Top 10 Most Affordable Online Catholic Colleges

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According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, there are over 300 Catholic colleges and universities in America that are designated by their religious congregations or bishops as Catholic institutions. Of those institutions, 197 of the schools are United States members of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. We looked at the best online Catholic colleges that offer the following:

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Because Value Colleges believes that college should be available for all people from all faith systems and walks of life, they chose the following institutions as representative of both Catholic traditions and the Value College’s mission: to help students find the right college where they can get the most value, academically and financially, out of their college experiences.

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And remember, the sticker price is not everything; many of these institutions further down the list offer extensive financial aid packages.


Viterbo University

Viterbo University, located in La Crosse, Wisconson along the Mississippi River offers its students a well-rounded Catholic-based education. Believing in a lifelong learning process, Viterbo University students gain valuable college experiences that extend just their academics. With an 11:1 student ratio, students are encouraged to grow intellectually, culturally, and spiritually by a committed and experienced, Catholic-based faculty.

The college was founded in 1890 by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Honoring its strong Catholic roots today, Viterbo University instills the same values as the Franciscan Sisters today, preparing students for ethical leadership and faithful service in college and beyond. Since 98% of Viterbo’s undergraduate student body receives some sort of financial aid, the college is a good value at $220/credit hour. More than 100 scholarships are dispersed each year and an average of 85% of financial aid is met per student.

Cost: $220 per credit

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Rivier University

Rivier University prides itself in being committed deeply to intellectual tradition, a strong, Catholic-based faith heritage, and is focused on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Located in New Hampshire, the university is traditionally a four-year Catholic institution offering a liberal arts education that emphasizes professional preparation for after college.

Recognized as a leader in Catholic education Rivier University has over 60-degree programs offering courses and degrees on campus and a handful of degrees offered online. The five online undergraduate degrees offered by Rivier University include B.A. Individualized Studies, B.A. Psychology, B.S. Business Administration, B.S. Nursing (RN-BS), B.S. Public Health.

Cost: $330 per credit

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Saint Joseph's College

As a private, Catholic college, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers challenging academic programs in the arts and sciences, education, nursing, and business sectors. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is founded on a mission of the Catholic faith. The school emphasizes learning both inside and outside the classroom by offering strong, community-based learning programs in every department.

Saint Josephs College offers both on-campus and online experiences. Some of their online degrees include Business Administration, Information Technology, and Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition, Saint Josephs College provides competitive financial aid options to help make college affordable for all its students.

Cost: $331 – $370 per credit

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Brescia University

Brescia University is a Catholic institution offering a liberal arts education founded in the Ursuline tradition, which focuses on the personal and social growth of the student through education. The university offers both graduate and undergraduate programs and is focused on leading students into the workforce successfully and on providing a service-based learning curriculum. Brescia prides itself in keeping its academics in tune with the current job market in order to assure employability for its alumni.

The university holds accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges for associates, bachelor and masters degrees, and offers technical training programs online as a low-cost alternative to attending university full time. With full financial aid packages available, students find the cost of college affordable at Brescia University.

Cost: $415 per credit

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Saint Leo University

Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is a leader in Catholic education. The college enrolls up to 16,000 students across their traditional campus in St. Leo, Florida. In addition, the university has more than forty other educational centers and office locations, plus a strong list of online degree programs. As a military-friendly institution, St. Leo offers discounted credit rates for active military and veterans. Learn more about St. Leo’s benefits for military personnel at the campus Military Resource Center.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in Business, Education, and the Arts and Sciences. Every program supports St. Leo’s strong Catholic traditions, offering Catholic-based liberal educations for traditional and nontraditional students. Established by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, Saint Leo University strongly encourages and teaches a balance in growth for each student’s mind, body and spirit. Saint Leo’s state-of-the-art faculty believes in and instills a sense of community and service in the students through astute and well-rounded Catholic-based teaching and leadership.

Cost: $470 per credit; $250 per credit for military personnel

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Benedictine College Online

Benedictine College Online is known for offering Catholic-based career-focused education. Their mission is to help students to define their futures through career-focused education programs with cutting-edge online programs like computer science that offer personalized attention. In addition, online students are considered full members of the Benedictine community and have access to all the same resources as on-campus students.

Benedictine Online also offers four dual degree programs: Dual MPH/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior; Dual MSN/Master of Business Administration, Dual MBA/Master of Public Health, Dual MBA/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior

Cost: $650 per credit

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Saint Joseph's University in Pennsylvania

For 160 years Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania has been providing opportunities for professional men and women to advance their knowledge in particular areas of study while developing and nurturing their moral and spiritual characters.

