10 Most Affordable Online Colleges with Strong Alumni Networks 2024

Low Tuition Online Colleges with Strong Alumni Networks - featured image

Author: Rai Antonio / Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson, MSEd / Reading Level: Grade 8

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida Atlantic University (FAU) offers affordable online programs with a diverse student and alumni body of 204,000+ members.
  • FAU’s alumni association provides discounts on classes and offers a vibrant college experience with diverse cultural interactions.
  • The University of Florida (UF) boasts a strong alumni network of 550,550+ members, including notable figures like Nobel Prize winners and astronauts.
  • UF provides a wide range of online programs with around 200 options in areas such as Business and Engineering.

When you’re a prospective college student, you probably don’t even consider the alumni networks of the colleges and universities you’re interested in. But you should! 

Featured Programs

You will find that a college with a strong alumni network has numerous advantages. These include providing tips for an enjoyable college experience and providing information about internships and jobs. 

Of course, you should also consider other factors in choosing your college, particularly affordable tuition. Here are affordable online colleges with alumni networks that offer several benefits to students. 

Low Tuition Online Colleges with Strong Alumni Networks - fact

Most Affordable Online Colleges With Excellent Alumni Networks

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $6,099

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $21,655

Number of Alumni: 204,000+

Since it opened in 1964, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has awarded degrees to more than 204,000 alumni! Known as the Owl Family, the alumni members are united by their love for FAU and its traditions, like the Owl Prowl and the Rat’s Mouth parties. 

Members of the alumni association enjoy significant discounts on language, writing and executive education classes, too. Free food and drinks are also given to lifetime members during football tailgates. 

You will love that FAU’s student and alumni bodies are diverse, with more than 60% coming from the non-white population and ethnic minorities. Your college experience will be filled with diverse people from different cultures and countries. FAU has students from over 180 countries. 

As for its online degree programs, you can choose from several bachelor’s degrees. Your classes are usually in asynchronous format, meaning you can log in at any time.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $6,381

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $28,658

Number of Alumni: 550,550+

With an annual enrollment of more than 60,000 students, the University of Florida (UF) maintains a strong alumni network from across the United States and more than 150 countries. Alumni include Nobel Prize winners, US senators, representatives and state governors, and NASA astronauts, among others. If you become a Gator, you will become part of an excellent school! 

Students can choose from around 200 online undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, too. Areas of study include Business, Engineering, Journalism, and Communications. 

Even as an online student, you can also use the on-campus facilities and enjoy extracurricular activities. These include the Dance Marathon, the football and basketball games, and the Hare Krishna lunch. You can meet many students and alumni during these times, too, and make new connections for internships and friendships.

Pros:

  • Top 10 public school
  • High graduation rate
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • More competitive

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $6,517

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees:  $21,683

Number of Alumni: 400,000+

With its 170-year history, Florida State University has Seminoles across the United States and around the world. The number of alumni continues to grow, too, with more than 45,000 students enrolled every year. If you become a Seminole, you will join a respected university that values strength, skills and character among its students and alumni. 

Members of the alumni association are known for their passionate support for current students, too. The Seminoles Forever Fund is an example where students can benefit from its outreach programs and events. 

Students and alumni gather during many of Florida State’s traditions and events, too. These include the war chant, the Marching Chiefs, and the Haggard Legacy Walk, as well as celebrating your birthdays at the Westcott Fountain. Florida State also takes pride in its strong relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It also celebrates its traditions on campus.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • Higher graduation rate

Cons:

  • More competitive

Florida International University

Miami, FL

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $6,566

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $18,964

Number of Alumni: 270,000+

Every year, more than 50,000 students enroll at Florida International University, resulting in hundreds of thousands of alumni. In fact, it’s the third-largest university in The Sunshine State! If you become a Panther, you will find plenty of opportunities to make new friends here. 

Plus, more than 60% of its students identify as Hispanics and other ethnicities. Many of its alumni come from more than 130 countries, too. You will be proud to call yourself a Panther no matter where you are in the United States and the world. 

The FIU Alumni Association offers excellent alumni services, events and galas. Students are welcome in many of these events and ceremonies, too, where they can mingle with the alumni, get references, and make new friends. 

FIU offers more than 100 online degree and certificate programs for students to choose from. You can choose from business, education and engineering programs, among others. You will find many free or low-cost learning materials in the online courses. 

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • Diverse student body

Cons:

  • Larger class sizes

Weber State University

Ogden, UT

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $6,391

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $17,084

Number of Alumni: 300,000+

The Weber State University (WSU) Alumni Association ensures that current and past students enjoy their college experiences and contribute to the university’s development. It has three alumni councils, too: 

  • Emeriti Alumni Council for longtime alumni
  • New Alumni Council that organizes family events and career development activities
  • Student Alumni Association for current students who are interested in campus leadership, service and engagement 

The WSU Alumni Association also offers scholarships for current students, including its Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship. 

Current students will find many opportunities to connect with alumni, too, during campus events. These include sports events, Founders Day celebrations, and Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast and march. 

WSU offers numerous online degree programs for college students in areas of study like engineering, business and economics, and education. You will love the small class sizes, competent and charming professors, and easy-to-use learning platforms. You can also apply for scholarships and other financial aid.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • Open admissions

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Less diverse

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $8,290

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $20,170

Number of Alumni: 300,000+

San Diego State University (SDSU) prides itself on being family! If you become an Aztec, you will find that current students and alumni help each other in many ways. You can become an Aztec for life, too, but you must remember that SDSU has a selective admissions rate and rigorous academic standards. You must be an above-average student in your high school years to be admitted as an Aztec and to succeed as a college student here. 

