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50 Cheapest Colleges and Universities Online

cheapest online college ranking

Since the inception of online learning in the late 1990s, distance education has steadily grown in popularity. According to the most recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), more than six million postsecondary students are enrolled in some type of distance learning course or program. As more college students demand convenient and flexible online learning options, schools are expanding their offerings. Today, individual online courses, diplomas, certificates, and even full degree programs are available in nearly every academic subject and vocational area imaginable.

Fortunately, getting a certificate or even a degree online doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of cheap online colleges that are also accredited, so you can get a respectable academic credential without the expensive price tag. In this ranking, our editors identify the 50 top affordable online colleges in the United States today.

Cheapest Online College Programs – 50 Best Values Methodology

To develop this ranking of the best and cheapest online colleges nationwide, our editors began with an initial pool of over 350 online schools identified by U.S. News & World Report as the best accredited online colleges and universities in the country. We then applied a tuition filter, eliminating any school with tuition costs of over $30,000 annually. Next, we consulted PayScale for information about each school’s average return on investment and eliminated those colleges and universities with ROI rankings of less than 500. This ensured that the schools in our ranking illustrated those offering the best value to prospective students. Finally, we applied our universal undergraduate ranking methodology to compile the final ranking. In the case of a tie, the cheapest online university was awarded the higher ranking. In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lowest tuition cost places higher in the ranking.


Degrees Mentioned In This Ranking:

  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Computer Science
  • Online BS in Civil Engineering Technology
  • Online BS in Organizational Leadership
  • Online BA in Global Affairs
  • Online BA in Crime and Justice Studies
  • Online BA in Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Online Master of Health Informatics
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Public Administration
  • Online MSN in Forensic Nursing
  • Online PhD in Nursing

Top Ten:

  1. California State University – East Bay
  2. University of Florida
  3. University of Alaska – Fairbanks
  4. University of Arkansas
  5. University of Georgia
  6. Florida Institute of Technology
  7. University of Arizona
  8. Florida International University
  9. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  10. University of Utah

#50—Rowan University

Glassboro, New Jersey

Website

Points: 8

Rowan University Top 50 Most Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Emphasizing convenience and value, Rowan University is one of our top, most affordable online colleges. Through its Division of Global Learning & Partnerships, also known as Rowan Global, the school offers 30 different online and hybrid degree plans for its undergraduate and graduate students alike. Among these offerings are some of the country’s cheapest online bachelor’s degree options, including:

  • Online BA in Health Studies
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BA in Construction Management
  • Online BA in Law and Justice
  • Online BA in Psychology

The school also offers a dozen different online graduate degrees, including a highly ranked online master’s in criminal justice. Rowan University has been fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,939

#49—University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Points: 8

University of Cincinnati - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 75 online schools for a bachelor’s degree, the University of Cincinnati is also one of the more affordable colleges in the United States. Students interested in some of the cheapest online bachelor degree programs available can consider one of the university’s 18 different degree plans, including:

  • Online BS in Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Online BS in Fire Science Technology
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Health Information Management
  • Online BS in Law & Paralegal Studies
  • Online Bachelor of Social Work

Multiple graduate degree programs are also available, including top-rated online master’s in criminal justice, nursing, and computer information technology. UC is fully accredited to award these online credentials by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,138

#48—Concordia University – St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

Website

Points: 9

Concordia University- Saint Paul Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Concordia University – St. Paul is a leading regional university offering distance education programs at every level of postsecondary education. Students looking for the cheapest online university may find more affordable options, but graduates of the school’s online degree programs often enjoy a high return on their investment. Sixteen different bachelor’s degree programs are available to undergrads, including:

  • Online BA in Child Development
  • Online BA in Management and Leadership
  • Online BA in Health Care Administration
  • Online BS in Information Systems
  • Online BS in Computer Science
  • Online RN to BSN

The school also offers online degree programs at the master’s and doctoral levels, including top-rated online master’s in criminal justice, business, and education. Concordia University – St. Paul is institutionally accredited to award online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,400

#47—Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Points: 9

Old Dominion University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the more comprehensive affordable online colleges in our ranking, Old Dominion University, offers dozens of online degree programs and certificates for students at every stage of their academic careers. In terms of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree options, the school offers entire degree plans as well as degree completion plans such as:

  • Online BS in Civil Engineering Technology
  • Online BS in Fashion Merchandising
  • Online BS in Health Sciences: Health Services Administration
  • Online BA/BS in Political Science
  • Online BS in Leadership
  • Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems & Technology

Master’s degrees online are also available, including excellent distance learning options in computer information technology, business administration, and engineering. ODU holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,800

