It is 2021, we are living in interesting times. It may take a while for normalcy to return, and that includes a restart of on-campus schools, colleges, and graduate schools. Even before the Covid-19 situation, there has been a steady move towards online education, especially in the graduate programs. And even before the pandemic, the cost of education, including that of master’s degrees, has been steadily rising. We created this guide to provide the answer for how much does a master’s degree cost. Compare that with the cost of online master’s degrees and help you make a better choice to chose between Online Vs. Traditional education with all relevant facts and data.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
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The cost of a graduate school depends on many factors such as the subject & program, the university, state in which student is enrolled, etc. Here are all the expenses involved in a master’s program.
Before we get into the details, however, let’s look at the most significant expense: Annual Tuition. Most Master’s Degree Programs require a 2-year course of study but, depending on the subject, your program may be anywhere from 18 months to three years.
And, we are assuming you take the full course load allowed. If you only take one course at a time, some online schools charge more per credit hour than if you take several classes at the same time—the per-credit rate decreases when you enroll in more credit hours per semester.
Of the 25 most affordable online schools, the cost per credit hour will be in the range of $500 to $625. This brings the average annual tuition (of the 25 most affordable online schools) to approximately $5,362 per year.
Unfortunately, tuition may not be the only costs that your university charges. There will probably be fees (dependent on how many credits you are taking that semester):
Per Credit Fees
Technology / Tech Support Fees
Assessments for Course-Level Placement
Criminal Background Checks
Official Transcript Fee
Some programs may require an internship. You should check to see if there is travel involved or other program requirements. Don’t forget about Books and Supplies, and they can be quite costly for some programs. And, of course, you will need a computer and a reliable Internet connection.
Average cost of master’s degree
According to Sallie Mae, the average amount spent by students is $24,812 per year. And a typical master’s degree lasts for two years. So, it is safe to estimate that the average cost of a master’s degree is around $48,000. It is important to note that there is a vast difference in this cost based on the programs and schools. For example, – an MBA will typically cost more than other programs. But an MBA from an IV League school will cost a lot more than an MBA from another institution. Read more about our most affordable masters program rankings here.
Cost of Online Master’s Degree
Like a traditional master’s degree, the cost of an online master’s degree also varies widely based on the subject, state, and the program. As expected, the most significant expense for the online master’s program is the tuition fee. This is where things get somewhat complicated. Some universities don’t charge an out-of-state expense for their online master’s programs, while other universities do charge an out-of-state expense for online master’s students if they are out of state. Another critical factor to consider is that according to USA News, the average fees for the online program at a for-profit university is cheaper than the out-of-state tuition public universities or private colleges. This applies to master’s programs too. So, the cost of an online master’s degree can wildly swing based on these factors. Here are a few universities that do not charge the out-of-state tuition fees for online master’s students.
It is challenging to provide an average cost online master’s degree because of the lack of uniform pricing models for in-state and out-of-state tuition fees. However, if we consider the universities that don’t charge the out-of-state expenses on students for their online master’s programs, the average cost of an online master’s degree would be around $29,000.
Cost Comparison : Online School Vs. On-Campus
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Many sources would tell you that online degrees cost more. They are right to some extent. Online Schools are more expensive than traditional on-campus schools. But if you dig into the details, you will find out that there are a lot of factors that would weaken that argument. Yes, typically, tuition fees at online schools tend to be higher than the on-campus tuition fees. But the overall cost might be less depending on the following factors:
Out of state tuition – most of the on-campus schools charge an extra fee if you are out state. Not all online schools charge you an out of state fee, even though if you are out of state
Personal expenses – There are no personal expenses when you are attending an online school because you are taking the classes from the comfort of your home.
Housing and on-campus fees – Not having to pay for housing and on-campus fees and expenses automatically reduces the expenditures. For most universities, the cost per credit is also lower. Every college is different, of course, so once you have decided on the course of study and selected the appropriate schools, you will have to do a budget analysis. This article will help you get started.
Where You Will Save
The tuition and fees for online universities may or not may not higher than on-campus schools based on the program of study and the state. Still, you can undoubtedly take advantage in-state tuition costs with the online universities that don’t charge out of state fee along with other costs you won’t be incurring include:
Room and Board
Student Legal Services
When selecting a master’s degree program, affordable tuition and fees are one of the most important decision making factors for most students. A lot of students choose the least expensive school that offered the programs they wanted. Based on all these factors, if you carefully select an online school, you will save on the overall costs of your master’s degree through an online school.
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