How Much Does Online College Cost?


You've done your research and found the best online degree for you. But what will it actually take to get you from application to graduation? How much will online college cost you?

The total cost of the degree program is an important factor in making your final decision. Knowing the cost of your online program will help you make important financial plans, estimate your student loan needs, and find a program that will be a valuable investment.

The questions below can help you gather information about the total cost of online college. These calculations will allow you to determine your budget, so you can have control over how much you borrow and have to pay back.

Let's break down each question, so you can learn the price of an online degree at Ohio State. Your future is your biggest investment; we are available to answer any questions you may have about the financial process of getting your online degree.

To calculate your total cost to credential for an online degree, add up the cost of each credit hour multiplied by the number of credit hours required. Don't forget to add in semesterly fees, like textbooks, and one-time fees, like the application fee.


How long will it take to complete the degree online?

When searching for the number of courses to degree completion, start on the program’s webpage. You can usually find this under “curriculum” on most program pages.

Some programs have specialties or tracks that influence the number of courses or credits that are required for your degree. For example, the Master of Science in Nursing program has four different specialty tracks. Each track requires a different number of courses to complete the specialization. The Family Nurse Practitioner track requires 12 courses, while the Neonatal Nurse Practioner track requires 10 courses. The extra two courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner track will contribute to the total costs.


How many classes do you have time for?

Going back to school can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been out of school for a while. Consider your current schedule with your job, extracurricular activities, and family responsibilities. Is it feasible for you to become a full-time student? A full course load might not be best for your schedule, and that’s okay. Part-time options are often available for students who want to take one or two courses a semester.

Enrollment status is based on how many credits you want to take per semester. Generally, one course is about three credit hours. This status will determine how long it will take you to complete the program, which affects the total cost of your online degree.

Not sure of your enrollment status? Check out the University Registrar Policies page on how many credit hours constitutes a part-time student versus a full-time student per semester at Ohio State.


What is the cost of the online degree


Tuition for all Ohio State Online programs, including degree completion programs, will be found under the Tuition and Fees page. The number of credits you plan on taking each semester will influence the total cost of your degree. The type of program (graduate or undergraduate) will also affect the final cost.

For example, an Ohio resident enrolled in a full-time online undergraduate degree program from Ohio State will generally pay about $5,000 in instructional fees each semester.

Often, online college is cheaper than on-campus degree programs, as students are not responsible for site-based, on-campus fees. For example, at Ohio State, students in online programs do not pay the COTA Bus Service fee, recreational fee, student union facility fee, or student activity fee.

Calculate tuition and fees for Ohio State online programs >>


What financial aid is available to you?

Good news: Financial aid is available to students in Ohio State Online programs. The most common way to apply for financial aid is through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are an Ohio resident in an undergraduate program who is eligible for the Pell Grant, Ohio State will cover the cost of your tuition and mandatory fees. Scholarships and grants can also be leveraged and are found in a number of different places. Check with the college where your online program is housed. Each college will have resources for you to apply to aid that will help lower your cost to the credential.


So, how much will online college cost you?

Though costs may change during your time enrolled in the program, this estimate will give you a sense of what to expect. To compute your total cost, consider the answers to the questions you researched above. Depending on your program and the number of semesters to completion, add together the administrative and program costs. Once you have an estimate of the total cost, you can consider your options for paying for your education.

To see how much an online program from Ohio State will cost you, visit our Tuition and Fees page. For more information on calculating the cost to your credential at Ohio State, contact the Registrar’s office at


Infographic outlining the steps to calculating your cost to degree.

Last modified: 
October 3, 2023