I find that there is a great deal of confusion about the real financial costs of developing and delivering online higher education. This report from ASHE should help. Here’s the publisher’s description:
clipped from ca.wiley.com

This report analyzes and summarizes the current literature about online learning’s costs, using a framework developed by the author that helps disentangle cost influences across various research studies – for example, finding the intersection where research on students enlightens costs related to delivery.  

What do we know about achieving cost-efficiencies through online learning? Quite a bit, as it turns out, if you know how to interpret the data. Development is more expensive than delivery; development is where cost-efficiencies are made possible; delivery is where those cost-efficiencies occur; and infrastructure is a barrier, but also essential.
This is volume 32, number 1, of the ASHE Higher Education Report.