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Frugality & Finances > Frugal College Classes
polyhymnia's Avatar polyhymnia 07:13 PM 01-16-2009
I am considering a career change and if I decide to do this, I will need to take some pre-requisite courses before applying to a master's degree program. I'm not terribly concerned with the master's degree tuition because I will be eligible for scholarships, grants and good loans but I would like to do the pre-requisites as frugally as possible since I will be paying out of pocket for these (as a non-degree seeking student). I am looking at local community colleges but I wonder if there are online programs that might be even cheaper?

Unfortunately some of the pre-reqs are lab sciences so I think I may need to do them locally..

The courses I need are:
nutrition (a local online course is $650 + textbook; classroom is $420)
statistics (a local online course is $1150 + textbook; classroom course is $550)
2 units of anatomy & physiology (a local classroom course is $500 x 2 + textbook(s))
microbiology (a local classroom course is $500 + textbook)
child & adult development psychology (a local classroom course is $500 + textbook)

llamalluv's Avatar llamalluv 08:27 PM 01-16-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyhymnia View Post
I am considering a career change and if I decide to do this, I will need to take some pre-requisite courses before applying to a master's degree program. I'm not terribly concerned with the master's degree tuition because I will be eligible for scholarships, grants and good loans but I would like to do the pre-requisites as frugally as possible since I will be paying out of pocket for these (as a non-degree seeking student). I am looking at local community colleges but I wonder if there are online programs that might be even cheaper?

Unfortunately some of the pre-reqs are lab sciences so I think I may need to do them locally..

The courses I need are:
nutrition (a local online course is $650 + textbook; classroom is $420)
statistics (a local online course is $1150 + textbook; classroom course is $550)
2 units of anatomy & physiology (a local classroom course is $500 x 2 + textbook(s))
microbiology (a local classroom course is $500 + textbook)
child & adult development psychology (a local classroom course is $500 + textbook)
Are those the prices for the community college?! Mine were all $65/credit hour!
herwitsend's Avatar herwitsend 08:35 PM 01-16-2009
I was going to say to try the local Community College. You will see that the prices are MUCH more affordable!
ArtsyMomma's Avatar ArtsyMomma 08:55 PM 01-16-2009
Community college classes here are 265 a credit hour, so for a 3 hr course those rates seem accurate to me. Plus there are lab fees. Tutition, for full time is generally less expensive per credit hr.

Have you considered doing the classes at a community college, and matriculating? You may very well be able to earn an associates with the classes you already have + the classes you need to take. At our CC you can be matriculated as an Independent Study Major.
dogmom327's Avatar dogmom327 09:03 PM 01-16-2009
Maybe there's not a difference, but just in case...

Have you looked to see if Clark College in Vancouver (WA) or Lower Columbia College in Longview/Kelso has the classes available online? I'm just thinking that since Vancouver has lower cost of living than Seattle, maybe the community college classes are cheaper? That way you'd still be eligible for in state tuition but at a lower cost. The other option is to see if the CC's in Oregon have a reciprocal agreement for WA state residents to get in-state tuition. There are three CC's around here: Mount Hood CC, Portland CC and Clackamas CC.
Satori's Avatar Satori 09:36 PM 01-16-2009
yeouch! You all pay some crazy tuition! Here in CA its $20 per unit at the community college level. I agree with everyone else, try your local CC, all those classes should be available there.
polyhymnia's Avatar polyhymnia 09:55 PM 01-16-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by herwitsend View Post
I was going to say to try the local Community College. You will see that the prices are MUCH more affordable!
Those are the local community college prices (the lower ones), the higher ones are for online courses offered by the local state university. Because it is online there is no distinction between resident and out-of-state tuition. They are 5-6 credit hour classes.
polyhymnia's Avatar polyhymnia 09:57 PM 01-16-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post
Community college classes here are 265 a credit hour, so for a 3 hr course those rates seem accurate to me. Plus there are lab fees. Tutition, for full time is generally less expensive per credit hr.

Have you considered doing the classes at a community college, and matriculating? You may very well be able to earn an associates with the classes you already have + the classes you need to take. At our CC you can be matriculated as an Independent Study Major.
I already have a bachelor's degree in physics & math, I don't think I can apply those credits toward a different degree. Plus, I can't go full time and can only take evening or online classes (need to keep my full time job until I get into grad school) so it looks like I may need to do a combination of the local community college and online w/the state uni due to times that things are offered Ideally I need to have 2-3 of these finished by November, and be able to finish the rest by April next year.
polyhymnia's Avatar polyhymnia 09:57 PM 01-16-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
Maybe there's not a difference, but just in case...