#46—Indiana Institute of Technology

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Website

Points: 10

Indiana Tech-Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Students looking for the absolute cheapest online colleges per credit hour will find better options, but Indiana Tech offers one of the better values for affordable online colleges. At the undergraduate level, the school offers more than two dozen online bachelor’s degree options, including:

  • Online BS in Accounting
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Online BS in Health Information Management
  • Online BS in Organizational Leadership
  • Online BS in Supply Chain Management

Several fully online master’s degree programs are also available for graduate students, including nationally recognized online master’s degrees in business. Indiana Tech holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award these degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,000

#45—University of Toledo

Toledo, Ohio

Website

Points: 10

University of Toledo - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Among the most established affordable online colleges in the nation, the University of Toledo has more than two decades of experience in distance education. Today, the school is home to more than fifty different online degree and certificate programs, including online undergraduate offerings such as:

  • Online BS in Applied Organizational Technology
  • Online Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration
  • Online BS in Recreation Therapy
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Organizational Leadership and Management

At the graduate level, the school offers nearly a dozen online master’s degree programs and two distinct online doctorate degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Toledo among the 50 best places for an undergraduate credential online. It has been institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,082

#44—University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 11

University of Massachusetts Amherst Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the handful of affordable online colleges accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst provided online courses and distance education programs for over 25 years. Today, the school is home to more than 50 of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs found anywhere, including:

  • Online BA in Children’s Learning and Development
  • Online BA in Applied Psychology
  • Online BA in Crime and Justice Studies
  • Online BA in Global Affairs
  • Online BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online BS in Information Technology

Roughly the same number of online degree programs are available to graduate students, including some of the nation’s best online master’s degrees in nursing, business administration, and education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online undergraduate program as one of the top 25 in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,439

#43—Rutgers University – Camden

Camden, New Jersey

Website

Points: 11

Rutgers University- Camden Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Rutgers University – Camden offers a limited number of fully online degree programs; still, it’s one of the most affordable online colleges for students interested in a business or nursing degree. In each of these two academic areas, the school offers a single undergraduate degree:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing

In addition, graduate students may pursue a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies online. Individual online courses are also available through the university apart from complete degree programs. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited Rutgers University- Camden to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 100 online colleges for a bachelor’s degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,877

#42—University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 11

University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Price-wise, the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth is on the higher end of the affordable online colleges in our ranking. Still, the school boasts an impressive return on investment for its graduates, and it offers plenty of options for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Students looking for the absolute cheapest online bachelor degree programs may not find them here, but they will find affordable, high-quality degree plans like:

  • Online BA in Economics
  • Online BA in Crime and Justice Studies
  • Online BS in Management Information Systems: Technology & Management
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BA in Women’s and Gender Studies

The school offers nearly as many options for graduate students, including nationally ranked online master’s degrees in computer information technology, business administration, and nursing. UMass – Dartmouth holds its institutional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,408

#41—Ferris State University

Big Rapids, Michigan

Website

Points: 11

Ferris State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Ferris State University strategically offers some of the cheapest bachelor degree online programs in high-demand occupational fields. Some of the school’s popular undergraduate offerings include:

  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor’s in Project Management
  • Online Bachelor’s in Automotive Management
  • Online Bachelor’s in Information Security & Intelligence
  • Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media Software Engineering
  • Online Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene

Graduate students will also find distance learning opportunities here, including top-ranked online master’s in computer information technology, nursing, and business administration. The university is fully accredited to award online degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs among some of the top such programs nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,376

#40—Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Points: 11

Indiana University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the larger of our affordable online colleges in terms of the number of degree programs offered via distance education, Indiana University has numerous options for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For students looking for the best and cheapest online bachelor’s degree, programs to consider include:

  • Online BS in Data Science
  • Online BA in Communication Studies
  • Online BS in Applied Health Science
  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Informatics
  • Online Master of Social Work

Graduate degree programs are also abundant and include top-rated online master’s degrees in business and education. Indiana University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award academic credentials online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,221

#39—University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Website

Points: 11

University at Buffalo - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Most of the distance learning programs offered through the University at Buffalo are fully online programs. Students considering a graduate degree from this cheap online university will find numerous different options to choose from, including:

  • Online MS in Information and Library Science
  • Online EdM in English Education Studies
  • Online MS in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Online EdM in Science and the Public

Several undergraduate minors and advanced certificate programs are also available online. SUNY Buffalo is fully accredited to award these online degrees and certifications by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school’s online bachelor’s degree program is one of the ten best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,526

#38—University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

Points: 11

University of North Dakota - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The University of North Dakota consistently ranks among the top most affordable online colleges in the United States. A pioneer in distance learning, the school now offers hundreds of individual online courses and dozens of undergraduate and graduate degree plans. Some of the school’s cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Online Bachelor of Accountancy
  • Online BBA in Aviation Management
  • Online BS in Civil Engineering
  • Online BS in Cyber Security
  • Online BS in Kinesiology
  • Online BA in Music

