Paul Pival, over at the Distant Librarian, points out that Judith Siess has calculated the least and most expensive distance MLS programs – based on figures from the Become a Librarian web site. This was one of the most important sources of information that I used to choose my MLS program about a year and a half ago. Judith points out that their is a wide discrepancy in the cost of various programs, but cautions against simply choosing the least expensive. I have to say that cost factored quite heavily in my decision of schools. I did incur debt from my undergraduate educational experience. Although it wasn’t much in comparison to the debt of many I know, it was significant enough for me. Student loans seem to hang over one’s head for the longest time – and I had ABSOLUTELYno intention of taking out any loans to go to graduate school.
My second requirement was that there be no requirement to actually visit the campus. I do not have the flexibility to be able to go to a campus for 2 weeks a year or for orientation visits. While I wasn’t opposed to cohort approach, it seemed that part of the cohort development required face-to-face sessions. With these constraints, there really were only two options: Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. SCSU was less expensive and closer in proximity – in case there was ever a reason to have to visit campus. Despite issues and problems (which I would expect to find at any institution), I am extremely happy with my decision. While cost shouldn’t be the only reason to choose a school, I personally think it is one of the most important.