A common question among students weighing a part-time degree versus a full-time degree is the cost of attendance. What many students wonder is whether a part-time degree, which is spread over a longer period of time, will cost more in the long-run. There is no simple yes or no response to this question, as tuition rates vary drastically from school to school. One of the best tools for investigating costs of attendance in the National Center for Educational Statistics College Navigator Tool. This website offers up-to-date information on the costs of attendance, tuition, fees and full-and-part-time rates. When weighing the balance between your own need for flexibility and the tuition rates the following things should be considered.
Different Tuition Rates for Full-Time and Part-Time
When a potential students begins to investigate the costs of the schools in which they have interest, they will find that most schools will offer different tuition rates for part-time students. When attending full-time, students are sometimes charged a flat cost of semester attendance. This would be a lower semester cost for students who are pursuing a part-time degree. However, many schools have adopted a per credit tuition. This means that students who earn their degree in a part time format will pay the same as full-time students, it will just be over a longer period of time. Understanding these two types of payment options is important. By earning a degree from a school that charges per credit will potentially save a lot of money over the course of your education.
Amount of Credits
Another consideration is the amount of credits for degree completion. If the total requirement is the same for the full-time and the part-time program, the cost will likely be closer. If the part-time program is offered in a condensed format, that could save you money over the course of your studies. This information can be found by going to the schools website and looking for the credit requirements for each program.
Look at Different Schools Tuition Rates
When you are making the decision about which school and program is best for you, one of the considerations is obviously cost. By using the schools website combined with a tool like the College Navigator Tool you can start to understand the tuition rates and the way students are billed. This will allow you to know the specific dollar amount each program will cost over the course of your education. Having these numbers in mind will help you make an informed decision.
Being informed is critically important before you make a decision to learn full-time or part-time. For many students full-time learning is not possible. For other students it is a consideration they have to make. One of the most important pieces of information when making the decision is will it cost more money if you earn your degree part-time. Before making a decision be sure to gather all of the tuition information available.