Students can attend many alumni events and activities, too, such as the National Mentor Month, Spring Career and Internship Fair, and STEM Career and Internship Fair Day. You will have opportunities for internships and jobs during these events. 

SDSU Global Campus offers several online bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, criminal justice, child development, economics, and civil engineering, among others.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Larger class sizes

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, NE

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $8,136

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $21,718

Number of Alumni: 113,000+

The Maverick alumni network continues to grow, with UNO enrolling more than 15,000 students every year! If you become a Maverick, you will always be a Maverick, too. You will find many Mavericks across the United States and around the world. 

New alumni 35 years old and younger are welcome to apply to the UNO Young Alumni Academy, which was voted the country’s best new alumni program in 2012. Here, young alumni participate in the eight-month leadership development program. 

Members of the alumni association can also access on-campus resources and community facilities. These include networking events, career development opportunities, and discounts for travel and insurance.

Students choose from several online and hybrid degree programs in academic areas like economics, political science, and criminology. If you’re worried about the cost of college, you will find plenty of scholarships at UNO in addition to the tuition and book discounts. Ask about the OUR tuition and Open Nebraska programs.

Pros:

  • Diverse student body
  • Smaller class sizes

Cons:

  • Lower graduation rate

Indiana University-Kokomo

Kokomo, IN

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $8,179

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $22,043

Number of Alumni: 600,000+

Indiana University-Kokomo boasts numerous leaders in professions like business, medicine, education, law and nursing! Many of the alumni have also been recognized by the IU Kokomo Alumni Association through awards, such as Business Persons of Distinction, Teachers of Distinction, and SNAHP Distinction. 

The alumni association also offers scholarship opportunities to current students. If you become a Cougar, you can apply for the Kokomo Region Alumni Scholarship or the Indiana University Kokomo Alumni Association Scholarship. 

IU Kokomo offers several fully online degree programs in biology, accounting, computer science and business administration, among others. Students should use the College Cost Transparency Initiative for their financial aid needs.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • Small class sizes

Cons:

  • Less diverse

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $10,287

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $33,045

Number of Alumni: 300,000

The University of Utah’s alumni come from across the United States and more than 60 countries and are organized into 145 chapters. Their numbers continue to increase, too, with more than 35,000 students enrolling every year. Many of these alumni are also respected leaders in their fields, including sports, politics, business and economics, and science and engineering. 

Becoming a Ute isn’t easy with Utah’s holistic admissions process, considering your academic and personal achievements as a whole. Your GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and extracurricular activities must be above average to be considered for admission. 

Once admitted, you will enjoy numerous perks of being part of the Utes family. As an online learner, you will pay the same tuition as on-campus students, receive financial aid, and be connected to success coaches. You can choose to earn online degrees in Business, Education, and the Humanities, among others.

Pros:

  • Top public school

Cons:

  • Lower graduation rate
  • Less diverse

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Website

In-state Tuition and Fees: $9,992

Out-of-state Tuition and Fees: $28,794

Number of Alumni: 600,000+

The Purdue Alumni Association and the Purdue for Life Foundation offer students and alumni opportunities for connections. These include on-campus residential programs, lifelong learning programs, and career development opportunities. Being a Boilermaker has its advantages, whether you’re a current student or an alumnus, such as giving back to the campus community. 

Online students can pursue Aviation, Legal Studies, and business administration. You can take classes along with classmates or learn at your own pace, depending on the course.

Pros:

  • Top public school
  • Smaller class sizes

Cons:

  • More competitive

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of an alumni network?

For starters, you can ask a few alumni about their curricular and extracurricular experiences in the colleges you’re interested in. You can ask about the campus and its facilities and amenities, about the student organizations, and even about the teachers. You can also ask about insider tips to enjoy your college experience.

What power or influence does an alumni network hold?

An alumni network is a powerful tool when you’re looking for: 

  • Internship and job opportunities 
  • Resources, such as business opportunities and research projects that will make your college experience more enjoyable and productive 
  • Fundraising, whether you’re looking for funding for your college education or other purposes 
  • Friendships and other forms of connection

How would you engage with the alumni network?

  • Request for an informational interview before entering your college 
  • Attend alumni activities and events 
  • Interact with alumni on social media and other online platforms
  • Participate in mentorship programs with alumni 
  • Attend alumni-led workshops and seminars

Can online colleges maintain an alumni network?

Yes, they can! Most online colleges and universities are part of brick-and-mortar institutions, meaning their online students are considered equal to on-campus students too. Alumni from online colleges are also welcome to apply to the university’s alumni associations and participate in its activities. These alumni associations use online platforms and directories, newsletters, and emails to keep their members connected.

How do you maintain an alumni network?

  • Become a member of your school’s alumni association 
  • Stay connected to your former classmates and schoolmates even after graduation, such as through social media and professional networking sites (LinkedIn)
  • Attend alumni events, on-campus celebrations, and off-campus gatherings 
  • Volunteer your time and expertise in mentorship programs and workshops 
  • Collaborate on projects with current and past students 
  • Give to your school’s alumni association for its fundraising activities

Sources

  • Education Data Initiative 
  • US News & World Report