Distance Education Fees

When selecting a distance education program and college, or possibly changing schools, be sure you fully understand the tuition and fees students are required to pay throughout their enrollment. In many instances, schools will charge application and ‘technology fees’ in order to cover the expenses for initially setting up the student’s file, online access, and student portal. These fees, however, can be significant and possibly cause you to need to take out private loans.

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Ashford University

Application Fee: None at this time

Technology Fee: $1,290.00

Currently, students are required to pay a Technology Fee in the amount of $1,290.00 for initial account configuration. The fee is refundable up until the 6th or 7th week of enrollment (conflicting information from the university makes the exact week unclear) but after the 8th week the fee becomes non-refundable.

University of Phoenix

Application Fee: $45.00 (only applies to Online Graduate programs)

Continuing Education Tuition: $ 175.00 Charged prior to the first class session of each course

The University catalog does not address what is covered by the Continuing Education Tuition charge, so students seeking admission into the University of Phoenix may want to inquire as to what the charge is for; in an Associate’s program with no transfer credit, students may pay up to $3500 throughout their enrollment towards this “tuition”.

DeVry University

Application Fee: $30-$40 (depending on your state of residence)

Student Services Charge: up to $360.00

Withdrawal Fee: Students who do not formally withdraw may be charged $25.00

The catalog does not clearly state what the Student Services Charge covers and/or what resources (if any) are made available to students.

Kaplan University

Application Fee: $45.00

Technology Fee: $100.00 per term

Program Fees: Some degree programs require additional program fees to be paid throughout enrollment.

Capella University

Application Fee: $50.00

No additional fees are charged unless students are enrolled in a specialty program of study.

Choosing to continue your education is a decision not to be taken lightly. When researching programs of study and methods of instruction, on should always us the university’s catalog to review the tuition and fees to be charged for each program. If questions arise, contact the admissions office and ask for additional information. While many students take out student loans to help fund their education, borrowing more loans than originally anticipated is an unexpected, and unwelcome, action that could become frustrating and upsetting in the future.

Another excellent resource for students to utilize while researching distance education programs is the website Distance-Education.org as it provides a forum for students to provide reviews of their online schools. Even when reading reviews, however, remember most people who post reviews are doing so because of a negative experience (like hotel guests; how often do you go online and post about a positive experience?). Try to focus on the more on facts rather than the opinions when reading reviews as your opinions may differ from the reviewer’s.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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