Top 10 Best Cheap Online Colleges in the United States Now

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cheapest online university

There are a lot of ways to measure value, but sometimes, you just want to know: how cheap can I get it. Well, here you go – the cheapest online universities.

These are schools that offer a low-cost online education beyond the bachelor’s, including master’s and doctorate, but not just any cheap school. Inexpensive online colleges all share some common, minimal standard. They all have been ranked by US News & World Report, all are regionally accredited online colleges, and all are the lowest price for online degrees in their class.

Keep in mind, this list of the cheapest online university in USA is based on the very lowest tuition costs for an online degree program. So it usually uses the in-state price for online bachelor’s degrees, rather than out of state tuition. Graduate degrees are usually higher, and some bachelor’s may be higher depending on the degree. Fees are not included either – some universities include a fee for online learning that could push the total price up.

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Interested in the most affordable colleges? Look here for an affordable online education!

1. Fort Hays State University Virtual College

The Fort Hays State University Virtual College, in Fort Hays, KS, has been a source of pride and acclaim since it split off from the Department of Continuing Education back in 1999, and today it’s recognized not only as a top online graduate school (by U.S. News & World Report), but also as the cheapest. With in-state tuition costs of only $186 per credit hour for undergraduate programs, Fort Hays makes an online degree supremely affordable. Fort Hays Virtual College offers offers online degree programs in highly desirable fields like Business Education, business administration, Elementary Education, Criminal Justice, Information Networking & Communications, Marketing, Management, Human Resource Management, and Nursing. Thirteen master degrees include the MBA, Nursing Administration, and Health & Human Performance. At such a low price, you can trust this investment in the most affordable online schools to pay off.

2. Oregon State University Ecampus

With bachelor degrees as low as $191 per credit, Oregon State’s Ecampus is a proven choice for a low-cost, high-reputation online school. Cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online bachelor’s, as well as a best choice for veterans, the OSU Ecampus offers 20 bachelor’s degree and 12 graduate degree programs in a wide range of majors, including online degrees in business administration, early childhood education, sports and health sciences, criminal justice, and human development. OSU should be especially noted for its environmental sciences, with online programs in agricultural science, environmental economics & policy, fisheries & wildlife science, horticulture, natural resources, and sustainability. Graduate programs include the MBA and Master of Engineering, as well as doctorate degrees in Education and Counseling. A lot of choices for low tuition – cheap and great!

3. Georgia Southern University

Considered one of the nation’s most popular universities by U.S. News & World Report, Statesboro, GA’s Georgia Southern University offers a number of accredited online bachelor’s degree and graduate degrees. While there are only two online bachelor’s degree programs currently, in General Studies and Information Technology, Georgia Southern makes up for it in graduate degrees: over 25 master degrees in Early Childhood Education, Criminal Justice, Business, Health Sciences, Human Sciences, Engineering and Information Technology. Graduate students can even earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice. At only $199 per credit hour at the lowest rate, and with a number of programs to benefit military veterans (GSU is named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine), there is a great investment to be made in Georgia Southern University online.

4. Sam Houston State University

With a virtual shelf full of accolades from U.S. News & World Report, including both general education and specific programs, Sam Houston State University, in Huntsville, TX, has a strong reputation as an affordable online college. With online bachelor’s degree programs including Business Administration, criminal justice, Nursing, and more, as well as more than 25 graduate programs (including rarities like Band Conducting, as well as highly marketable majors like Homeland Security, Digital Forensics, and the MBA), SHSU gives students a wide variety of possibilities, and with tuition costs starting at a base of $204 per credit hour, an affordable enough plan to take a chance and invest in an online school.

5. Northwestern State University

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s online programs (better known as eNSU) have been noted as a Military Friendly school, with good reason. Out-of-state online students pay no extra cost for online, and at only $206 per credit hour for bachelor degrees, the eNSU programs are extra-affordable. As part of the Louisiana Transfer Degree Program, the school also makes it easy to transfer credits from a Louisiana associate degree to the online bachelor. eNSU offers 35 different degree options, including online bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, business administration, Accounting, Radiological Science, and Nursing, and master degrees in Teaching, Homeland Security, and Nursing. There’s also a Doctor of Nursing Practice. No shortage of majors here – you can even follow your dream of that Art degree, if that’s what you’re interested in. It’s one of the most affordable online colleges for online learners.

