Is eLearning Cost Effective?
After graduating from a traditional 4 year college, it really made me think if it was worth it. With traditional college becoming so expensive, is eLearning more cost effective?
eLearning is very cost effective, the average cost of an eLearning course is between $10 and $1000. In comparison, the average cost of a 4 year college degree in the United States is $83,080 for public schools (in-state) and $187,800 for non-profit private schools.
What Is eLearning?
eLearning is electronic based learning, and takes place outside of the classroom. eLearning is available to anyone with an internet connection and offers nearly infinite learning topics that anyone can purchase and enroll in.
With the increasing availability of the internet, eLearning has become more popular in recent years. As college tuition continues to increase, many are turning to eLearning for their education.
There are 3 main reasons why people turn to eLearning for their education.
eLearning is very affordable. Most online courses can be purchased for only $10, while some go up to $1,000 or more. With that said, you can learn quite a bit from a $10 online course!
eLearning is very specific. With eLearning, you can browse many courses until you find one that teaches exactly what you want to learn. With a traditional college education, you learn a general overview of the topic, such as “business”, but most of the information can be irrelevant. With eLearning, you can purchase a course that goes in-depth on a specific part of “business” that you are interested in learning.
eLearning is internet based. When you purchase an online course, you can watch the course anytime and anywhere with internet! Traditional college education requires you to be in the classroom at a specific time, but if you have a full-time job, this can be complicated. With eLearning, you can learn when and where is convenient for you.
How Much Is eLearning?
Most eLearning online courses are on the more affordable side, averaging about $10 per course. With that said, more in-depth and comprehensive online courses can be on the more expensive side of $1,000 or more.
A big benefit of eLearning, is that most online courses come with a money back guarantee! If you find that the course was not a good fit for you, you can get your money back. This is definitely something that traditional colleges do not offer.
Which Is Better: Low Cost or High Cost eLearning
When comparing the lower cost $10 online courses to the high cost $1,000+ courses, there are a few things to note.
The lower cost courses are an excellent value and often times teach you far more than you expected.
The high cost courses are often very hands-on with the instructor, hence the higher price.
If you are seeking an introduction to a topic, don’t have a big budget, or don’t need intensive 1-on-1 instructor help, the lower cost courses are the winner.
However, if you are learning a complex topic, have a larger budget, or really want 1-on-1 ongoing help from the instructor, the high cost courses are for you.
To put it in perspective, you can purchase about 100 low cost $10 courses for the same price as 1 high cost $1,000 course.
eLearning vs. Traditional College Education
Here’s where it gets interesting, when comparing eLearning to a traditional 4 year college education, there are some big differences!
The biggest difference is cost. eLearning is far more cost effective than traditional college.
With eLearning, you can choose exactly what you want to learn, whereas a traditional 4 year college education requires you to take many classes that are not interesting or relevant to you.
Therefore, a 4 year college degree requires you to take about 40 different classes, each being a semester long (about 16 weeks, meeting about 3 hours per week). When we add this up, it’s about 48 hours of learning per class, or 1,920 hours of learning, over a 4 year period of time!
With the average cost of a 4 year college degree in the United States being $83,080 for public schools (in-state) and $187,800 for non-profit private schools, that means it is about $2,077 per class for public (in-state) college and $4,695 per class for non-profit private college.
With eLearning, the overall cost is far lower.
With the average cost of an eLearning course being between $10 and $1000, the same amount of classes as a 4 year traditional college education (40 classes) will cost between $400 and $40,000, compared between $83,080 and $187,800 for a traditional 4 year college.
On the low end: eLearning will cost about $400 and traditional 4 year college will cost about $83,080
On the high end: eLearning will cost about $40,000 and traditional 4 year college will cost about $187,800.
Plus, with eLearning you get to choose exactly what you want to learn, and with most eLearning online courses you even get a money back guarantee! Additionally, eLearning courses allow you to learn from anywhere in the world with internet, and when it’s convenient for you.
Lastly, we must consider the opportunity cost of eLearning and a traditional 4 year college education.
Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain of pursuing an alternative, mostly related to time and money.
With that said, eLearning is also more cost effective in regards to opportunity cost because you can learn when it’s convenient for you (so you don’t have to take off work) and eLearning is much more affordable, allowing you to invest more of your money and make financial gains.
Traditional 4 year college typically takes 4 years to complete, and requires you to be in a classroom at a specified time. Because of this, the opportunity cost of a traditional 4 year college education is not ideal (you are spending 4 years of time, a substantial amount of money that could be invested, and potentially missing work hours by being in a classroom). Then factoring in your commute to the classroom as well (cost and time).
The Bottom Line
eLearning is a very cost effective form of education, and has many benefits when compared to a traditional 4 year college education.
eLearning allows you to learn exactly what you want, when you want, and from anywhere with internet. Additionally the opportunity cost of eLearning is far better than a traditional 4 year college education.