Cost of an Accounting Degree

Once you have made the wise decision to attend college, your choice of schools might be restricted to the amount of money you have to pay for your education. In order to calculate the actual cost of an accounting degree, many factors need to be taken into consideration, such as type of degree, geographic location, full-time or part-time study, and living arrangements. The least expensive route is an associate’s degree, where the average cost is $2,700 a semester. Many students prefer to pursue a two-year degree to gain exposure to the discipline and enter the workforce early.


Attending a four-year college in your state will be cheaper than attending an out-of-state college because of the benefit of in-state tuition. The average in-state cost for a public college is $7,600 for tuition and fees, as opposed to an out-of-state college’s cost of almost $12,000. The average cost for a four-year private college is more, somewhere between $27,000 – $45,000. These costs do not include books and supplies, room and board, and other fees most people do not consider. The average cost a semester for books and supplies is about $1,000, and room and board averages $13,000 a year.

If the student stays on campus, the student might opt to participate in a meal plan, which could cost $2,000-$4,000 a semester; in addition, technology fees are approximately $130-$445, and student activity fees are about $270. Should the student decide to participate in a sport, the cost could be about $200-$1,000 a season. Health care costs could be about $2,400 annually, and campus parking could be $400-$600. Should the individual want to join a fraternity or sorority, it will be approximately $2,000 or more a year. In addition to fees are incidentals, personal expenses, or transportation home on vacations and holidays.

An accounting major who decides to continue his or her education through a master’s program will have many more affordable options.

These degrees are usually completed within a one- to two-year timeframe, and many schools offer programs part-time or virtually. Most online colleges are accredited and respected, with convenient programs during the night and day. The average cost per credit hour for an undergraduate degree is $205, graduate credit is $360, and doctorate cost per credit hour is about $490.

Cost of an Accounting Degree

The graduation requirement of approximately 36 credit hours and the cost of the program, about $25,000, is the same for full-time or part-time students. The advantages of going to school part-time are that you gain valuable, relevant work experience by being in the market and you can earn your degree at a slower pace. Many master’s programs and certificates require a certain amount of work experience before the candidate may apply. In addition, a lot of companies offer tuition reimbursement to help pay for the expense of an advanced degree. If you are lucky to find such a company, be aware of the contractual obligations you are entering into. Some companies will pay only for job-related courses and a certain number of credits a year. Many contracts require that you stay employed with the company for a number of years after graduating, or else the money they paid toward your degree must be paid back.

Currently doctoral programs are less flexible than those of other degrees; however, the demand is changing school offerings. Graduation requirements are usually met within five to seven years of full-time study, with few schools offering these programs on a part-time basis. The cost of a doctorate is about $52,000, but that does not include the total opportunity cost of lost wages, should the individual remain working. This is not to discourage the individual who has a passion for research; a doctoral degree will provide the relevant experience to take you further in your career.