What are the most affordable brick-and-mortar and online computer science schools?
When comparing schools for computer science, 1 of the most important factors to consider is cost. The top computer science schools, whether traditional or online, should not only provide a quality education and prepare you for a career in computer science but also be affordable. In this regard, online computer science schools often have an advantage, as they require fewer resources. Thus, their costs can be kept low.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center, the public 4-year university that offers a computer science bachelors degree with the lowest tuition rate in 2010 is New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, which offers 2 bachelors degrees in computer science at a cost of about $3,000 per year for in-state students. Students can receive a BA in computer science information systems or a BS in computer science software and hardware.
The most affordable school to get your online computer science degree is Fort Hays State University, which offers a bachelors in information networking and telecommunications. However, for both on-campus and online schools, it is best to look in state first, as in-state students usually pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students.
How can I connect with other on-campus or online students who are also studying at my school for computer science?
Thanks to the Internet, it is quite easy to connect with other students studying at traditional or online computer science schools throughout the country, including your school. Most universities that offer computer science degrees also have on-campus computer science clubs and organizations, such as the Rice University Computer Science Club or the Association for Computing Machinery at NYU. These clubs get together to discuss current trends in computing and IT and work on projects such as robotics or programming. They are generally easy to find, with links to the clubs’ sites or contact information featured on the department page of the university website.
In addition, the Association for Women in Computing, which promotes female computer science students and professionals, has chapters at many universities in the U.S. If you are a female computer science student without a chapter at your school, it is easy to start 1-you just need 5 members!
The Computer Science Student Network is an organization and online network for students and teachers of computer science. You can create an account on the site and use it to connect with other computer science students.
What resources should my brick-and-mortar or online school offer me when I am studying computer science?
The most essential resource that the best computer science schools provide for their students is access to a wide range of computers and software, usually located in on-campus computer labs. The labs should have enough computers so that students do not have to wait long to use them, and they should include computers running different operating systems such as Windows, Apple OS X and Linux.
The top schools for computer science should also offer financial aid in the form of federal loans, grants and scholarships. These financial aid packages should cover lab fees that are generally incurred when taking computer science courses. Colleges can provide information on private scholarships geared toward computer science students. It is best to contact the financial aid department of your university or college to find out what scholarships or grants are available for computer science students.
In addition, some accredited online schools for computer science offer access to virtual labs and discounts or even free access to the software required for the program. Many commercial software manufacturers such as Adobe or Apple offer student discounts for software. However, unlike students studying on a campus, students studying computer science online will need to use their own computer, even if the software is provided.
Are there any nonprofit online computer science schools or programs that I could look into?
Some of the best schools for computer science are nonprofit institutions. One of the largest nonprofit online universities is Western Governors University, which offers a BS in information technology. The program is designed for those already working in the field of computer science and IT who are interested in earning a bachelors or masters degree while continuing to advance their career. Western Governors University is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and its credits are transferable to other institutions.
In addition, it is a Microsoft IT Academy program member, thanks to which the university can provide virtual labs using Microsoft software to its students. Microsoft also offers several scholarships for eligible students studying computer science.
One of the largest nonprofit private universities is DePaul University. The school’s College of Computing and Digital Media offers online graduate programs in several areas of computer science, including masters degrees in applied technology, computer science, computer, information and network security and human-computer interaction. DePaul University also offers an online MA degree in information technology. Its programs are especially suited for older students with previous experience in the field.