The university’s online graduate programs include highly rated online master’s degree programs in business administration and education. UND Is fully accredited to confer online credentials by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,276

#37—Louisiana Technical University

Ruston, Louisiana

Website

Points: 11

Louisiana Tech - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Louisiana Technical University is one of the most affordable online colleges in the country. Most of the school’s distance learning offerings are graduate degree programs such as:

  • Online MBA
  • Online MA in English
  • Online MS in Engineering & Technology Management
  • Online Master of Heath Informatics
  • Online MA in History

Louisiana Tech is also home to one of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs in Health Informatics & Information Management. This program is separately accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the nation’s best online undergraduate programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,065

#36—SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica, New York

Website

Points: 11

SUNY Polytechnic Institute- Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Among the most comprehensive affordable online colleges in our ranking, SUNY Polytechnic Institute offers fully online and hybrid degrees and programs as well as synchronous and asynchronous online classes. Online programs for undergraduates include:

  • Online BS in Accounting
  • Online BS in Business Administration (BSBA)
  • Online Bachelor’s in Health Information Management
  • Online RN to BSN

Distance learning options for graduate students are also available and include nationally recognized online master’s degrees in computer information technology, nursing, and business. SUNY Poly is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s cheapest bachelor degree online options among some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,427

#35—Oakland University

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Website

Points: 12

Oakland University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Known for its exemplary online master’s degrees in engineering and education, Oakland University is also one of the country’s most affordable online colleges for undergraduates. Two fully online bachelor’s degree programs are available:

  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Environmental Health and Safety

Additional offerings at the graduate level include:

  • Online MBA
  • Online MSN in Forensic Nursing
  • Online MS in Safety Management
  • Online Master of Public Administration
  • Online PhD in Nursing

Several graduate certificates and professional and continuing education certificates are also available online. Oakland University holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the best schools in the United States for an online bachelor’s credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,934

#34—Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Website

Points: 12

Ohio UTop 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universitiesniversity -

In terms of affordable online colleges, Ohio University is one of the nation’s best. As a leader in distance education for undergraduates, the school offers dozens of bachelor’s degree programs and numerous certificate and degree options. Sample offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Applied Management (BSAM)
  • Online Bachelor of Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Hospitality Management
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Integrated Healthcare Studies
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Technical Operations Management

Associate’s degrees and graduate programs are also available online. These virtual options are made possible thanks to the university’s accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s cheapest bachelor degree online programs in business and psychology have been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,612

#33—University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 12

University of Oklahoma Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The University of Oklahoma is home to some of the best and cheapest online bachelor degree programs found anywhere in the nation. Through its extended campus, the school offers four-year degrees in subjects such as:

  • Lifespan Care Administration
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Criminal Justice
  • Integrative Studies

These bachelor’s degree plans can be pursued fully online or via a blended learning format. More options are available to the school’s online graduate students, including standout programs in criminal justice, nursing, and computer information technology. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Oklahoma to confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 15 best schools in the nation for an online undergraduate credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,688

#32—University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

Points: 12

The University of Alabama - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The University of Alabama is one of the nation’s best affordable online colleges, thanks to its Bama by Distance program. Through this initiative offered through the school’s College of Continuing Studies, students can take advantage of more than 70 fully online and hybrid degree programs. This includes some of the country’s cheapest online bachelor degree programs, such as:

  • Online BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Food and Nutrition
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Human Environmental Sciences
  • Online BS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online BS in Hospitality Management

UA leads the nation in terms of its online graduate degree offerings, especially in nursing, engineering, and education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited the school to offer these online degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,620

#31—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Points: 12

Texas Tech University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Texas Tech University offers its cheapest bachelor degree online programs through its Division of eLearning & Academic Partnerships. Among the nearly two dozen options for distance learning students at the undergraduate level include:

  • Online BA in Technical Communication
  • Online BS in Early Child Care
  • Online BS in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management
  • Online BS in Wind Energy
  • Online Bachelor of General Studies

Its online graduate offerings include top-rated programs in business, engineering, and computer information technology. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Texas Tech to confer online credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the best affordable online colleges in the country for a bachelor’s degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,600

#30—Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Website

Points: 12

Portland State University Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Portland State University is often called the most innovative school in Oregon and a top national university. However, the school is also one of the nation’s most affordable online colleges, thanks to its robust distance education program. Here, students can pursue fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional certificates, all from the comfort of their homes. Bachelor’s degree programs online span academic subject areas such as:

  • Business Technology and Analytics
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management and Leadership

