Study: Online education is more expensive than face-to-face education

By Andrew Pillow

With the advent of computers and internet, online education has become an increasingly popular option for students. Proponents online school often tout flexibility in scheduling and cheaper costs as the primary advantages of internet learning. However according to a recent study, the latter of these so-called advantages is not actually true.

According to a survey by WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, E-school is actually more expensive than regular school:

“Our survey of distance education professionals asked detailed questions about the cost of twenty-one components in four categories (preparing, teaching, assessing students, and supporting faculty and students) of creating and delivering distance courses. Chart showing cost comparision of face to face and distance courses. 0% of face to face cost less, 57.1 % had no difference, 42.5% cost moreThe results reveal that for twelve (57.1%) of the components the respondents thought there was no difference in the costs. For nine (42.9%), of the components respondents thought that distance courses cost more and, in some cases, much more. Respondents did not identify a single component of a distance course at their institution that costs less.”


This flies in the face of conventional wisdom about online education.

Read more here. (Inside Higher Ed)

See the full study here.


Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.