Reflecting Ignatian credo of cura personalis, Saint Joseph’s educational system encompasses all areas of each students’ personal development and growth. They focus on scholarship and teaching that follows liberal arts curriculum and advanced study for a student’s chosen discipline. Through social and academic opportunities online or on campus, students grow intellectually and spiritually at Saint Joseph’s University, while affordably obtaining their degree.

Cost: $732 – $1349 per credit

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The Catholic University of America Online

The Catholic University of America Online prides itself on being the only National University of the Catholic Church in the United States. Located just minutes from the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of America offers some of the finest in Catholic education both on-campus and online.

The university was specifically founded by the Catholic bishops of the United States through a charter from Pope Leo XIII and boasts 12 schools and 21 research facilities in all! The university offers programs in the arts, sciences, business degrees plus graduate and continuing education programs.

Cost: – $985 per credit

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Duquesne University

As a leading Catholic College in the United States, Duquesne University is able to proved well-rounded education that challenges students academically while still sustaining a strong value system that encourages ethical and spiritual development in all students. Duquesne University was founded by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in the 1880s and it is the only Spiritan higher educational institution of its kind in the United States today!

Because of the college’s Spiritan roots, the university’s value system is committed to building moral and spiritual values in a diverse ecumenical atmosphere while striving for educational excellence in all students. In 2016 Duquesne University is launching four new 30 credit degree programs: MA in Corporate Communication, MS in Management, MS Sports Business, Certificate in Web Design and Development. Duquesne University’s Online Degree Programs are some of the best Catholic rooted online programs in the nation and follow the same Spiritan mission as the campus.

Cost: $1027 – $1162 per credit

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Regis University

Straight out of Denver, Colorado comes Regis University, overlooking the Rocky Mountains and offering one of twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Regis University is deeply rooted in its Jesuit Catholic tradition and these traditions create the foundation for the university’s teachings. With five colleges and small student-to-faculty ratios, the award-winning faculty brings real-world experience to their classrooms.

Instilling a sense of awareness, service, and appreciation for others, Regis University’s centers seek to meet all of the economic, environmental, cultural, urban, and social challenges of our diverse local and global communities. Centers such as The Center for Virtual Health Care Education or The Center for the Study of War Experience provide specialized and focused Catholic-based educational programs for students.

Cost: $1066 per credit

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Why Choose a Catholic College?

Choosing a Catholic college is an important decision that should be made with careful consideration. A Catholic college provides students with a unique educational experience, one that is rooted in faith and morality. With a strong emphasis on service and social justice, a Catholic college offers students the opportunity to learn alongside peers who share their values and beliefs. Furthermore, attending a Catholic college can provide students with access to resources such as

  • spiritual guidance
  • religious studies courses
  • meaningful volunteer opportunities

By choosing a Catholic college, you can gain an education that will not only prepare you for your career but also equip you with the skills needed to become an ethical leader in society.

Social Justice and Service

Catholic colleges have long been advocates of social justice and service. Their commitment to these values is evident in their mission statements, which often include a focus on promoting the dignity of all people and providing assistance to those in need. Through service-learning classes, volunteer opportunities, and other initiatives, students at these institutions are encouraged to engage with their communities and make a difference in the lives of others. By understanding the principles of social justice, students gain an appreciation for how they can use their knowledge and skills to create positive change in their world. In this way, Catholic colleges empower young people to become agents of change for a more equitable society.

Catholic colleges are known for providing a unique educational experience that is focused on faith and service. These institutions offer students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the service of others through various activities, such as volunteering and community engagement. As part of their mission, they strive to create an environment where students can develop a sense of social responsibility and personal growth. Through service-based activities, students can learn how to be active members of society while also developing skills that will help them succeed in their future endeavors.

Faith and Spiritual Guidance

Catholic colleges strive to create an environment that promotes faith and spiritual guidance for their students. Through a variety of activities, programs, and initiatives, these colleges provide students with the opportunity to explore their faith and develop spiritually including:

  • retreats and mission trips
  • religious education classes
  • service learning projects

Catholic colleges offer a variety of ways for students to develop spiritually while pursuing their educational goals. Additionally, many of these schools have chaplains available to provide spiritual counseling and guidance in times of need. By creating a supportive environment that encourages faith exploration, Catholic colleges are able to foster growth in their students’ spiritual lives.

Do Catholic Colleges Have Diverse Student Bodies?

