College is expensive, and online degrees can be even more expensive when unscrupulous schools take advantage of people looking to return and complete their education. That’s why, for a lot of working adults, the #1 question has to be “How cheap is it?”
Here’s a list that tells you. We’ve looked at college and universities offering cheap bachelor’s degrees, specifically, though some of the colleges here offer graduate degrees as well.
Every school on this list is accredited, so they’re not a fly-by-night scam that will leave you with debt and a worthless degree. The tuition rates are based on the lowest possible cost, usually in-state tuition; extra fees are not included. Our calculations assume a full-time schedule.
The University of Wyoming’s Outreach School, their distance education system, offers the lowest price for online tuition, starting at only $119 per credit hour for undergraduate degrees. It’s not a surprise, really; the large western states, with spread-out populations and the frontier spirit, have typically built powerful distance education programs, and many have concentrated especially on the internet as the best tool for educating their residents. With a full suite of bachelor and graduate degrees, UW makes it easy for students to earn a degree at an incredible price. Bachelor degrees include Agroecology, Nursing, Business Administration, and more.
Thomas Edison State, in Trenton, NJ (home of the light-bulb guy, of course), has a unique mission – designed especially for working and non-traditional adult students, TESC is made for self-motivated adults dedicated to bettering their lives through education. To that end, TESC has built up an impressive online degree program, including more than 30 bachelor’s and a dozen master degrees, that are impressively affordable, beginning at $163 per credit hour. Students can choose Bachelor of Business Administration, Nursing, Homeland Security, and more; appropriately for a school named for Edison, numerous bachelor of science degrees are available in fields such as Nuclear Engineering, Electronic Systems Engineering, and Energy Systems Technology.
Part of the massive (it is Texas, after all) UT system, the University of Texas at Arlington has been offering online degrees since 1998, when many other schools were treating the internet as an annoying fad. UT Arlington offers a number of online bachelor degree completion programs, such as Criminology and Criminal Justice or Nursing, or master degrees in Public Administration or Engineering. Through the UT System Online consortium, UT Arlington students can earn just about any UT degree online. With a low price of $168 per credit hour, UT Arlington gives you a huge number of options for your investment.
Weber State University, in Weber County, Utah, offers both semester-based and self-paced online courses. You have to hand it to those western states – they go out of their way to make education accessible to everyone, and beginning at only $185 per credit hour, just about anyone can afford a degree at Weber State. Online bachelor degrees are centered in health care, with majors in Health Information Management, Health Services Administration, and Radiological Sciences, as well as an Integrated Studies major that can combine areas of emphasis such as Computer Science, Nutrition, and Child & Family Studies. With the market for health care jobs, it’s a great investment at a spectacular price.
Fort Hays State University, in Fort Hays, KS, has the acclaim of U.S. News & World Report for their online bachelor’s programs, and at only $186 per credit hour, students have no need to fear their student loan debts. Fort Hays offers dozens of low-priced bachelor degree programs, including Health Studies, Justice Studies, and Organizational Leadership, and that’s just a start. The Bachelor of General Studies is a flexible, self-directed option in which students can choose their own course of study to suit their interest, creating a bachelor degree where none existed before. At such a low price, you can afford to be creative.
Like Thomas Edison State College, Amberton University is dedicated to the non-traditional, adult learner. Located in Garland, TX, Amberton has many distance learning options available to serve the unique needs of their students, including bachelor degrees in Professional Development, General Business, Project Management, and others. At only $250 per credit hour starting, Amberton University is affordable and convenient.
Texas is a big state, so schools in Texas learned pretty early that a distance education system would be an advantage. Not everyone can get to a campus, either because of distance or work schedules; that’s why institutions like Stephen F. Austin State University offer online degrees. SFA Online has a number of affordable bachelor’s programs, including Nursing, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Business Administration.
Get your degree from Manhattan – Manhattan, Kansas, that is. Kansas State University offers many online degrees through K-State Online, including both bachelor completion programs and master’s. K-State has some unusual choices, such as Animal Sciences and Industry or Food Science and Industry, as well as some of the more sought-after degrees like Nutrition and Health, Early Childhood Education, and Business, for a full spectrum of possibilities.
UMass Lowell is proud of their selection of online degree programs, one of the largest in the New England region. With UMass Lowell, you get not only an affordable online degree, but the reputation of the UMass name, which will certainly get you farther along than a less prestigious degree. Among their over 40 offerings is Information Technology, Criminal Justice, and Management, and UMass Lowell is adding new online degrees every year. If they don’t have what you want now, check back in a few months: their offerings are growing by leaps and bounds.