Studying online doesn’t equal to studying for free. Although, several free courses and programs are offered, a big portion of online courses and degrees cost something. We can get into course costs in another post, but this time I want to address one additional cost you may want to take into consideration when choosing a course. That is books.

I have a BBA from a program that was 95% online. We had approximately 1-2 contact teaching days per month and the rest was organized online. The program in itself didn’t cost me anything which is great! However, I did spend some money on books. If you thought that studying online would automatically mean studying without any physical books, I’d have to tell you that’s not the case.

During my studies, we were asked to buy several books. I don’t remember exactly how many, but the last bunch I got rid of, was 10 books. I don’t have the actual prices for the books I bought, but I would say each book cost me 40-60 € so let’s say 50 € on average (approximately $56 on today’s rate). Like I said, I don’t remember, how many books I bought all in all, but if we take the 10 books I remember, they alone cost me roughly 500€ ($560). If you live near your classmates, you have the opportunity to buy a book together and share it. However, when studying online, you don’t always have that opportunity.

There were some copies in the libraries, but the problem with those was that you needed to wait for your turn and because there were others waiting for the same book after you, you had to return the book earlier than you would’ve wanted to.  Some people borrowed the books from the library and paid a nearby copy-place to copy the books for them. This cost significantly less than buying the books, but I didn’t want to do that. Anyhow, books are often a part of studying, and even though the lectures may be free, remember to check if there are any additional costs like these. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t be discouraged! Many skills can be learned for completely free!

Disclaimer: I am writing from my own experience as an online learner and from my own point of view. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and therefore subjective.