The University of Washington plans to offer its first online bachelor’s degree program beginning this fall, with steeply discounted tuition compared to on-campus undergraduate classes.
The two-year, online bachelor’s degree completion program in Early Childhood and Family Studies is designed for students who already have associate degrees or have taken a couple years of college.
At the other state schools in Washington that offer online bachelor’s degrees, online students pay the same tuition as on-campus students. But for in-state undergrads at the UW, online tuition will be reduced by about one-third, to $7,000 a year.
"One of the great mechanisms around delivery is that you don’t have many of the costs associated with on-site delivery," said UW College of Education Dean Tom Stritikus at a news conference. "We've really pegged it at the cost point that it costs us to deliver the degree."
Out-of-state students will get an even bigger discount, because they’ll pay the same online tuition as in-state students. Out-of-state undergrads usually spend about $29,000 a year in tuition to attend a fulltime program on-campus.
UW President Michael Young said the university decided to make Early Childhood and Family Studies its first online bachelor’s degree in part because of the growing demand for preschool teachers with BAs. He says the school is planning to expand its online bachelor’s degree-completion offerings soon.
Pending final approval of the new program, the university will start taking applications this spring, and classes will begin this fall.