Friday, December 10, 2010

Foreign Distance Colleges Are a Low-Cost Alternative

Foreign universities have long been known to offer a more economical education than is offered in the US, but traveling to a foreign country to live there for a few years can be an obstacle in itself. Moving anywhere can be a hassle, and especially when you add on the bureaucracy of moving abroad. You also have to put your life at home on hold, leaving your job, family, home, and most of your belongings behind.

However, there's still a way of taking advantage of lower foreign tuition without the move. Many foreign colleges and universities offer degrees by distance learning at a much lower cost than the same degree would cost in the US. The University of South Africa is popular amongst distance learners who want to save money. This university offers a wide variety of degrees in the arts, sciences, business and technology. In fact, UNISA offers just about every degree which you'd expect to find at a large American university. A bachelor's degree takes three years, and only consists of courses which are directly related to the major. A computer science degree costs R7216 per semester, which is $1,054 according to That's a total of $6324 for the six semesters. The last US college I attended now charges that amount for only one semester, and it takes eight to get the degree.

India also has numerous distance learning colleges which are cheaper than in the US. Annamalai University offers a wide variety of distance degrees, and the tuition is so low that I'm sure I'm missing something. However, the tuition for a Bachelor of Communication in international business is 8250 rupees, which is $182 according to There are also MBAs on offer for 25850 rupees, or $569. Some degrees require traveling to India for a month for on-site instruction. The degrees which require this are mostly science degrees and degrees in music and dance. This website offers more information on India's distance learning schools.

An additional cost along with the textbooks would be test proctoring fees, as distance learning schools often require that the final exam be written under supervision. There's also the question of the degree being recognized back home, and there are a number of credential evaluation services which are helpful in this regard. The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services has a list of its members on their website.

With so many jobs being outsourced, outsourcing college is well-worth considering. A foreign distance degree offers yet another option of getting a college degree without putting your life on hold for four years and graduating with a lot of debt. (Akademos, Inc.)