Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges for 2021

If you are looking for cheap online colleges, you will find the information in this article helpful. More and more students are looking at online options to pursue higher education. They appreciate the flexibility of the online format, which allows them to continue with their day jobs as they study for their college degrees. 

Advances in technology have led to better and easier collaboration between faculty, students, and peers. Affordable online colleges also help them earn their degrees without the burden of heavy college debt. In most cases, they charge in-state tuition rates for all students regardless of where they are located.  Students can also save money on commuting costs, room and board, and food. 

Online students also have the option to qualify for numerous grants and scholarships, just like on-campus students. There are also several federal work-study programs that help them meet college costs. In this article, we have highlighted the top 50 cheap accredited online colleges along with tuition-free colleges. The mission of these colleges is to support students in their personal and professional endeavors by offering online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. 

The colleges have been ranked according to their affordability. We have also looked at their accreditation and the programs offered. Click here to learn more about our methodology. 

#50  Ohio Christian University

Circleville, OH

Ohio Christian University

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Points: 5

Ohio Christian University is a private Christian college denominationally affiliated with the Churches of Christ in the Christian Union. The school is committed to offering a complete education that develops students professionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It prepares students to serve effectively in the church and society by providing a Christ-centered, holistic, biblically integrated education in the Wesleyan tradition. It offers degree programs for graduate students, residential undergraduate students, and adult and online students.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • MA in Leadership
  • MBA and MA in Ministry Dual Degree
  • BA in Accounting, Business;
  • BS in Data Analytics and Information Technology
  • AA in Business

Students learn to engage with people effectively so that they can serve and positively impact their communities.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $21,390

#49  Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, OK

Mid-America Christian University

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Points:  6

Mid-America Christian University is a private liberal arts college and an endorsed agency of the Church of God founded in 1953. It prepares students through a Wesleyan perspective to collaborate, create, and innovate to solve local and global problems.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Cybersecurity and Digital Marketing
  • AS in Network Management and Security
  • MA in Leadership, Ministry Leadership Emphasis MBA

The school offers 100% online or on-campus concurrent classes for high school juniors and seniors at an affordable rate. It offers high schoolers a great head start on their college careers and helps them save thousands of dollars on college costs. It is dedicated to offering students an accredited, cost-effective, online education grounded in the love and service of Jesus Christ.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $18,838

#48  University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Connecticut

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Points:  6

The University of Connecticut is a public land-grant research university located about half an hour’s drive from Hartford. Founded in 1881, it is known to fuel the state’s economy, drive innovation for a better tomorrow, and is committed to benefiting the greater good. It is a top-ranked research institution built to inspire the global community. Research and innovation lie at the core of the school’s mission.

Some of the 100% online master’s degrees offered by the school include:  

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care – MS
  • Energy and Environmental Management (MEEM)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner and DNP Program
  • Human Resource Management
  • Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation (RMME)

Collaborative research is carried out within its 14 schools and colleges and at 80 research centers and institutes, with over $260 million annual expenditures.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $17,226

#47  University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN 

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Points:  6

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public land-grant research university that prepares students to meet the great challenges of the future. The school is driven by a singular vision of excellence focused on offering world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach. Students engage with teachers and fellow students to develop their strengths with beyond-the-classroom experiences.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • BS in Applied Science in Psychology
  • BA in Tribal Administration and Governance
  • Bachelor of Manufacturing Management
  • BS in Accounting and Agricultural Business
  • Master of Arts in Applied Child and Adolescent Development
  • Master of Business Administration

Students in all majors can participate in research with an expert faculty who are leaders in their fields. As one of the nation’s top public research universities, with state-of-the-art facilities, and world-class academics, it offers over 135+ minors and thousands of options in internship and research opportunities.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $15,027

#46  National University

La Jolla, CA

National University

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Points:  6

National University is one of San Diego’s largest private nonprofit universities founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy Capt. David Chigos. It offers classes online or on-site at locations across California so that students are not limited or bound by a 9-5 schedule. The school’s course structure is built to make earning a degree accessible and achievable for students, one month at a time, so they can start sooner and finish faster. With over 75 degree programs, the school educates students nationally and globally, with over 180,000 alumni worldwide.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:  

  • AS in Business
  • BA in Management 
  • BA in Strategic Communications
  • Master of Accounting
  • MA in Human Resource Management

The school proudly puts passion into practice by offering achievable and accessible higher education to adult learners. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $13,320 

#45 University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, IL 

University of Illinois Springfield

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Points:  7

The University of Illinois Springfield is a public university that was established in 1969. It offers degree-granting programs via its four colleges and is dedicated to fully engaging students in the process of active teaching and learning. Approximately 4,000 students enroll here each year. Students take advantage of leading-edge leadership opportunities to shape their college experience and position them ahead for career opportunities and further scholarship.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:  

  • MS in Management Information Systems 
  • MS in Computer Science 
  • MBA
  • BS in Management Information Systems 
  • BS in Mathematical Sciences
  • BA in Psychology

The same professors who teach in the classrooms also teach online degree programs, thus offering all students the same high-quality University of Illinois degree.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $11,813

#44  Indiana University Bloomington

Bloomington, IN

Indiana University Bloomington

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Points:  7

Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university and the flagship campus of Indiana University. It serves over 40,000 students, offering them top-ranked academics, endless opportunities, and vibrant campus life on a jaw-droppingly beautiful campus. The college is known for its world-class contribution to research and the arts.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • Bachelor’s in Applied Science, Business, Public Affairs and Administration
  • Master’s in Computing and Technology, Health and Health Sciences, and Mathematics
  • Certificate programs in Health and Health Sciences and Labor Studies