Master’s degree programs are also available to graduate students, including nationally recognized options in education and business. Portland State is fully accredited to confer these academic credentials by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,112

#29—Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 12

Oklahoma State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Well-known for its top online master’s degree programs, Oklahoma State University is also one of the most affordable online colleges in the nation for undergraduate students. Here, these students can pursue bachelor’s degree programs such as:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Management Science and Information Systems
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Nutritional Sciences
  • Online BS in Agricultural Leadership
  • Online BS in Early Childcare and Development
  • Online Bachelor’s in Psychology

The school also offers exemplary online master’s degree programs in engineering, business, and education. Oklahoma State holds institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,019

#28—West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

Points: 12

West Virginia University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Known for its top-rated online master’s degrees in business and computer information technology, West Virginia University is also one of the most affordable online colleges for students seeking a four-year degree. Bachelor’s degree programs available via distance education from WVU include:

  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Child Development and Family Studies
  • Online BS in Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies

West Virginia University is authorized to award these undergraduate and graduate degrees online, thanks to its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs among some of the best in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,976

#27—SUNY College of Technology – Alfred

Alfred, New York

Website

Points: 12

SUNY College of Technology- Alfred Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

SUNY College of Technology – Alfred is not only one of the most affordable online colleges in the country, but it’s also a pioneer in distance education. The school has been offering online programs for over three decades now. Today, students from all over the nation can take advantage of some of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs, such as the following:

  • Online BBA in Technology Management
  • Online Bachelor of Technology (BTEch) in Construction Supervision
  • Online Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Healthcare Management
  • Online BS in Human Services Management
  • Online RN to BSN

A few associate’s degrees and numerous individual online courses are also available via distance learning. Alfred State is fully accredited to award academic credentials online by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,726

#26—University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Website

Points: 12

university-of-nevada-las-vegas Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of several affordable online colleges accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas offers over 300 fully online and hybrid courses each semester as well as dozens of full degree programs online. This includes some of the nation’s cheapest online bachelor degree programs, such as:

  • Online BA in Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Online BA in Anthropology
  • Online BS in Urban Studies
  • Online BA in Psychology

Distance learning programs are also available for graduate students, including some of the country’s top online master’s degree options in nursing and education. U.S. News & World Report has recognized UNLV as one of the best cheap online colleges for a bachelor’s credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,685

#25—Utah State University

Logan, Utah

Website

Points: 12

Utah State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of our highly affordable online colleges, Utah State University has been offering distance education options for more than a quarter of a century now. Today, the school offers 60-plus fully online degree and certificate programs for its undergraduate and graduate students. Those looking for the cheapest bachelor degree online should consider the following options:

  • Online BS in Technology Systems
  • Online BS in Human Development & Family Studies
  • Online BS in Human Experience Design & Interaction
  • Online BS in Management
  • Online BS in Sociology

The school also offers a top-rated online bachelor’s in psychology and several nationally-ranked online master’s degree programs. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited USU to award these online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,674

#24—New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Website

Points: 12

New Mexico State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

New Mexico State University is one of the most affordable online colleges in our ranking, but it doesn’t skimp on quality or academic rigor. Particularly well-known for its online undergraduate programs in business, the school also offers some of the nation’s cheapest bachelor degree online programs in subjects such as:

  • Journalism and Media Studies
  • Counseling and Community Psychology
  • Business Administration
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Family and Child Sciences
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies

Fully online master’s degree programs are also available, including outstanding criminal justice, engineering, and business administration options. NMSU holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,301

#23—University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

Points: 12

UNC Charlotte Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the University of North Carolina – Charlotte is one of the cheapest online colleges in the South and one of the most affordable nationwide. The school’s online bachelor’s programs span the fields of education, health and human services, and engineering and include specific options like:

  • Online BS in Engineering Technology
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BA in Elementary Education
  • Online BS in Respiratory Therapy

UNC-Charlotte is also home to several top-ranked online graduate degree programs, including master’s degree options in education, engineering, and nursing. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among some of the best affordable online colleges in the country for an undergraduate credential.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,096

#22—Park University

Parkville, Missouri

Website

Points: 13

Park University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Park University is not only one of the most affordable online colleges in the Midwest, but it’s also one of the more experienced online schools in our ranking. The university first began offering distance education classes in 1996, and today, it is home to more than 650 online courses and dozens of online degree programs. Students seeking the cheapest bachelor degree online programs can consider the school’s undergraduate options such as:

  • Online BS in Business Economics
  • Online BS in Computer Information Management
  • Online BS in Entrepreneurship
  • Online BS in Military History
  • Online BSN (Nursing)
  • Online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Many online graduate degrees and certificate programs are also available through the university, including nationally recognized online master’s degrees in business and education. Park University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,929

