Monday, September 6, 2010

The Financial Advantages of Online College

Guest post by Tim Handorf

Although traditional brick and mortar colleges are still a very popular option, more and more students are realizing that online schools offer several advantages, one of the most important being a cheaper overall bill for school. From tuition and textbooks to commuting and job opportunities, you will often find that you can get more education for your money simply by going online.

Many online colleges offer a base tuition and fees that are cheaper than brick and mortar schools, and it makes sense. Unless your online school is the virtual branch of a traditional university, there are no extensive libraries to fill and maintain, student centers to manage, or sports teams and stadiums to support. Online colleges are simply able to focus on curriculum without spending money on the extras typically found at schools with a physical presence.

You may find that the absence of a campus to go to will be good for your bottom line in more than tuition. If you are able to study completely online, you don't need to drive to class every day. You're able to work on school at home, at work, or wherever you may be without any extra driving, gas, or wear and tear on your vehicle. This can also result in fewer meals on the go, which tend to be more expensive than what you can make for yourself.

Although some online schools will require you to buy textbooks and other supplies in order to complete course work, others will allow you to access books, journals, and more completely online. For many students, they are able to leave behind the back to school bookstore rush found in traditional college behind, and instead just download or visit websites for their text as they go along in the semester. Some online students may find that the only supplies they need are a computer, Internet connection, and maybe a good pair of glasses.

At a brick and mortar school, you will typically have to stick to a rigid schedule, with classes at regular meeting times that usually fall into business hours. This can keep many students from pursuing a part time or full time job while they're in school. However, with the flexibility found in most online college programs, you can generally work at any hour, which will free your schedule up to allow you to work and earn money while you're still in school.

These are just a few of the positive financial considerations offered by online schools. Research the programs that interest you to find out the advantages that they may offer for your bottom line to see how online college can save you money as a student.


Tim Handorf writes on the topics of online colleges and universities. He welcomes your comments at his email:


  1. I've been thinking about subject and would like to know if Tim could recommend any online colleges that are accredited and well-accepted. My concern would be if any online degrees may not be accepted in certain fields. Perhaps a "part 2" article could answer some of these questions? Thank you, Tim, for writing on this topic.

  2. Lyn, you might want to email Tim with your questions. I would be more than happy to post a follow up to this article if he wants to write it. His email address:

  3. I have gone through school online and LOVED it! Just make sure the college or university you choose is nationally and regionally accredited!
    Private colleges do not allow the degree to be transferable in most cases!

  4. I needed to read this..

    I wanted to go for my bachelor. I graduated 25.5 years ago with an AA but had about 3 years of credits.

    I only need 15 classes to be a social worker.. but yikes 800 for 4 credits plus books..

    It will come to 15,000 which I can't afford with my mortgage; and line of work..

    I'm going to look to online.. thanks for this..

    Betty Ann