What is the Average Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is now almost the standard requirement to be competitive in the job market, and the high cost of earning a degree has many asking, “What is the average cost of an online bachelor’s degree?” While it can cost several thousands of dollars to earn an online bachelor’s degree, it’s still substantially less expensive than earning an undergraduate degree at a brick-and-mortar college. Every year the number of students enrolling in online education increases, and the biggest reason is because of the cost of an online bachelor’s degree is more affordable than ever.

What Online Learning Entails

Online learning involves students attending college over the internet in the convenience of their homes. They don’t have to drive to school and sit in a classroom. Everything is completed online. Students can log in to the school site and do assignments, take tests and communicate with instructors. Online colleges use a learning management system such as Blackboard, Moodle or a similar system. Students learn through different platforms, including email, online lectures, forums, DVDs, blogs, podcasts and streaming videos. Unlike traditional programs, online programs do not require travel and lodging expenses. There are currently more than 275 online universities.

Average Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree can be very expensive today regardless of what school a student chooses to attend. However, the cost of a bachelor’s degree is much cheaper when the student earns it through distance learning as opposed to on-campus. U.S. News & World Report indicates that the average cost of earning an online bachelor’s degree is about $38,000, while a bachelor’s degree at traditional college could cost about $85,000. Because most colleges charge higher rates for out-of-state students, it’s indicated that online students can save money by enrolling as an in-state student.

Why Online Degrees Are Cheaper

Most online students state that they’ve chosen online degree programs because of the convenience and flexibility they offer, others state that they like the idea of saving thousands of dollars while earning a bachelor’s degree. Online degrees are much cheaper than traditional degrees in several ways.

  • No need to travel
  • No need to pay for room and board
  • No need to eat out every day
  • No lab fees
  • No out-of-state higher tuition fees

Are Online Bachelor’s Degrees as Good as Traditional Bachelor’s Degrees?

When online courses and degrees first originated, they were regarded as highly as degrees earned at an actual college or university. Fortunately, that is no longer the case because online bachelor’s degree programs are every bit as good as on-campus bachelor’s degree programs. Some of the most popular fields for bachelor’s degree programs are the same as for conventional bachelor’s degree programs, such as business, nursing, elementary education and psychology. Many students who have attended college both online and on campus state that their instruction was similar in both, they learned about the same, and the scores in standardized testing were similar for both.

Related Resource: 20 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees

The National Center for Educational Statistics indicates that more than 10 percent of students pursuing bachelor’s degrees were earning them online as of 2016. While some students choose online programs because of the convenience and flexibility they offer, others choose them because the average cost of an online bachelor’s degree makes them the most affordable option.