6. Lamar University

Lamar University’s LU Online is designed as an alternative degree path for working adults and includes the Center for Military Services, helping military veterans further their education. Located in Beaumont, TX, Lamar has a number of noted alumni; even Janis Joplin briefly attended before going on to wilder things. LU Online offers many online bachelor degrees, including Criminal Justice, Business, and an RN to BSN completion program for nursing, and even more master’s degrees, including the MBA, Master of Education, and an Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing. You might even pursue a Doctor of Education online to become a principal. At only $208 per credit hour for bachelor degrees, you might even get a couple of degrees from this great online college.

7. Georgia College and State University

Ranked as one of the best master-degree institutions in the south by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia College and State University offers numerous accredited, high-quality graduate degrees. Located in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor, GCSU offers a rare MFA in Creative Writing online, as well as many highly marketable master’s degrees such as Public Administration, the MBA, and the MS in Nursing. Traditionally a liberal arts university, GCSU has built their online education into a reputable, distinguished system that is still extremely affordable, starting at only $232 per credit hour – a low price for a valuable degree at one of the most affordable online colleges.

8. American Public University System

The only for-profit institution on our list, the American Public University System (made up of the American Military University and the American Public University) gets on our list not only because of its low prices (beginning at $250 per credit hour) but its reputation. U.S. News & World Report, not always keen on for-profits, lists APUS as one of the top online bachelor degree programs. Originally founded to educate military veterans and personnel, APUS now offers more degrees for online students (especially active duty service members), than we care to count, at undergraduate and graduate levels. Online courses include Accounting, Cybersecurity, Criminal Justice, Education, and National Security Studies. If you’re in the armed forces or considering a career in law enforcement or security, APUS probably has you covered – for a reasonable cost.

9. University of North Florida

The University of North Florida has been distinguished by the Princeton Review and Forbes as one of the best universities in the south, and one of the cheapest online colleges. Its Distance Learning program offers online students several very affordable online undergraduate and graduate programs in areas like criminal justice and computer science. Located in Jacksonville, FL, a state where health care is on the rise as a career (thanks to the medical needs of retiring Baby Boomers), UNF offers an online RN to BSN program, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Other specific, rarely found master’s degrees include a Master of Education in Special Education: Autism Track and a Master of Science in American Sign Language. For degrees that often aren’t found online, tuition costs starting at $285 per credit hour is certainly reasonable.

10. Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University, in Macomb, IL, makes things simple for distance learners – all online students, in-state and out-of-state, pay $293.50 per credit hour for tuition. Named by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the best public universities in the Midwest, WIU offers several online academic programs, including the MBA, an RN-BSN Completion, Computer Science, Criminal Justice,

Western Illinois University, in Macomb, IL, makes things simple for distance learners – all online students, in-state and out-of-state, pay $293.50 per credit hour for tuition, making it one of the cheapest online colleges. Named by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the best public universities in the Midwest, WIU offers several online master and bachelor degrees, including the MBA, an RN-BSN Completion, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, political science, human services, and an MS in Education. Firefighters can engage in professional development by taking online learning courses in the National Fire Academy Curriculum online as well.

Why Should I Get a Cheap Online Degree?

You don’t have to pay much money to get a good online education. Plenty of affordable online universities offer high-quality programs and degrees at a low cost. Online college cost can be significantly lower!

In recent years, the number of people enrolling in college has steadily increased, with many choosing to enroll in an online university over a traditional brick-and-mortar institution, especially at a private liberal arts college. This trend has been driven by the rise in popularity of low tuition colleges online and the convenience and flexibility offered by these institutions.

The quality of an online degree is not determined by the cost. It is determined by the level of instruction, faculty credentials, and the institution’s accreditation. The cheapest online university does not necessarily mean that it is a low-quality institution with an inferior degree. Accredited online colleges are held to the same standards as traditional schools by the colleges and schools commission.