Founded in 1820, it emphasizes innovation, creativity, academic freedom, and preparing leaders for the future. The IU educational experience involves an academic atmosphere where revolutionary ideas and unexpected collaborations nurture bright minds. Graduates are trained to serve their communities as experts and professionals.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $10,947

#43  University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Texas at Austin

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Points:  7

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university and part of the Association of American Universities. Founded in 1883, it supports over 50,000 diverse students across 18 colleges and schools with top national programs. It ranks among the 40 best universities globally, and as Texas’ leading research university, the school attracts more than $650 million annually for its discoveries.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • Business Administration (Working Professional and Executive Programs) – Master’s
  • Engineering Management – MS
  • Human Dimensions of Organizations – MA
  • Identity Management and Security – MS

The school is known for its high-quality academics offered by an excellent faculty that attracts highly qualified students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $10,824

#42  Louisiana Tech University

Ruston, LA

Louisiana Tech

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Points:  7

Louisiana Tech University is a public research university and part of the University of Louisiana System. It is a four-year selective admissions research university that awards various bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”. As a comprehensive, selective-admissions public university, it is committed to quality in teaching, creative activity, public service, research, and workforce/economic development.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • M.S. – Engineering & Technology Management
  • M.A. – English
  • M.B.A. 
  • B.S. – Health Informatics & Information Management

The school’s highest priority is to offer a challenging, safe, and supportive environment for a diverse community of learners.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $10,185

#41  Baker College

Owosso, MI

Baker College

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Points:  8

Baker College is a private college founded in 1911 with campuses in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and online. For over a century, it has been helping students turn their career goals into a reality. Baker College is one of Michigan’s largest independent, not-for-profit colleges. It offers focused programs for career fields that show high rates of growth. Designed by industry leaders and taught by an excellent faculty, these programs ensure that students enter the workforce with the in-demand skills and education employers seek today.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • Accounting (MBA)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • BS in Computer Science 
  • Associate degree in Criminal Justice 

Baker offers flexible scheduling via its online programs so that students can get a high-quality education on their own terms.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $10,080

#40  Park University

Parkville, MO

Park University

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Points:  8

Park University is a private university founded in 1875. The four-year, nonprofit, liberal arts institution has helped students break down barriers to education since the 19th century.

Students from all over the U.S. and 62 countries have enrolled in the school. It offers 77 programs:

  • 54 Bachelor’s Degrees 
  • 14 Master’s Degrees
  • 8 Associate Degrees
  • 1 Specialist Degree
  • 15 Undergraduate Certificate Programs
  • 19 Graduate Certificate Programs

It is focused on transforming lives through accessible, student-centered, quality higher education and meeting learners’ needs for a lifetime.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • Accounting- A.S., B.S., Graduate Certificate, Minor
  • Business Administration- M.B.A., M.H.A., B.S.
  • Business Analytics – Certificate
  • Computer Information Management- B.S., Minor
  • Construction Management- A.S., B.P.A., B.S., Minor
  • Criminal Justice Administration – A.S., B.A., B.S., Minor

A Park University education aims at helping students discover their potential and working to realize it.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $10,080

#39  University of the Cumberlands 

Williamsburg, KY

University of the Cumberlands

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Points:  8

The University of the Cumberlands seeks to provide a quality, affordable education through broad-based academics to students from all backgrounds. Located in the heart of Appalachia, the school is grounded in Christian principles and leadership through service. It offers undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study and many graduate, pre-professional, and doctoral programs.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include:

  • Bachelor’s in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Applied Science – Accounting
  • Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of General Studies

It is one of the largest and most affordable private universities in Kentucky, with more than 18,000 students. The school prepares students for the future through innovative programs and hands-on, experiential learning and research. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $9,875

#38  Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

Oklahoma State University

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Points:  8

Oklahoma State University is a public land-grant research university that was founded in 1890 under the Morrill Act. It is the flagship institution of the Oklahoma State University System. Serving over 35,000 students across a five-campus system, it boasts of having graduated over 264,000 students globally. The vibrant and inclusive culture offers various degree programs to students across the U.S. and more than 100 countries.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include:

  • Agricultural Leadership, BS
  • Computer Science, BS
  • Early Child Care and Development, BS
  • Nutritional Sciences, BS
  • Business Analytics and Data Science, MS
  • Health Care Administration, MS

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1, the faculty provides robust student and academic support to help students prepare for the future. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $9,019

#37 Troy University

Troy, AL

Troy University

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Points:  8

Troy University is a public university founded in 1887 and the flagship university of the Troy University System. It has a network of campuses throughout Alabama and globally. The university provides a variety of educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including doctoral programs. Academic programs are supported by a variety of student services that promote the welfare of each student.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include:

  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice – Accelerated Law
  • Nursing – RN Mobility (for registered nurses)
  • Social Work
  • Sport Management – Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management

A dedicated faculty promotes discovery and exploration of knowledge and its application to life-long success through effective teaching, creative partnerships, service, scholarship, and research. The school serves a diverse student body in traditional, nontraditional, and emerging electronic formats. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $8,908

#36  Marshall University 

Huntington, WV

Marshall University

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Points:  9

Marshall University is a public research university founded in 1837. It is a student-centered research university named for John Marshall, Fourth Chief Justice of the United States. As of Fall 2020, it has a student enrollment of 11,962. The school offers a wide range of degree programs to suit the needs of a diverse student body. These include:

