Distance learning, or taking classes over the Internet, has introduced an interesting option for college. Here in Mississippi, despite press to the contrary, we have a very good community college system with campuses located in rural areas. These campuses are increasingly providing classes that will lead to a degree at night and online. With tuition for a full time student in the $800 a semester range these colleges are a bargain! A new development in distance learning at Mississippi State University will allow a student to spend two years at a community college and transfer credit to Mississippi State. Then the student can complete 36 hours or so, completely online, for a BS degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a choice of emphasis six areas, from Business to Technology to Social Work.
( http://www.distance.msstate.edu/BSIS )
The price of 4 x $800= $3,200 plus 36 hours x $216 = $7,776 or approximately $11,000 plus books, all while living at home and working a full to part time job. Now, the MTAG grant ( http://www.msstate.edu/school/humansciences/shshtml/FCSed/loan_MTAG.htm ) will provide, with no financial need shown, $3,000 of this amount. If you middle income to lower income, you will likely qualify for a Pell grant up to $21,000. (http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PellGrants.jsp )
Don’t forget the Federal Tax Credits! http://www.nasfaa.org/Redesign/TaxBenefitsguide.html