Have you ever dreamed about attending a college with brick buildings and manicured lawns?

Well keep dreaming, because the price tag that comes with that type of experience has ballooned out of control.

Many university tuition bills—over the course of four years—have come close to, or even exceeded six figures.

The six-figure guest that won’t leave

That’s right. Six figures. A public 4-year college for out-of-state students costs an average of $24,000 per year, while a private 4-year school costs around $32,000.1

Moreover, college costs don’t just hang around your early twenties. They linger on, like a guest that doesn’t know when to leave the party (and you’ve tried all the traditional cues, like throwing out the empty beer bottles and turning off the music).

Many Americans are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, which places an extra financial burden on their lives as they fight against inflation and stagnant salaries.

At the same time, most people will agree that a college degree is necessary for opening doors to employment and upward mobility (read: getting rich).

So what can you do?

Think outside the box

True, you may need a degree to get your foot in the door of the job market. And if you’re planning on entering a specific field, you may also need a degree to help you learn the ropes—architecture, medicine, and law are just a few examples.

However, you don’t have to take a hammer to the piggy bank in order to get a degree, because thankfully a recent invention has made it a lot easier.

We’re not talking about the wheel, steam power, or the atomic bomb.

We’re talking about the internet.

Online degree programs are blossoming all over the web like wildflowers in an alpine meadow, and the sweetest part of their educational fragrance is the fact that they are much more affordable compared to traditional degrees.

While an average college degree costs $80,000, online degrees cost less than half that amount, coming in at around $30,000 on average.2

They ain’t what they used to be…

Now, you may be hesitant to look into online degrees, thinking that they’re a sub-par version of the brick-and-mortar experience. In times past, online degrees were looked at as a way for people who couldn’t get into a regular college to obtain some sort of education—and it was usually vocational.

But these days, almost every school in America is offering online programs. They’re easier to get into, they cost much less, and they have a wide variety of study options. Whether you want to get an advanced business degree or a PhD in literature, you can find a program online.

Universities from MIT (Boston) to UC Berkeley (California) are opening their digital doors to students around the world. All at a fraction of the price of their brick-and-mortar experience.

Just a few years ago, it would have been next to impossible to land a seat in the classrooms of a competitive university (and it still is). However, with the advent of online education, the sky has become the limit.

Even seniors are loving the advent of new online degree programs. It might feel silly sitting in a classroom with a bunch of immature 20-somethings. But when the classroom is online, those concerns go right away.

No matter your age, study interest, or degree level, you can find a legitimate program online. Take a look and see what colleges are offering!

[1] https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/what-you-need-to-know-about-college-tuition-costs

[2] https://www.affordablecolleges.com/rankings/affordable-online-bachelors-degrees/