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A bachelor’s is the most sought after college degree in the U.S. by high school graduates. While most colleges are extremely expensive, some are feasible for the average student. To help students, we provide information about the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in U.S. – let’s get started!
What’s an Accredited Bachelor’s Degree?
An accredited bachelor’s degree is a four-year college program that provides students with an inclusive higher education of either the arts or sciences. In addition to broad-spectrum learning, bachelor’s degree programs target students’ specific fields of interest in scholarly courses and careers. On-campus universities, as well as online colleges, offer this type of degree.
Does a Bachelor’s Degree Pay?
Obtaining an affordable online bachelor’s degree can help individuals earn a higher salary than those without and can also help secure a job with greater benefits.
A 2013 survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) concluded that individuals who have obtained their bachelor’s degree earn significantly more than those with only a high school diploma. Graduates were projected to have an average salary of $50,556, according to online research in 2016. That’s up 5% from 2014 when new grads earned an average of $48,127 (NACE).
Learn more about affordable online bachelor’s degrees and high salary careers they can offer.
Bachelor’s Degrees: The Basics
An accredited bachelor’s degree is offered in two types:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) – Focuses mainly on fine arts, social sciences, and humanities
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) – Focuses on mathematics, and physical and life sciences
The first two years of each campus or online bachelor’s degree involve lower-division coursework, which typically covers general education of both the liberal arts and sciences curriculum. During these two years, students are introduced to their major field of study. The make the most of an affordable online bachelor’s degree, we recommend you attend community college during these first two years.
The last two years of the program involve upper-division coursework, concentrating on advanced studies in one’s choice of major. Students may take progressive courses after completing prerequisites.
In the following table, you will find a layout of what to expect from an accredited bachelor’s degree curriculum:
Survey in Biology
|An overview of life processes and fundamental biological concepts for non-science majors. Laboratory hours may be included on campus.|
|This course is a prerequisite for all college degrees. It teaches students the necessary skills to write grammatically correct for both formal and informal situations.|
Computer Science Fundamentals
|This base course introduces theories and designs for employing algorithms and programming languages with MAT 101 as a pre-requisite.|
Introduction to Psychology
|Students learn about the fundamental concepts and principles of psychology, covering topics like abnormalities, sensory perceptions, and coping strategies.|
Contemporary Global Challenges and Issues
|This course covers intermediate lessons on world topics such as culture, global warming, starvation, humanitarianism, energy policy, and peacekeeping institutions.|
Principles of Criminal Investigation
|Students gain insight into criminal detection, investigation, and forensic evidence preservation. This course often includes laboratory requirements.|
Race, Gender and Class in the Media
|As media continues to become more and more a part of our culture, it is important to understand its effects on society and public opinion. Students examine why and how this happens – and ways to prevent it.|
Early Childhood Curriculum
|Students design and implement learning programs to support topics like literary competence, and social and cognitive development.|
Advanced Business Administration
|Students explore the multiple departments of business including accounting, business law and organization, ethics, international commerce, networking, marketing, and finance.|
Undergraduate Independent Study in Urban Planning
|Students are mentored and assigned independent research projects where they work in career fields associated with community environmentalism, sustainability, and ethics.|
Bachelor’s Degree Careers
When students are ready to enter a line of work beyond an entry-level position, they should consider earning an affordable online bachelor’s degree because it ensures a well-rounded education for their career choice. The students’ major should align with the type of work they are looking to pursue, as these highlighted skills will direct interest of hiring businesses. Bachelor’s degree holders can use their education in numerous fields of study like:
- Construction and architecture
- Finances and economics
- Sales and marketing
- Insurance and cost estimation
- Counseling and teaching
- Health and emergency response
- Media and computer software development
- Interior design
- Law and social work
- AND MUCH MORE!
Click here to find the right college program and career for you!
Transferring to a Four-Year College or University
For students switching to a new or different four-year university, it is essential college credits transfer appropriately. Students should note that some universities have special requirements for an individual to be accepted as a student. Additionally, some college credits may not be recognized by other institutions, which may result in a graduation date further than anticipated.
Colleges have academic advisers to help students in these types of scenarios. Although not all credits are considered equal from one institution to another, many schools have suitable arrangements with each other in the event of a transfer.
Prior to enrolling, meet with the college’s advisers to learn about tuition rates. This will determine whether to enroll in an on-campus or affordable online bachelor’s degree program.
Benefits of Attending Online College for a Bachelor’s Degree
Earning an accredited bachelor’s degree is a big life event. In turn, it is important you enroll in the right program, so you can make the most of your college experience.
Some students may find it inconvenient to relocate to a college or university due to prior life responsibilities or hindrances. Other factors like high tuition rates and fess also can play a role in a person determining whether to continue attending school. Fortunately, online schooling offers solutions to these dilemmas.
- Attending class from home (online) saves students both time and money such that they do not have to commute to class or attend on-campus facilities and events.
- Students with prior obligations and responsibilities also find online programs to be convenient, as most of online schooling is “self-paced”.
- The around-the-clock access to assignments is another considerable appeal for many prospective online students.
- Depending on the university, it may also offer more affordable online bachelor’s degree programs, than on-campus bachelor’s degree programs.
Online Learning Q&A
Is online college cheaper?
Depends on the institution – but it can be! Most to all colleges still incorporate campus fees into students’ overall semester costs; however, you are not paying for transportation to and from class or campus – nor are you utilizing their facilities. We recommend you compare the costs of attending on-campus classes with the classes of an affordable online bachelor’s degree to see which option is more financially feasible for you. Click here to view some of the best online colleges in the United States.
What is the quality of online classes compared to on-campus classes?
Typically, online classes require more reading assignments from students since the professor is not physically teaching the material. At the same time though, a teacher may create a video or audio file explaining the lesson so online students can still receive a personable teaching approach. Either way, students can learn and review the teaching lesson on their own time instead of the pace of the professor or class.
Each teaching style is different per an affordable online bachelor’s degree program. If a course description is vague about the instructor’s teaching style, we recommend you reach out to the teacher directly and inquire any questions and/or concerns.
How do I complete a laboratory if I am attending online lectures?
Depends on how the class is set up. Some online classes have “online laboratories,” while others require students to attend on-campus laboratories once a week or month while still attending online lectures. The course description should include this information. If it does not, reach out to the instructor directly.
If I enroll in online college, do I still qualify for financial aid?
In addition to regional accreditation, online schools look for specialized online accreditation. Students seeking schools that offer financial assistance and affordable online bachelor’s degrees and programs should research institutions with higher accreditation, as financial assistance programs tend to be more generous toward these colleges. Be sure to speak with the financial aid office for status of your eligibility. For more information, read our blogs about college financial aid and scholarships!
Can I still attend social events on-campus if I am enrolled in online college?
Absolutely! You are still a student at the college or university, so you still have the right to attend any on-campus events like sports games, pep rallies, job fairs, etc. This is a huge benefit for any student enrolled in an affordable online bachelor’s degree program.
Bachelor’s Degree College Accreditation
Online colleges and universities who offer bachelor’s degree programs pride themselves on receiving voluntary accreditation from researchers who analyze the quality of their educational facilities. Accreditation agencies are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, who are skilled in evaluating a school’s academic quality in comparison to national standards. Different departments can seek accreditation for their career-geared coursework, like an accredited bachelor’s degree. The United States Distance Learning Association and the Distance Learning Council are on the list of agencies from which online colleges typically seek accreditation.
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