  • 2 Associate Degree Programs
  • 57 Baccalaureate Degree Programs
  • 52 Master’s Degree Programs
  • 4 Doctoral Degree Programs
  • 2 Education Specialist Degree Programs
  • 3 First Professional Degree Programs

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include:

  • BA, BS Geography
  • BS, Medical Laboratory Science
  • BSN, Nursing (RN Option only)
  • DBA, Business Administration
  • Ed.D., Leadership Studies

The school has a rich history as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in West Virginia and continues to advance the public good through innovative, accredited educational programs.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $8,412 

#35  University of Maine at Fort Kent

Fort Kent, ME 

University of Maine at Fort Kent

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Points:  9

The University of Maine at Fort Kent is a public university and the northernmost campus of the University of Maine System. The school has earned numerous accolades as one of the most affordable universities in the United States from prestigious organizations such as the Princeton Review and U.S. World News and Report. It is an academic center for French-speaking Mainers, Acadian, and French American culture and heritage.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Business Management Online Degree Completion Program 
  • AS in Information Security 
  • BA/BS programs with concentrations in Allied Health General Studies

The college is known for providing educational access and services and offering 21st-century leadership skills to students globally. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $8,295

#34  West Texas A & M University

Canyon, TX 

West Texas A&M University

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Points:  9

West Texas A&M University is a public university and part of the Texas A&M University System. It offers quality online and hybrid/blended undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The flexible and convenient online programs are designed to serve students in the Texas Panhandle area and globally. Students, faculty, and alumni are poised to make a difference worldwide through innovation and service.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Applied Arts and Sciences B.A.A.S. 
  • Economics B.B.A. 
  • Business M.B.A. 
  • Counseling M.A. 
  • English M.A. 

Students who want to include a face-to-face experience and engage with faculty and peers have the option to attend classes on campus. The school works with industry partners and practitioners to create real-world opportunities for students.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $8,135

#33  Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, NJ

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + Thomas Edison State University

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Points: 9         

Thomas Edison State University is one of the 11 public universities and colleges in New Jersey. As a majority-online institution, it is focused on serving the state’s adult population offering degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. It is also known as one of the oldest schools in the country designed specifically for adults expanding access to higher learning. It offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in more than 100 areas of study, along with options to earn professional certificates.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Associate in Arts (AA) and AA in Human Services  
  • BA in History, Liberal Studies and Psychology
  • MS in Homeland Security (MSHS), Human Resources Management (MSHRM) and MS in Management (MSM)

The school’s mission is to provide an outstanding education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality programs. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,926

#32  Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE 

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + Bellevue University

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Points: 9  

Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit university founded in 1966. It is one of the forerunners of online education, providing adult education and educational outreach right from the outset. The school is dedicated to innovating education to serve working adults better and provide students with real-life experiences to excel in their careers. 80% of its undergraduates were aged 25 and over as of 2011. It offers more than 80 career-focused programs with 100% online and flexible learning options. 

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Master’s in Science and Information Technology
  • Bachelor’s in Healthcare, Human Services, and Psychology
  • Associate in Public Service, Safety, Security & Intelligence

Its affordable education provides impactful undergraduate and graduate programs built for every step of a student’s career.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,851 

#31  Granite State College

Concord, NH

Granite State College

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Points: 9 

Granite State College is a public college and part of the University System of New Hampshire. For over 40 years, the school has focused on offering quality college education to learners around the globe. The goal is not to let location or money prevent students from pursuing higher education, for they can access the high-quality and affordable options from Granite. Students can find a large number of online programs with a range of flexible options.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Master’s in Leadership, Health Care Management, and Human Services Administration 
  • Bachelor’s in Business Management, Early Childhood Education, English Language Arts, Health Care Management, and Human Services 
  • Associate in Behavioral Science, Business, and Early Childhood Education 

The school emphasizes areas of study that are responsive to the needs of employers. Students can choose from With associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,791

#30  Arkansas Tech University 

Russellville, AR

Arkansas Tech University

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Points:  10

Arkansas Tech University is a public university that offers programs at both baccalaureate and graduate levels in various fields. Arkansas Tech University is now the third-largest institution of higher learning in the state, with over 10,000 students. The school welcomed its first doctoral cohorts in the Summer of 2015.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Master’s in Business Administration, Health Informatics, Nursing Administration & Emergency Management, Special Education K-12
  • Bachelor’s in Business Management, Applied Science, Business Management, English, Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Associate in Banking Services, Business Technology, Law Enforcement and Early Childhood Education 

With a student/instructor ratio of 18 to 1, the institution is geared toward academic excellence. It offers an academic advising center, one-on-one academic coaching, free tutoring, and the development of a customized strategy to set students up for success. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,668

#29  Minot State University 

Minot, ND

Minot State University

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Points:  10

Minot State University is a public university, the third-largest university in North Dakota, and a North Dakota University System member. It has consistently been recognized as one of the most affordable colleges in the country. It offers many degrees in Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Health Sciences.  

