Distance education is becomingly an ever increasing mode of delivering undergraduate and graduate degrees, plus certificates. Most of the time we think of online distance education for degree purposes only and although distance education is a popular means of obtaining degrees, it is also at times used for teaching new skills or for obtaining a specific type of certificate.
There are hundreds of different kinds of online distance education degrees available, the difficulty will be for the student to narrow down what their interests are and then find the online school that offers that particular program and degree.
The primary online degrees available are the Associates degree which typically takes 2 years to complete, the Bachelors degree which typically takes 4 years to complete, the Masters degree which is an additional 2 years after the Bachelors degree and doctoral degree which can take an additional 3 years after the Masters degree to complete. The doctoral degree can take longer than 3 years after the Masters degree depending on what type of doctoral degree is being pursued.
Most people think that the tuition for distance education is much less than the traditional college but in actuality, it is very close to the same price. There is the savings with distance education as there is no room and board as there would be attending a traditional college. There is a savings on gas for car, wear and tear on the car and if kids are a factor, babysitting costs can be reduced or eliminated if you are obtaining a degree through the luxury of your own home.
Most tuition is figure per cost of credit hour or per course depending on the college, many 3 hour courses cost from approximately $650-$900 per course. Textbooks, fees and supplies also need to be figured into the equation. Textbooks for college have cost me approximately $500 for each semester. If attending school on a full-time basis with 5 courses, I would estimate the cost to be about $7500 per semester, again this is just an estimation. So the total cost of a Bachelors degree with tuition, fees and books included would be approximately $30,000.
Chances are if you plan on pursuing an online degree, you most likely are working full-time and plan on attending school part-time which would reduce the semester costs that I had estimated for full-time attendance.
The government has in the past not been very generous with giving grants to distance learning students, however because of the continued growth of online education, the government seems to be acknowledging distance learning students as it grants candidates more than it has in the past.
Distance education is a great way to pursue a degree, the most important tip is to make sure to do lots of research to find the online education institution that best meets your needs.