Most Expensive Online Bachelor’s Programs for Out-of-State Students

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.

When it comes to deciphering the true cost of an online program, most students want to see the total program cost – the amount of money they’d be paying if they took all of their required courses at that school.

But that figure is rarely easy to come by, according to a recent study, since many programs prefer to advertise their per-credit price instead. The move may make some sense, since many online students start with some credits already applied toward their degree.

Students who manage to find the total cost of online bachelor’s degrees might be surprised by what they find. While many assume online education is an inexpensive option, that’s not always the case.

[Learn why online education may not cost less.]

 At the 10 public schools with the priciest online bachelor’s programs for out-of-state students, for example, total program cost is more than $91,000 in 2014-2015. While that’s less than four years’ worth of tuition at some of the country’s most expensive brick-and-mortar universities, it’s not exactly community college cheap, either.

Ohio State University—Columbus has the most expensive public bachelor’s program for out-of-state students, according to data reported by 126 ranked public online bachelor’s programs in an annual U.S. News survey. Out-of-state students attending Ohio State online pay $1,070 per credit and up to $128,400 for the total program if they take all of their courses at the school – though those who enrolled with previous credits wouldn’t pay the full price tag.

Among the 126 ranked programs that reported data to U.S. News, the average total program cost is $52,830. North Dakota’s Valley City State University offers the cheapest tuition for out-of-state students earning bachelor’s degrees online. They pay $168 per credit and a potential total program cost of $20,160.

[Explore the cheapest online bachelor’s programs for out-of-state students.]

Below are the 10 most expensive public online bachelor’s programs for out-of-state students based on per-credit costs and the number of required credits. The total program cost doesn’t take into account any scholarships or other forms of student aid, nor does it include any of the extra fees that schools may charge.

Schools labeled RNP, or Rank Not Published, fell in the bottom one-fourth of their ranking category. U.S. News calculates numerical ranks for RNP schools, but does not publish them. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School Out-of-state cost per credit Credits needed to graduate Out-of-state total cost U.S. News rank
Ohio State University—Columbus $1,070 120 $128,400 8 (tie)
Central Washington University $677 180 $121,860 194 (tie)
West Virginia University $927 120 $111,240 RNP
University of Georgia $893 120 $107,160 90 (tie)
New Mexico State University $796 128 $101,888 161 (tie)
University at Buffalo—SUNY $816 120 $97,920 136 (tie)
University of South Carolina—Aiken $777 122 $94,794 119 (tie)
Florida State University $776 120 $93,120 161 (tie)
Northern Arizona University $771 120 $92,520 131 (tie)
University of Michigan—Flint $766 120 $91,920 RNP

School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed 296 public, private and for-profit schools for our 2015 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings. Schools reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of these survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. These data are specific to schools’ online bachelor’s degree program offerings and have no influence over U.S. News’ Best Colleges rankings assessing traditional bachelor’s programs. The tuition data above are correct as of Jan. 27, 2015


Address Academic, Criminal Mistakes With a Law Application Addendum

Many applicants find one of the scariest aspects of preparing law school applications to be disclosing situations that don’t reflect the applicant at his or her best. These situations are usually related to academic underperformance or probation and interactions with the criminal justice system.

If you have some skeletons in the closet, never fear. Law schools know that even those who are planning to be lawyers have episodes in their past that they are not proud of.

First of all, don’t expect schools to treat these incidents as major impediments to your admissions chances. There are two general exceptions to this statement: incidents that represents a major lapse in judgment, such as expulsion from a school or a criminal conviction as opposed to a citation or minor violation; and patterns of troubling behavior, such as multiple alcohol-related citations that have continued in the recent past.

[Find out why law school applications get rejected.]

 If you have any such incidents or patterns in your background, you should be sure to thoroughly address them in an addendum, and possibly contact admissions offices to see if there is anything else you can do to adequately address these blemishes.

The most important thing to remember as you begin to think about what to disclose is that you should always err on the side of caution. That is to say, if you are in doubt about whether your incident should be disclosed, then disclose it. As discussed above, you shouldn’t fear disclosing, since schools generally treat minor incidents as minor.

[Learn the steps to handling disclosure on law school applications.]

The reason you should always err on the side of disclosure is that it is much worse to appear deceptive or opaque than it is to disclose a minor incident. Furthermore, your law school application is one of the documents considered for the character and fitness portion of most state bar applications, and state bar associations will also not look favorably on a material nondisclosure.

Each school has different guidelines with respect to what to disclose, so make sure you carefully read the exact wording of the disclosure requests in your applications and interpret them broadly.

Once you have determined that you need to disclose an incident, you should plan on writing an addendum to explain the incident. As I mentioned above, these incidents usually fall into one of two categories: academic discipline and criminal penalties.

For both categories you should seek to do two things in your addendum. First, describe the facts of the situation truthfully and in their entirety, including any mitigating or explanatory facts. Second, you should show that you have learned from the incident and that since the incident you have been a responsible and conscientious student or citizen.

[See when else law school applicants should include an addendum.]

