How Much Does Geography School Cost?

How much you spend to get your education and training to become a geographer depends on whether you go to a public school or a private one. The cost of college in a public school is substantially lower if you are attending as an in-state student since discounts are given to students who are attending as residents. This kind of perk is not given to students in private schools.

On the average, out-of-state students obtaining their bachelor’s degree in geography can expect to spend an average of $32,000 annually for tuition and fees, books and supplies and housing and food. However, the range can vary widely from about $10,000 to more than $60,000 a year. One of the more affordable bachelor’s degrees in the field is offered by the University of North Alabama. Tuition and fees, books and supplies and room and board range from close to $6,000 to over $9,000 for the fall and spring semesters of resident students. For the summer, these costs can range from $5,100 to about $5,700. The ranges vary because students have different choices for their accommodation and meal plans.

One way to manage your college costs is to consider attending a geography program offered online. Even if the tuition is the same, what makes online courses very appealing is that it allows you to hold a fulltime job while you are working towards obtaining your degree. This is especially true for those who are pursuing their master’s degrees to improve their chances of getting hired or advancing from their current positions. Moreover, obtaining your degree online will also mean lower living costs since you don’t have to worry about living close to or on-campus. You can even negotiate with your parents that you stay with them while you’re still obtaining your degree to substantially bring down your housing and food expenses.

Marshall University offers an undergraduate program in geography completely online. The charge per credit hour is $215. University of Nebraska also offers the geography course online. The per credit hour cost for Nebraska residents is $288 while for non-residents, it is $434.50. For online postgraduate programs, the University of Southern California has the M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology which has a per credit hour cost of $1,536. Students can expect to spend a non-refundable fee of $85, lab fee of $554, books and supplies of $1,008, room and board for field excursion which cost $450 and travel expenses for field excursion which can range from $0 to $500.

However, you don’t have to pay for all these costs upfront. You may be eligible for financial aid so make sure that you ask the financial aid advisor of the school you plan to go to if there are scholarships, grants or work-study opportunities you may qualify for. Discounts may also be available for military personnel and their spouses so if you are one, don’t hesitate to inquire about these. As a last resort, you can always apply for student loans. However, make sure that you only borrow what you need because you will have to pay for these loans later on.

Career Spotlight: Geographer

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