There are plenty of advantages to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Registered nurses (RNs) who have a bachelor’s degree have more career options available to them than their peers who have only a diploma or associate’s degree. They’re better prepared for changing employment requirements and graduate-level studies that lead to career advancement and higher earning potential. For many prospective students, the biggest drawback to earning a BSN is the cost. Fortunately, there are ways students can cut the cost of earning their degrees.

1. Study Online

An online college degree program isn’t always cheaper than an on-campus program. In fact, some colleges charge special distance education fees, and others actually charge more per credit to online students. However, there’s a reason that 30 percent of online students reported choosing an online education at least in part because it was the cheaper option, according to EdTech magazine.

At many schools, an online education is cheaper. Even if you’re not saving much in terms of tuition dollars, online students can save money in other ways. They can choose a school far from where they live without having to worry about the expense of a move or a long commute. They can find cheaper room and board options when they don’t have to live and eat on or near a college campus. They save on miscellaneous fees like parking. Plus, online students don’t have to give up paying work to maintain a rigid course schedule, so they can keep earning a living while they study.

2. Take Advantage of Employer Tuition Benefits

If you’re already an RN through the diploma or associate’s degree route, you may be able to get help paying for your bachelor’s degree education – especially if you work in a hospital setting. Many hospitals today require their RNs to hold a BSN for certain positions. These employers are increasingly offering nurses either stipends or tuition reimbursement benefits to RNs who pursue their BSN degrees during the course of their employment. If you’ve been holding off on going back to school because of the cost, make sure you find out whether your employer provides any form of tuition assistance – you just might be surprised.

3. Choose an Affordable Program

How much you’ll pay for your BSN degree varies significantly depending on what school you choose. If you really want to minimize the costs of earning your bachelor’s degree, do your homework and research the cost and value of the schools you are considering. There are many affordable online BSN degree options that cost between $305 and $445 per credit. If you’re considering an online college program that’s headquartered in another state, make sure you find out whether or not your school charges different in-state and out-of-state tuition rates to online students.

When you make the right choices, earning your BSN doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Also see:

Top 10 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs