Best 18 Cheapest Online Computer Science Degree in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 18 Cheapest Online Computer Science Degree in 2021

February 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The median annual wage for workers with a degree in computer science is greater than the annual salary for employees in some other professions. This applies not only to graduates that attend a prestigious, expensive school but also to workers that earn their degree at a school featuring the cheapest online computer science degree programs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals extensive information about the future for employees hired in the different fields that typically require a computer science degree. Several other sources point to the value of earning a computer science degree, and the number of occupations where a person can work after earning a computer science degree.

Top 5 Cheapest Online Computer Science Degree

Rank School Location
1University of FloridaGainesville, Florida
2Eastern New Mexico UniversityPortales, New Mexico
3Fort Hays State UniversityHays, Kansas
4Florida International UniversityMiami, Florida
5Rasmussen CollegeBloomington, Minnesota

What is the Value of Completing the Cheapest Online Computer Science Degree Program?

There are many occupations that need workers with a computer science degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the demand will come from a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and from information security.

What kind of job can a person get if they earn a degree at a school offering cheapest online computer science degree programs? One example is a software developer. The BLS explains that software developers create applications or systems that run on computers or other devices, and that they typically work in companies that focus on computer systems design or other services.

Some other possible occupations for individuals that earn a computer science degree, including from a school offering one of the cheapest online computer science degree options, include:

  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Support Specialist

The annual earnings of a worker with a computer science degree is expected to be more than the average worker in many other occupations. The job outlook, published by the BLS, also shows that these jobs are expected to show significant growth over the next several years. Software developers had median annual earnings of $107,510 in 2019. The job outlook indicates that there is an anticipated 21 percent job growth through 2028, which is ‘much faster than average.’ Another example is the computer and information research scientist, a position with a 2019 median salary of $122,840, and an anticipated job growth of 16 percent, which is still considered much faster than average job growth.

These cheapest online computer science degree programs offer the same type of quality education received at more expensive colleges and universities. It is important to understand that the listed tuition covers only the per-credit-hour cost of enrolling in a class. It does not cover other costs such as required fees, books, or supplies. The tuition rate for each school is for the bachelor’s degree program, unless stated differently within a particular listing. Some schools charge different tuition for non-residents. Tuition for other computer science degree programs, if available, is listed within the description of each school.

Best 18 Cheapest Online Computer Science Degree

1

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
University_Of_Florida

Students looking for a slightly different, more creative approach in a computer science degree may enjoy earning their degree at the University of Florida. The school explains that the degree encourages students in the program to ‘explore the theoretical foundations of information and computation’ with freedom through liberal arts. While most schools offer their computer science programs through the technology department, the University of Florida offers their cheapest online computer science degree through the schools’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Gain a strong liberal arts education, essential for working in a company or agency in any computer science capacity. The school provides students with the opportunity to learn these skills through taking humanities, social and behavioral sciences courses, and foreign languages in addition to courses in their chosen major.
Tuition is less expensive when earning the degree in an online format compared to attending traditional classes at the school. The low tuition cost does cover some fees.

Tuition: $129.18 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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2

Eastern New Mexico University

  • Portales, New Mexico
  • Graduation Rate: 36%

The online bachelor of science degree in computer science program at Eastern New Mexico University undergoes continual revision. The reason for this is because the university wants the program to keep pace with the ever-changing growth and advances in technology related to computer science. Learn core theories and to solve practical problems related to design, analysis, and implementation and other highly applicable skills related to expertise in computer science.
The school offers a variety of services to online students, including the distance education librarian, tutoring services, and the online writing center, which is exclusively for online students.

Tuition: est. $169.75 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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3

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Enroll in the bachelor’s degree in computer science at Fort Hays State University and put yourself at the forefront of this career that is in high demand at private software and technology companies, or at federal agencies, or a variety of other potential companies and agencies. The program consists of 55 credit hours of general education requirements and 65 credit hours within the computer science major.
Manage complex information and computing systems, study human-computer interaction, and gain other skills and knowledge when you earn your bachelor’s degree in computer science at this school, which offers one of the cheapest online computer science degree programs.

Tuition: $181.64 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ATMAE, CAEP
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4

Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Florida International University offers the Online Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree, which is a 120-credit hour program. The school emphasizes the fact that computer science is valuable in most industries that rely on computing, digital information and database management, and programming. Students have the ability to have a more specialized focus by what Florida International University refers to as the ‘marrying’ of the computer science degree with other degree programs such as digital media or business. It is important to note that the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science is not as math and science oriented as the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree.

