Why Online Courses Cost More than Traditional Courses

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Why Online Courses Cost More than than Traditional Courses

Americans view online classes as the best value, but are they?
○ 5% of Adults, and One in Five Students Are Now Taking an Online Course
■ Does an online education provide good value for the money compared to a traditional classroom?
● Online better: 33%
● Online the same: 34%
● Online Worse: 27%

Despite the perception that it is of better value, there are often extra costs to take online classes:
○ 54% of colleges charge students an additional per-credit fee to take a distance education course.
■ Fee ranged between $4 to $75 per credit
■ Median average of $23

So Why Do Online Classes Sometimes Cost More?

■ Additional licensing
■ Fees for technology-related services
● 55% outsource their server needs to a third party
● Support
○ 98% of colleges offer a HelpDesk & Tech Support for online students
■ Training existing staff
● 43% of colleges require more than 8 hours of training for distance education programs
■ Hiring staff members who have special knowledge about distance education and technology skill sets
■ Federal rules and regulation command a greater degree of administrative resources
● Student financial aid fraud
● State authorization
● Student
● Authentication
● ADA compliance

Traditional Colleges vs Online Colleges

Some factors to consider that are hard to put a dollar amount on:

Traditional Colleges:
● Regular face-to-face class meetings provide structure
○ This can encourage accountability
● Students at traditional colleges can have the full campus experience
○ The community created by classes often leads to productive networking after graduation
● Traditional colleges are often more highly regarded due to a combination of long-term accreditation and historic achievements

Online Colleges:
● Most online courses allow students to access course material and participate in class activities on their own schedules.
○ Allows time for work and family commitments
● Course materials are recorded and always available, so if you miss any information you can survey the material again.
● Online programs typically decrease the associated costs of colleges
○ Commuting
○ Housing
○ Course materials

Online courses might be the future of education, but right now colleges are still adapting.

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Sources:
http://oedb.org/advice/how-online-colleges-schools-stack-up-to-traditional-colleges/
http://www.gallup.com/poll/165425/online-education-rated-best-value-options.aspx
http://www.itcnetwork.org/attachments/article/66/AnnualSurvey2013PublishedApril2014.pdf