Tennessee Comptroller’s Office Examines Cost of Online College Courses

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has released a new report examining the cost of online courses at public colleges and universities in Tennessee.

For more than 20 years, public higher education institutions in Tennessee have offered online courses. The prevalence of courses has increased over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, in most cases, students pay more to enroll exclusively in online classes than to take classes on campus. On average, community college students pay $ 256.57 more; University students pay an additional $ 630.81 per semester to enroll in online courses exclusively, based on a 15-hour course load.

The report found that fees for online courses are typically used for online course development, student support, faculty training, and technology.

Some institutions have significantly increased their online course offerings in 2020 and 2021 in response to the pandemic, and most have adjusted their assessment of online course fees. In most cases, students were not charged an online course fee for courses that were converted to an online delivery method as a result of the pandemic. Some institutions have waived online course fees for all courses or have adjusted their assessment method.

Almost 97,700 undergraduates enrolled in at least one online course at one of Tennessee’s public colleges or universities in the fall of 2019. Many institutions have reported a steady increase in demand for study options. online courses in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this demand is expected to continue.

Some colleges, including the University of Memphis, have removed online course fees for good.

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