How Much Does a Master’s Degree Cost?
It is 2021, and we live in interesting times. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, and it may well be more than a while before normalcy is restored; when on-campus graduate schools can resume operations. Although there was already a steady move towards online education, particularly in online master’s programs, well before the pandemic, the average cost of education, including that of a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, was always on the rise and continues to be so. Rising degree level tuition and fees puts tremendous pressure on students pursuing an online master’s program, with private school and graduate programs already costing thousands of dollars.
So, how much does a master’s degree cost? To put everything in perspective, experts at OnlineMastersColleges.com have created this guide to answer the question of how much online master’s degree programs cost. The in-depth information provided here will help students understand the cost of online master’s degrees versus traditional on-campus ones, and help them make an informed choice between the two.
Getting A Master’s Degree Online
Students can earn an affordable online master’s degree in a variety of subjects. Learners can take classes online while undergoing practical training at a place near them, even in programs with a lot of clinical or research components. More than 1.2 million graduate students take online programs, with over 900,000 of them studying fully online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Degree seekers pick affordable online master’s programs for a variety of reasons, but one of the most important ones is the flexibility to earn a degree and enhance their careers while working. Another compelling reason to opt for online education is that in most cases, learners receive the same benefits as on-campus students, including access to libraries, student discounts, student support services, and other resources.
Choosing a Graduate School for Online Degrees
Choosing a good grad school and suitable online masters is quite an arduous process. Students must consider several factors before zeroing in on a particular program for their online education. A good grad school should:
- offer flexible degree programs
- demonstrate academic excellence
- have online master’s degree program on par with on-campus graduate degrees
- support both in-state students and out of state students
- preferably feature in any reputed school rankings
- exhibit recent research excellence framework
Factors Influencing the Cost of a Graduate Degree
Master’s programs focus on providing students with advanced knowledge and skills, to take on challenging careers in their chosen field. But graduate schools (especially private schools and for-profit schools) have several overheads to bear when imparting education and have to also invest in infrastructure and faculty training, to improve their offerings and reputation. These, and other factors, directly affect tuition and graduate school-cost for both on-campus and online programs. Some determinants of cost include, but are not limited to:
- School rankings and reputation
- Location of the college
- Accreditation of programs and/or the college
- Qualifications and the experience of faculty and staff
- Infrastructure and research facilities
- General upkeep of the institution
- Trusted partner programs (if any)
- Number of students enrolled in a program