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • MAFB Classes
  • MSU at BSC
  • MSU Online

Students can choose from a mix of liberal arts and professional programs that account for more than 60 majors at the undergraduate level. They can also choose from nine master’s degrees and one education specialist degree in management, communication disorders, and mathematics. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission,  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,592

#28  Missouri State University

Springfield, MO

Missouri State University

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Points:  10

Missouri State University is a public university that was founded in 1905. With an average annual enrollment of over 23 students, it is the state’s second-largest university campus. The university educates students to be global citizen scholars committed to public affairs. The comprehensive institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including a professional doctorate program.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • General business (BS)​​​​​​​
  • Psychology (BS)
  • Social Work (BSW) 
  • Business administration (MBA)
  • Child life studies (MS)
  • Cybersecurity (MS

The close-knit community of passionate and steadfast learners is committed to cultural competence, ethical leadership, and community engagement. It is the top school of choice for students who wish to excel academically in global and regional leadership. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,588

#27  Chadron State College 

Chadron, NE

Chadron State College

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Points:  10

Chadron State College is one of three public colleges in the Nebraska State College System offering open admission. The college has an acceptance rate of 100%. Founded in 1911, it is the only four-year, regionally-accredited college in western Nebraska. The school emphasizes accessibility and affordability for all students. As a public institution of higher education with its roots in teacher education, it offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees through on-campus and online programs. Students can choose from 49 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor’s in Business, Family & Consumer Sciences and Psychological Sciences
  • Master’s in Education (MAE), Business Administration (MBA) and Organizational Management (MSOM)

The average class size is about 14.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,556 

#26  Appalachian State University

Boone, NC 

Appalachian State University

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Points:  10

Appalachian State University is a public university that was founded as a teachers’ college in 1899. It joined the University of North Carolina System in 1971 and has expanded to offer various other programs. The school is focused on preparing students to create a sustainable future and lead purposeful lives as global citizens. It offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors to over 20,000 students and has a low student-to-faculty ratio.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Social Work (BSW)
  • Health Administration (MHA)
  • Nursing (MSN)
  • Elementary Education (BS)
  • Curriculum Specialist (MA)

The school promotes a spirit of inclusion to bring people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,409 

#25  Mayville State University

Mayville, ND 

Mayville State University

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Points:  10

Mayville State University is a public university and part of the North Dakota University System. It supports students from various backgrounds with experienced, compassionate faculty and the latest learning environments. The school offers an affordable, accessible collegiate option in a welcoming atmosphere that encourages self-expression and educational exploration. It is dedicated to excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship to help students become professional, productive members of society. It offers high-quality undergraduate and master’s programs enriched with hands-on practical experiences to prepare learners for a global economy.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Mathematics
  • Business Administration
  • Special Education 

Graduates go on to contribute to their communities and become part of a hard-working workforce.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,049

#24  American Public University System

Charles Town, WV

American Public University System

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Points:  10

American Public University System is a private, for-profit, online learning university system wholly owned by American Public Education, Inc., a publicly traded, private-sector corporation. It is a strategic blend of the American Military University and American Public University. It is one of the largest providers of online higher education, offering more than 200 academic programs to students worldwide.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Business Analytics BS
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Security Management MA
  • Sociology MA
  • Sports Management MS

The school’s mission is to provide high-quality higher education that emphasizes educating the nation’s military and public service communities. The school is designed for ambitious working adults who are driven and motivated to continue their education and reach their full career potential.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission   
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,324

#23  Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

Western Governors University

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Points:  11

Western Governors University is a private, online university known as the most student-centric university in the world. It uses an online competency-based learning model to help students learn the best way they can. The school is focused on developing, identifying, and implementing programs, systems, and technologies to help students excel.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • B.S. Business Administration
  • Health Information Management – B.S. 
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Management and Leadership – M.S.
  • Data Analytics – M.S. 

The learning model is designed to help students accelerate their degrees and enter the workforce. The student-centered approach offers high-quality, radically affordable, and workforce-relevant education to help all students succeed.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,290

#22  University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Points:  11

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a public land-grant research university and a flagship campus of the University of Alaska system. It was established in 1917, and it offers online college degrees and programs that allow students to work from anywhere in the world and still get a high-quality education. These online degrees are offered at in-state tuition rates and provide exceptional value for Alaska and nationally. They provide students with a uniquely Alaskan perspective that prepares graduates with training and insights employers everywhere value.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • MA in Administration of Justice
  • MA in Arctic and Northern Studies
  • BA in Political Science
  • BA in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Applied Management

With several flexible degree programs to choose from, students get a great boost to begin or further their educational and professional careers.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,080

#21  California State University, East Bay

Hayward, CA

California State University, East Bay

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Points:  11

California State University, East Bay is a public university and part of the 23-campus California State University system. It was founded in 1957 as “The State College for Alameda County.” It is home to one of the most diverse student populations on the U.S. mainland and beyond. The Chronicle of Higher Education consistently names Cal State East Bay as one of the most diverse public institutions in the continental U.S. It offers 136 undergraduate and 60 post-baccalaureate areas of study.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • B.A. in Ethnic Studies
  • B.A. in Human Development
  • B.S. in Business Administration
  • M.S. in eLearning
  • M.S. in Educational Leadership
  • M.S. in Health Care Administration

It also offers more than 40 high-quality continuing education degree and certificate programs for working professionals.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $7,000

#20  Amridge University 

Montgomery, AL

Amridge University

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Points:  11

Amridge University is an affordable private and Christian university. It has been offering online degree programs since 1993, allowing more students to access higher education. The U.S. Department of Education chose the school as one of the first 15 participants in the nation to pilot broad-level distance education. The school offers excellent scholarships and incentive discounts, and 90% of students qualify for Federal Financial Aid.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • AA and BS in Business Administration
  • AA in Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science Management
  • MS in Leadership and Management
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • MA in Professional Counseling

