Costs of Going to College at Home

The cost of going to college at home is tough to compare to attending a more traditional university. Tuition costs are often the same, and there might even be technology fees attached to the distance learning courses, but there are also ways to save money and keep earning it that make going to college at home a sound alternative for many students.

Going to college at home can cost anywhere from $30,000-$60,000 based on the type of degree you're getting and what your school's tuition plans are like. For instance, an online bachelor's degree in accounting can cost around $350 per credit hours with 180 course hours required, totaling approximately $63,000. However, an associate's degree in the same field only requires 90 credit hours for completion, costing around $32,000. A major determining factor in your costs is whether you'll be pursuing an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, or a master's degree or beyond.

However, it's important to remember that there are several ways to offset these costs by going to college at home. The first is the obvious one: by attending college at home, you don't have to pay for any room or board at a college, or come up with transportation fees to get to and from campus. What's more, you don't have to pay to relocate across the state (or the country, in some cases) to go to school. So though your base tuition might be similar to that of someone attending a more traditional university, you can save in the long run.

You also need to consider financial aid before enrolling in college, whether it's a federal scholarship or an assistance program offered by your specific school. Fill out the FAFSA -- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- to learn more about your eligibility for government assistance and what you might need to borrow. Additionally, because going to college at home gives you the freedom to keep working full-time while enrolled, you should check with your employer to see if they participate in a tuition reimbursement plan. Some companies help employees cover the cost of their tuition if their degree is related to their occupation. Not every employer offers this, but it's worth checking on so you don't miss out on valuable help.

It's also a good idea to talk with your school's financial advisors about the costs of going to college at home and what special scholarships might be available from your school. It's a significant investment, but one that pays off with better jobs and higher salaries.