Tuition: $228.81 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB, ABET
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5

Rasmussen College

  • Bloomington, Minnesota

The online bachelor’s degree program in computer science at Rasmussen College was created by experts with more than 200 years of combined experience from top-notch, well-respected companies like Kennedy Space Center, Lockheed Martin, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and other companies. Learn program-specific skills along with important soft skills such as communication skills, information literacy, and critical thinking skills.
This online program prepares students to sit for the Java Foundations 1Z0-811 and Database Foundations 1Z0-006 certification exams.
The school also offers an associate’s degree in software application development, and a web programming associate’s degree program for students that would like to start at that level.
Rasmussen College sends the message, “It’s our turn to serve you” to members of the military, and gives military students a 10 percent military grant and reduced tuition cost of just $167 per credit hour.

Tuition: est. $229 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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6

Georgia Southwestern State University

  • Americus, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 31%

Georgia Southwestern State University decided to end its online bachelor’s degree in computer science effective December 2020. The school offers an affordable graduate program, the Online Master of Science in Computer Science. The program consists of 30 graduate hours of credit, with six core courses and four elective courses. Students enrolled in the program also have the option of completing a thesis. The program is open to prospective students that have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college with a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Students must meet other admissions requirements before being accepted into the program.
Do you want to enhance your skills? The school also offers a graduate certificate program for students that want to quickly broaden their knowledge. Students have the option of enrolling in the graduate degree program after completing the certificate program. Tuition for the online certificate program is the same as the tuition for the online master’s degree program.

Tuition: $257 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAEP
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7

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University offers a bachelor of science degree in computer science that 70 percent of graduates complete in just 12 months. The program prepares students to develop, design, and optimize the various systems that will meet the current and the future needs of the industry. The online program focuses on algorithms and data structures, database and information retrieval, numerical and symbolic computations, artificial intelligence and robotics, and human-computer communication to help students become fully prepared for a computer science career.
The school recognizes the need for students to gain the tools necessary to impress potential employers in this competitive, in-demand field. Western Governors University indicates that students have the opportunity to earn while they learn because they will be highly qualified to ‘earn top industry certifications at no extra cost,’ while progressing through the computer science degree program. Those certifications include the ITIL®** Foundation Certification, Oracle Database SQL, CompTIA Project+.

Tuition: est. $268.75 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
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8

Dakota State University

  • Madison, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

The online bachelor’s degree in computer science at Dakota State University prepares students for a future career in computer science through a dynamic curriculum of online courses that covers programming language to data structures, and algorithms to operating systems. Gain the skills necessary to solve real-world problems, and to apply those problem-solving skills in your new career.

Tuition: $351.25 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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9

University of Illinois Springfield

  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

The online bachelor of science degree at the University of Illinois Springfield prepares students for a career in computer science after graduation or to continue their studies and earn a graduate degree. The program focuses on developing an understanding of the fundamental skills and core theories required for the profession, with students choosing to emphasize software engineering or systems security and information assurance.
Students that pursue the computer science master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield must earn a minimum grade of B- or better in courses related to the master’s degree. The school explains that the master’s degree program is appropriate for individuals that are interested in the design, analysis, and implementation of software programs.

Tuition: est. $358.50 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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10

Old Dominion University

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

Students that enroll in the online bachelor’s degree program in computer science at Old Dominion University gain the theoretical foundations to support them throughout their career. The curriculum includes courses that focus on applied skills, experimental techniques, engineering technology, and other concepts. Online students also have the opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences.
Students that want to gain advanced skills and focus on more in-depth study have the opportunity to earn a Master of Computer Science degree at the university. The graduate degree in computer science is a non-thesis, 34 credit hour program.

Tuition: $360 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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11

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Oregon State University offers the bachelor of science in computer science degree for students that can solve complex problems, focus on gaining an advanced skillset, and that are able to adapt to the constantly changing needs of the profession. Students have an option to earn an applied computer science degree, which is a degree where the student designs the curriculum, focused on security.
Do you have a bachelor’s degree in another area? Oregon State University offers a fast-track, 60 credit hour program for students that now want to earn an online bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Tuition: $371 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Schools and Universities
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12

Saint Leo University

  • St. Leo, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

The online computer science degree at Saint Leo University puts students on the path to success in this in-demand field. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program prepares students for the ever-changing information and new approaches to computing technology. Practice computer techniques in an online environment that uses the latest state-of-the-art tools and technology.
Tuition for undergraduate active duty military students is $250 per credit hour.