The school’s rigorous Academic and Student Support Services supports students from their first point of inquiry, degree program selection, and course registration. It also offers several scholarships and incentives to Military Students, Ministers, First Time Freshmen, and Corporate Alliance partners.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,950

#19  California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + California State University, Los Angeles

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Points:  11

California State University, Los Angeles is a premier public university and part of the 23-campus California State University system. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, it is a federally designated Minority-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The school is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BA in Liberal Studies 
  • BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • BS in Business Administration
  • MS in Healthcare Management
  • MS Information Systems

The University ranks number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. It focuses on cultivating and amplifying our students’ unique talents, diverse life experiences. Students benefit from engaged teaching, scholarship, learning, research, and public service.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,768 

#18  The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 

Odessa, TX 

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Texas Permian Basin

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Points:11          

The University of Texas Permian Basin is a public university founded in 1973 and operates as a part of the University of Texas System. As a regional, comprehensive institution, it serves a diverse community of students from the region and the world. It offers: 

  • 35 Undergraduate Degree Programs
  • 18 Graduate Degree Programs

The school serves over 5000 students through its student-centered teaching, research, learning, and public service.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BA in Child and Family Studies
  • BA in Communication
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MBA with Emphasis in Marketing
  • MPA
  • MA Special Education

100% of UT Permian Basin students passed the Fundamental of Engineering Exam, which is 21% higher than the national average. The University is focused on cultivating engaged citizens and impacting lives while advancing technology. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,666 

#17  Valdosta State University 

Valdosta, GA 

Valdosta State University

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Points: 11 

Valdosta State University is a public university and one of the four comprehensive universities in the University System of Georgia. It is a comprehensive university offering associate, bachelor, graduate, and doctoral degrees to students in Georgia and worldwide. Individual faculty interaction, hands-on experience, and unique undergraduate research experiences prepare students for fulfilling careers ahead.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Education
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Business
  • Humanities and Communication Studies
  • Social and Behavioral Services

The school is located close to the Florida state line. Along with students in Georgia, it also offers in-state tuition to residents of Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Undergraduate and graduate students engage in scholarly activities and research directly related to their selected discipline.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,583

#16  Florida International University

Miami, FL

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + Florida International University

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Points:  11

Florida International University is a public research university that operates as the largest university in the Greater Miami region. Founded in 1965, it also ranks among the Top 50 public universities that reach students worldwide. High research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together to drive real talent and innovation. It serves a diverse student body of more than 58,000, accelerating learner success in the environment, health, innovation, and justice.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BA in Asian Studies
  • BA in Biological Sciences
  • BS in Computer Engineering
  • MS in Construction Management
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MA in Disaster Management

Online students get to experience high-quality education through convenient, flexible, and practical formats taught by the same award-winning, on-campus faculty.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565 

#15  Eastern New Mexico University

Portales, NM

Eastern New Mexico University

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Points:  12

Eastern New Mexico University is a public university recently founded as a state university in New Mexico. With the main campus in Portales, it is New Mexico’s largest regional comprehensive University. It also has two associate degree-granting branches in Ruidoso and Roswell. The school has prepared students for careers and advanced study for 85 years.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BS in Communicative Disorders
  • BS in Computer Science
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • MA in Communication

As a progressive institution of higher learning, it combines an engaging learning environment with current technology to provide a rich educational experience for students globally. The University is where flexibility meets fulfillment and tradition meets affordable tuition.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,450 

#14 University of Florida

Gainesville, FL  

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Florida

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Points: 12 

The University of Florida is a public land-grant research university and a senior member of the State University System of Florida. For over 160 years, the schools have been challenging convention and ourselves with a purpose to educate and impact students. The school aims to become a  national leader and voice for higher education. It has 16 different colleges, over 150 research centers, education centers, bureaus, service centers. Students can choose from more than 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate degrees.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BA in Anthropology
  • BBA 
  • BS in Computer Science
  • MS in Anatomical Sciences Education
  • MS in Biostatistics Science
  • MBA

The college has been consistently recognized as one of the most affordable, offering high-quality education. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

#13  University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + University of Central Florida

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Points: 12  

The University of Central Florida is a public research university serving over 70,000 students. It is one of the largest schools in the State University System of Florida. The school fosters social mobility by leveraging innovative learning, discovery, and partnerships. It offers more than 230 degree programs via 13 colleges for regional and global students, helping them develop key skills to advance in their careers.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Psychology BS
  • Health Services Administration BS
  • English BA
  • Social Work MSW
  • Nonprofit Management NNM
  • Criminal Justice MS

Students have the opportunity to learn in the heart of their chosen industry on-campus or via fully online programs. Students get hands-on experience inside and outside the classroom before graduation thus are well prepared for a rewarding lifelong career. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368

#12  Georgia Southwestern State University

Americus, GA

Georgia Southwestern State University

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Points:  12

Georgia Southwestern State University is a public university and part of the University System of Georgia. It is a world-class, four-year institution that offers various undergraduate degree programs and selected graduate and specialist degree programs. The school has provided an elevated educational experience for individuals in Georgia and beyond for over 100 years.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BBA
  • MBA
  • MS in Computer Science
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Nursing

Small class sizes foster strong faculty and student interaction and prepare students to excel in their future careers. They learn to engage with people from all walks of life and earn their way forward. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $5,500

#11  Peru State College

Peru, NE

Peru State College

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Points:  12

Peru State College is a public college and the oldest institution in Nebraska. It was founded by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865. It provides students of all backgrounds access to engaging educational experiences. It is renowned for transforming student lives through personal and engaging educational experiences and strengthening and enriching communities worldwide.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Education 
  • MS in Organizational Management 
  • CMIS
  • BBA