#21—Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Website

Points: 13

Oregon State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the most affordable online colleges in the Northwest, Oregon State University offers more than 1,500 online courses and dozens of undergraduate degrees and programs that can be completed entirely via distance education. Popular online bachelor’s degree options include:

  • Online BS in Computer Science
  • Online BS in Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Online BS in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Online BA in Digital Communication Arts
  • Online BS in Business Analytics

Online graduate degree programs are also plentiful and include outstanding master’s degree plans in engineering and business administration. OSU is fully accredited to confer online degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online undergraduate program as one of the top five nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,858

#20—Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Points: 13

Colorado State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

A true pioneer in online learning, Colorado State University has been offering distance learning opportunities for over half a century. Today, the school has earned a secure place as one of the top affordable online colleges in the nation, offering a wide range of online programs for both undergraduate and graduate students alike. The university’s selection of the cheapest online bachelor degree programs include:

  • Online BS in Agricultural Business
  • Online BS in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
  • Online BA in Anthropology
  • Online BA in Journalism and Media Communication
  • Online BS in Psychology

Both fully online and hybrid graduate programs are also available and include nationally recognized online master’s degrees in computer information technology, business, engineering, and education. CSU is institutionally accredited to confer these academic credentials online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,814

#19—University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Points: 13

University of Missouri Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the biggest affordable online colleges in the nation, the University of Missouri gives distance education students over 250 different options for undergraduate and graduate education. This includes forty of the cheapest online bachelor degree programs available anywhere, such as:

  • Online BS in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society
  • Online Bachelor of Health Science
  • Online BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Information Technology
  • Online BA in Mass Communication
  • Online BA in Psychology

U.S. News & World Report has ranked these online undergraduate programs among the 15 best such programs nationwide. Many of the university’s online master’s degree options have also been highly ranked. The University of Missouri is institutionally accredited to confer online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,723

#18—Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Points: 13

Kansas State University Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Among the most comprehensive affordable online colleges in the nation, Kansas State University offers over a hundred distance education programs ranging from associates to doctoral credentials. Students interested in the cheapest bachelor degree online programs may choose from offerings like:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Applied Business and Technology
  • Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management
  • Online Bachelor’s in Integrated Computer Science
  • Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology

In addition, Kansas State is well-known for its highly ranked online graduate programs, including top online master’s degrees in education, business administration, and computer information technology. K-State holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,466

#17—Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Points: 13

Lamar University Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Lamar University is one of the cheapest online colleges per credit hour in our ranking. The school is home to a robust online program for undergraduates, including a top-rated online bachelor’s in general studies and standout options in engineering, business, and more. Examples include:

  • Online BS in Computer Science
  • Online BBA in Management Information Systems
  • Online BS in Family Studies
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice

As one of the more well-known affordable online colleges in the United States, Lamar University is a member of the Texas State University system. It holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Lamar University’s online bachelor’s degree programs among some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,591

#16—California State University – Chico

Chico, California

Website

Points: 13

California State University- Chico Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

As one of the most affordable online colleges in the West, California State University – Chico offers fully online classes and degrees through its Division of Regional & Continuing Education. This includes some of the cheapest bachelor degree online programs available nationwide such as:

  • Online BA in Liberal Studies
  • Online BA in Sociology
  • Online BA in Religious Studies
  • Online BA in Social Science

A top-rated online master’s degree in nursing is also available at the graduate level. Cal State – Chico is institutionally accredited to confer online bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among some of the best colleges and universities in the country for an online undergrad degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,864

#15—San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Website

Points: 13

San Diego State University Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Known for its excellent online master’s programs in the field of education, San Diego State University also offers half a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs for its undergraduate students, including:

  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Public Health
  • Online BA in Communication
  • Online BA in Economics

Aside from its top-ranked online master’s degrees in education, the university also offers several other graduate-level programs online such as:

  • Online MS in Electrical Engineering
  • Online Master of Public Health
  • Online MS in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Online MS in Regulatory Affairs

A number of hybrid degree programs are also available. San Diego State is institutionally accredited to award these distance education programs by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,720

#14—University of Massachusetts – Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 14

University of Massachusetts- Lowell Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Though not the cheapest online university in our ranking, the University of Massachusetts – Lowell leads the pack in return-on-investment. Here, enrolled students can choose from dozens of online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school’s fully online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Online BA in Psychology
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice: Paralegal
  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Information Technology
  • Online BA in English

Graduate degree programs are also available via distance education and include some of the nation’s very best online master’s education, criminal justice, and computer information technology programs. UMass – Lowell’s online degree programs are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,698

#13—University of Illinois – Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Points: 14

University of Illinois-Chicago Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

U.S. News & World Report has identified the University of Illinois – Chicago as one of the top five affordable online colleges in the nation for undergraduate education. In terms of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs, the school offers options such as:

  • Online BS in Health Information Management
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

A variety of undergraduate certificates and professional development programs are also available online. Graduate students can take advantage of online master’s degree options in health informatics, education, and engineering, for example. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited UIC to confer online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,098

#12—Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Website

Points: 14

Washington State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

A groundbreaking force in distance education, Washington State University has been offering online programs from its global campus since 1992. Today, it’s one of the most affordable colleges in the U.S., offering a wide range of fully online degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students alike. This includes some of the cheapest bachelor degree online programs currently available such as:

  • Online BS in Data Analytics
  • Online BS in Psychology
  • Online BS in Biology
  • Online BA in Anthropology
  • Online BA in English

The school offers a number of different fully online master’s degree programs for graduate students, including top-rated options in business administration and engineering. Washington State is institutionally accredited to award these online degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 30 schools in the nation for an online bachelor’s program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,170

#11—Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Points: 14

Arizona State University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

A leading national university, Arizona State University is also one of the most affordable online colleges in the United States. The school is home to numerous top-ranked online degree programs, including some of the best and cheapest bachelor degree online programs available anywhere. Some of these exceptional undergraduate offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Leadership
  • Online BA in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Computer Information Systems
  • Online BS in Counseling and Applied Psychological Science
  • Online BS in Health Care Compliance and Regulations
  • Online BA in Mass Communication and Media Studies

Highly ranked online master’s degree programs in business, engineering, and criminal justice are also available through the school’s global campus. ASU is fully accredited to award these online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

#10—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Points: 14

University of Utah Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

Students looking for a cheap online university should consider the University of Utah’s distance learning options for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Sample online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Online BA/BS in Psychology
  • Online BS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism: Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Social Work

In addition to some of the best and cheapest online bachelor degree programs nationwide, the University of Utah also offers nationally recognized master’s degree options in business administration, nursing, and engineering. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among some of the best schools in the country for undergraduates interested in distance learning.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,615

#9—University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Points: 14

University of Colorado- Colorado Springs Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

As one of the oldest affordable online colleges in the country, the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs has been offering distance education options for almost thirty years now. Today, the school is home to numerous online courses as well as twenty different fully online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the university’s cheapest online bachelor’s degree options include:

  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Health Sciences
  • Online BA in Sociology
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BA in Criminal Justice

Graduate students can also take advantage of the school’s distance learning options, including highly rated online master’s degrees in criminal justice, nursing, education, and engineering. UCCS is fully accredited to award online credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has called it one of the 75 best schools for an online bachelor’s degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,580

#8—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Website

Points: 14

Florida International University - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The second cheapest online university in our ranking, Florida International University, is also one of the largest providers of distance learning opportunities nationwide. The school offers more than 100 different online programs for undergraduate and graduate students, including some of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree options found anywhere. Some of these programs include:

  • Online BA in Biological Sciences
  • Online BS in Computer Engineering
  • Online BS in Crime Science
  • Online BA in Global Sustainable Tourism
  • Online BS in Hospitality Management
  • Online BS in Information Technology

FIU offers numerous options for graduate students, including highly ranked master’s degree programs in business, criminal justice, and engineering. The school is institutionally accredited to award these online academic credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565

#7—University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Website

Points: 15

University of Arizona - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The University of Arizona is home to not only some of the cheapest online bachelor degree programs but also some of the best undergraduate degree programs available via distance education. Some of these programs include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Administration of Justice
  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood
  • Online BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Online BA in Global Media

The university also offers some nationally recognized online master’s degree programs in academic subjects like criminal justice, nursing, education, and engineering. The Higher Learning Commission has institutionally accredited the University of Arizona to confer these online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,716

#6—Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

Website

Points: 15

Florida Institute of Technology - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

As one of the most affordable online colleges in the South, Florida Institute of Technology offers numerous fully online degree programs in a wide range of subjects. These programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For four-year students, the school offers some of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree options available such as:

  • Online BA in Applied Psychology Organizational Psychology
  • Online BA in Business Administration
  • Online BA in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Computer Information Systems
  • Online BA in Aviation Management

At the graduate level, the university offers top-ranked online master’s degrees in business and computer information technology. Florida Tech is fully accredited to award these online degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,240

#5—University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Website

Points: 15

University of Georgia Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the most affordable online colleges for both undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Georgia. In addition to one of the nation’s cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs in Special Education, the university also offers several different master’s degree programs. Some of these graduate distance learning options include:

