Texas State Charges More for Online Classes

todaySeptember 29, 2014 31 1

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By Lorenzo Almanza

Texas State's JCK Building
Photo by Lorenzo Almanza

Recent studies have shown that Texas students tend to pay more for online courses. When comparing online courses to face to face courses, students tend to pay a bit more for the classes.

A recent study done by The Dallas Morning News demonstrated that only the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Austin has lower costs for online classes.

Some universities include extra fees or costs per credit hour when accessing online courses.

At Texas State the process is a little different. Debbie Thorne, assistant vice president for academic affairs, elaborates on what the process is like and explains the reasoning as to why students tend to pay a bit more.

“Well, if you take an online course tuition is the same, and what’s a left bit different is there’s something called the electronic course fee,” Thorne said.

For students taking an online course, a $50 assessment fee is charged per credit hour. The $50 electronic fee goes up when more hours are taken. Brendan Scott, administrative budget specialist, explains the fee.

“Online courses at the university are assessed at $50 per credit hour to each student that enrolls in it,” said Scott. “Basically thats $50 for a three hour class would amount to (a) $150 electronic course fee.”

The assessed fee is used for various resources the campus may need. Scott also discusses the reasoning behind the electronic fee and usage of the fee itself.

“That goes into development and maintenance of online courses, encouraging other departments to create new courses, expanding access to online learning opportunities like computer labs and its also used to defray the faculty cost, graduate students, instructional students cost for people who maintain those courses,” Scott said.

Going forward, the department hopes to stay consistent with fee cost but are always open to new changes. Thorne elaborates on her plans for the future.

“My plans are to retain the fee as its currently stated and currently implemented,” said Thorne. “Although, definitely with fees and any aspect of the university, we are always looking to improve and to get feedback from students.”

Like other universities in Texas, Texas State does charge more for an online course, but the fee is assessed for learning purposes within the university.

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