When you look into master’s degree programs, you may find yourself comparing affordable online master’s degrees and traditional programs. Cost can’t be the only way to choose a master’s program, but the cost of online degrees will play a role in your decision to apply for an online master’s program. Do online classes cost more? It depends. The key to comparing the costs is recognizing all of the fees and expenses associated with the degree program.

Cost of Online Classes vs Traditional Classes

When you look at the cost of online classes vs traditional classes, you may discover that tuition costs per course are similar. The cost of tuition for an online degree is not always going to be very different from the cost of tuition for a traditional course. Do online classes cost more? Not necessarily. In fact, they may be a cheaper way to get your master’s degree, on the surface.

The average cost of online degrees per credit hour varies widely between universities. In some cases, the average cost of online college per credit hour is the same for traditional and online courses. Universities are usually transparent about the cost of online classes vs traditional classes, but you must factor in the differences in costs for your living situation. If you do not live in the state where the university campus is located, then you may pay an out-of-state tuition cost. That will add to the expense and may result in paying two to three times the cost of in-state tuition. The exact expense depends on the school.

The Expense of Updated Technology

The cost of online degrees is not limited to the cost of online college per credit hour. You will need to pay for up-to-date technology. You need an updated computer with appropriate up-to-date software programs to run the coursework. You may need specialized software for tests or projects in the class. The cost of updating your technology will depend on the current level of technology you keep at home.

Generally, you will need to purchase a computer and appropriate software programs. The software programs will vary in price based on the standards of the college or university. The university may also charge a technology fee for your online degree; these fees are usually to help the college pay for the added technical costs of running an online program, such as hosting, tech support, and so forth.. The cost of the fee also differs for each university, but you can expect to pay a technology fee as part of your tuition expense when you start the program.

Transportation Expenses Add Up

Although an online degree does not require you to go back and forth between the university and your home in a regular commute, or to live on campus, you may find that unexpected transportation adds to the cost of online degrees. Some universities require you to go to the university or college campus for an orientation before you start your online degree program; others may require a week-long intensive class you have to travel to. That means you will have transportation costs associated with starting the program, and other surprise charges along the way.

Do Online Degrees Cost More?

The cost of online degrees may impact your decision to consider a program. That brings up the question, is an online master’s worth it? Since cost is not the only factor to consider when you need a Master’s degree, it depends on your situation. If you need the degree for a promotion in your career, then the online option may be a good choice. It can also help if you are not able to get to the campus on a regular basis for traditional classes.

An online Master’s degree program opens up new opportunities for your career. The key is recognizing the at the classes will have a cost associated with the degree. You want to be aware of the hidden costs to make the right decision for your goals.