Online education may make college more affordable for students

Online education can be a more affordable option as tuition increases at schools across the country.
Online education can be a more affordable option as tuition increases at schools across the country.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, public universities in Georgia have seen a 16 percent increase in tuition that began in the fall 2010 semester. This is not unusual across the country, as 43 states have seen budget cuts to institutions of higher education, which often forced them to raise their prices.

However, as more positions currently require higher education, many adults are deciding to head back to school by enrolling in web-based courses to reduce college's steep costs.

Georgia's Ashworth College recently reported that online education is typically half the price of traditional classroom-based courses, which can greatly reduce the costs of earning a degree. Using these programs, the school said students no longer need to pay for expenses such as textbooks, room and board, childcare and transportation. All of the work is done online and can be accessed directly from the person's home.

The relatively low cost of earning an online degree has helped prompt a large increase in its popularity. According to Eduventures, although only 229,363 students were taking a web-based class in 2001, by 2009 that number had risen to 2,139,714. This marked an 823 percent growth.

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