10 Most Affordable Online Accounting Degree Programs 2024


Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson / First Covered: August 2015 / Updates: 3

Key Takeaways:

  • Cameron University and Florida Atlantic University are the top two in our ranking.
  • Affordable online accounting degree programs offer flexible scheduling for working professionals and a focus on accounting specializations like forensic accounting.
  • The average annual tuition for most bachelor’s programs in these schools is below $5,500, making them cost-effective options for students.

Are you looking for the best online accounting degree without breaking the bank? This article highlights the 10 most affordable accredited online accounting degrees. Many of the colleges with the lowest costs offer in-state tuition, so you’ll need to be a resident to get the rates listed here. Still, many schools feature tuition and fees of less than $10,000 per year. Are you wondering how to become an accountant via an online accounting degree? There are plenty of options here for the equivalent of about $800 per month.

Featured Programs

Some of the colleges listed below offer accelerated online accounting programs. This will allow you to go further in your accounting career faster. In today’s economy, cost is a key factor when choosing which college to attend. The accounting discipline embraces this mindset. Money is important, and savings is critical when embarking on a new career. Traditional pathways to becoming professional accountants are available, but these programs are not always budget friendly.

The first step toward saving time and money on education is to find an affordable, reputable, and convenient accounting program. Accredited institutions offer online accounting courses. These provide a better return on investment than non-accredited colleges. School size is also important. Smaller class sizes, even when delivered in an online format, provide lower student-to-faculty ratios. These small classes ultimately facilitate a better learning environment. If you don’t find the accounting degree you’re looking for here, we have other articles that focus on specific areas of accounting. For example this article ranking the top online forensic accounting degrees.

Ranking Cheap Online Accounting Degrees

Below are the criteria we used in selecting the 10 Most Affordable Online Accounting Degree Programs. Over 200 schools and branch campuses were analyzed that met the following parameters:

Accreditation – Only accredited schools offering bachelor’s degree programs in Accounting, Accounting and Business/Management, and Accounting and Finance were examined.
Affordability – Undergraduate tuition as listed by NCES Navigator.
Distance degree option availability – Schools with distance learning options in Accounting and related fields.
Undergraduate population – 3,000 or fewer students.

Once the methodology was applied to each school we listed them in the order of affordability. Tuition costs were gathered from the most recent tuition rate from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Science, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES Navigator) for the 2021-2022 school year.* The tuition rate is the estimated expenses for full-time beginning undergraduates. We used the in-state tuition rate if it was available. The rate does not include the cost of books and supplies. Be sure to contact the institution directly to obtain the most recent tuition rate.

*Note: This ranking/article was originally published in August 2015 and was last updated in June 2022. The 2022 updates may affect the ranking order, but the list has not been re-ordered.

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#10 – Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Tuition: $8,790

Bellevue University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. It is delivered entirely online. The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) accredits the program. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the university. The accounting program prepares students who want to:

  • take the CPA examination
  • pursue graduate school
  • enter the workplace

Some of the courses required for the accounting major include:

  • Cost Accounting
  • Income Tax Accounting
  • Financial Auditing

An accounting internship is required.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Affordability
  • IACBE-accredited program

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Less prestigious university

#9 – American Public University System

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website

Tuition: $7,360

American Public University is ranked among the best online programs of 2015 by U.S. News & World Report. APU offers undergraduate and graduate-level online accounting degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Accounting prepares students to work successfully in public accounting, non-profit accounting, or governmental accounting. Program objectives include the ability to discuss and synthesize Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Students learn to demonstrate accounting knowledge within an ethical framework. This framework is governed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants. Consider APU’s combination of ranking and low tuition as a viable option.

Pros:

  • No entrance exams required
  • Affordability

Cons:

  • Lesser-known business school

#8 – Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Tuition: $8,010

Western Governors University provides flexibility and convenience with its online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program. Students explore financial and cost accounting, taxation principles, and leadership and management. Key subject areas covered in the program include:

  • Auditing
  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Information Systems Management

Successful completion of a capstone project is required. This allows students to take part in research and exploration of real-world situations as related to accounting and business. The average time to complete the bachelor’s in accounting degree at Western Governors is between 2 and 2.5 years.

