Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. fulltime enrollment; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
In an online PhD program, you'll focus your research on contributing new knowledge and theory to the body of knowledge in your field. In an applied doctorate program, you'll focus your research on the practical application of knowledge and theory that already exists within your field. If you plan to continue your work in the field of your choice by implementing your research in the field, the applied doctorate might be the right choice for you. If you plan to contribute to your field through researching and analyzing new theories and solutions, the PhD might be the right choice for you. In short, the applied doctorate student will focus on the how, while the PhD student will focus on the why.
If you’re worried about the expense of a program then take comfort in the fact that there are a lot of options at your disposal. Depending on where you work and how relevant the PhD program is for your background and experience employers will sometimes offer financial assistance. Your education will benefit their institution. If this isn’t an option then most people qualify for student loans after they fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). There are also Pell Grants, scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and other college programs that help relieve some of the burden of tuition.