Tuition: $380 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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13

Franklin University

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 33%

Franklin University explains that students that earn a computer science degree at the school gain both technical, and other ‘widely applicable’ skills, including programming languages, communication skills, real-world problem solving, and critical and creative thinking skills. The bachelor’s degree program at the university prepares students to shape, influence and apply emerging, dynamic languages.
The online program is practical and offers hands-on learning experiences. It allows for assuming a role of increasing responsibility as the student progresses towards completing the computer science degree. The school explains that its bachelor of science in computer science is ‘strongly rooted in the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula,’ which means that students learn under international curricular guidelines for undergraduate programs in computing.
The school also offers a master’s degree program, with an affordable tuition of $670 per credit hour.

Tuition: $398 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, IABCE
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14

Thomas Edison State University

  • Trenton, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Thomas Edison State University combines the solid foundation of computer science, with a strong liberal arts focus in its bachelor of arts degree in computer science. Apply principles of software design to solve practical problems, analyze computer-based solutions at multiple levels of abstraction, and learn to design and implement computer-based solutions applying computer science theory as part of the skills and knowledge that students gain as they progress through the program.
Active duty military personnel pay just $250 per credit hour tuition.

Tuition: $399 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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15

Limestone College

  • Gaffney, South Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Earn an associate’s degree in computer science at Limestone College and follow in the footsteps of many other students that go on to complete the bachelor’s degree in computer science at the school. Students pursuing an associate’s degree program enroll in the Associate of Science in Computer Science Programming degree. Students that pursue the online bachelor’s degree in computer science have the option of completing the programming option, the information technology program, or the computer and information system security program concentration.
The tuition rate for the online associate’s degree programs is the same as the tuition for the bachelor’s degree program. The discounted tuition for eligible military students is $243 per credit hour.

Tuition: $441 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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16

Lamar University

  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

Lamar University offers an online bachelor of science degree in computer science that the school describes as a broad-based program. It focuses on programming languages, data structures, information system, networking, multimedia, theory of programming languages, software engineering, along with computer architecture and applications of computer science. The degree prepares students to immediately start their career in computer science or to continue their education.

est. $436 per credit hour est. $436 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET
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17

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Richmond, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 40%

Pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, including the online master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University, prepares students to advance their career and enhance their earnings. The 30-credit hour program is offered in a 100 percent online format.
This program builds on the education received in a bachelor’s degree program, and the knowledge provided by work experiences. The program places emphasis on advanced computer science and software engineering concepts, and covers a variety of technical subject areas. Study big data, artificial intelligence and other courses relative to today and tomorrow’s computer science experts.
Active duty members of the U.S. Military pay just $325 tuition per credit hour.

Tuition: $611 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB
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18

Mercy College

  • Dobbs Ferry, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

Mercy College invites prospective students to gain the practical experience needed to start a career in computer science. Gain the tools and knowledge to succeed in a computer science career, as you learn programming skills, operating systems and computer networking, and other knowledge and skills that makes you an ideal professional in your chosen field. The computer science program at the school follows the most recent guidelines of the Report of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Curriculum Task Force.

Tuition: $823 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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Methodology

Finding the cheapest colleges online is not an easy task. We did that work for you, first by including only schools with proper accreditation in these rankings. We then ranked each school according to the online tuition rate for a computer science degree.

We work hard to be honest, accurate, and fair in our representation of every school by gathering information directly from each school. We do not allow any school to pay us for a higher ranking in our listings. Any school wishing to be sponsored is listed separately and is clearly labeled as SPONSORED.

Please contact us if you would like to have your school included in our reviews, or if you would like to edit or update the current listing of your school.

Disclaimer: Please note that we cannot guarantee the current tuition of any school or program because schools sometimes change their tuition rates and other information.

Why Online Computer Science Degrees Are the Way to Go 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary for people with a computer science degree has increased immensely over the last five years. And the employment rate in the computer and information technology sectors is expected to increase by 10% in the next three years alone. Today, more and more people are enrolling in computer science programs to benefit from the positive employment outlook.

Notably, the increasing student enrollment in online computer science degrees is getting more popular, primarily due to their affordability. Alongside the flexibility and the convenience they bring, it is right to say online computer degrees are the top choice for anyone looking for the best cost-benefit investment. Because, in essence, pursuing an online computer degree means spending less money and gaining more future rewards.

