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How online education can help reduce college tuition costs.

By offering Computer guided courses, cost savings in tuition and accommodation, e-books. Hybrid education to provide both traditional college experience and online courses.

The cost of college is going up every day and putting many students into great debt which they spend most of their lives paying. So its become a great concern to find ways to reduce the ever increasing costs of attending college.

Online Learning is helping change the way colleges deliver education and how they do business and also enabling them to make great cost savings.

Delivering knowledge through the internet makes it more available than ever before. Students donít have to travel to class and can study from their own bedroom. This can lead to expansion in access to education and reduced price.

Students can now get all their textbooks online or ebooks from tablet computers like Apple ipad and Amazon Kindle fire. Electronic books will help reduce the ever increasing costs of paper textbooks and will be more efficient because publishers can easily update the books without needing to reprint new copies.

If a students takes all or most of his/her classes online, they will avoid paying accommodation in college which can cost a few thousands dollars a year.

In theory, courses offered online should have less tuition for students because the teacher does not have to show up in class every day. They just need to record the material once and it can be replayed as many times as possible. However, many colleges are currently charging the same tuition for online courses as for traditional courses.

Some are even charging technology fees. However in the long term, when colleges figure out how to offer online education more effectively, they will be able to reduce cost of production and hence cost of tuition to students.

There may be hidden costs to providing online education. Computer hardware has to be bought and many online courses have to be developed by specially trained faculty and then peer reviewed to make sure itís up to standard. This too costs money.

Students also need online support from faculty who will teach, present material, respond to students, monitor projects and grade assignments. This is almost the same amount of work as if the instructor was teaching a traditional class. So there are not many cost savings in providing education as compared to other industries where everything is automated.

Cost savings can however be achieved by relying more on computer guided instructions and exercises which can sometimes achieve better results than human professors.

Colleges can also develop Blended courses where a human professor can teach some parts and computer guided education can teach the rest.

There is also the feeling that online courses are inferior to the traditional class based courses, so although they may end up being cheaper, they may fail to attract many students. However many colleges like Phoenix University are trying to show that online courses are equal if not better than traditional courses. Employers are taking note too because many will now employ students who earned their degrees online.

There are other concerns about totally online colleges too. Some say that the students are not as academically prepared as students in traditional courses. That if they donít attend a physical college, they may miss the college experience and not develop socially.

A solution to this is to provide Hybrid Education. This is where the student gets to go to college and participate in normal college life and take traditional classes, but also have many courses taught online. Therefore they get the benefits of the traditional college experience, while making cost savings through online courses.


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