It’s true that distance learning is easily available, but what are the costs involved? Is distance learning any cheaper than physically attending a college or university? How about the possible financial aid? Are students who want to earn a degree in a ‘non-traditional’ situation eligible for financial aid? These questions are typical of students who wish to earn an online degree and finding the answers are important and not always easy to obtain.
Getting an in-depth, apples to apples, listing of two programs is difficult and makes it hard to get the answers about true educational costs with any precision. Knowing that the price of a degree these days is very high, you can be prepared to lay out a considerable amount of money no matter how you choose to get that degree, by way of attending school on campus or if you attend online.
Can an online education end up costing you more money than a traditional classroom learning environment? Sometimes it might cost you more! You can look around at various degree granting institutions and you might locate a distance learning program that costs less but as always, less money does not always result in getting a good deal.
No matter what educational method you pick out, you will be paying money for tuition, registration and application fees, and then you will need to buy required course materials. And these days people who attend the traditional on-campus way will need personal computers or a way to use computers that are equipped with the basic software and are connected to the internet. You can’t circumvent these items and the costs involved.
But what you won’t have to pay for when you attend school online is on campus or local room and board, commuting costs, childcare costs, various meal plans, daily parking fees, student insurance payments and many of the other costs that come with attending a traditional educational intuition. Those items are where you will get a price break, and this is the kind of items that will allow you to actually save cash. Time is another element in this equation. Saving time is like saving cash, because, ‘Time is money’.
Now, on to the question of financial aid: Are you going to be eligible for the financial aid? That is something you will not know until you fill out and send in a financial aid application form. Many people won’t apply for financial aid since they wrongly believe they have earned too much income to qualify. This is not a good pre-supposition since your earnings are only one of the factors involved in the decision to award financial aid.
The criteria for awarding a financial aid package (and the amount awarded) is normally computed based on various other factors. The various items considered could be the number of persons in the household, how many other household members are currently attending college, the your savings and investment holdings and other assets and sources of income you might have.
Anytime someone is denied financial aid, or if you are not approved for the money you need to attend, you can still exercise other options. You can submit an application for a student loan, and these are usually at better rates than other kinds of loans, but these kind of loans need to be paid back after you graduate. You might be eligible to obtain many of the plentiful grants and scholarships that are always offered to students. Grants and scholarships are given to those students who meet the eligibility standards and the great thing about these sources of cash is that need to be paid back later!