Online College Classes Cost More

on February 22, 2017

According to proponents of online education, online courses should cost less than similar courses at brick-and-mortar institutions because of the greater scalability. But, a survey by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) found that most colleges charge the same amount or more for an online class.


According to the survey of distance education administrators at 197 colleges, 43 percent of colleges charge more for online courses and 57 percent charge the same. No colleges charge less.


Online-only students do save on various campus-based costs. But, technology and course-specific fees often outweigh these savings.


Some colleges treat online education as a revenue center and not as a way of reducing student costs.


Online courses might not be as scalable as argued by the proponents of online education, since students continue to need one-on-one tutoring and small group recitation sections, which can’t be automated. There also are a limited number of high demand classes that can be adapted to an online setting.

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