For issues of academic discipline such as suspension or probation, make sure to bring up any mitigating circumstances such as youth, emotional difficulties you were having at the time that contributed to the incident, or, if applicable, a miscommunication with school administration. You should then highlight the strengths of your academic record since the incident to show that you have grown as a student and as a person as a result.

For issues relating to criminal justice, you should, as above, bring up any mitigating circumstances and indicate that you have had no further criminal issues since the incident. The most common criminal issues that people disclose are traffic violations – most schools don’t require disclosure of minor traffic violations, however – and issues with underage drinking.

For traffic violations, show that you understand the purpose of obeying traffic laws and that since the incident you have followed traffic laws assiduously. For issues with underage drinking, make sure that you show them that you do not have an ongoing issue with alcohol.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that you should not be afraid to disclose these incidents. Unless the incidents are serious in nature or are part of a pattern of negative behavior, they will likely not affect your chances of admission. Failure to disclose an incident that a school or state bar association finds out about, however, can end up causing much more trouble than being honest at the outset.

Minorities Interested in Law May Find a Home at Schools That Value Diversity

Minority law students

When Robert Grey attended law school at Washington and Lee University, connecting with his classmates was not easy.

“I was the fourth person of color to graduate from the school in 1976,” says Grey, who is African-American and now the president of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. “It was tough.”

The school’s faculty also wasn’t diverse, he says.

His experience at the Virginia school was likely similar to other minorities in law school in the 1970s. During the 1975-1976 school year, for example, 7.8 percent of students were minorities at schools approved by the American Bar Association.

​While that percentage has more than tripled, some minorities have yet to be strongly represented in 15 of the top law schools, according to a December report from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.​ The report focuses on minority enrollment at law schools, including at Harvard University, the Columbia University and Northwestern University.

“At none of these top law schools do Black enrollments reach 9 percent,” the report states.

Law experts say that some schools take extra measures to serve minority students and make them feel welcome. Prospective law students who are of black, Hispanic or of another minority background can speak with a few key people to make sure the schools they are considering will be a good fit.

Most schools publish the demographics of their students, and this information can be a starting point for learning about a campus’s diversity. But it may not give prospective students enough information.

“Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story,” says Andrea Lyon, dean of the law school at Valparaiso University, ​ which is almost 40 percent minority​​. “The people who are going to give you the real information are the people who are here.”

Most importantly, the people she suggests applicants speak with are minority students.

[Learn how to pick a cost-efficient law school.]

​They, more so than faculty or admissions officers, can candidly discuss what the environment is like for students from diverse backgrounds, says Lyon and other experts.

“Call someone who is a member of BLSA,” says Lyon, using the acronym for the Black Law Students Association, which has chapters at many law schools. Speaking with minorities who are in the student government association or other groups is also helpful, she says.

These groups and their leaders are typically easy to find online, says Lyon.

Dynette Cordova, national chair​ of the National Latina/o Student Association, believes that first checking to see if a school has such groups can be revealing. The third-year student at the University of New Mexico School of Law also believes it’s worth taking a careful look at the people on campus who have long since graduated: “Faculty,” she says.

[Find out how to make an informed decision when considering law school.]

​Schools often publish articles on their faculty members. Cordova encourages prospective students to see how many of these articles cover minority faculty to better understand how minority leaders are valued on campus.

Applicants should also bring up faculty when speaking with current students, Cordova says, and ask “How accessible is faculty?”

They should inquire about how comfortable students feel asking questions about diversity during conversations with their peers and others. “How open is the school to having these kinds of discussions?” she says.

A school’s course offerings may also show how much it supports minority students on campus, says Heidi Nesbitt, the director of the pre-law summer institute​ at the American Indian Law Center in New Mexico.

Some schools have Indian law classes, for example, or serve Native Americans through a law school clinic, she says.

Once students finish their classes and graduate, it’s important to find out what happens to them, says Grey from the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

He advises prospective students to speak with people at the schools they’re eyeing about how successful the school is in helping minority graduates become employed.

Ban beauty shows in educational institutions: HC

It is not known as to how ‘Walking the ramp’ will benefit an engineering student

The Madras High Court has directed the authorities to ban beauty shows or any programme in educational institutions that is conducted to decide the best-looking male/female student.

“It is not known as to how ‘Walking the ramp’ will benefit an engineering student,” Justice T.S.Sivagnanam wondered and directed the higher education officials to issue a circular immediately to all institutions and universities in the State to ban or not to conduct any beauty shows at the inter-collegiate level.

He was passing the interim directive till issues such as whether the universities exercised due care and control over such programmes, whether any guidelines had been issued or how the funds were administered were considered.

In a writ petition in 2013, Lakshmi Suresh of R.A.Puram submitted that her daughter, P.S.Akshaya, was studying first year B.E then had participated in the event “Mr and Ms TECHOFES 13”. She was not given the prize advertised and assured. She was given a Certificate of Appreciation in which the signatures were forged.

