Today, many people recognize the need for some form of higher education. But with the cost of college steadily increasing every year, everyone is looking for ways to make education more affordable. Technology can play a big role in doing this. Here are 4 ways technology can help lower education costs.
Image source pixabay
Attending online schools is becoming more and more popular. Not only is the schedule more flexible, allowing a student to fit earning a degree into their current life, the cost associated with an online education is usually lower. While the cost of the degree may be similar to attending school on-campus, there are many areas where you will see savings. The most significant of these is the cost of living. If you attend a school that is not near your current home, you will have to find a place to live and living off campus can be incredibly expensive in many areas.
Attending an online school or getting an online degree, like this MS in civil engineering, allows you to continue living in your current home, saving you money. Another area where online education can save you money is reduction of fees. Many state colleges charge a huge premium for on-campus students who are not residents of that particular state. However, most schools do not charge a premium for out of state online learners. These are just a few reasons why online schooling can be a more cost effective choice for higher education.
Online Course Content and Learning Resources
Another area where technology is helping make education more affordable is online course content and learning resources. Many higher education institutions, including some of the more prestigious schools, are putting course content online. Things like reference materials or recorded lectures that are required for classes are being made available to students free of charge. Other resources include organizations like the Khan Academy. While the Khan Academy won’t earn you college credit, the wide variety of reliable information and teaching tools that are available through it can be a huge resource, helping you successfully pass your classes. Not only is the resource itself free, but passing classes the first time is always more cost effective.
Similar to the previous point, online media sites, like YouTube can make a big difference in the cost of education. For the student, online media offers a free source of reference material that can be instrumental in them being able to understand their classes and therefore pass them. For educators, online media offers a free source of educational tools that they can use in their classes. Taking advantage of these resources saves the teachers and educational institutions money, and this can, in turn, save the students money. Of course, discernment is needed when utilizing online media where the content’s accuracy is not regulated.
While this is still a relatively new practice in most schools, e-textbooks are starting to gain popularity in colleges. E-textbooks make education more affordable because they are much cheaper to produce than printed books. This makes it easier for schools to purchase bulk amounts at a lower cost and pass this savings on to the student. University of Phoenix is one school that utilizes an e-textbook program, and other schools are starting to do the same. Attending a college that offers e-textbooks may be the difference between getting your degree, or going home empty handed, as many schools discovered that the cost of textbooks was among the top reasons why many students didn’t finish their degree.
Technology is sure to continue to play a huge role in education. As the face of our education system is changed by advancing technology, the cost of that education is also sure to change. If the four ways that were discussed in this article are any indication, it will hopefully continue changing for the better.
By Lizzie Weakley