The cheapest online colleges offer affordable online college programs that are ideal for working adults and other online learners who value their tuition costs. But is the cheapest online university a good investment?

Online programs are generally lower in cost per credit hour, especially online programs from a state university.

Can I Trust a Cheap Online Degree?

Can you trust a cheap online degree? There are many factors that go into this question.

A key factor is the type of college degree an online student is looking for. An expensive degree such as a law degree or medical degree will not be cheap, no matter where you get it from. The cheapest online universities in USA are usually in STEM fields such as programming or engineering. They offer the cheapest online college education because online programs do not require a face-to-face component like on-campus students.

There are other factors that can make your education more expensive than others, such as the type of student services offered, student to faculty ratio, and and the level of accreditation, but these can vary by institution and are less important than the type of program you want to pursue.

A degree from a prestigious university is not cheap. However, the cheapest online degree programs are affordable and have the same quality as most expensive ones. Building your school search around cost is hardly the worst way to go about it.

The best way to find out if you can trust an online college is to check its accreditation. And the cheapest online schools are accredited which means that they are recognized by a national or regional agency that evaluates and approves schools for their educational programs.

Can I Get Financial Aid for Cheap Online Programs?

Many online students are debating whether or not to pursue an online degree. While the benefits of the cheapest online college are clear, there are still some questions that need to be answered. One of them is whether or not it is possible to get financial aid for an online university.

The answer is yes, but the criteria for eligibility can vary depending on the type of school you choose to attend. For example, if you enroll in a public college or university, then you will be eligible for federal financial aid programs and most likely state-sponsored assistance as well. If you enroll in a private institution, then they may offer their own loans and grants as well as federal assistance (though this varies by school).

Even the cheapest online colleges cost something, though. Financial aid is available for online degree programs, and financial aid can be used to help pay for tuition, textbooks, and other education-related expenses. Prospective students can save a lot of money with a cheap online college, but the online degree cost has to be covered.

That’s why, in addition to financial aid, many undergraduate students will look for scholarships and grants for the cheapest accredited online colleges. Those do not need to be paid back, and student support services at many affordable online schools will work to make sure their college students get all the financial aid they can.

What are the Advantages of Affordable Online Colleges?

Online degree programs are a great option for those who want to save money and gain access to higher education. A cheap degree program helps online students get their bachelor’s degree without building up too much student debt.

Prospective students are increasingly turning to online degree programs because they offer a cheaper alternative than attending traditional universities. The average cost of tuition is $23,000 per year at a public university while the average cost of tuition at an online university is just $6,000 per year for undergraduate degrees. Costs go up even more for master’s and doctoral degrees. Cheap accredited online colleges are important for helping professionals get their degree online to pursue their personal and professional endeavors.

Online schools have become more popular because they allow students to take online courses from anywhere in the world and at their own pace. Affordable online programs also allow an online student to save money on books and supplies by using textbooks and other online resources, which can be accessed for free or a small fee. A cheap online degree program can still provide the same level of student support services for undergraduate students.

What Kinds of Affordable Online College Degrees Are There?

If you want to get your degree online, cheap accredited online colleges offer a host of options. Affordable online colleges provide flexibility and accessibility for online students who want to pursue a degree from home. The best inexpensive online colleges offer a wide range of degrees and programs that cater to every student’s needs. Online students can get their degree in any time frame and at any pace from an affordable online university, making it a lot more affordable than traditional schools.

Many cheap accredited online schools offer distance learners everything from certificate programs and associate degree programs (also offered by community colleges) to master’s programs and doctoral degrees. Undergraduate students can get cheap online college degrees and associate degrees for much less than the cost per credit of on-campus students. Online doctoral degree programs and other professional programs allow working adults to earn their credentials more conveniently than in person programs.

The most affordable online degrees for distance learners tend to be from smaller state schools. But affordable colleges can be large or small, public or private. An online school offers incredible fully online programs for distance learners, including undergraduate students and graduate students. Anyone can pursue cheap online degrees today!

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Value Colleges is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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