How Can We Lower the Cost of College?

How Can We Lower the Cost of College?
Beth Dumbauld

College tuition is getting more expensive. According to The College Board's annual report, the average increase in tuition and fees charged by public and private colleges rose between 2.9% and 3.6% this past year.

With inflation at about 2%, and the net price of college rising at an even faster rate, students are paying for increased college costs with less ability to do so.

Cost of College is More Than Price

While most people pay a lot of attention to the net price of college, it’s important to also keep in mind that the net price doesn’t measure all the significant costs that a student faces while enrolled in a degree program. These expenses, such as textbooks and costs related to transportation and childcare, can really add up.

4 Costs Online Courses Save Students

With courses starting at $59, StraighterLine can help students and families significantly lower their cost of college. Not only do StraighterLine’s low-cost online college courses help to reduce a student’s overall tuition costs by as much as 60%, we also help address the other financial burdens that a college student can face.

Tuition Costs

At public four-year colleges this past year, the average annual price rose by $300 at public colleges (for in-state students) and by $800 at private colleges. As a lower priced online alternative, StraighterLine offers transferable general ed courses that start at $59 with a $99 monthly membership. With a typical student completing a course in about 6-weeks, many students pay less than $50 per credit hour for a 3-credit college course.

By using StraighterLine’s articulation agreements with over 130 partner colleges--course equivalency guides which spells out exactly which courses you can take at StraighterLine for your degree program--students can directly compare how much they can save by taking prerequisite, general education, or elective courses online.

Since StraighterLine courses are also eligible for ACE credit transfer, students attending hundreds of other colleges can also benefit from using low-cost online courses for their degree.

Cost of Books

One major financial obstacle standing in the way of college student achievement is the extraordinary cost of textbooks. Textbooks can cost an average of over $1,200 a year at various institution types, adding a significant amount to a student’s overall cost of college.

With StraighterLine, however, students have access to eTextbooks for free. Additionally, since our eTextbooks are available anywhere, anytime, they offer even more convenience and flexibility to busy online learners.

Transportation Costs

With online classes, you don’t have to worry about missing classes because of less-than-reliable transportation. You don’t have the hassle of finding (and paying for) parking. You also don’t have to pay to fill up your gas tank to get to your online classes.

Childcare Costs

Average childcare costs are a little under $10,000 a year, according to a recent article in The Atlantic about what college is like as a single mother. As a result, childcare is one of the single largest expenses facing many adult learners.

By taking a portion (or all) of your college courses online, you can reduce childcare costs, as well as the stress related to unpredictable scheduling challenges that can arise with care providers.

Just because the cost of college is rising, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to buck the trend and lower your costs. With low-cost online courses, you can reduce your cost of college. Give a StraighterLine course a try along your degree path, and you may be surprised by just how much you can save on your college degree.


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