Southeast Identified Among Nation’s Most Affordable Online Colleges

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 30, 2013 -– AffordableCollegesOnline.org (ACO) has named Southeast Missouri State University to a new list of the nation’s “Most Affordable Online Colleges.”

Southeast is ranked 16th on the list of 54 colleges across the country with distance learning options, affordable tuition and fees, and alumni who earn top dollar immediately after graduation. AffordableCollegesOnline.org is a resource for college affordability and financial aid information.

Detailed criteria for inclusion on the list are: • Maximum Net Price (Tuition + Fees) = $15,000 • Fully accredited U.S. institution • Non-profit college • Four-year, degree-granting institution • Students with starting salaries of at least $31,000 upon graduation • At least one course available online (IPEDS)

Southeast currently has more than 700 students who are pursuing degrees completely online, with more than 500 of them enrolled in its eight complete online undergraduate degree programs: –Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) –Bachelor of Science (BS) in Technology Management –Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) –Bachelor of General Studies –Bachelor of Science (BS) in Interdisciplinary Studies –Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice –Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems –Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Science

Southeast’s online master’s degree programs include: –Master of Business Administration (MBA) –Master of Science in Organizational Management –Master of Arts in Elementary Education –Master of Arts in Exceptional Child Education –Master of Arts in Secondary Education –Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages –Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice –Master of Science in Technology Management

Southeast officials say the Southeast in the Year 2020 Steering Committee targeted the University’s online degree programs several years ago as a means to provide education to more place-bound students. Dr. Allen Gathman was named associate dean for Online Learning. In addition, the University’s Budget Review Committee authorized funding for increased marketing of Southeast’s online degree programs.

“Our online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach our face-to-face classes, so we know they meet the same high quality standards that characterize all programs at Southeast. The ranking also reflects the quality of technical support we provide to give students and faculty the tools they need to succeed.

“Enrollment in our online courses has nearly doubled over the past two years,” Gathman added. “It is our commitment to continue to maintain high standards of quality and service to students as our online program offerings expand.

“Today’s mobile economy demands the widespread availability of online education, and many colleges are meeting that demand head-on,” says ACO founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through the most complete and comprehensive data sources to find the colleges and universities offering low-cost, high quality distance learning options.” “We strive to help students and their families better understand their options for obtaining a degree and, most importantly, for paying for one,” says Schuessler. “What are the most affordable options – online study, two-year, four-year, public or private colleges? What financial aid options are available and what pitfalls should you avoid? Our goal at AffordableCollegesOnline is to keep our finger on the pulse of college-related issues, the latest research, how the government is responding, and help students analyze their options.”

Greatest Lifetime Return on Investment

AffordableCollegesOnline.org also has recently identified Southeast Missouri State University as one of the Missouri colleges and universities with the greatest lifetime return on investment (ROI). According to ACO, graduates from the listed schools enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over 30 years, and earn more on average than graduates from other Missouri schools. “These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” says Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Missouri that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.” Affordable Colleges Online developed the following criteria for consideration as a “High ROI College”: • Fully accredited institution • Either public or private • Four-year, degree-granting institution • ROI according to PayScale’s 2013 College Value Report ACO mined the following highly respected, authoritative data sets to compile its “Most Affordable Online Colleges” and its greatest lifetime return on investment lists: • NCES, the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. It provides consistent, reliable, complete, and accurate indicators of education status and trends. • IPEDS, the primary federal source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary schools in the U.S. • Carnegie Classification, a framework widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty. • Payscale.com, the premier salary data collection organization.