HOUSTON, Texas — A new study by OnlineColleges.com shows that Texas is the best state for students to receive an online college education.
Texas ranked number one due to a variety of factors, including the state’s earning potential, low unemployment rate, and high job growth, according to Valley News Live. The study additionally reported that Texas-based Bachelor’s degree holders have the highest median income in the country.
Johanna Sorrentino, senior editor for OnlineColleges.com and co-author of the study wrote, “Texas’ geographic size can make distance an issue for students, but being well-positioned for distance learning helps break down the distance barrier in such a huge state. The state’s educational assets include the largest number of distance education programs available nationally and tuition costs below the national average.”
Washington state ranked number two, followed by Georgia, Utah, and Florida.
Vermont came in dead last in the study, apparently being the worst state for students to receive and online education. Also in the bottom five were Maine, Rhode Island, Alaska, and New Hampshire.
OnlineColleges.com used the following factors to determine the rankings: internet quality in the state; in-state tuition fees; distance education programs; industry growth; state job growth; and median salary for Bachelor’s degree holders.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been a vocal advocate of making education more affordable in his state by expanding online options. In 2011 he launched Western Governors University Texas (WGU), subsidiary of a national online university that offers affordable degrees for working adults.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the average cost for a bachelor’s degree at WGU is only $15,000–that’s significantly less than the cost of a similar degree at an in-person college, where many students shell out around $200,000 for a four year education.
Perry reportedly said, “WGU Texas provides another flexible, affordable way for Texans to fulfill their potential and contribute their talents for years and decades to come, without any need for state funding.”
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