For many people, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a graduate education is the cost. In this article we will look at how Capella University, a school that offers PhD programs in a distance education format, structures tuition.
The tuition for most of the PhD programs at Capella University is per quarter rather than per credit. This means that regardless of how many classes you take at a time in a quarter, you will pay the same tuition. This is great if you have the time to take three classes at once, enabling you to complete your program in a shorter period of time, thereby reducing the overall cost. On the flip side, if you only have the time to take one class at a time you will still pay the same tuition rate as if you were taking two or three courses each quarter. The amount can change every year so visit their website to see the current tuition for the program you are considering. As of Fall 2013, the quarterly tuition for the PhD in Education program was $4,665. Remember, this is the tuition whether you take one class, two classes or three classes. (You cannot take more than three classes per quarter.) If you can take three classes per quarter, this is a reasonable cost. If you can only fit in one class per quarter, you will likely consider this a high tuition cost.
When deciding if Capella’s graduate school tuition is reasonable, you will need to determine two main things: (1) if the program you are interested in charges tuition per quarter or per credit, and if you confirm that tuition is charged per quarter, (2) how many classes you can successfully take each quarter while maintaining your other commitments, such as work and family. When making your decision, consider the overall cost of the degree. Always look at what you will be taking out in student loans and have to pay back after graduation. If you can only take one class per quarter and student loans can cover your quarterly tuition, it may look like an attractive situation. However, figure out what you will owe at the end of your program before you decide if it will be the right move for you.