The College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs for a diverse student body. It also includes online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $5,500

#10  Fort Hays State University

Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University

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Points:  13

Fort Hays State University is a public university and the fourth-largest of the six state universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. Founded in 1902, it has a total enrollment of approximately 15,100 students. The school’s mission is to develop engaged global citizen-leaders through affordable and high-quality academic programs. The comprehensive regional university has a deep commitment to teaching and mentoring students. 95% of FHSU students secure higher education opportunities or employment after they graduate.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting, Business Education, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Geography/ GIS, Management, Marketing, Psychology
  • Master’s degrees in Business Administration, Counseling, Education and Psychology 

Challenging academic programs, the abundance of experiential learning opportunities, and close faculty/student relationships set them apart. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $5,280

#9  Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL 

Florida Atlantic University

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Points:  13

Florida Atlantic University is a public research university that fosters a vibrant culture that encourages ingenuity and independence. Ranked as the most diverse public university in the state, it offers various tools and support to help students excel and succeed in their chosen fields. FAU offers students a transformative education via 170+ degrees. The school is rooted in the belief that creativity and dedication fuel academic excellence.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Accounting B.B.A., B.S.
  • Anthropology B.A.
  • Architecture B.Arch
  • MS in Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • MS in Biological Sciences

Through its online programs, it offers excellent and accessible undergraduate and graduate education to students worldwide. It is internationally acclaimed for its expert faculty and contributions to creativity and research.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $4,879

#8 Brigham Young University–Idaho 

Rexburg, ID 

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges + Brigham Young University–Idaho

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Points:  13

Brigham Young University–Idaho is a private university that was founded in 1888. The school has since then expanded its reach by creating the BYU Pathway program. It now serves more than 28,000 students from all 50 states and over 80 countries. It is focused on offering affordable online education programs from all over the world. Online learning options include 159 courses and degrees, spreading the influence of BYU-Idaho to the lives of students all over the world.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor’s degrees in Applied Business Management and Applied Communication, and Marriage and Family Studies
  • Associate degrees in Applied Business Management, Applied Communication, Family History Research, Marriage and Family Studies and Professional Studies

The university is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $4,208 

#7  Aspen University

Denver, CO

Aspen University

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Points:  14

Aspen University is a private, for-profit, distance-learning university that was established in 1987. The school has created affordable degrees and payment plans with transparent pricing to help more students access higher education. It offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Students also have the option to enroll in several certificate programs and get the in-demand skills that employers need in their workforce.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • MS in Nursing (MSN)
  • BS in Nursing (Pre-Licensure)
  • BS in Early Childhood Studies
  • BS in Business Administration

The college is dedicated to offering motivated students the opportunity to receive a high-quality education without worrying about high tuition rates. The goal is to help them achieve career success in the future. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $3,920

#6 Dalton State College

Dalton, GA

Dalton State College

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Points:  14

Dalton State College is a public college and part of the University System of Georgia. It is dedicated to providing broad access to quality higher education for the population of Northwest Georgia and beyond. Founded in 1963 as a junior college, it became a two-year institution in 1998 and enhanced the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. It offers a full range of associate’s degrees, targeted bachelor’s degrees, and career certificate programs, along with various public service activities.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Bachelor’s degrees in English, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, History, Information Technology and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Associate degrees in Psychology, Finance and Applied Economics, Marketing, Organizational Leadership, Communication Studies

The college offers a transformational education to diverse student bodies by engaging unique perspectives and creating sustainable solutions to improve student success rates.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $3,683

#5  Great Basin College  

Elko, Nevada 

Great Basin College

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Points:  14

Great Basin College provides student-centered, post-secondary education serving the rural Nevada region. Students get the opportunity to learn and grow in a friendly, supportive environment. The college offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in career, academic, and technical education areas.

Some of the 100% online degrees offered by the school include: 

  • BA in English
  • BA in Social Science
  • BSN in Nursing (RN to BS in Nursing Program)
  • AA in Business (Pattern of Study)
  • AA in Early Childhood Education (Pattern of Study)

The college provides outstanding academic programs to about 4000 students across the country through its online programs, main and satellite campuses. 

Degrees include:

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) 
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) 

Students enjoy smaller class sizes and learn from an excellent faculty who provide individual attention to each student. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities  
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition:  $3,248 

 #4  St. Petersburg College 

St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg College

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Points:  15

St. Petersburg College is a public college and part of the Florida College System. Since it offers more bachelor’s degrees than traditional community colleges focused on associate degrees, it has also been designated a “state college.” The college alumni rank first in the state for earning the highest entry wages among Florida community college graduates. Founded in 1927, it offers more than 180 degrees and certificate programs and industry-recognized, high-demand, and high-skill workforce certifications.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Biology B.S. 
  • Business Administration B.S. 
  • Cybersecurity B.A.S. 
  • Elementary Education B.S. 
  • Health Services Administration B.A.S. 
  • Nursing B.S. 

The college is known for providing access, excellence, and student support along with its career-focused curriculum.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $2,682  

#3  Eastern Florida State College

Cocoa, FL

Eastern Florida State College

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Points: 15  

Eastern Florida State College is a public college in Brevard County and a member of the Florida College System. The college is committed to engaging a diverse population in accessible, high-quality learning opportunities that successfully meet individual and community needs. It offers on-campus and online options for:

  • Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Associate in Science Degrees (A.S. Degree)
  • Associate in Arts Degree (A.A. Degree)College Credit Certificates (C.C.C.)
  • Advanced Technical Certificates (A.T.C.)