Pros:

  • Accelerated program options
  • ACBSP-accredited program

Cons:

  • Less prestigious university

#7 – Metropolitan State University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Website

Tuition: $10,260

Undergraduate and graduate online accounting degree programs are available from Metropolitan State University of Denver. The Bachelor’s in Accounting program is offered online with flexible course scheduling options. The accounting department offers a dedicated School of Business advisor team. This team assists students with degree completion requirements and graduation goals. Instructors are experienced in the field of study. Some even work as professional accountants and CPAs. On-the-job training is available. This training can be completed through the program’s internship opportunities and independent study coursework. Students graduate with knowledge necessary to pursue professional careers in accounting.

Pros:

  • Dedicated advisor
  • More diverse

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate

#6 – Dickinson State University

Dickinson, North Dakota

Website

Tuition: $9,118
The accounting program at Dickinson State University operates under the Department of Business and Management. It culminates in a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. Online learning options are available. These options enable students to work at their own pace toward graduation. Required accounting major courses may include:

  • Auditing
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Business Valuation
  • Computerized Accounting
  • Income Tax
  • Organizational Behavior in Business

Students must complete and pass various management and finance classes. These classes are designed to offer a wide-scope knowledge of all areas of business.

Pros:

  • Flexible scheduling

Cons:

  • Less diverse
  • Low graduation rate

#5 – Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

Website

Tuition: $7,372

Are you an adult learner interested in pursuing education in accounting? Then, you may find the online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Accounting a useful pathway. The bachelor’s degree offers a seamless integration into the CPA and Master’s Track program. Students who desire to complete necessary requirements to sit for the CPA examination utilize the CPA and Master’s Track program path. Courses cover various topics in accounting, including:

  • analyzing earning performance
  • synthesizing financial reports
  • preparing financial records

The program department works with the State Board of Accountancy to provide details about the CPA exam. An exceptional tuition lands Thomas Edison in the top five of our ranking of cheap online accounting degree programs.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Flexible Scheduling

Cons:

  • Lesser-known business school

#4 – Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Alva, Oklahoma

Website

Tuition: $5,970

Northwestern Oklahoma State University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in accounting. Check out our article on the differences between a bba in accounting and a bs in accounting if you want to know more. The program is designed to prepare students with skills required to secure entry-level accounting positions in a variety of business settings. Students have the option of pursuing employment after graduation or continuing their education in a master’s program. Additional credits allow students to fulfill requirements necessary to sit for the CPA examination. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredits the accounting program at Northwestern.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Highly ranked online business programs

Cons:

  • More competitive
  • Low graduation rate
  • Limited tech support

#3 – Kennesaw State University

Marietta, Georgia

Website

Tuition: $5,786

Kennesaw State University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. These programs are designed with the adult learner in mind. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting through the school’s distance learning options. The program provides broad-based knowledge of the accounting field. It also offers options for continued education to satisfy registration requirements for the certified public accounting certification. Core accounting courses include:

  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Cost Accounting
  • Introduction to Federal Income Taxes
  • Taxation

Graduate accounting and business programs are available.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • More diverse
  • Top-ranked online MBA

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • More competitive

#2 – Cameron University

Lawton, Oklahoma

Website

Tuition: $6,705

The School of Business at Cameron University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Students are exposed to a variety of business, finance, and management courses. This is in addition to core accounting classes. Major course requirements include:

  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Auditing
  • Cost Accounting
  • Individual Income Tax
  • Intermediate Accounting

Program courses lay the foundation for accounting principles. These classes also provide business acumen necessary to work in a variety of fields. Examples include non-profit, private, and governmental agencies. Students are required to pass all major courses and maintain a minimum GPA set by the program and school.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Top-rated online business programs

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Limited tech support

#1 – Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Tuition: $4,879

Two undergraduate accounting programs are available at Florida Atlantic University. Both are provided online. The two accounting pathways are: Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) with specialization in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Prior to taking upper-level accounting courses, students must complete the requirements of the School of Accountancy. They must also pass the Accounting Competency Exam. An Accounting Scholars program is available for high-achieving students. The program has a 90 percent job placement rate for participants. With an annual tuition around $5,000, Florida Atlantic came out on top among the cheapest accounting degrees online.

Pros:

  • More diverse
  • Affordability
  • 24/7 tech support

Cons:

  • Entrance exam requirement

Sources

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator.
United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook for Accountants and Auditors.