Online Courses Save Money

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

It's always a good time to return college. College degrees offer a valuable edge on the career competition, and the options for attaining that degree are numerous. One of those options is online courses. Looking at them from strictly a monetary perspective, online coursework saves money. It costs more time and more dedication, but it can save cash. Here's how.


Travel Expenses

Community colleges are commuting colleges. This alone implies gallons upon gallons of gasoline dedicated to transportation to and from the site. Opting to enroll in online classes eliminates driving to the college to attend the classes as well as driving to campus for library resources. Most online classes provide all resources online, eliminating the need for library visits for research.

Another online travel savings includes group projects. Collaboration is important in today's education, and with e-mail, instant messages, and video conferencing, group projects can be completed without getting in the car at all. Most online courses plan for this.


For those returning to college, convenience saves stress as well as cash. If daycare can be eliminated by schooling at home, huge savings will result. Likewise, work schedules are not at the mercy of course schedules, allowing for optional overtime or mid-semester shift changes.


This is not to say that online courses allow a student to pile on the work hours. There is a great deal of work involved in online studies, more than the typical class. Typically, a college class requires three hours of attendance on campus and six more hours of work at home. An online class demands these nine hours of work throughout the week as well as additional work as needed. It's quicker and easier to work with a professor face to face. Online courses require a student to manage his/her learning, and when concepts become cloudy more hours are needed for clarification.

If this time can be dedicated to an online course, then it can save money in the long run with the convenience of those dedicated hours. Professors don't care if students upload papers at 2 am or post to the class blog at 5 pm. Unless they require specific online "meeting times," students can put in their nine hours whenever they can.


Solid Schools, Solid Savings

There are two origins of online courses-those offered by online only colleges and those offered by brick and mortar colleges. The prospect of earning a degree at an online only college can make people nervous. After all, these colleges are "for profit" colleges with owners and board members operating like a corporate business.

Luckily, traditional colleges are offering more and more online courses. Notably, are the number of online courses offered by community colleges to meet the needs of the non-traditional students who fill their classrooms. Large state universities are also rolling out the online courses, and some even offer a discount in comparison to their classroom courses. Online courses allow the universities to cut costs as well. This can justify a discount for a four year online degree with the state college.

The Price to Pay for Savings

Online courses aren't going to save you time. They may, however save money and hassle. If you are not a traditional student, this fast growing type of course may be the most appealing. Check course prices, mileage, and requirements before registering for the online option and become comfortable with your computer and online resources before the semester begins.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at

April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I am taking courses online and I love it! I am going for a degree in Early Childhood. I have been a daycare teacher for 20 years but the state wants more so I have gone back. I have been lucky so far and the classes I need are offered online.

I pray that the rest of the classes I need will be online by the time I get ready to take them. Online helps if you don't have a way to get to your local College. And it does save money and time. I also work so I can do my school work on my time!! I may end up taking more classes in other subjects if they are online!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have taken some online courses, and recommend them if you have self discipline. Also, you must take the course from a reputable place. If you are worrying that the school may not continue to be in existance, perhaps that is not the school to be working with. There are MANY reputable places. Here in Saskatchewan, our Community Regional Colleges offer classes in our rural communities, either face to face, or by teleconferencing. Travel is minimal. This is also a good option, especially for students working on the first years of their University degrees. There are also technical courses offered.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
April 12, 20100 found this helpful

I agree completely. Online classes have enabled me to take 3 classes this semester instead of 1-2 classes. I work full-time, still have somewhat of a life, and going to school has been difficult for me. I usually end up spending all day Saturday and Sunday doing homework though. Some classes I've taken at University of Nebraska in Omaha have been minimal on the amount of homework and some have been overloading me with homework, or busy work as I call it. I have found you have to take even better notes when it's online versus in a classroom setting too. You have to know the topic a little better than if it's classroom setting type class too.

Also, reading the book is a MUST! I know too many people who don't normally read the book but I believe it is way more important to read it when it's online. I wouldn't suggest taking a class on something you know you are going to struggle in like Math or Computer Programming either, but if it's over a topic that you already know a little bit about or it is a basic entry level class then I would say go for it! Be prepared for spending quite a bit of time on it though and don't procrastinate either. You have to be able to tell people "No" frequently. I've got every weekend planned until the semester is over to be doing homework so that helps me. When I have people ask me what I'm doing that weekend people get irritated with me because they look at it like I'm making excuses not to hang out with them but I have to be strong and resist temptation and not say "Oh, I can do my homework later." Homework first then I can do whatever I want later.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Anonymous Flag
January 12, 20160 found this helpful

This is good saving money

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 26, 20161 found this helpful

quarters or semesters... help?

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

In This Article
A girl working on online college courses using a laptop.
Taking Online College Courses
< Previous
Education College LifeApril 9, 2010
Online Shopping
Selling Crafts Online
Handyman Finding Appliance Manuals Online
Finding Appliance Manuals Online
A woman paying her bills online.
Paying Bills Online
Buying a Wedding Dress Online
Buying a Wedding Dress Online
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
You are viewing the desktop version of this page: View Mobile Site
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on October 21, 2016 at 3:33:06 PM on in 3 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!