Online Colleges in Wisconsin

2019's Top Online Programs

Wisconsin has a strong economy and excellent colleges and universities. The average tuition rate for four-year colleges and universities there is slightly less than the national average, meaning Wisconsin offers a quality college education at an affordable price.

This guide can help you determine whether an online college in Wisconsin is right for you. It explores the economic situation and job outlook in the state, as well as average tuition rates, growing sections of the job market and popular online majors. It also includes links to scholarships, grants, and other resources to help you find a school that fits your needs.

Job Outlook for Students with College Degrees in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country, which is good for those thinking of moving there. It also means the state's economy is not only doing well but is reasonably stable. Getting a degree from an online college in Wisconsin can help improve your chances of starting a career in the state. Workers with college degrees tend to have higher earning potential and more job security than those who do not.

While the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is lower than most of the country, the state's annual mean wage is slightly lower than the national mean. At first glance this may seem like people in Wisconsin don't make enough money, but the national mean is skewed by states with higher pay and larger populations, like California or New York. This indicates pay rates in Wisconsin are normal, especially when looking at neighboring states. Having a degree in the right field can help you secure a career with higher earning potential.

Unemployment Rate, November 2018

Wisconsin 3.0%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017

Wisconsin $46,270
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

State
Degree Level
School Type
Environment

Cost of Online Colleges in Wisconsin

College can get pricey, and those in Wisconsin are no different. Two-year colleges cost more in Wisconsin than the national average, by almost $1,000 per year. Tuition rates at public universities cost roughly twice as much but are less than the national average by almost $1,200. Bear in mind these rates are averages, which means there are both cheaper and more expensive schools in the state. If you're planning to get an associate degree or certificate which can be awarded by a community college, Wisconsin won't be your cheapest option, but if you're looking for a bachelor's or graduate degree, you will likely save money.

Most online colleges in Wisconsin charge similar tuition rates. Online courses cost about the same as their on-campus counterparts, without the costs associated with living on campus or commuting. Sometimes online courses have additional fees, but not having to go to campus can make up for that, especially if you live far away.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year Public Four-Year
Wisconsin $4,550 $9,080
U.S. Average $3,660 $10,230

Source: The College Board

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Wisconsin

Most public colleges and universities charge higher tuition rates for nonresidents. This is because public schools receive funding from the state in which they operate, and nonresidents don't pay taxes which go toward that funding. This results in higher tuition rates for out-of-state students, sometimes as much as three times higher. While out-of-state rates in Wisconsin are lower than the national average, they're still far more expensive than in-state rates. Studying online can often help avoid these higher costs, as online courses are usually based on in-state tuition rates, and do not cost more for nonresidents.

Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year Public Four-Year
Wisconsin $9,080 $23,850
U.S. Average $10,230 $26,290

Source: The College Board

Financial Aid in Wisconsin

While college is expensive, financial aid is available. This includes scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and student loans. Grants are awards from the government which do not have to be repaid except in rare circumstances. They tend not to be very large but can often be renewed annually. As you can see from the table below, Wisconsin provides less in state grants each year than the national average.

When you're looking at colleges and thinking about costs, make sure to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This document allows the Department of Education to determine how much money you need in order to pay for school, which determines which grants you can receive. Many scholarships and colleges require this information as well, so it is important to submit even if you don't want federal student loans. Federal loans have lower interest rates and more generous repayment option than private loans and are a much better choice for covering tuition.

State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17

Wisconsin $540
U.S. Average $820

Source: The College Board

Scholarships and Grants for Wisconsin College Students

Below are some scholarships and grants available to students attending online colleges in Wisconsin. Many of these are only offered to Wisconsin residents, but this is just a sample of the scholarships you'll find. Use this list to get you started in your search.


Best Majors for Online Students in Wisconsin

Six major industries in Wisconsin are growing: agriculture, energy, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and trucking. We've outlined three related majors which will help you succeed in these industries, all of which are offered online in Wisconsin.

Sustainable Management

Focused on balancing people, profit, and planet in order to help companies succeed, this major teaches ways to manage and reduce waste while still keeping companies productive and profitable. It is a good fit for any of the state's growing industries.

Health and Wellness Management

With Wisconsin's increased focus on healthcare, a this degree puts students in a position to build lucrative, stable careers. Graduates often go on to be wellness coordinators, educators, community healthcare workers, health services managers, and coaches.

Business Administration

All industries need managers and administrators who can keep companies within these focus industries productive and profitable.

Resources for Online College Students in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board: In addition to offering information on scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs, HEAB offers resources to help Wisconsin students make sense of financial aid options. HEAB is also responsible for administering financial aid programs.

Distance Learning Authority Board: DLAB is the part of the state government that deals with higher education compacts and distance learning reciprocity agreements. This site can help you determine the tuition you might be expected to pay if you aren't a state resident or are studying online.

WisConomy: This website, maintained by the state government, contains information on the economy and workforce of Wisconsin. You can find job boards, articles, and information on training, insurance, and other issues, and the site is a great place to start when thinking about a career in Wisconsin.

UW High School Student Resources: Presented by the University of Wisconsin, this website contains information on planning for college. It is intended to help high school students plan for their academic future.

Wisconsin Students GO 2 College: WSG2C is part of the American College Application Campaign, which aims to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students who apply to college to improve the chances of those applicants being accepted and successful in college.