  • Online M.Ed. in Educational Psychology: Applied Cognition & Development
  • Online MS in Foods and Nutrition: Community Nutrition
  • Online MS in Pharmacy: International Biomedical Regulatory Sciences
  • Online Master of Business and Technology
  • Online Master of Food Technology

UGA’s online master’s in business and education have received special recognition from the U.S. News & World Report. The school is institutionally accredited to award degrees via distance education from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,080

#4—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

Points: 15

University of Arkansas - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the many affordable online colleges in the country accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the University of Arkansas offers distance learning options at nearly every level of postsecondary education. For students seeking a bachelor’s credential, standout programs include:

  • Online BA in Communication
  • Online BSBA in Supply Chain Management
  • Online BS in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Education: Human Resource and Workforce Development Education

At the graduate level, the university offers nationally ranked online master’s degrees in education and engineering. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs from the University of Arkansas as among the top 25 such programs nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,384

#3—University of Alaska – Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

Points: 15

University of Alaska - Fairbanks Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

One of the cheapest online colleges in the nation, the University of Alaska – Fairbanks offers dozens of online degree and certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This includes thirteen distinct online bachelor’s degree programs, including options such as:

  • Online BA in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Business
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Management
  • Online Bachelor of Security and Emergency Management
  • Online BA in Justice

In addition to some of the cheapest online bachelor degree programs nationwide, the school also offers several online graduate degrees, including a top-ranked online master’s in criminal justice. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has accredited UAF to award these and other online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,176

#2—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Points: 15

University of Florida - Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

The University of Florida is the cheapest online university in our ranking. It also boasts an impressive ROI for graduates, making it one of the nation’s very best affordable online colleges. For students seeking a four-year degree, the school offers two dozen of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs currently available, including standout options such as:

  • Online BS in Advertising: Persuasive Messaging
  • Online BA in Biology
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online BS in Sport Management
  • Online BS in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management

Even more options are afforded to graduate students, including top-rated online master’s in education and business administration. UF is institutionally accredited to award undergraduate and graduate degrees online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

#1—California State University – East Bay

Hayward, California

Website

Points: 16

California State University- East Bay Top 50 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

With a low tuition rate and a high return on investment, California State University – East Bay is not only one of the most affordable online colleges in our ranking, but it’s also one of the top best value schools. Through its online campus, the university offers five of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Online BS in Business Administration
  • Online BS in Recreation
  • Online BA in Human Development
  • Online BS in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Online BA in Ethnic Studies

Four distinct online master’s degree programs are also offered via distance education, including a nationally recognized option in education. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Cal State- East Bay to confer these academic degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,890

Types of Affordable Online Colleges

There are hundreds of affordable online colleges and universities available nationwide. Not all of these postsecondary institutions are identical, though. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the different types of online schools that you’ll have to choose from when evaluating your education options.

Two-Year Versus Four-Year Online Colleges

The first step in choosing the best online school is to decide what type of credential you’re interested in pursuing. If you’re looking for the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs, for instance, then you’ll want to narrow your search to those online universities that offer four-year degree programs. On the other hand, if you decide to start with a non-degree program leading to a certificate or diploma or an associate’s degree program, then a two-year online technical school or community college will suffice.

Fully Online Versus Hybrid Universities

After deciding on a two-year or four-year school, there’s still more to consider when choosing a cheap online university. For instance, you’ll also need to decide whether or not you’re willing to attend any classes on campus. Some programs that advertise themselves as “online” offerings are really hybrid programs, which means that they combine distance education with traditional in-person classes. Hybrid options are less convenient, but some students prefer them because they tend to be more interactive. On the other hand, fully online programs do not require any on-campus attendance and can be completed anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Types of Online Programs and Degrees

Choosing from among the many cheap online colleges available is only one part of the distance learning equation. As a prospective online student, you’ll also need to decide what type of program or degree to enroll in. Fortunately, there are many good options to choose from.

Online Courses, Diplomas, and Certificates

You don’t need to sign up for a lengthy degree plan to find success as an online student. In fact, there are many non-degree programs available that can be completed entirely online. These distance learning options are ideal for students who want to quickly jumpstart or advance their careers without a costly and time-consuming degree plan.