One of the common and cheapest online computer degrees is an associate’s degree from a college or university. The programs at this level require students to complete about 64 semester hours. You can complete the courses in these programs in about two years or more, depending on how quickly you want to work. Since colleges, especially community colleges, are cheaper, getting an associate’s online computer degree is the cheapest alternative.

A bachelor’s degree in online computer science, on the other hand, requires 128 semester hours to complete. This degree stands out with its substantially increased course demands and offers an in-depth study of computer science that usually lasts four years. Unfortunately, bachelor’s programs are not as cheap as an associate’s degree. Also crucial to note is the high number of different types of bachelor’s degrees to choose from, like a bachelor of engineering in computer science and a bachelor of arts in computer science.

The other type of online computer science degree is a master’s. This advanced degree works for individuals who wish to take their career to the next level. Two major differences between a master’s and a bachelor’s degree are the vigor of the program and the level of study it comes with. Here, the student engages in a more in-depth study of online-computer science. Completing a master’s also offers a higher salary range and plentiful job opportunities after graduation.

A doctorate in computer science touches largely on applied research, going beyond what is covered at the master’s level. Generally, this is the farthest one can go in this field of study and it is reserved for people who wish to contribute to computer science theory and meaningful practice.

Types of Online Computer Science Degrees

The technological advancements in every economic sector have prompted the need for a computer literate workforce. To survive in this changing environment, you need adequate knowledge and computer skills. There are many options when it comes to a computer science degree. You can choose an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in information technology, computer engineering, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and many more. 

Whether it is online bachelor’s degrees graduate degree, or a diploma in computer-related online courses, having these qualification sets you apart from other job seekers. One of the most popular and marketable courses you can choose to study is a degree program in computer science. Here is the important information you need to know about computer science degrees.

What A Computer Science Degree Entails

Computer science deals with the theoretical concepts of information and computation. This program takes a practical approach to computation and its application in daily life. Here are some of the courses you might encounter while studying for a computer science degree.

  • Introduction to computer basics: Like all programs, online computer science degree programs have introductory courses. The introduction to computer basics focuses on familiarizing yourself with the computer hardware and software needed throughout the program. In this segment, you learn about the functions of different computer parts and their repair as well as maintenance practices.
  • Computer programming: The operations of a computer or any other computerized equipment depend on programs created. These programs bear instructions for the functioning of every part of the equipment or the computer itself. With computer programming skills, you can create, test, and run software that performs your intended tasks.
  • Internet and related subjects: The internet forms the base of all communications. Using computers or computerized devices, such as smartphones, you pass information from one point to another. This part of computer science studies focuses on a wide range of issues, including information security. In most cases, this subject is broken down into specific fields, and you can choose one to specialize in. For instance, computer science students can work in cybersecurity departments if you focus on studying information security systems.

What to Look at When Choosing A Computer Science Degree

You can break down computer science into different areas, and you should consider several factors to make sure you get the right specialty for you. These factors include:

  • Passion and ability to pursue the discipline: Online computer science degree programs can be demanding. To complete such courses, ensure you are passionate enough to follow it through and can handle all the pressures that come with it.
  • Availability of the course in your institution of choice: When selecting an online computer science program, you should ensure the course is available in the institution you enroll in. Some institutions offer specific disciplines, and you might find that they don’t have quite what you’re looking for. In these cases, you can either opt for a different discipline or attend a different institution. Additionally, the institution should have enough facilities and qualified tutors for excellent results.
  • Cost of the discipline: Financial considerations are vital when choosing any study program. With online computer science degree programs, you need to select a subject and institution that will not strain your financial status. However, you can get financial assistance from government institutions such as the Federal Student Aid. These institutions are created to make educational programs accessible to people who might have financial challenges.
  • Marketability of the discipline: While all online computer science programs seem lucrative, some are more marketable than others. Before deciding on a program, analyze the job market in your desired career. This research can help prevent struggling with unemployment after spending so much time and money to study.

What to Look for In an Affordable Computer Science Degree

While looking for a suitable affordable online college to pursue a computer science degree, there are several things to keep in mind. One of them is tuition rate or the total cost. You don’t want to choose an online college that costs double the amount you would have spent to get the same educational quality elsewhere.

