Monday, June 11, 2012

Tuition rates, and a Top 10 list

     WSU Online has just posted its tuition rates for Fall 2012-Spring 2013. Here's a link.
     In the last few months, people have been taking a hard look at the cost of college, and asking, "Is a college degree worth it?" The answer is generally yes, with a degree expected to bring an additional $300,000 to $600,000 of earnings over a lifetime. But that's a very rough estimate. It depends on what skills you already have, and how you decide to use your degree.
     A question we can answer with more certainty is, "How do I get the most value for my educational dollar?" WSU Online's executive director, David Cillay, recently offered this Top 10 checklist:
More... 1. Reputation. Will your diploma impress employers? If you don’t know, ask your friends and family what they think. Then do an Internet search and see what students say.
2. Quality of instruction. Look up a few faculty members online and examine their resumes. Do they work for the college or are they teaching in their spare time? Do they have a role in designing the courses? If so, they’re more likely to take a personal interest in the quality.
3. Cost per credit and number of credits needed. That information should be readily available online. If it’s not clearly stated, proceed carefully.
4. Social events. Studying online can be lonely. If a college offers social gatherings, it shows it is dedicated to providing social as well as academic support.
5. Availability of materials. Is there free library access, for example?
6. Support services. Tech support? Career counselors? Academic advisors?
7. Is there a student government? An alumni association? Both show that the college cares about more than finances, and that alumni are proud of their college.
8. Bricks and mortar campus. There are excellent online colleges that don’t have campuses. But a real campus creates a sense of belonging – and helps impress employers. Sports teams also can bring an esprit de corps that’s useful in networking.
9. Go online and search for the college’s name. Scroll past the promotional materials and look for an unfiltered view from other students and graduates.
10. Call and ask to talk with someone. See if you get a sales pitch or someone genuinely interested in your future.

3 comments:

  1. Many of the links on this page do not work,

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Thanks. We launched a new website today, and some of the old links don't work. We've fixed the tuition link here and are working on the others. If you're looking for info, and a link still doesn't work, please check our main WSU Online site, http://online.wsu.edu/

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