It’s a common misconception that all good jobs require some sort of degree. This simply isn’t true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many secure and high-paying occupations only require a certificate or diploma. Some examples include:

  • Court Reporter
  • Fire Inspector
  • Aircraft Mechanic
  • Makeup Artist
  • Sound Engineering Technician
  • Surgical Technologist

Online Associate’s Degrees

Of course, many of the best occupations do require some type of degree. If you want a college degree that you can complete in short order, an associate’s degree is a good place to start. Many affordable online colleges offer these two-year degrees completely online, meaning you won’t have to travel to campus to earn your credentials. Popular online associate’s degree programs include:

  • Online Associate’s in Business
  • Online Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Online Associate of Computer Science
  • Online Associate’s Degree in Data Science
  • Online Associate’s in Graphic Design
  • Online Associate of Hospitality Management
  • Online Associate’s in Health Science
  • Online Associate’s Degree in Homeland Security

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Online bachelor’s degree programs are some of the most popular academic offerings available via distance education. Perhaps that’s because these four-year degree plans are associated with higher salaries and more career opportunities. Of course, the flip side of the coin is that they also require twice the time investment of an associate’s degree, on average. Even the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs will require 120 credit hours of coursework, which usually equates to a four-year time investment. Some of the most popular online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA)
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Engineering
  • Online Bachelor of Healthcare Administration
  • Online BS in Computer Science
  • Online Bachelor’s in Accounting

Online Graduate Degrees

Online graduate degrees have become increasingly popular amongst early and mid-career professionals on the fast track to the top rungs of their respective career ladders. These advanced distance learning options give working students the opportunity to earn valuable credentials while also keeping their day jobs. Advanced degrees like online master’s degrees and even online doctoral degrees offer graduates many benefits such as pay raises and promotions. Many affordable online colleges across the nation offer graduate degrees via distance education. Some of these programs include:

  • Online Master’s in Education
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Master’s in Engineering
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Online Course Delivery

When discussing types of affordable online colleges and programs available, it’s important to point out the distinction between asynchronous versus synchronous course delivery.  Asynchronous delivery means that course content is available to students at their convenience, allowing them to work at their own pace. Conversely, synchronous content delivery depends on students being available and online at specific times to view streaming lectures and participate in real-time discussions. Some cheap online universities and programs deliver their content exclusively via asynchronous or synchronous methods, while others blend the two delivery formats.

Frequently-Searched Affordable Online Colleges

Affordable Online Colleges for Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is a popular field, but most positions require training beyond a high school diploma. That’s where affordable online colleges come in. Many of these postsecondary institutions offer online certificate programs as well as associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education. These credentials can prepare students for positions in the field, such as preschool teacher, teacher’s assistant, or child care center director, for example.

Affordable Online Colleges for Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is another popular discipline for distance learners. As a result, many cheap online universities (as well as more expensive ones) offer degree programs in criminal justice at virtually every level of postsecondary education. This includes online associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees in criminal justice. A select number of online PhD programs in criminal justice are also available.

An online postsecondary certificate or degree in criminal justice can prepare graduates for jobs as police officers, detectives, forensic science technicians, corrections officers, probation officers, and more.

Affordable Online Colleges for Computer Science

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities in the field of computer and information technology are expected to grow exponentially over the next several years. That means there will be plenty of job openings for graduates of online degrees in computer science. Depending on the degree earned, these graduates may qualify for positions as computer network architects, information security analysts, computer programmers, computer and information research scientists, and more.

Affordable Online Colleges for Psychology

Psychology is a captivating field for traditional and distance learners alike. Thus, many affordable online colleges offer distance education programs in this social science sub-field. Offerings span every level of postsecondary academics, including certificates and diplomas, undergraduate degrees, and even graduate programs. Upon receiving these credentials, graduates may be eligible for positions as school and career counselors, marriage and family therapists, substance abuse counselors, and psychologists, for instance.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Affordable Online Colleges

The decision to enroll in college classes, whether online or in-person, is an important one. There’s no doubt you’ll have some questions before embarking on this significant academic endeavor. To help ease your concerns, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about affordable online colleges. Keep in mind that the information we provide here, though research-based, is also general in nature. If you have a specific question about a particular online college or program, it’s best to direct it to an admissions counselor or other official school representative.

Q: What are the most affordable online colleges?

A: The cost of online education can vary widely, depending on which school you choose to attend and which program you enroll in. The most affordable online colleges discovered during our research for this ranking are those associated with tuition costs of less than $10,000 per year. The cheapest online university in our ranking costs just over $6,000 per year.

Q: Are there affordable online colleges for adults?

A: Yes. Though all online schools will accept students of any age, some affordable online colleges are specifically designed for working adults. These institutions feature accelerated courses, part-time options, and asynchronous content delivery to offer busy professionals the maximum level of convenience and flexibility.

Q: Are affordable online colleges accredited?

A: Yes. Legitimate online schools are regionally or nationally accredited by an accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Don’t settle for cheap online colleges without this mark of legitimacy.

Q: How can I find affordable online colleges near me?

A: There are affordable online colleges located in every region of the United States. To find one near you, use the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator tool, or simply perform a web-based search using your location.

Sources:

This concludes our ranking of the 50 best values among cheap online colleges.

Sources:
College Navigator

By CVO Staff
Published February 2021

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