With the start of the new school year less than a month away, and the costs associated with higher education continuing to rise to record levels, today we thought we’d take an important look at a financially savvy alternative to traditional college and professional degree programs: online education. Here are five valuable financial benefits to online education programs that may cause you to rethink your assumptions about the debt you must take on to get a degree.
1) Tuition costs at online education programs can be substantially lower
Many traditional colleges can charge upwards of $20,000 per year for tuition alone. Compare that to nontraditional online education programs, which may have tuition payments that are approximately a quarter of these costs. These figures suggest that even if a traditional college is your first choice, you may want to consider taking at least some online courses in advance – provided that the traditional school will accept and credit your grade towards your degree.
2) Online education programs can be completed sooner
A second financial benefit to online education is the speed with which you may be able to complete your degree. At a traditional school, you are at the mercy of the school’s traditional semester or quarterly schedule, but many online education programs have varying degree dates and more opportunities to complete required coursework faster. The faster you get the degree, the less time you’ll have to support yourself while being in school – and the sooner you’ll enter the workforce.
3) Online education programs provide more flexibility during the day for work or childcare demands
Need to work while attending college, as so many Americans are required to do to support themselves? With online education courses, you can structure your school schedule to fit your work hours, rather than the other way around. Older students with family responsibilities can also manage childcare costs and scheduling with far more ease.
4) Online education programs do not require you to change your living situation
Apart from higher tuition, a second major cost involving traditional education programs is the cost of food and housing in campus dormitories or apartments. Some estimates hold that traditional college students spend as much as $45,000 over four years on these living costs alone! Online education programs, however, do not require you to uproot your home, or live near any campus; in fact, you can do the opposite and move to a cheaper neighborhood while you earn your degree.
5) Online education programs require you to pay less in books and materials
Yet another cost assumed by traditional college goers is the cost of books that various professors demand students read. But in online education, most if not all the materials are made available by the professor on the Internet, getting students easy access at a fraction of the cost.
Please note that the above is just a list of some financial benefits of online education, and that there are without a doubt a number of other advantages to the traditional college experience that may make it worth paying for. That said, those seeking a college or professional degree who are already facing financial challenges, or are simply nervous about the tremendous costs associated with higher education, should consider online education as an alternative. And if you are looking for money to pay for your education – whether you are considering seeking a degree online, or at a traditional college or professional school – and need cash now, reach out to J.G. Wentworth. We offer lump sums of cash for future structured settlement and annuity payments, and can get that money into your hands sooner. Call us anytime at 877-227-4713.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.