No one likes falling into traps, least of all when they thought they were getting helped. If you are frustrated by late fees, put out by parking tickets or disillusioned by ever increasing taxes, you may want to consider some of these financial pitfalls to avoid when getting your online college degree.
No Refunds! It seems a pretty innocuous two words on the front end of applying for a program. After all, you have limited time and you wish to get in and get out and get what you want. But take a moment to breath here. What you want is not to have some accident occur or a need to change directions arise and not be able to bail on the education you’ve started. It’s important to find a program that lets you get refunded if you don’t complete your education, especially if it’s a degree or certificate based program. While you may have learned something, there’s no skin off their backs by having a computer grade your work and giving the same presentation to potentially hundreds of students.
Tuition. What’s included in tuition. If you’ve budgeted for $1000 worth of classes and you then learn that books weren’t included in your tuition or that you have some kind of processing fee, you’re not going to be too happy. So, even though it’s boring, read the fine print to avoid getting charged fees for items or services that you didn’t bargain for.
Are there fees for dropping out early? Unless you’re rich, avoid these courses at all cost. There’s no reason that you should be charged for dropping out. There are many legitimate reasons that an education can be postponed or ceased. Make sure you won’t be charged for unseen future decisions.
Keep an eye out for the dreaded pay as you go programs. While this may seem like a viable option to start out with, you are going to be charged more for your education in the long run. If yours isn’t a program that you foresee making your educational expenses back in timely manner than you may wish to save up a bit before splitting up your payments and heaping interest on.
Some online programs entice you with offers other than education. Online advertisers try very hard to get you to click on things and tell you why you won’t be whole without their product. If you are getting offers from your online university that aren’t about classes, be wary. Most good places won’t even touch this as their focus is on education, but what out for hidden advertising.
Sometimes it’s hard these days to steer clear of all fees and schemes, but take some time to slow down and know what you’re getting into before you take the first step. If you are prone to do just that, but then forget, place reminders up so you don’t get fooled by your own poor memory. It’s understandable to incur some penalties along the way, but make sure you’re not stepping into a profit center of your online college without your consent.