In the petition, filed through counsel S. Sathyanarayanan, she sought a direction to the Dean of Anna University and the organisers of a cultural event “TECHOFES” in February 2013 to pay a compensation of Rs.5 lakh for violation of her daughter’s fundamental right and for the treatment meted out to her.

“A serious issue has been brought to the notice of this court by way of this writ petition,” the Judge observed.

The programme was held on the Anna University premises.

It could not be stated that the university officials were not aware of various events. The petitioner had brought to the court’s knowledge about the unpleasant turn of events faced by her daughter.

In a strong order, Mr.Justice Sivagnanam said the issue raised could not be decided, more particularly whether the claim for payment of compensation was maintainable, unless all the respondents had filed their counter-affidavit.

“However, one issue which is a matter of concern is whether at all such an event – that is, to select the best looking male/female student is required to be conducted in a cultural event, that too organised by a century-old engineering college, established and administered by the government.”

Fanciful prize money was being advertised as several corporate giants funded the programme.

The larger question would be the need for such a programme in cultural festivals, he said, issuing interim directives to prevent any unpleasant event till the final orders are passed.

He posted the matter for filing of counter on February 20.

Conquering intimidation

Unpleasant but a reality, intimidation takes many forms. How can youth deal with it?

“I was scared of my class teacher. Hence I messed up my speech.” “Her loudness always silenced me.” “For some reason, I wasn’t comfortable around him.”

Does this sound familiar to you? Bullying, ragging or peer pressure often leads to intimidation. Saras Bhaskar, counselling psychologist, Bloom Mind and Body Care, defines it as “a form of behaviour in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. There is a thin line between intimidation and bullying. It can be verbal or non-verbal and can also take a physical form.” The surrounding peer and work pressure is what gives birth to this emotion. Khadija, a second-year psychology student, says, “Speaking in front of a gathering intimidates me. Hence, I’ve taken an initiative to participate in more public speaking events. This will help me overcome my fear of crowds and relieve me of stress.” Factors like one’s outward appearance, academic excellence, popularity, bullying, favouritism by college management, insults from friends and faculty and extra-curricular activities can trigger this emotion.

The challenge

Dr. Vasuki Mathivanan, counselling psychologist, says, “For college students, humiliation and ridiculing by seniors is a major factor behind their losing confidence. Students find facing it a challenge. Usually, the victims of intimidation are first and second-year students. It can be in the form of verbal and emotional abuse which is not visible. This affects them psychologically and they always live in fear.” Intimidation usually starts to stem from these factors and finds its way into a varying range of situations.

“I have witnessed cases of intimidation in class. This usually happens when peers of a student become a bit too assertive. This causes him/her to lose self-confidence and self-esteem,” she adds. The ill effects start to manifest in their work capability and demeanour, which stymies their progress and performance in college.

Choice factors

Sometimes, students are intimidated by the course they are pursuing. This could be because they were pressured into it or because initially, they took it willingly but later realised that it was not their cup of tea. Choosing a course one is not adept at puts him/her at a major disadvantage. Also, something as simple as being casually reprimanded in class by a faculty or losing out on a competition could threaten a student’s self-esteem and cause intimidation.

It is not wrong to feel intimidated, but constantly succumbing to this emotion is a cause for concern. If not tackled promptly, it can have several harmful effects on students. It can cause depression, strain in their interpersonal relationship, get them involved in harmful habits, lead them to think they lack skills or knowledge, render them socially inept, and, sometimes, lead to extreme measures like suicide attempts. A tall person, a tattooed arm or loud tone of a dominating speech is all it takes to cause a sliver of intimidation. Fortunately, this emotion can be tackled with ease sans psychologists or councillors. Talking to close friends or faculty about the issues bothering you might prove to be the start to recovery. A person who feels intimidated should never take the things said to him personally and must always try facing the intimidator with confidence. Students can involve themselves in dramatics or theatre. This is a great form of recuperation for one’s pent-up frustration and stress. Also, being on stage and performing will work as a tailwind to the student’s self-esteem and confidence. This is applicable to other forms of art such as music and dance, too.

Find a mirror

Another way of responding to intimidation is to identify the trait you find intimidating in the person causing it and try deciphering or exploring it within yourself, in your own unique way. This will help you re-identify with the person who intimidates you.

Saravanan AK, Practising psychologist at Tranzend Hypnotherapy Service, says, “Intimidation is something that develops at an age as early as one or two years when a child goes to school and sees people towering over him. It is something that’s directly or indirectly innate in every being. It’s up to us to channelise it in a healthy way.”

If you can take things in your stride, then intimidation can be channelled into a positive force as well.

It has been found that intimidation can make a person grow cognitively and emotionally.

When people feel threatened, they start to work harder in order to deal with cut-throat competition. It acts as a source of motivation for them too. Shreyas, an engineering student, says, “The fact that someone is better than me at something I love doing intimidates me. When at times I knew I could’ve done better, I make sure I work harder and do a better job next time.”

Feeling intimidated has nothing to do with the intimidator, it’s just how we perceive and respond to the oncoming wave of emotions.