By David West
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University has been ranked as most affordable online college in the United States by College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources.
College Choice researchers examined accredited colleges and universities on factors including academic quality, degree options, teaching and technical support, flexibility and total cost. The survey is at collegechoice.net/rankings/most-affordable-online-colleges. Online undergraduate students play a flat rate of $375 per credit hour up to 12 hours and $100 per credit hour after that. Online graduate students play a flat rate of $475 per credit hour up to nine hours and $100 per credit hour after that.
“Affordability is so important when it comes to college. As a student you want to go to a good school, but don’t want to burden yourself with a high debt at such a young age,” said Haley Jones, a freshman biology/pre-vet major from Dodson. “To be able to find a school that meets your academic needs and not breaking your bank is a top priority.”
Jones works full-time at Family Dollar as an assistant manager and online classes fit into her schedule.
“I chose to start college online because it’s the most cost efficient way for me to be in college and still be able to work full time,” she said. “Being able to earn my own money and pay for college without burdening my family is very important to me, and was the deciding factor in attending on campus versus online. I think I’m getting an amazing education through NSU online.”
Northwestern State has Louisiana’s first and largest electronic campus at nsula.edu/ensu. The university offers 39 online degree programs. Internet-only students do not pay out of state fees. Northwestern State is currently developing several competency-based programs specifically for online students, all of which can be applied to a full baccalaureate degree.
Several online degree programs at Northwestern State have been ranked among the best in the nation. Northwestern State’s online RN to BSN program, along with bachelor’s programs in computer information systems, criminal justice and psychology were ranked first in the country by Nonprofit Colleges Online. The bachelor’s in accounting was ranked second and the master’s in education was seventh. The bachelor’s in addiction studies was chosen as the fifth best in the country by bestcolleges.com.
NSU has been designated a 2016 Military Friendly School, a designation is awarded to colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.
The university recently began a competency-based program that will allow students seeking a computer information systems degree or certification to complete the program at a fraction of the time and cost. The competency-based program is a flexible education model that allows students to learn and advance at their own pace. Students advance as they demonstrate mastery of specific skills or knowledge called competencies. The structure builds upon prior knowledge and experience. A student that may already know the material can pass a pre-assessment and move to the next unit. Should a student need more time to master an area, they can slow down and focus on what they need to learn.
For more information on online degree programs, visit nsula.edu/ensu.