What are the most affordable brick-and-mortar and online health science schools?
Many schools offer health science degrees, which means you have a wide range of colleges and universities to choose from when looking at where to go. Regional state schools offer health science degrees for very affordable prices. For example, according to a report by U.S. News & World Report yearly tuition fees for in-state health science studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver start as low as around $4,000 for in-state students and about $14,440 for out-of-state students.
Columbus State University charges similar tuition prices, with fees for in-state students costing about $4,500 per year. Out-of state tuition is even more affordable, with the yearly rate sitting at around $14,000. Southwestern Oklahoma State University is an even cheaper option for out-of-state students. While in-state tuition is about $4,600 a year, out-of-state is only around $10,500 a year.
National universities also charge competitive rates for health science programs. University of Mississippi’s yearly tuition for in-state residents averages $6,000, while out of state fees are around $14,000. However, tuition for a health science degree typically costs more at a liberal arts college. For example, Centenary College of Louisiana charges $25,000 a year for tuition, regardless of your residency status.
There are also many affordable choices for an accredited health science school online. Many regional and state universities, including some of the schools listed above, offer online and distance learning options for health science degrees. These are by far the cheapest options to get an online health science degree as the tuition rates are often similar to the on-campus program costs. The average cost is as low as around $150 to $250 per credit, which equates to about $4,000 to $6,000 a year.
For example, Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center offers fully online programs at a similar cost to on-campus study. University of Maine, Fort Kent is another public university which offers a fully online health sciences bachelors degree. Tuition for part-time study only costs around $200 per credit for in-state residents.
How can I connect with other on-campus or online students who are also studying at my school for health science?
Many colleges have on-campus health science clubs designed to interest and assist students majoring in the field. These clubs tend to be run through the department hosting the degree program. For example, Boston University’s health science club helps prepare students for graduate school or healthcare careers. The club holds fundraising events, job shadowing and lectures and helps set students up with internships, volunteer opportunities and community projects.
University of Nebraska, Kearney has a similar club for health science majors, complete with its own Facebook page. Students in the club can work alongside peer mentors and professors to learn more about the healthcare field, attend events, volunteer and prepare for careers and graduate school.
Students enrolled in health science online schools may find Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) to be a useful resource. Founded by students and run for students, HOSA is dedicated to encouraging career opportunities in healthcare. Students can network with professionals and find advisors to help with questions and concerns about health science study or career choices.
A national organization, HOSA holds an annual leadership conference for all members. It also provides scholarships, publishes an e-magazine, has an elected student government council and even hosts chat rooms.
What resources should my brick-and-mortar or online school offer me when I am studying health science?
A top health science school online or on-campus should provide you with a variety of resources to enhance your education. For example, internships are an important part of health science study. A good school will help set you up with an internship in the healthcare industry, preferably tailored to your individual interests.
Location also factors in to internship opportunities and a well-placed school could be nearby to hospitals and medical complexes, giving you a larger pool from which to choose an internship or job shadowing experience.
Hands-on training is important for a health science degree, so consider a school’s laboratories and clinical facilities. Up to date equipment and technology and well-stocked laboratories will help prepare you for a job in an actual hospital environment.
Financial aid is also a good resource to research when looking at degree programs. Both on campus and online students can receive grants, work study and scholarships. Many top schools, even fully online institutions, provide financial aid and scholarships to students. Just make sure that your school is accredited.
Online academic programs should provide resources to help students beyond the virtual classroom. Chat rooms, message boards and forums are all offered by top institutions, while additional information should be readily available to students interested in enhancing their health science studies.
Are there any nonprofit online health science schools or programs that I could look into?
All state universities are run with public funding, making them nonprofit institutions. A large majority of health science degree programs are taught at state and regional public universities, so when looking for a health science program, most of your choices will be from nonprofit institutions. In fact, some of the best health science online schools are distance learning and online extensions of these traditional brick-and-mortar universities.
For example, University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions offers a variety of courses at all levels of study. Several of these are offered in the distance learning platform. University of Florida is well regarded and is ranked number 58 in the U.S. based on U.S. News & World Report‘s college rankings. It is a large state school and offers a strong culture beyond just the classroom environment. The football team, the “Gators,” is a famous part of Florida life.
Cleveland State University offers an online masters degree in health science. This program is designed for professionals already working in the healthcare industry. The school is ranked as a Tier 2 school by U.S. News & World Report and charges a modest tuition of only about $12,00 for out-of-state residents.