job at a software or video game studio.
The cost of a bachelor’s degree online depends on the goals and choices of the student. A private, for-profit university may charge up to five times as much per credit hour than a public, non-profit school. Although the degree granted by the university will ultimately have the same value, in either case, the experience of attending the more expensive school could be worth the expense.
University education has never been more important or more essential for finding employment in the modern workforce. Online degree programs offer students the convenience and flexibility they need to finish their studies on their terms. When it comes to getting a bachelor’s degree online, today’s students have many options to choose from.