According to a report from the Society of Human Resource Management, more than half of private organizations offer tuition reimbursement plans to employees who wish to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate. These plans are mutually beneficial. Employees who receive assistance can offset some of the out-of-pocket costs for their education, and employers strengthen their workforce with workers who have advanced training in their field. However, tuition reimbursement will not cover all of the student's expenses. The average organization reimburses roughly $4,600 in tuition expenses per year. Additionally, the employee may be required to work for the organization for a certain length of time after they have received their degree or certificate.

The cost of a formal education is very high, and many people spend years paying off student loans. After entering the workforce in their degree field, some individuals find themselves dissatisfied with their job, and they want to change careers. The one problem is that career changes can sometimes require additional courses or another degree all together, which also means additional cost. Giving careful consideration to the choice of a major may eliminate the need for drastic career changes early on in post-college life.


When should I declare a major? At most two-year colleges, you can declare a major depending upon whether you are enrolled for a career oriented major or preparing for transfer. You can enroll in general studies or target specific transfer arrangements. At most four-year colleges, you aren't required to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. If you're in a two-year degree program, you'll probably select a major earlier because your course of studies is much shorter.

Central Michigan University is a public research university—the largest university in Michigan—and a highly regarded provider of online education. CMU Global Campus (which houses their online programs) offers 27 degrees and multiple professional certificates from undergraduate through doctoral levels. CMU has been highly ranked for their online Bachelors, Graduate Education, and MBA programs (U.S. News & World Report).

Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.


Ball State University, located in Muncie, Indiana, has an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. This degree is designed for childcare professionals who work full time and is a degree-completion program. Admission requires an associate degree in early childhood education and a minimum GPA of 2.0. The program focuses on building environments for effective learning that are supportive of the family. The program does not lead to teacher licensure. Resident undergrad online tuition is $304 per credit or $510 per credit for nonresidents. Sample courses include Infant and Toddler Curriculum and Development, Culture and Language in Teaching and Learning, and Assessing Young Children with Exceptional Needs.


A major is a student's main field of specialization. The student's choice of specialization plays a significant role in the time spent at a university, according to Stanford University. Many universities clearly define the student's coursework, and others may give the student the ability to take other courses within their field of choice. A university typically defines educational courses in core courses for each major.
The 25 colleges on this list offer affordable online master's in education programs. The average tuition for this list is $13,536, and there are 19 schools whose tuitions are under $15,000. University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign offers an impressive return on investment on their program costing $7,456 per year, with mid-career alumni from the program reporting a salary of $91,600. Western Governors University is also an affordable choice for prospective students, with an annual tuition of $6,380 and a salary of $76,900.
One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I had joined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and if friends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). I missed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friends makes me sad.
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