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • RN to BSN: Bachelor of Science in Nursing 
  • Science Teacher Education: Bachelor of Science
  • Applied Health Sciences BAS
  • Computer Information Systems Technology BAS
  • Organizational Management BAS

It was one of the first community colleges in the country to offer the A.A. degree online and one of the leading state colleges for quality instruction, organization, and innovative, leading-edge programs. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $2,496 

#2  Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 

Palm Beach State College

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Points:  15

Palm Beach State College is a public college and part of the Florida College System. Palm Beach State offers education pathways as diverse as its students. The College’s close working relationship with local business partners has ensured that the mix of programs reflects current trends and workforce demands.

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Accounting Technology AS
  • Biotechnology AS
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Business Entrepreneurship AS
  • Electrical Power Technology AS
  • Emergency Medical Services AS

Founded in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, it is one of the top producers of associate degree graduates in the U.S. The school also offers baccalaureate degrees, career training, professional certificates, and corporate and continuing education. Graduates of the College have impacted every industry as community and business leaders.

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online/On-campus 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges 
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: $2,444

#1  University of the People

Pasadena, CA 

University of the People

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Points:  16

University of the People is the first non-profit, distance education university. It is a private, American-accredited, tuition-free online university dedicated to opening access to higher education for students globally. Currently, the school enrolls over 75,000 students. UoPeople offers degree programs in Computer Science, Business Administration, Health Science, and Education. It partners with top universities worldwide and is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Some of the 100% online undergraduate degrees offered by the school include: 

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Computer Science, BS and AS
  • Health Science, BS and AS
  • Education, (M.Ed.)

The school is 100% online so that students can control their schedules and study anytime and anywhere they want. It encourages students to get the skills needed by in-demand jobs and put themselves on the fast track. 

Fast facts:

  • Format: Online
  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Average Yearly Undergraduate Tuition: Tuition-free.

More About The Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

We have listed the cheapest regionally accredited online colleges above. They are known for offering the cheapest online college tuition and their flexibility and student-friendly schedules. As more and more colleges are offering online programs, students are increasingly considering these options. There are many things to keep in mind so that they can make the right decision. 

How to choose the cheapest online college?

Many factors help students determine which is the right online college for them. Cost is, of course, an important factor, but there are others to consider as well. These include:

  • Accreditation: Accreditation certifies that a school offers a quality academic experience. It is a rigorous process that is conducted by a third party or a recognized body to help us understand if educational programs, whether online or traditional, meet defined standards of quality. Affordable online colleges must meet and maintain strict quality standards set by these third-party agencies. Accreditation is very important since it offers high credibility to the degree that students achieve. It can impact their financial aid eligibility, employability, graduate program choice, and credit transfer options.
  • Courses & Concentration Availability: Whether you opt for cheap accredited online colleges or one of the Ivy League colleges, it is important to check and review the courses offered. Students need first to select the degree level and then review the courses offered in each. This will include core courses, majors as well as electives or concentrations. It also includes internships, group projects, and capstone projects. The choice of concentration means specialized study within a degree-seeker’s chosen major. Students should choose a program with a concentration that fits their future career goals. A specialization or concentration also allows students to tailor their degrees to meet their career goals and interests. Professionals and students who wish to improve their career prospects can focus on a particular area of practice and look for jobs in that sector.
  • University Resources and student support: Online schools need to offer robust student support so that they can earn their degree remotely and still feel very much a part of the university system. Different online schools offer different types and levels of student services, right from the admissions to the time they graduate. Students have to do their research and see what kind of support the schools offer and what resources they have at their disposal for students. These would include online tutoring, career support, placements, and counseling, all the resources they need to succeed.
  • School recognition and ranking: One good way to ensure that the cheapest online college is also the best choice is to look at the school’s rankings along with its accreditations. Students should review the recognition that the school has received regionally and nationally. Recognition and rankings also add to the credibility of the degree and help further advanced studies and careers.

With so many programs offered online these days, choosing a subject, degree, or college are important decisions to make. Students need to ask themselves some questions to find their matches. These include questions about natural aptitudes, passion or affinity for a particular field, career, and earning potential.

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

What will you learn in the cheapest accredited online colleges?

A full range of degree levels in a vast array of subjects, from associate to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral or professional degrees, can be earned entirely online. The cheapest regionally accredited online colleges offer several degree programs. Here is an overview.

  • Bachelor’s Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA degree) Bachelor of Science (BS degree) Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA degree)
  • Master’s Degrees: Master of Arts (MA, Master of Science (MS, MSc), Master by Research (MPhil), Master of Studies (MSt), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Master of Education (MEd, MSEd, MIT, MAEd, MAT)
  • Associate Degrees: AA (Associate of Arts), AS (Associate of Science, AAA (Associate of Applied Arts), and AAS (Associate of Applied Science).
  • Others include: Specialist Degrees, Undergraduate Certificate Programs and Graduate Certificate Programs

Some programs like social work, nursing, STEM, and counseling may require students to complete a number of clinical hours to gain hands-on experience working with others. However, schools are very flexible on locations and internships. Some even offer courses involving lab work and other applied sciences that can be delivered using alternative methods. Schools offering these courses online often have a facilitator or student advisor who can make the necessary arrangements to fulfill these graduation requirements. Some cheap accredited online colleges use a combination of virtual simulations and at-home lab kits to enable students to learn these subjects 100% online.

