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There are many variables that can impact the cost of your education, from the school you choose and its location, to your major and the number of years you are enrolled. However, in the case of an online education, the primary costs you will face are your tuition and all of your necessary schools supplies, such as textbooks. While an online program does not feature all of the same fees as that of a traditional campus program, some identical charges may still apply.

One of the more prominent expenses you can anticipate is the technology fee. This charge covers the increased cost of providing every student with access to library services along with the continuous development of your school’s library research databases. Furthermore, the technology fee is associated with technical support services and distance education software. There are some universities that offer additional student services, such as real-time counseling or in- person career help. However, If you are looking to take advantage of these, you may see an additional fee tacked onto you tuition bill. Course readings also drive up the overall price of an MBA. Even though the majority of your coursework will be completed online, some courses could require you to purchase textbooks or e-books. This means that when you are comparing the price of multiple online MBA programs, be sure to distinguish whether or not the cost of your books is included in your tuition. In terms of course materials, such as lecture videos, PDF files and PowerPoint projects, these are almost always included in the price of your classes.

Having a working computer and a strong Internet connection are two of the most important tools any online student will need. Every learning institution posts its desired computer specifications, which in some instances are only suggestions for students. But for other universities, these may be requirements. There are no shortcuts to be taken here as every student will need to be able to stream video and audio as well as participate in live chats. Upgrading your computer’s hardware and strengthening your Internet connection are additional costs you will need to factor in when comprising your school budget. However, remember that while you may need to purchase items such as a printer, external hard drive, or scanner, these costs do not come close to what a traditional student would be paying in gasoline and parking. For example, undergraduates who attended a public university in 2010-2011 spent an average of $1,073 on transportation alone, according to the College Board. In short, the fees that can add up for an online student are associated with student services, from interactive tutoring to academic advising , whereas campus some of the costs of attending a traditional college could be entirely extraneous.

Of course, no expense associated with online education is greater than the cost of tuition. From school to school, the price of an online MBA program can be cheaper, more expensive, or the same as an on-campus program. Part of the reason for the lack of consistency is that every institution has a different budget, which is similar for on-campus programs as well. Private universities traditionally cost more than public universities because they are not receiving the same levels of government funding. Furthermore, for schools that are completely online, their expenses differ in comparison. For example, the amount of time you are enrolled can greatly impact you tuition rates, such as with the University of Texas at Dallas, where the tuition for the campus-based program and online program are essentially the same, costing approximately $37,654.30. However, differences can be created when a student alters the pace at which they are learning, choosing to accelerate or stretch out their education.

It is important to note that even when you add up all of the fees, research has shown that online graduates have experienced a substantial return on their investment. The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) recently released a study that analyzed the return students received from the cost of their education. The results found that graduates saw the amount of money they invested in their tuition and other fees to be more than outweighed by the income they received from the careers they were able to acquire with their MBA degree. Students are able to experience an even greater return when they take advantage of an array of financial aid programs, such as grant programs, employer tuition assistance, scholarships, loans and military educational benefits. These programs can allow you to reduce the amount of money you owe your college or university. Therefore, by doing your research, you will be able to find an institution that best suits your academic needs and your budget.