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This story is sponsored by BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Learn more about BYU-Pathway Worldwide.

Receiving a university degree is a must in most parts of the world, yet there are many obstacles students face as they try to earn their education. Some of the most common reasons students don't pursue a university degree are cost, flexibility and access.

Designed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a way to bring higher education to members of the Church around the world, BYU-Pathway Worldwide has opened the doors of higher education to more than 60,000 people in more than 70 countries. Its one-year, low-cost education program, PathwayConnect, helps people overcome common barriers so they can start or return to college.

Here are just six perks to enrolling in an online learning program like PathwayConnect:

Tuition is low-cost

Most university options are expensive. In fact, the average university student is expected to finish their degree with more than $35,000 of debt.

PathwayConnect provides students with a low-cost alternative as a bridge to higher education. With tuition that costs $71 per credit in the United States, and even less in other countries, receiving a high-quality education is more affordable than ever.

No textbook or course material fees

Class materials and textbooks are another big expense for students — sometimes costing more than $1,000 a year, depending on the semester. During PathwayConnect’s year-long curriculum, students pay no course materials fees.

Education anytime, anywhere

Commuting to a local university campus can be pricey and time consuming. Since PathwayConnect’s courses are online, students can go on to earn their degrees in the comfort of their own home. Additionally, the only commute includes a weekly gathering in a local Church meetinghouse or institute building. That means less money spent on getting to classes, and more time focusing on what students want to learn.

Thanks to PathwayConnect, after students successfully complete the program, they are able to work toward a BYU-Idaho degree completely online at the same $71 per credit tuition rate for students in the United States!

Flexible schedule

Time is money, and sometimes conforming to a daily class schedule is a burden that many students can’t afford. Online courses are designed to be flexible. They can work with a student’s schedule, and allow them to learn when they are available.

Prioritize family

More time spent in a classroom means less free time for students. Because PathwayConnect’s courses are flexible and can be taken from home, students have more time to participate in other important parts of life, like spending time with family. Over the years, many PathwayConnect students have reported improvement in their family relationships because they have more time to spend together.

Less stress

Finances aside, there is an emotional price students pay when they pursue an education. Getting a degree can be stressful. Having support and guidance as they work toward their academic goals can help.

From instructors and academic advisors who really care about students, to Pathway Church-service missionaries and fellow students in gatherings and online support groups, there are resources dedicated to making the PathwayConnect experience as stress free as possible.

You can save big through PathwayConnect

These are just a few of the ways you can save big by starting your path to a university degree though PathwayConnect. For more information about PathwayConnect, or to start your application, visit byupathway.lds.org.