UH System universities place as most affordable
With the busy lives that many people lead, some students are turning from traditional classroom education toward online learning.
AffordableCollegesOnline.org recently collected data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems, Carnegie Classification and payscale.com to look at four-year, accredited online degree programs, both public and private, that offer reasonable price tags for students. The survey resulted in rating UH-Downtown the third-most-affordable distance-learning school in Texas out of 53. UH-Clear Lake ranked seventh, UH-Victoria ranked 20th and UH main campus ranked 28th.
“Many of our students have to balance work, family and school obligations,” said Jeffrey Cass, UH-V provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “We want to make it convenient for them to earn their degree. We are continuing to pursue online, blended and face-to-face degree programs for both traditional students and those whose work schedule or commuting situations necessitate online study.”
Many of the bachelor’s degrees offered at the University are also offered online. UH, UH-CL and UH-V also allow students to obtain their master’s degree in certain fields.
The UH-V School of Education & Human Development offers many of its master’s and certification programs online, including a Master of Education in adult and higher education, and the VOICE program, which allows students with a bachelor’s degree to become certified teachers after an accelerated, one-year, post-baccalaureate program.
UH-CL offers master’s degrees in areas such as criminology, finance, psychology, public service leadership and more. An online MBA is among UH-CL’s offerings. All system universities also offer a number of certificate programs to be completed online.
“The online courses are the same content as face-to-face classes; it’s just presented in an electronic format,” said Jeremy Shapiro, UH-V communications specialist.
The academic achievements in online learning are comparable to students of other institutes of higher learning in Texas. The price per credit hour depends on each university. UH-V’s current tuition rate is $163.49 per credit hour. In addition, each university system offers a range of financial aid options to cover tuition.
“Not only are these programs competitive, but according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, UH-V programs have some of the best return on investment in the state,” Cass said.
UH-CL told AffordableOnlineColleges.org that it plans to develop fully online programs in the fields of science and technology, education, leadership and behavioral sciences. Beyond the next five years, UH-CL will offer selected lower-level courses online to provide yet another pathway for freshmen and sophomores to take required courses to meet their program requirements. UH-V told the website that it views its mission as one of expansion, extending its online program inventory to meet workforce needs while expanding program quality through new technologies and electronic pedagogy.
“Out of 37 public universities in Texas, UH-V graduates had the fourth-highest median first-year earnings of bachelor’s degree graduates,” Cass said. “Students who graduate from these programs have lower debt loads and higher job salaries after graduation.”