Top Early Childhood Education Associate Degrees Online Of 2024 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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Consider Your Future Goals

To find your ideal online associate degree in early childhood education, take a short-term and long-term view of your professional goals.

For example, if you plan to advance to a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, prioritize schools with transfer-friendly policies. You can also look for schools with associate and bachelor’s degrees that align with your personal and professional interests.

Some community colleges maintain affiliations with nearby four-year schools to simplify the transfer process. Research these connections if you hope to enroll in a specific bachelor’s program.

If you plan to pursue jobs in early childhood education after earning your associate degree, prioritize schools that offer licensure tracks and student teaching experiences that align with your goals.

Understand Your Expenses and Financing Options

Though associate degrees are generally more affordable than bachelor’s programs and beyond, they still create a significant financial investment for students. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) records yearly data across school types, which you can use to inform your school decision.

As of the 2021–22 academic year, NCES reports that public two-year schools charged an annual average of $3,564 in tuition and fees. In the same period, students at private nonprofit two-year institutions paid $18,480 on average. Public schools generally charge lower tuition than private colleges, as reflected in NCES data and our own list.

Among the schools in our list, yearly tuition ranges from about $2,700 to around $9,500. On average, these schools charge about $4,200 in annual tuition. These figures primarily consider in-state tuition at public colleges, which skew the number a bit lower. If you plan to attend an out-of-state school, consider rate differences before enrolling.

For help covering education costs, look to several forms of financial aid. Start by filling out the FAFSA, which provides information on your eligibility for various types of funding, including grants and federal loans.

Before relying on loans, which require repayment, prioritize financial aid that you do not need to pay back, such as scholarships and grants. You can find aid through government sources, independent organizations, colleges and individual programs. Search for scholarships based on your demographic information, aptitude or interests. For example, early childhood education students can apply for the $4,000 TEACH Grant.

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