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Compared to traditional degrees, online college degrees can offer substantial financial savings. Tuition and fees for online degrees are often less expensive than for a traditional bachelor’s degree. The total cost of a traditional four-year college degree currently averages around $85,000 compared to the total cost of an online bachelor’s degree which averages around $35,000. Many online bachelor’s degree programs offer the same tuition rates for out of state students as they do for in state students, enabling a student to potentially attend a school in another state for the same price as a school in their home state. In addition to saving money on tuition, the cost of housing, food, and transportation are other areas of potential savings.

Everyone has to pay for housing, food, and essential living expenses and these items are not officially considered a cost of attending college. However, they are costs for students who will pay (or pay more) for these items should they choose to attend a brick and mortar college. For example, any student who lives with family and is not paying “full price” for housing and food will be paying more once they move to college. Additionally, students who move from where they currently live to attend a school in another state will probably have higher living expenses. According to the College Board, the average student spends approximately 24% of 43% of their educational budget on room and board. For some online students, this percentage can add up to huge savings.

image credit: CollegeBoard

How Can I Save Money With an Employer Reimbursement Program?

Some companies offer financial assistance to help employees complete a degree, pursue a higher degree, or to take continuing education classes. While employer reimbursement programs vary widely from company to company but can offer substantial saving for employees who qualify. Since these students are already employed, online programs are a popular choice, allowing them to schedule their education around work. Workplace reimbursement programs can be a valuable part of financing an online degree. According to USA Today, these 15 companies will help employees pay for college.

What Are Other Ways I Can Save Money on My Bachelor’s Degree?

Drop the minor – While adding a minor to a degree major has historically been an attractive plan for traditional college students, the ROI on adding a minor is not as positive as to used to be. A minor typically consists of fifteen credit hours and serves as a concentration or focus area to complement a major. Unless a particular degree requires a minor, choosing not to pursue a minor will be a faster track to graduation and can potentially save a semester of tuition and months of taking classes.

Professional development opportunities that can enhance social networks and provide marketable skills are an excellent alternative to pursuing a minor. Many colleges and universities offer classes and certifications through their continuing education departments. Alumni and students can take advantage of these university resources to add value to resumes and increase hiring potential or salaries.