This ranking is for individuals interested in identifying schools with the cheapest online associate degree programs. Our findings and methodology for cheap associate’s degree programs are listed below.
- #1 – Rio Grande Valley College
- #2 – Tohono O’odham Community College
- #3 – Luna Community College
- #4 – Clovis Community College
- #5 – Alvin Community College
- #6 – Tallahassee Community College
- #7 – Wake Technical Community College
- #8 – Broward College
- #9 – Great Basin College
- #10 – Laramie County Community College
Top 10 Affordable Online Associate Degrees Online Methodology
We reviewed approximately 110 institutions listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered online associate’s degrees or classes that were available via distance education that could be applied toward an associate’s degree. To narrow our search, we applied the following criteria: accreditation (regional or national with recognition from the Higher Learning Commission), access to online class delivery, the ability to confer an associate’s degree, and affordable tuition of less than $4,500 per year. Tuition data reported on our list was collected from the most recent numbers published by NCES College Navigator. We then ranked our schools according to raw affordability.
Below are the resulting selections for our top 10 affordable associate’s degrees online for 2020.
#10 – Laramie County Community College
Undergraduate Tuition: $4,433
Laramie County Community College, a public institution in Cheyenne, Wyoming, offers online associate’s degree programs at an affordable price. In fact, Laramie lands a 10th spot on our list for cheap associate’s degree programs. The school offers an open admissions policy and issues credit for life experiences. Students may earn degrees and certificates in approximately 30 different disciplines and with online learning options. Popular programs at Laramie County include business management, education, health professions and related disciplines, management, and marketing. All online courses are delivered and taught by well-qualified faculty, most of which instruct the same classes on-campus. Also, all degree programs have been accredited by the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission.
#9 – Great Basin College
Undergraduate Tuition: $3,248
Great Basin College features online associate’s degree programs in business, early childhood education, criminal justice, English, graphic communications, human resources, and retail management. In addition to offering affordable online associate degree programs, the college also offers several fully online bachelor’s degrees. Bachelor’s programs are available as BA, BAS, or BSN degrees. Students may major in digital information technology, English, human services, management, or nursing. Great Basin College is currently authorized to deliver online degrees to students in all states and is a fully accredited institution. Other features of the institution include a student-faculty ratio of 16-1 and an open admissions policy.
#8 – Broward College
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Undergraduate Tuition: $2,830
Broward College offers affordable associate degree online programs in nearly every discipline. Whether you seek a degree in business, education, health science, humanities, science and technology, or social behavioral sciences and human services, Broward has you covered with online options. Also, according to the school’s website, Broward’s programs earn more on average than graduates from similar programs throughout the state of Florida. In addition to earnings potential, Broward offers some of the cheapest online associate’s degree programs on our list. In addition to being one of the most affordable schools, Broward ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the South.
#7 – Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh, North Carolina
Undergraduate Tuition: $2,768
Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina offers affordable online associate’s degree programs in over 20 different fields. Popular programs at WTCC include business management, communication, health professions, humanities, liberal arts and sciences, and marketing. With a tuition cost of less than $3,000 per year, Wake Tech is one of the schools on our list offering the cheapest online associate degree programs. To add to the school’s value, students receive a low student-faculty ratio of 19-1 and open admissions policy. The school requires no application fee for admission and offers plenty of financial aid, especially for low income and first-generation college student families.
#6 – Tallahassee Community College
Undergraduate Tuition: $2,026
Tallahassee Community College offers online associate’s degree programs in a variety of disciplines. Popular and affordable online associate degree programs available at TCC include criminal justice technology, early childhood development and education, nursing, and paralegal and legal studies. The school also offers a general associate in arts degree for students looking to complete their general education credits before transferring to a four-year university. According to the school’s website, the TCC online experience is ideal for individuals working full-time who need to balance their outside obligations with their education. TCC is a nationally recognized institution and offers fully accredited online programs and classes.
#5 – Alvin Community College
Undergraduate Tuition: $1,682
Currently, Alvin Community College offers three affordable associate degree online programs. Programs include AA degrees in management, psychology, and sociology. In addition to the AA degrees, a fully online certificate management program is also available. In addition to the online programs offered above, ACC delivers online courses in a variety of disciplines. Students who take part in the online options typically work or balance outside obligations that inhibit access to traditional on-campus attendance. With a tuition of less than $1,700 per year, ACC offers some of the cheapest online associate’s degree programs on our list. Also, the institution is fully accredited.
#4 – Clovis Community College
Clovis, New Mexico
Undergraduate Tuition: $1,376
Clovis Community College offers cheap online associate’s degree programs in popular areas of study, such as behavioral science, business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice, general studies, legal assistant studies (paralegal), and liberal arts. For those planning to start their career upon graduating instead of transferring to a four-year school, quality programs in CIS and paralegal are popular. However, for students interested in pursuing a four-year education at a university, general studies and liberal arts programs allow them to do so. Clovis Community College’s tuition price places the school among the most affordable online associate’s degree-offering institutions. Clovis is fully accredited and offers open admissions to applicants.
#3 – Luna Community College
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Undergraduate Tuition: $962
Luna Community College currently offers an affordable online associate’s degree in business administration, which can be completed 100% online. While other programs offered at Luna require face-to-face instruction, there are options to take 49% of your chosen program courses through distance education. The school and its programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Also, of note, accreditation was first granted in the early eighties. Luna has been in operation for decades, offering quality programs and some of the cheapest associate’s degrees in the state of New Mexico, as well as across the country.
#2 – Tohono O’odham Community College
Undergraduate Tuition: $932
Tohono O’odham Community College offers transfer programs and direct-employment certificates with classes that can be taken online or in-person. Due to the school’s low-cost tuition, Tohono lands a top spot on our list of schools offering cheapest online associate’s degree programs. These cheap online associate’s degree programs include disciplines like business administration, early childhood education, elementary education, liberal arts, and social work. These associate’s degrees are highly affordable. In fact, Tohono’s yearly tuition is less than $1,000. Tohono is fully accredited to offer degrees and online classes by the Higher Learning Commission. TOCC primarily serves the residents of the Tohono O’odham Nation, but opens its doors to anyone pursuing higher education. According to the school’s website, all are welcome to attend.
#1 – Rio Grande Valley College
Undergraduate Tuition: $900
Earning a #1 spot on our list for schools offering affordable online associate’s degree programs is Rio Grande Valley College. This two-year institution is fully accredited to offers some of the cheapest associate’s degrees available. These online associate’s degree programs emphasize health care. While programs are not offered entirely online, due to lab work and clinical requirements, students are able to take online classes that cut the time spent in the classroom. The focus at Rio Grande Valley is vocational education. The programs offered emphasize skills needed to enter the workforce as medical assistants, medical billers, patient care techs, and phlebotomists. However, the school does offer an associate’s degree in nursing. Rio Grande is our #1 choice for affordable associate’s degrees with online class options.
Sources and Resources about Online Associates Degree Programs
National Center for Education Statistics (Tuition and graduate rates.)
By CVO Staff
Updated June 2020