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Wise shoppers know that the sticker price of a product or service never gives you the costs involved in using or maintaining it. Buying a dress? It may need alterations and dry cleaning. Buying a car? Insurance, oil changes and repairs add up quickly. Now, when it comes to the price of education, coming up with total costs can be trickier.
We all know tuition is a key factor in determining the costs. The National Center for Education Statistics calculated that in 2010, secondary private education cost an average of $10,549. Getting an education from a high school online, such as James Madison High School, costs significantly less. But there are additional costs associated with a brick-and-mortar high school education that creep under the radar.
Attending a traditional high school requires travel, and most transportation costs money – if only in the form of tax dollars to the local school system for the privilege of riding the bus. Gas for cars and subway tickets for students in urban areas all add to the cost of getting to class on time. Even students who walk inevitably have to purchase appropriate shoes that will get them to the building before the bell rings.
Besides money, it takes time. Parents may have to take time off work in order to drop off children and pick them up at dismissal – potentially cutting into their income.
Alternatively, being a student in an online high school offers the option of rolling out of bed and traveling as far as the kitchen for a bowl of cereal and hitting your history book.
In high school, if you don't fit in you're going to stand out. Students may find themselves worrying that if they don't have the right brand name of jeans, the hippest purses and the coolest school supplies on the planet, fellow classmates will look down on them. And since trends are always changing, mid-year could involve spending even more money just to ‘keep up with the Joneses.
In online high school, there's no comparison to other students or feelings of inadequacy. There is no need to impress other people because, well, there isn't anyone to impress. You are free to do your homework in your pajamas, take a test without makeup and complete an assignment before brushing your hair. At James Madison High School, your work is more important than your appearance.
School plays, prom and sporting events may be fun, but they also cost money. Gas to get there, admission tickets and making sure you have the necessary attire can add up to serious money for a one-night event. And let's be honest – when will you ever wear that specific attire again? More than likely, your prom dress or Peter Pan costume will just end up taking up space in the back of your closet.
So when it comes to figuring education costs, think of the bigger picture. Brick-and-mortar school isn't right for everyone and for some it makes more sense for both education and financial reasons to earn their high school diploma online. Are you one of those people? Check out JMHS and find out.