As for tuition, schools such as NC State, South Carolina, and Texas A&M charge out-of-state tuition for online programs, while Penn State does not. There is always the Graduate Certificate option, which typically requires 15 credit hours vs the usual 30 or so for the full degree. If you live in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, or South Carolina, you may apply to schools in one of the other states through the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market in order to obtain a tuition credit, which will bring tuition down to the in-state tuition rate. I hope this helps.
A few other key things I might look for as an applied statistician would be the following:
- A wide variety of coursework available (online & onsite) -- larger departments will be able to offer more options and be able to provide a more tailored program if you have specific interests, e.g., quality, reliability. If you don't know what you want, having program flexibility lets you figure it out as you go. You should have the ability to adjust if needed.
- Design of experiments (DOE) - this may not be a required class any more in many departments but I think it should be mandatory - I personally wouldn't hire anyone without it, especially not into an industrial/engineering environment.
- Availability of a consulting office or workshop of some sort, requiring some sort of involvement by the students, or projects. The more involvement you have with solving real problems, the better. It gives you more perspective on what is useful and how to work with people in industry.
Hope this helps and best of luck, sorry for the delayed reply. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.
ASQ Statistics Division Chair 2019