Catholic colleges are known for providing a unique educational experience, but do they also offer a diverse student body? This question is important to consider as diversity in education can bring a range of benefits. From providing students with the opportunity to learn from different perspectives, to creating a more inclusive environment, it is essential that Catholic colleges ensure they have a diverse student body. Catholic colleges are working towards achieving greater diversity among their students and what challenges they face in doing so.

Catholic colleges and universities are meant to provide a safe space for students of faith to explore their beliefs, develop their understanding of the world, and grow into mature adults. Many of these Catholic schools have higher student retention rates than other institutions, but because they are not diverse institutions (and most often attended by white Catholic students), they are still struggling to make their campuses more representative.

What is Diversity?

Diversity can be defined as the heterogeneity that exists in nature or social structures. In this sense, it refers to a collection of people who have different characteristics with respect to race/ethnicity, religion , social class, and gender.The term is often applied to the “diversity of life” in addition to referring to those who are different from an individual or group.

Catholic colleges are increasingly embracing diversity and inclusion in their campuses. They are making sure that all students, regardless of their background or beliefs, feel welcome and accepted. They use various initiatives, such as:

  • student clubs
  • special events
  • and diversity-focused courses

These universities are creating an environment that celebrates differences and encourages dialogue between different cultures. In addition to this, they are also providing resources and support for minority students to help them succeed academically and professionally. By doing so, Catholic colleges are taking steps towards creating a more inclusive future for higher education.

Do I Have to Be Catholic to Go to a Catholic College?

Choosing a college is an important decision, and one factor to consider is the religious affiliation of the school. If you’re considering a Catholic college, you may be wondering if you have to be Catholic in order to attend. The answer is no – while many Catholic colleges have religious requirements, they are not exclusive to Catholics. In fact, students of all faiths are welcome at these schools. From classes that explore different religions to student organizations that celebrate different cultures, Catholic colleges offer an inclusive atmosphere for all students regardless of their beliefs.

Attending a Catholic college can be a unique and rewarding experience, regardless of your religious background. While the college may have certain beliefs and traditions rooted in Catholicism, it is important to remember that their mission is to provide an education for all students. As such, you can expect to find a diverse student body with varying beliefs and backgrounds. You will likely find that the faculty, staff, and student body are welcoming and respectful of all beliefs. Additionally, many Catholic colleges offer resources to help students learn more about the faith if they choose to do so.

Do I Have to Go to a Catholic High School to Get into a Catholic College?

Attending a Catholic high school is not a requirement for admission to a Catholic college. However, many colleges prefer students who have attended Catholic schools, as they are considered to have had an education that is aligned with the values and beliefs of the college.

Additionally, Catholic high schools often provide more rigorous academic preparation than public schools, which can be beneficial when applying to college. Ultimately, attending a Catholic high school may give you an advantage when applying to a Catholic college; however, it is not required for admission.

Is Catholic College Expensive?

Catholic colleges are known to be some of the most expensive institutions of higher learning in the United States. This is due to a combination of factors, including the cost of providing a religious education, maintaining and updating facilities, and providing additional resources for students. Furthermore, Catholic colleges often provide students with more personalized instruction than other universities, which can lead to higher tuition costs.

Catholic colleges in the United States offer a unique education experience, combining faith-based teachings with traditional college coursework. Although these schools can be more expensive than other universities, there are several ways to make a Catholic college education more affordable. From grants and scholarships to financial aid packages, students can explore a variety of options to make their Catholic college dreams come true.

Catholic schools are known for providing a quality education to students from all backgrounds. To make this education more accessible, many Catholic organizations offer scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition and other related expenses. There are different types of scholarships available for Catholic school students.

Catholic schools offer numerous scholarships to help students pursue their dreams of higher education. These scholarships come in many forms and are awarded based on a variety of criteria. From merit-based awards to need-based grants, there is a scholarship available for almost any student who wishes to attend a Catholic school.

Do Catholic Colleges Allow Fraternities and Sororities?

With the growing popularity of fraternities and sororities, many Catholic colleges are now allowing students to join these organizations. While each college has its own set of rules and regulations, most Catholic colleges allow students to become members of fraternities and sororities as long as they abide by the school’s code of conduct. Additionally, some Catholic colleges have even created their own fraternities and sororities that are specifically tailored for their student body.

Greek life in Catholic colleges is an integral part of the college experience. It allows students to form close-knit communities, build leadership skills, and take part in various activities. From philanthropic events to social gatherings, Greek life enables students to engage with their peers and become involved in the campus community. Additionally, Greek organizations provide a unique opportunity for students to explore their faith and develop spiritually. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why so many Catholic colleges offer a variety of Greek life opportunities for their students.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college 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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