Have you looked to see if Clark College in Vancouver (WA) or Lower Columbia College in Longview/Kelso has the classes available online? I'm just thinking that since Vancouver has lower cost of living than Seattle, maybe the community college classes are cheaper? That way you'd still be eligible for in state tuition but at a lower cost. The other option is to see if the CC's in Oregon have a reciprocal agreement for WA state residents to get in-state tuition. There are three CC's around here: Mount Hood CC, Portland CC and Clackamas CC.
Thanks, I will check into that! I have really only looked at the local community college, but I know there are more further away - it's just I wouldn't be able to travel to get to those schools so it would have to be online. I'll definitely check those out though!
ArtsyMomma's Avatar ArtsyMomma 12:34 AM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyhymnia View Post
Those are the local community college prices (the lower ones), the higher ones are for online courses offered by the local state university. Because it is online there is no distinction between resident and out-of-state tuition. They are 5-6 credit hour classes.
Even for the online classes, you should be able to fill out a residency affadavit (SP??) to get the in state tuition price. Or if they won't allow that, you can get the in-state price if you take one class online and one class on campus.
ArtsyMomma's Avatar ArtsyMomma 12:42 AM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyhymnia View Post
I already have a bachelor's degree in physics & math, I don't think I can apply those credits toward a different degree. Plus, I can't go full time and can only take evening or online classes (need to keep my full time job until I get into grad school) so it looks like I may need to do a combination of the local community college and online w/the state uni due to times that things are offered Ideally I need to have 2-3 of these finished by November, and be able to finish the rest by April next year.
Look into it and talk to and adviser or the FA dept. All the credits you have already, can be applied to a second degree. All of the general ed stuff - history, math, gym, etc. As long as the credits are less than 10 years old. About half of the credits needed to obtain an associates degree are usually general ed. You may be eligible for some kind of aid if you took at least 6 credits, or 2 classes a semester. The lab sciences here are 4 credits (A&P for example). Usually there is a minimum # of credits you must take at a school to get a degree from there. It might be worth looking into. Even a AS in liberal arts, although it may not be really useful, could potentially save you quite a bit of money.

Some CC's also offer classes on the weekends, not sure if that is an option for you and there are summer classes - that might help with your timing issues. And the class schedule changes all the time. My bio lab got dropped recently for low enrollment so I had rearrange my whole schedule to work in a different lab.

If there is anything else I could help with, LMK. My dp is the head of a dept at our CC and prof at our CC.
polyhymnia's Avatar polyhymnia 01:05 AM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post
Look into it and talk to and adviser or the FA dept. All the credits you have already, can be applied to a second degree. All of the general ed stuff - history, math, gym, etc. As long as the credits are less than 10 years old. About half of the credits needed to obtain an associates degree are usually general ed. You may be eligible for some kind of aid if you took at least 6 credits, or 2 classes a semester. The lab sciences here are 4 credits (A&P for example). Usually there is a minimum # of credits you must take at a school to get a degree from there. It might be worth looking into. Even a AS in liberal arts, although it may not be really useful, could potentially save you quite a bit of money.

Some CC's also offer classes on the weekends, not sure if that is an option for you and there are summer classes - that might help with your timing issues. And the class schedule changes all the time. My bio lab got dropped recently for low enrollment so I had rearrange my whole schedule to work in a different lab.

If there is anything else I could help with, LMK. My dp is the head of a dept at our CC and prof at our CC.
Really ... hm. I will do some more research. I am pretty sure all of the classes at the local cc are priced per credit, whether you are in a degree program or not but I'll find out. Weekend classes could work but summer doesn't make a difference - I work 8 - 5 (sometimes later) m-f year round.

I'm not actually sure how I will do the A&P classes though, they don't have any offered in the evenings :-x
herwitsend's Avatar herwitsend 01:24 AM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Those are the local community college prices (the lower ones), the higher ones are for online courses offered by the local state university.
YIKES!!!
ChattyCat's Avatar ChattyCat 01:29 AM 01-17-2009
Wow, I pay less than $600/semester for 6 credit hours including all the fees. I take them from a state university online. I can't believe what some of you are paying. That just seems crazy!
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 01:46 AM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Because it is online there is no distinction between resident and out-of-state tuition.
Would it be cheaper then to take it on campus instead of online?
Om Girl's Avatar Om Girl 02:27 AM 01-17-2009
Your pre-reqs look like nursing school pre-reqs. (If so you might want to check with the program you'll be applying to because they don't always accept "lower division" which they consider CC classes for Stats and A&P)
Sonnenwende's Avatar Sonnenwende 07:59 AM 01-17-2009
What grants would you get from where? I thought the only federal or state aid you could get as a person who already has a BA or BS was federal loans.
Valian's Avatar Valian 06:46 PM 01-17-2009
A few other ideas:
1. Find the state w/cheapest non-resident tuition, compare to your in-state and take classes online and out of state.
2. Start working for the college/university. Often this includes free tuition to a certain # of credits.
3. Apply to your MA/MS program for provisional acceptance and see if you can then get the needed financial aid to also cover the pre-requisites.
Dar's Avatar Dar 07:02 PM 01-17-2009
Check this thread.

Not sure if they offer any of the classes you need, but very cheap...

Dar
SandyBeachBums's Avatar SandyBeachBums 07:49 PM 01-17-2009
Online science classes may not transfer to your school. I would check on that. UW did not take my online science classes.
1growingsprout's Avatar 1growingsprout 08:45 PM 01-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyBeachBums View Post
Online science classes may not transfer to your school. I would check on that. UW did not take my online science classes.
Yes that, Before I took any classes I would double and triple check with my grad program to see what they accept and what they dont. Many times a pre-req has to be a 300-400 level class. And many times the university with the masters program knows which local schools offer's classes that are intense enough to bring you up to speed to their level of learning for grad studies.
HRC121799's Avatar HRC121799 09:35 PM 01-17-2009
I did my AA at a community college (both online and on campus courses) and I'm doing my BA online (through a brick and mortar university in my state), and the cost for online and on campus classes is exactly the same. No difference. I don't know any way to do it cheaper. In fact, there were certain fees associated with online classes, such as media materials shipped to my home, and a "technology fee." So for me at least, it's no cheaper doing it online, just more convenient.
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