An Excellent Economy Lesson in Long-Distance Learning

If you have given thought to furthering your education, you may have considered an online degree. A relatively new phenomenon, online degrees are legitimate alternatives to traditional campus-based study. Thanks to technology, you can learn at your own wherever and whenever you like; and the cost of online degrees is much lower than most realize.

Tuition charged for online degrees is the same for campus-based courses at a given institution. The true cost of online degrees is substantially lower than those of traditional degrees due to what may be called "peripheral" financial factors. These are monetary aspects not expressly stated or immediately apparent. However, these peripheral factors have a huge impact.

Suppose you are a working professional who desires an MBA for career advancement. You earn $ 40,000 per year. Review the following comparison:

Online Degree

Tuition / Fees $ 3,500
Textbooks $ 0
Misc. course materials $ 50


Total costs per semester $ 3,550

Traditional Campus-Based Program

Tuition / Fees $ 3,500
Textbooks $ 400
Misc. course materials $ 50
Physical Relocation $ 1,000
Off-campus housing $ 2,000
Utilities for housing $ 500
Long-distance phone calls $ 300
Travel home for breaks $ 1,000
Loss of Salary income $ 10,000
Childcare $ 2,000


Total costs per semester $ 20,750

Wow! Campus-based study is nearly six times the cost of an online degree. Over one-half of this additional cost results from lost employment income.

By contrast, the online degree student incurs the same tuition and fees, but none of the traditional student's peripheral financial obligations. Let's review these differences one by one.

First, the online degree student's homework assignments and textbooks are all in virtual format. There is no need to trek to the bookstore and buy massive six-inch tomes, stacks of loose-leaf binders, and multiple reams of paper to print out research papers.

The online degree student's next area of ​​major savings results from avoiding relocation and housing costs. While the campus-based student is packing up his or her pregnancies, renting a U-Haul truck, filling up its massive engine with diesel, and completing a 1500-mile trek across country, the online student remains conveniently located.

Upon arriving at the new destination, the campus-based candidate gets to spend more hours and gasoline scouting rental ads and looking for a place to live. When suitable quarters are finally located, the traditional program enrollee may expect $ 500 rent and $ 125 utility expenses each month. While doing this budgetary balancing act, our campus-based buddy also has the "privilege" of high telephone bills and airfare for semester breaks in an effort to maintain family ties. All the while, the darling toddlers who accompanied him or her through these tribulations have to be supervised while classes are in session. The friendly local babysitter to whom you entrust your children daily and who is totally unfamiliar to you gets a piece of the action, too.

Upon degree completion, both new graduates are hired by the same major corporation at the same starting salary of $ 60.000. Now, the real fun begins. Let's take a look at the relative financial positions:

Online Degree Graduate

Student Loan Debt Load $ 0
Total Loan Interest Repaid $ 0
Lost income expense $ 0
Misc. course materials $ 200


Total Out-of-Pocket Expense $ 200

Traditional Degree Graduate

Student Loan Debt Load $ 83,000
Total Loan Interest Repaid $ 20,000
Lost Income Expense $ 160,000


Total Out-of-Pocket Expense $ 203,000

Whew! Our online graduate takes advantage of an employee reimbursements program to cover tuition and fees. That benefit of maintaining employment during studies, combined with not having to incur any of the associated costs of having to physically attend classes puts him or her far ahead.

While the traditional degree graduate begins a new career with a staggering debt load that will last for two decades, the online graduate has no such burden to encumber the monthly budget. Moreover, our online college graduate enjoyed continuing employment with the concurrent benefits of maintaining seniority and no disruption of on-the-job training and experience. He or she will likely earn promotions and accompaniment income increases much faster than their campus-based college.

Most importantly, the online degree graduate enjoyed the pleasure of being present for births, anniversaries, weddings, family reunions, and community social involvement. The campus-based graduate has a lot of catching up to do – in the financial and familial arenas. When calculating the true cost of online degrees, never forget: some things are priceless!

Source by SherRon M.