By Kathryn Matheny
Online classes offer the convenience of taking courses at home. While the Dallas County Community College District charges the same price for both traditional and online courses, for many students transferring to other universities, it may cost them more than the equivalent of a tank of gas to take online classes there.
Taking a class on campus can actually cost less than taking the same class online. According to a recent article in The Dallas Morning News, an online course can cost up to 20 percent more than on campus. Hidden fees and higher per-credit-hour costs can contribute to the increase in tuition costs. The high cost of online support and partnership with companies to handle the online course can be passed on to the student.
Brookhaven College and other campuses in the DCCCD charge students the same tuition for classes taken online or on campus. “To my knowledge, there is one standard tuition and fee schedule that all of the campuses use,” Brookhaven director of business operations Deanie Martin said.
The only change in tuition would be if a student lived out of district, Martin said. DCCCD does charge a distance-learning fee to students who live out of state. It costs an additional $165 per class. “Out-of-state students do get assessed a distance learning fee, but for all the other students, it’s the same cost as if you sat in the classroom,” Susan Klutts, director of accounting for the LeCroy Center, said.
The LeCroy Center is a resource facility for the DCCCD. It is located across from the Richland College campus.
Many colleges charge more for online classes, but that is not the intention of colleges within the DCCCD. “One of our goals is to try and keep tuition as affordable as possible for our students, and I think they have worked very hard at that,” Klutts said. “With technology getting cheaper, I think we’re still going to be able to deliver to the distance learner the same course and the same cost. That’s our goal, to keep our tuition rates down and to make it affordable for all of our students.”
There is no raise in online tuition in the foreseeable future for DCCCD colleges. “I don’t necessarily foresee that,” Lakendra Higgs, Dean of Student Support Services at the LeCroy Center, said. “I think we’ll always opt for the best route for our county taxpayers as well as students abroad.”
For more information on tuition costs for a particular school, readers can visit its website. For info on DCCCD costs, they can visit dcccd.edu or contact the LeCroy Center at 972-669-6657.