Before choosing what school to attend for your computer science degree, you must look for the quality of the school’s computer science courses. The college should offer the program that you want to major in to complete your degree in four years. Here are some of the basic degree programs you must make sure are available before selecting your college: 

  • BA in Computer Science
  • BS in Engineering
  • BS of Computer Security in Computer Science
  • BS in Computing in Computer Science

Like any other degree program, it should allow you to study all subjects offered in the time you’re in school, thus equipping you with the necessary knowledge required to enter the field after graduation. Some of the programs these schools should provide include: 

  • Calculus
  • Computation and logic
  • Principles of programming
  • Algorithms
  • Data structures

In addition to the above courses, an online computer science student should be allowed to choose additional courses such as:

  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Networking
  • Operating System
  • Human-Computer interaction
  • Information Theory

How Much Can You Save By Earning Your Computer Science Degree Online?

It goes without saying that you will save money by earning your computer science degree online. As an online student, there are many costs included for on-campus students that you won’t have to pay, not to mention the other personal expenses involved.

According to Affordable Colleges, students online spend up to $21,100 earning their degrees. In contrast, on-campus students spend up to $42,768, almost double what you will spend tackling your online computer science degree.

The statistics also show that taking online students spend the same amount for books and other supplies as those taking classes on campus. However, an online program is still cheaper than on-campus classes in multiple areas, like tuition, fees, housing, and food. Plus, on-campus students have to pay for their meal plan and dorm room upfront, adding even more cost

Many IT degree students who choose to complete their computer science degree online have a lot of things on their plate, such as working or even being full-time parents. These students may be able to get grants and scholarships from various organizations. Some organizations give as much as $12,000, but this may vary.

How To Save Money On Your Online Computer Science Degree

Computer science degree programs have become increasingly popular due to various changes in the workplace. If you wish to pursue a computer science degree as the first degree or a continuation of your study, there are several options to choose from, including online degree programs. Online computer science degree programs have several advantages, which is why they’re so popular.

Despite the benefits that an online computer science degree program has, it can still be very costly. If you do not make financial considerations, then you risk starting a program and failing to complete it due to financial challenges. However, the government as well as many private and charitable organizations are dedicated to making educational programs available. Through these programs, you can get financial assistance to complete your online computer science degree course.

Available Financial Aids for Online Computer Science Degree Programs

Financial aid programs for online computer science degree students include:

Scholarships

A scholarship is a payment made by an organization to support a student’s education. In most cases, scholarships are awarded based on academic or co-curriculum achievements. Different organizations, including academic institutions, offer scholarships for students with exemplary athletic skills or high academic grades. If you are attending an online computer science degree course in an institution that offers these scholarships for students taking an online bachelor’s degree or online master’s degree, it’s worth applying for them as long as you meet the qualifications.

Fellowships

Fellowships are payments or grants targeted at supporting specific fields of study. In most cases, fellowships are awarded to post-graduate students pursuing higher levels of study. If your online computer science program focuses on a specific area, you can apply for fellowships to offset your educational expenses. Fellowships are often provided by professional organizations and are available for both local and international students.

Grants

To help redistribute financial resources among citizens, the government provides grant money to students, including those taking online courses. With a grant, you don’t have to pay the money back, and no one monitors how you use the funds. If you are awarded a grant, it will save you some costs of pursuing your online degree. Types of grants available include federal grants, Pell Grants, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, among others.

Educational Loans

Unlike other financial assistance, you have to repay educational loans once you complete your studies and start working. Different lending institutions offer educational loans, including the federal government and private companies. You can apply for an educational loan to help offset your tuition expenses if need be. However, you should note that you must repay this money to the lenders with interest.

Other forms of financial aid available for online computer science degree programs include work-study aid and employer-sponsored tuition. As a student, you need to exploit all the available financial support programs to finish the course without facing financial constraints.

Maintaining A Good Financial State as An Online Student

Although there are several financial aid sources for students taking online computer science degree courses, you need to make sound financial decisions. The following practices will help you stay afloat financially while in school:

  • Make the right use of finances: Financial aid is given to online students for different purposes. If you get financial assistance to offset tuition fees, ensure that you use it to clear the fees. Diverting finances could lead to failure to complete certain functions that require money.
  • Avoid unnecessary expenses: While studying, avoid spending money on things that are not necessary for your education. An online computer science degree program might require you to pay for software, clear internet and electricity bills, among other things. Therefore, you must prioritize fundamental expenses that directly affect your studies.
  • Make good use of your time: One of the main factors that lead to misusing finances is idleness. As a student, you need to make proper use of your free time to avoid such situations. Apply to work as a part-time employee during your free time to stay busy while generating additional income. Additionally, you can engage with experts in the computer science field or network with fellow students. By doing this, you get to learn and grow faster as a computer scientist.

