Online courses are the most accessible option
Since online courses are generally cheaper to run, taking courses toward a certificate or degree in this manner is generally much less expensive than if you were to complete the same program on campus.
Keeping Costs Low
One advantage of online learning is that enrollment isn't limited by the space capacity. There are no building costs and no need to accommodate the physical needs of a student community. Online students aren't charged fees for the maintenance of athletic centers, health centers, cafeterias or other buildings that are found on most college campuses.
Another factor that keeps costs down is the professors' salaries. Most instructors at online colleges aren't employed on full-time basis. They rarely perform the same research as their on-campus contemporaries and they don't require any office or lab space.
The main factor that drives up the cost of online learning is technology, but even this is nominal. Today's standard personal computer can easily accommodate the technological requirements of nearly all online courses. So, as long as you have a working PC and access to the Internet, there is no need for you to go out and buy new hardware before enrolling in an online program. Periodically, there may be a few changes in the format of online courses that require new software, but these changes are sporadic and schools often provide their students with whatever computer programs they need to complete their coursework.
Making the Grade
Some prospective students balk at the thought of getting an education at a private, for profit online institution rather than a public university, as there is a certain stigma attached. However, these fears can be eased with the knowledge that the profits earned by these private online colleges are reinvested to ensure that all programs offer relevant, up-to-date coursework. Ultimately, it should be the quality of course content that determines the merit of a school, and this will be reflected through the allocation of profits.