What is the average cost for affordable online colleges? 

The cheapest online college tuition can range from around $20,000 to $2000 per year approximately. Some cheapest non-profit online colleges offer free tuition. The cost for the cheapest online college per credit hour can range from anything between $70 per hour to $200.

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

Are cheapest online colleges worth it?

Online colleges offer many high-quality programs designed to meet the needs and expectations of students globally. The standards of education are comparable to on-campus options, including the most affordable online colleges. In most cases, the same faculty teach both online and on-campus courses. The curriculum and academic rigor also remain similar. Advances in technology have paved the way for increased interaction among peers and faculty, leading to better class collaboration. All of the above have made affordable online colleges a viable option for students.

What are the requirements for cheap accredited online colleges?

Prospective students considering the most affordable online colleges should ensure they check to see if they meet admission requirements before applying. Depending on the school, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores, proof of a high school diploma or the equivalent, high school transcripts. Some affordable online colleges also require recommendation letters, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Transfer students will have to submit official college transcripts. Admitted undergraduate students need to complete general education requirements, take courses in their major, and choose a minor or electives. Most colleges also need students to complete an internship, capstone project, or thesis as a part of the graduation/degree requirements.

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

Why get a degree from cheap, accredited online colleges?

Earning a college degree can set a student apart in a competitive landscape and lead to many job opportunities and high earning potential. Students pursuing advanced degrees have a higher potential of getting good jobs and earning more than those with a high school diploma. However, a college education can be expensive, and a lack of funds can prevent many students from pursuing their dreams. 

Enrolling in the cheapest regionally accredited online colleges will save students a lot of money in college costs, help them avoid college debt, and still get the degree they desire. These affordable online colleges are fast becoming a top choice for many working adults since they make postsecondary education more accessible. 

As college graduates, they have the potential to get into their desired fields of work instead of settling for any job that they can get. Many entry-level positions in areas like business, education, and healthcare require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. Students who wish to specialize in a particular field can also enroll in cheap accredited online colleges for post-graduate degrees, further improving their chances of growing in their careers. 

Accessibility is one great benefit of online programs. Students can now attend a top-ranked program without leaving their current job or relocating to a new state. They are not bound by geography anymore so that they can choose from the best as well as the cheapest online colleges.

Online programs offer more scheduling flexibility than traditional programs. This flexibility offers working students the chance to continue with their day jobs and study simultaneously. Programs with asynchronous online formats allow students to complete assignments at their own time and convenience. Choosing these cheap accredited online colleges helps learners balance their coursework with social, personal, and professional responsibilities.

Are affordable online colleges accredited? 

Most of the leading affordable online colleges are accredited, thus offering students a verified and credible degree. Accreditation certifies that a school offers a quality academic experience. The cheapest regionally accredited online colleges also offer programmatic accreditation, ensuring that the chosen program’s standards have been evaluated and approved by an objective third party. It is a rigorous process to help students understand if educational programs meet defined standards of quality. Attending the cheapest accredited online college ensures that students earn highly credible and recognized degrees. It will positively affect their financial aid eligibility, employability, graduate program choice, and credit transfer options.

How long does it take to get a degree from the cheapest regionally accredited online colleges? 

Earning a degree from the most affordable online colleges takes the same time as any traditional college, be it an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Typically, an associate degree requires 60 credits and takes two years; bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credit hours and four years to complete. Master’s degrees programs typically take two years requiring between 30-60 credit hours. However, the cheapest accredited online college may offer students flexible options like taking longer to complete a degree than usual or an accelerated format for students who wish to graduate early. 

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

What kind of financial aid do the most affordable online colleges offer?

The cheapest regionally accredited online colleges often offer the same federal financial aid as traditional colleges. A student’s enrollment status, whether part-time or full-time, may affect the amount or nature of the loan program. Some schools offer a number of scholarships and several other institutional awards to their online students. There are also options of departmental scholarships available to online learners, often awarded based on academic merit. Students should connect with the financial aid department for all the relevant information. 

Many of the cheap accredited online colleges also partner with various companies and nonprofit organizations to offer financial assistance to students. These cover the full cost of tuition in some while others may offer assistance to cover fees and other costs. Students can research awards based on their field, background, and state. They can also apply to professional associations, private foundations, and institutions that award scholarships to fund their education.

Top 50 Cheapest Online Colleges

How much does a graduate from the cheapest accredited online college make?

A graduate’s earning potential varies by field of study, location or state, degree level, and other factors like years of experience.  

Typical salaries:

  • Average annual associate degree salaries are $45,989
  • The average annual bachelor’s degree salaries are $51,212
  • The average annual master’s degree salaries are $77,844

What questions should students ask their advisors before enrolling in cheap online colleges?

During the enrollment process, students should ask their advisors questions like-

  • How many credit hours are required to complete a degree online?
  • How long is the program for, and what are flexible options for online students?
  • What is the best match for my busy schedule, full-time, extended, or accelerated option?
  • Are there any prerequisite foundation courses that I need to take?
  • Do I need to complete any course before starting? Will that affect my course duration?
  • May I enroll in an online bachelor program regardless of the courses I took during my associate degree?
  • Do I have to complete a capstone as well to complete a degree online?
  • Can I roll over credits from my associate or other bachelor’s degree?
  • Would the internships prepare me for entry-level careers, and how can I choose them?

Sources:

U.S. News & World Report
CollegeChoice.net
Parents.com

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