Do online courses cost more or less?

online costs

PARENTS BEGIN SAVING FOR THEIR CHILD’S COLLEGE FUND sometimes before the baby arrives. It is a significant concern in today’s economy, as it should be. The cost of a quality education keeps rising, and in some instances, our paychecks are not; therefore, the expense of a college education is on the parent’s mind, as well as, the student’s. Your decision on which college or university you will attend should not be based on the costs; however, sadly a lot of families must make their choice based on financial factors. Besides, who wants to graduate with a mountain of student loan debt? Nobody!

Perhaps you are wondering if online learning programs are more or less expensive than the traditional brick and mortar classroom experience. The truth is that this is a quandary for most prospective college students. There are many factors to consider; so, extensive research on your part must be conducted before applying or enrolling into a program of any kind, if school tuition is a factor for you.

Online schools typically are less expensive than a college or university campus that requires your presence. With that being said, it may not always apply. Some schools offer their coursework only through the means of the online learning format. If this applies to your school of choice, yes, it is probably going to have lesser tuition than any other type of program. Why? Because they do not have the expenses that a traditional campus may incur. For example, online-only schools are not responsible for maintaining large campus grounds and buildings and they have fewer administrative employees, as well as, fewer faculty to pay.

Traditional brick and mortar universities often encompass hundreds of acres and numerous on-site buildings with substantial utility costs, in addition to, an excessive amount of faculty and administration salaries to pay. Naturally, private universities will cost more to attend than public universities. The traditional university, whether it is a private or public establishment, will generally be more expensive to participate in than an online version of the same.

Also, of course, most traditional campuses offer online degree programs, as well as, their on-campus counterparts. In this application, online programs may cost identically the same as on-campus programs. However, by attending an online program, you can save money by eliminating transportation expenses, student parking fees, housing costs and by avoiding extra food and wardrobe expenditures. Depending on your online school of choice, books may be provided online as well, therefore, eliminating the purchase of textbooks, which is traditionally expensive, if purchased while on-campus.

Can you expect the same education through a cheaper program? Yes, you can. Online degree programs of today teach the same curriculum required by the traditional on-campus university. In addition, your diploma will not indicate “online” on it if your school offers both online and traditional learning formats. Is cheaper better? For the most part, you will attain a comparable education through both types of programs; however, it’s always best to check school reviews before enrolling. Also, be sure to research all possible “hidden fees,” along with, “in-state” and “out-of-state” tuition options.  And here’s another point to research, and perhaps the most important; it involves accreditation.  Do not waste your money on any online or on-campus degree program that does not offer the proper school accreditation, no matter how cheap the cost!


If you’d like to study through an online program, can help you make an informed choice about a school that is right for you. Are you interested in assisting others in feeling their best? If so, check out our list for the Top 20 Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Programs.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses will increase by 15% by 2026, and the average median pay for licensed nurses is currently $68,450 per year.