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When deciding which online colleges in Missouri are the best fit, students should look at several factors. Attending an online college in Missouri offers several benefits; tuition costs are lower than the U.S. average, and many scholarship opportunities exist.
As students research online programs in Missouri, they will find a variety of offerings. This page can help students find the online program that best fits their needs.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Missouri
Graduates of online colleges in Missouri enjoy numerous employment opportunities in the state. When determining where to start your career, it is important to look at unemployment rates to get a better idea of how many job opportunities are available. As of August 2018, the unemployment rate for the U.S. was 3.8%. Missouri features a lower unemployment rate of 3.1%. Professionals who earn a degree have even more employment opportunities than those without a degree, including opportunities like registered nurse and chief executive, both boasting high employment rates and salary opportunities. Chief executives in Missouri enjoy an annual mean wage of $179,360 while registered nurses are one of the most in-demand occupations in the state. The annual mean wage for the U.S. in May 2017 was $50,620 while the annual mean wage in Missouri was $45,520. While the annual mean wage is lower, the state has high-paying opportunities for professionals with a degree.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Missouri
Students looking for accredited online colleges in Missouri should evaluate the cost of a program before applying. Tuition costs vary; for instance, most colleges feature one rate for in-state students and one for out-of-state students. Other colleges feature special tuition rates for online students while still others offer a blanket tuition charge for students regardless of residency. Students can review tuition information on their school's website.
Online programs often cost the same as on-campus counterparts except for costs specific to living and studying on-campus. Online students do not need to worry about transportation, parking, meal plans, or on-campus housing. Additionally, many schools assess separate fees for online students and on-campus students, typically charging less to those who study online.
Overall, Missouri features more affordable two- and four-year institutions when compared to the rest of the country. The table below outlines these differences.
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 Missouri
When determining the best online colleges in Missouri, students should consider tuition costs. Tuition typically varies for in-state and out-of-state students. In-state students experience the lowest possible tuition rates at their chosen university while out-of-state students often pay double or triple what in-state students pay.
The average university in the U.S. charges $10,230 for in-state students, while Missouri reports a lower cost of $8,670. For out-of-state students in the U.S., the average tuition cost is $26,290. Similarly, the tuition for out-of-state students in Missouri is more than double that for in-state students. While these tuition costs often discourage students from attending out-of-state institutions, there are often scholarships and other financial aid opportunities available.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Education awards a variety of state grants and scholarships including the Access Missouri Program, the Bright Flight Program, and the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant. To gain eligibility for Missouri financial aid, students must complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Students can receive scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study opportunities once they complete their FAFSA. Scholarships are often merit-based, which means students to meet specific requirements to receive awards. Additionally, some scholarships are needs-based, meaning only students who demonstrate financial need can receive them. Online students can receive the same financial aid benefits as on-campus students and often have more scholarship opportunities available since there are some scholarships specific to online students. After graduation, students may find loan forgiveness and tuition reimbursement programs to help them pay off their student debt.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Missouri College Students
Students at online colleges in Missouri have access to many scholarships and grants. Many organizations offer scholarships and grants specifically for students from Missouri. Students should review the criteria for each scholarship to determine whether they qualify for the award.
Who Can Apply: The Dan L. Meisinger Sr. Memorial Learn to Fly scholarship awards $2,500 each year to students who hold a 3.0 minimum GPA in an aviation program. Applicants must reside in Missouri, Kansas, or Illinois.
Who Can Apply: Open to students in the St. Louis metropolitan area, the Greater St. Louis Mothers of Twins Club Mary Joan Wolf Memorial Scholarship awards educational funding to multiple-birth students.
Who Can Apply: Open to graduating female high school seniors or returning female college students, the Kris Paper Legacy Scholarship for Women in Technology requires applicants to reside in the greater St. Louis area and maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Available to high school seniors living in Missouri, the Missouri Mayflower Society Scholarship awards three scholarships each year to applicants who demonstrate strong academic abilities.
Who Can Apply: The Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship Program awards $3,000 each year to students who enroll full-time in an undergraduate program in Kansas or Missouri. Applicants must have a minimum 3.3 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Open to students residing in Kansas or Missouri, the William R. Kimel, P.E., Engineering Scholarship provides academic funding to students who plan to become professional engineers.
Who Can Apply: Open to high school seniors in Missouri, the Purdy Emerging Leaders scholarship awards between $2,000 and $5,000 each year to students who demonstrate strong academics, leadership skills, and work ethic.
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
Who Can Apply: Available to graduating seniors in Missouri, the Missouri Bankers Association scholarships require applicants to enroll full-time at an accredited business college in the state.
Who Can Apply: Awarded by the Department of Higher Education to diversify the education field, the Missouri Minority Teaching Scholarship awards $3,000 to $12,000 each year to applicants with a minimum GPA of 2.5 who identify as African American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American.
Amount: $3,000 to $12,000
Best Majors for Online Students in Missouri
Healthcare, administration, and sales are the top industries in Missouri. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), retail sales is the largest occupation in Missouri as of May 2017 with 78,550 employees. Many online colleges in Missouri offer students the opportunity to earn a degree in business administration, offering courses in sales, marketing, and finance. This degree is useful for retail salespersons, allowing them to learn the skills and knowledge they need to advance their careers. The next largest occupation is registered nurses, with 72,090 jobs in Missouri as of May 2017. Nursing is one of the most beneficial majors for students at online colleges in Missouri. Additionally, students can major in healthcare administration to pursue the other side of healthcare.
Business AdministrationStudents pursuing a major in business administration learn the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in business and administration roles. Course topics focus on finance, accounting, marketing, and sales. Graduates of these programs go on to careers as financial advisers, accountants, business owners, and managers.
NursingNursing programs offer many options for students. RN-to-BSN programs allow registered nurses to obtain their bachelor of science in nursing , expanding their skills, knowledge, and career opportunities. Additionally, some online colleges in Missouri offer students the opportunity to earn their master's degree in nursing, opening up more career opportunities.
Healthcare AdministrationStudents majoring in healthcare administration graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the administration side of healthcare. Often, students in the healthcare field pursue degrees in nursing or primary care. Healthcare administration students focus on the other side of healthcare, the side that handles clerical tasks in primary care offices, private practices, or hospitals. These professionals handle patient documentation, maintain records, and patient billing.
Resources for Online College Students in Missouri
University of Missouri Career Center : The career center at the University of Missouri offers services to online students, free of charge. Students do not need to make an appointment to visit the career center and can stop in during weekdays. Students enjoy one-on-one consultations where they learn about career opportunities they may qualify for after graduation.
Missouri Department of Higher Education : The Missouri Department of Higher Education serves as a resource for students, offering information about financial aid, publications relevant to students, and a college and degree search tool.
Missouri Job Seekers : Students can access the Missouri Job Seekers website to review job opportunities. The website features information for job seekers including topics like unemployment, registration and licensing, workplace issues, and workplace injuries. Additionally, professionals in government and education can access information specific to their field.
The Missouri Source Publication : The Missouri Department of Higher Education features the Missouri Source publication, allowing students to find everything they need to know about attending college in Missouri. The guide contains sections on planning for college, paying for college, finalizing plans for college, and finishing a program.
Missouri Department of Higher Education College Portfolio : Featured on the Missouri Department of Higher Education's website, the College Portfolio contains tabs that help students organize all their admissions and financial documents in one place. Students find this tool useful when applying to multiple schools and different financial aid opportunities.
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