Once you decide to pursue an online degree in computer science, you place yourself at a higher chance of being employed or promoted. According to the Bureau of Labor, computer science graduates can work in all industries, thanks to digitization and mechanization of operations.

Affordability of Online Computer Science Degree Programs

With the world going digital and so much of our lives revolving around digital devices and the internet, computer science as a college degree is becoming more popular. Experts project that graduates with computer science degrees will be the most sought after in the job market in ten years.

With this in mind, many high school graduates are tempted to pursue computer science degrees in their higher education because it makes them very marketable. Tuition cost will always be a factor to consider when choosing an online computer science degree program. Therefore, it is understandable if one wants to go for the cheapest online bachelor’s degree. But you must also ensure you get a quality education. Most of the time, lower costs equate to poor services because you get what you pay for. So, do your research and apply for a degree program where you will get the most for your money.

Best Way to Compare Computer Science Programs

When looking for the best online computer science program, the first step is to narrow your options down to a few top picks and then closely look at every option, listing the pros and cons of each. Once you’ve done that, the picture will be a little clearer, and you’ll be one step closer to finding the ideal program. 

So, what are some of the things you look out for during the comparisons?

  • Accreditation: When comparing different programs, make sure they are accredited by the relevant organizations. Accreditation indicates that the program meets all the required standards and produces qualified graduates. Employers always go for individuals who’ve graduated from accredited programs.
  • Employment rates: Try and find out how many of the graduates from that program end up securing employment in related fields. This statistic is critical as it shows you how much employers trust that program and how successful the program is at producing graduates who are ready for the labor market.
  • Graduation rates: This is the number of students who graduate from all the students who applied for the program. A lower graduation rate should concern you and you should ask why very few people end up graduating. Is it because they realize midway that the program isn’t good enough? Is the program too difficult? 

Factors That Drive Up the Cost of a Computer Science Degree

College costs are on the rise, and they are expected to hit an all-time high in a few years to come. The cost of online programs, which have traditionally been relatively inexpensive, are also going up. These rising college costs can be attributed to a few things, as discussed below.

  • Competition for spots in programs: This is straight out from level one economics. An increase in demand increases prices. For programs that are in high demand among college applicants, the costs naturally go up to reduce the competition and filter out a few individuals.
  • Need for more staff: For colleges to successfully run online programs, they need more resources. For example, they need IT management experts to ensure a smooth connection between the students and their instructors and fix any technical problems that occur during learning. They also need to train the instructors on how to use these computer systems and learning platforms efficiently.
  • Lack of state funding: Most online programs do not receive state funding, meaning colleges have little funds to operate. As a result of this, the school’s only option is to increase the cost of tuition to provide quality education to learners.

Everyone looking to pursue an online computer science program wants to go to the best schools. Typically, employers lean towards graduates from schools that they know are more respected and held to a higher standard by society. In the long run, employers believe that graduates from these programs will make the best employees. Moreover, one should be mindful of costs, so finding the perfect balance between a well-respected school and an affordable program is important. 

Finding the Most Affordable Online Computer Science Degree Programs 

While an online computer science degree is generally cheaper than attending class on campus, you can still develop the means of making it even more cost-effective. One way to do this is by choosing a college that assures quality at affordable prices. The truth is that different schools charge varied prices and going for one that favors your bank account will make your pursuit for an online computer degree stress-free.

Another means of reducing costs and saving more in your online computer science degree is choosing an affordable program. For instance, pursuing a degree from a college is cheaper when compared to attending a university. Colleges generally offer less intensive programs, which means they don’t require extensive financial ties. Furthermore, other majors, whether from a university or a college, are generally affordable. Therefore, choosing a major like computer science may lead to a significant difference in your cost concerns. 

As affordable as online computer science degrees are, you should only go for institutions that offer accredited programs. It would be a waste of time and money to pay for an online program that can’t get you employed. So, always do a background check of your preferred institution. If they have any bad reviews, do a follow-up to affirm such claims. Reading bad reviews is just as important as reading good ones. If a lot of students are complaining about the same thing, there’s a good chance that the school has a big problem they need to address.

Don’t be in a hurry. Make sure the online college has everything that you need as a computer science degree. Be vigilant on online computer science colleges that have hidden costs. You can always give them a call to get a breakdown of what you’ll likely pay when you join the institution. Finally, have a look at other institutions offering the same program. You never know, you might find a program that offers exactly what you want at a price that won’t break the bank.

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