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Arizona is home to great online learning programs for all kinds of students. Regardless of study emphasis, graduates from the best online colleges in Arizona can earn substantially more per year than they would without degrees. The Arizona Student Financial Aid Programs website reports that workers with bachelor's degrees earn up to one million dollars more in their careers than workers with only a high school diploma. Like in many other regions of the country, graduates of engineering, technology, and healthcare programs do well in Arizona. However, even students with liberal arts degrees earn significantly more than they would without their bachelor's degree.
Compared to national averages , students pay less at public two-year colleges in Arizona. However, tuition and fees cost more than the country's mean at public four-year schools. Many of Arizona's schools participate in tuition reciprocity programs, which may help students from other states pay reduced tuition rates.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Arizona
College education is a large financial investment, but learners in the Grand Canyon State earn back their investments quickly. AZCentral reports that the average workers with high school diplomas earn $27,947 per year in Arizona. Meanwhile, Arizona residents with bachelor's degrees make an average $53,303 annually. Graduates with engineering degrees fare best, with a median annual wage of $86,443. Computer sciences, business management, and healthcare round out the top-paying sectors in the state.
Although learners majoring in English , communications technology, visual arts, or ethnic studies make less than most other degree programs, these graduates still earn significantly more than they would without a college degree, earning between $40,281 and $42,834 per year on average.
Students should be aware that college choice can affect their wage potential. For example, Arizona State University (ASU) graduates earn slightly more than those from other major universities. Online learners can take advantage of this school's expansive distance education program, which includes undergraduate programs in some of these high-paying areas.
Unemployment Rate, November 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Arizona
On average, in-state Arizona students pay $2,580 per year in tuition and fees at public two-year schools. This rate saves students more than $1,000 annually versus the national average. However, public four-year schools charge about $1,000 per year more than the national average for in-state learners.
Many accredited online colleges in Arizona charge the same or lower per-credit tuition rates for online students as their on-campus counterparts. Distance education students can also reduce program costs by cutting out transportation costs, and facility fees. Additionally, online classes may also use e-books, which are often cheaper than printed textbooks.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Arizona
The best online colleges in Arizona often cost substantially more for out-of-state students. Learners living in Arizona pay $11,540 per year on average for tuition and fees at public universities. Meanwhile, out-of-state learners spend $30,550 per year at the same schools.
Arizona is, in fact, the tenth-most expensive state for non-resident learners. On average, students who pay out-of-state tuition rates spend $26,290 per year on tuition and fees, which is more than $4,000 below the state average.
Arizona participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), a tuition reciprocity agreement between 16 states and territories. Learners from any of these regions can attend online Arizona programs and pay in-state tuition rates.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Four-Year In-State||Public Four-Year Out-of-State|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Arizona
Learners at accredited online colleges in Arizona can receive financial aid to cover school-related expenses. The first step is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . The FAFSA calculates how much a learner's family should contribute and estimates the cost of attending the school. Degree candidates use loans, scholarships, and grants to bridge the gap.
Many learners take out federal student loans, which they must begin repaying six months after graduation. Students in Arizona can enroll in the Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program . This program offers financial aid, which the state repays when graduates teach in specific types of schools after graduation. Schools, nonprofit organizations, and private companies offer scholarships, which are awarded based on merit, financial need, or some combination of the two.
State and federal governments often award grants to qualifying students. For example, the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership awards low-income students grants of up to $2,500 per academic year. However, few people qualify for this grant. As such, the average state grant in Arizona is far lower than than the national average.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Arizona College Students
Learners, both online and on-campus, can earn scholarships and grants to attend the best online colleges in Arizona. Qualifying online students can apply the following awards toward earning life-changing degrees.
Who Can Apply: The Arizona Community Foundation awards this scholarship to learners who identify as part of the LGBT community, prove United States citizenship and Arizona residency, maintain 3.0 GPAs or above, and enroll in accredited institutions.
Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute opens their scholarship to undergraduate juniors, seniors, and master's candidates. Applicants must enroll full time in accredited universities and work toward project management-related degrees.
Amount: Up to $2,500
Who Can Apply: The American College of Medical Practice Executives awards scholarships and grants of varying amounts to learners pursuing non-clinical healthcare management degrees. While the criteria changes yearly, students should be, at minimum, enrolled in accredited universities, and maintaining academic excellence.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Who Can Apply: The AWS awards national and regional scholarships to future welders across the country. Applicants must pursue welding degrees, write short essays about their career goals, demonstrate financial need, and provide transcripts.
Who Can Apply: This foundation invites women over the age of 21 years to apply for this award if they are already working and have enrolled in accredited colleges or universities. Recipients must attend one in-person event per year.
Who Can Apply: Students who were in the Arizona foster care system on their 18th birthdays can receive this scholarship if they maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, attend accredited schools, and are under 24 years of age at the time of application.
Amount: Up to $5,000 per year
Who Can Apply: American students with Korean heritage who live in a Western state, including Arizona, can apply for this scholarship. Successful applicants demonstrate financial need, and maintain GPAs of at least 3.0.
Who Can Apply: The AzFFN awards scholarships for nursing students from the associate to graduate-level programs. Applicants must demonstrate commitments to nursing in the state and the need for financial assistance.
Who Can Apply: The ASCPA awards scholarships to one student at each of the state's major universities and to select learners at private schools. Students should apply through their schools and must show interest in becoming CPAs.
Who Can Apply: The Flinn Foundation pays for tuition, fees, book, food, housing, and two study abroad experiences. Applicants must be Arizona high school seniors who submit excellent test scores and demonstrate merit in other ways.
Best Majors for Online Students in Arizona
Many of the highest-paying jobs in Arizona are in healthcare, including several types of doctors and advanced practice nurses. Additionally, healthcare is the top industry for employment and quality-of-life in the state. The availability of healthcare-related careers at every level of education, an aging population, and growing access to healthcare all increase the demand for laborers in the field.
Students majoring in business or technological fields also earn higher wages than many peer industries. Many of the best online colleges in Arizona offer MBA programs, which can allow graduates to become executives and well-compensated managers. Students who learn technical and engineering skills can apply them immediately to a growing workforce, or specialize through master's degrees.
NursingThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average registered nurse in Arizona earns $75,110 annually , which is over $5,000 more than the national median . Nationwide the BLS projects 15% growth for nurses over just ten years. Professionals with BSNs can also choose high-paying specialties, become charge nurses, or go to graduate schools to become nurse practitioners.
BusinessA bachelor's in business opens several career opportunities, from executive-level management to purchasing agents. Across the industry, business and finance professionals in Arizona earn an average of $68,190 annually . Those with MBAs can work to chief executive status, where they make $184,620 per year on average.
Computer Information SystemsStudents who major in CIS or related fields can become information systems managers, who earn $134,930 per year on average. Even without graduate degrees, they can work as network administrators for $82,770 annually on average.
Resources for Online College Students in Arizona
The Arizona Community Foundation : This foundation is part of the Arizona Venture Fund for Quality Education and describes itself as "The largest scholarship provider in the state." Students can easily apply through the online system to gain access to more than 100 unique awards, which are awarded both on need and merit.
Arizona Department of Education : This government department hosts information for everyone involved in the education system, including parents, students, schools, and teachers. Learners can find scholarships and access information on all of the state's schools.
Arizona Technology Council : Students majoring in technology-related fields can connect with businesses and professionals through this organization. These networking events can lead to scholarships, internships, workshops, guest lectures, and job opportunities.
Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education : This government agency provides details on many things, including college data, savings programs, and higher education policy initiatives. Students can also use this site to access other state resources, such as the board of regents for some schools.
WICHE : This interstate commission gives students throughout the Western United States access to programs in other states without out-of-state tuition prices. Learners outside of Arizona who want to attend the state's online schools can find out if their state participates and if they qualify for reduced tuition rates.
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