Most Affordable Online Colleges

The cost of a college education shouldn't be a barrier to getting a degree. And students shouldn't have to move far away to find an affordable school. Study.com's evaluated thousands of schools to find the 50 most affordable online schools. See what each has to offer and how they're making education accessible to students.


Most Affordable Online Schools

As technology improves and demand increases, more schools are adopting online degrees and programs that allow students and working professionals to get their degrees at a pace and manner that fits their lifestyle. These online programs not only transcend the traditional classroom experience but they're often more affordable than a conventional program. We love that aspect here at Study.com, so we decided to compile a list of the most affordable online schools in the United States. We looked at the obvious factors like tuition and fees, but we also dug up special scholarships, found financial aid numbers, and analyzed other factors that might affect your net price.

Study.com's rankings are unique in that they emphasize accessibility, affordability, and quality of education, which we considered the most important attributes in our school rankings. So if you're looking for a great price for a quality online college education, these fifty schools are a great place to start.

1. University of Wisconsin - Platteville

The University of Wisconsin - Platteville topped our list for a range of reasons. The school offers a huge selection of online degrees at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels, including an Associate of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Tuition for incoming undergraduates is under $8,000 and books and supplies here will set you back less than $600 a year.

2. Arkansas Tech University

At the College of eTech at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, you can choose from a wide range of degree programs, from a Bachelor of Applied Science to a Master of Business Administration, as well as several certificates and associate's degrees. Undergraduates here pay just a bit over $7,000 a year for tuition, while graduates can work toward a master's degree for under $4,500 a year. In addition to its affordable tuition, the school offers Tech Sense, a program aimed at helping students navigate their finances as they attend the university.

3. The University of Tennessee - Martin

The online programs at the University of Tennessee - Martin are robust. Many of them feature distance learning classrooms where teachers interact directly with remote student populations and, as an online student, you'll have the chance to attend the Skyhawk Summer Academy, a week-long, immersive on-campus program, for just $40. In-state tuition here comes in at a reasonable $4,700 a semester (and $5,200 for graduate students). The University of Tennessee - Martin boasts online programs like a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

4. The University of Montana - Western

The University of Montana - Western in Dillon, Montana deserves kudos for taking the traditional online learning experience and revolutionizing it. The school's Experience One program lets online students take one course at a time (each course is three hours a day for 18 days) and learn by doing, regardless of where they are. And here's why they landed at number four on our list: in-state tuition for freshmen undergraduates in this unique program runs around $2,200 a semester. The University of Montana - Western offers professional development and certificate programs like a Certificate in Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, an HVACR Certified Technician program, and an Administrative Dental Assistant Online Certificate Program.

5. Troy University

With 70 degree options offered 100% online, including a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Sport Management, you'll find plenty of options at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Online courses are offered in convenient 9-week blocks and incoming undergraduates pay just $338 per credit hour, while graduate students pay $494 per credit hour.

6. University of Wisconsin - Superior

Want to earn your undergraduate degree in management or get a Master of Science in Education from wherever you are? The University of Wisconsin - Superior offers these, and other well-regarded programs, completely online. Tuition here for undergraduates is pretty affordable, too -- just around $300 per credit. For graduate students, tuition runs a little over $550. As an online student, you'll also be eligible for a variety of exclusive scholarships that can help make your education even more affordable.

7. Frostburg State University

At Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD, online students can take advantage of the Summer Online Freshman Initiative, a set of introductory courses designed to jumpstart their degrees and help them finish faster. Frostburg offers an undergraduate nursing program entirely online, but much of the school's focus is on graduate programs through online offerings like a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Applied Computer Science. These degrees are affordable too; graduate students pay just $433 per credit hour.

8. Minot State University

Because Minot State University understands that many online students are looking for affordability and flexibility, this Minot, North Dakota school has placed an emphasis on catering to both. Courses can be completed anytime, anywhere, and students have a wide range of degree options here including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of General Studies, and a Master of Education. Even better, these programs come with a price tag that won't break the bank- undergraduates pay $294 per credit and graduate students pay $369 per credit.

9. Delta State University

Designed primarily for working professionals, Delta State University's programs are tailored to help students get career-advancing degrees on their terms. Most of the programs here are at the graduate level offering programs like a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and several others. The Cleveland, Mississippi public university also manages to keep tuition affordable with average undergraduate and graduate student tuition and fees that run just around $3,700 a semester.

10. University of Southern Indiana

Most online students at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville have access to in-state tuition regardless of their location. That means undergraduates can pay as little as $264 per credit hour for a quality education. Graduate students get an impressive rate, too, with credit hours costing $385. The University of Southern Indiana offers a wide range of degree programs in health including a Bachelor of Science in Health Services, a Master of Health Administration, and a Master of Science in Nursing.

11. Utah State University

Thanks to its flexibility, e-tutoring options and stellar testing services, the online experience at Utah State University in Logan, Utah gets all sorts of praise from current and former students. As an undergraduate here, you can expect to pay just under $4,000 per semester for tuition, which works out to about $319 a credit. What's more, you can take advantage of student software discounts and personalized financial aid counseling to help defray the costs of getting a college education. Utah State offers a diverse range of online programs including an Associate in Agricultural Science, a Bachelor of Family Life Studies and a Master of Aviation Science.

12. Valley City State University

Valley City State University in North Dakota has done a great job of creating a welcoming and community-oriented experience for online students. Those in the distance learning program can take advantage of counseling and financial aid help, as well as tutoring through the VCSU Learning Center. Students can partake in all of these resources and their choice of a wealth of 100% online programs at the same cost an in-state North Dakotan attending classes on campus: $5,884. Programs available online include a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Education, and bachelor's-level degrees in communication, history education, and social science.

13. University of Maine at Fort Kent

Whether you're interested in an Associate of Arts in Accounting or a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, the University of Maine at Fort Kent's online programs give you significant bang for your buck. In-state tuition here comes in at under $250 a credit and online students get access to scholarship and financial aid help. Additionally, all online programs offer complimentary peer tutoring and writing help.

14. Midwestern State University

In addition to a low annual tuition of about $3,600 a semester, Midwestern State University has $2 million in scholarships up for grabs every year that can take thousands off the total cost of school. On top of that, this Wichita Falls, Texas school offers financial aid counseling for online students and a Fixed Rate Designated Tuition Plan that guarantees the same tuition until graduation. Midwestern State University offers completely online degrees like a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Radiologic Sciences, and a Master of Science in Nursing.

15. University of South Alabama

Online tuition rates for the University of South Alabama in Mobile vary depending on which college you plan to attend, but undergraduates can expect to pay around $450 per credit, while graduate students might be more in the $550-$600 range. This already represents a great value for a large, well-regarded public university, but this school also awards around $17 million in scholarships each year, which can be a significant boost to affordability. University of South Alabama's online degree offerings include a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, a RN to BSN program, a Master of Science in Sport Management, and a Master of Education in Special Education just to name a few.

16. Western Kentucky University

With over 50 degrees available fully online, including a Master of Business Administration and a B.A. in Sociology, and an impressive support system, it's no wonder Western Kentucky University has garnered national recognition. Tuition for this Bowling Green institution runs under $5,500 per semester and includes access to career services, online tutoring, and online writing help.

17. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina at Pembroke was one of three schools in the state to participate in the NC Promise Tuition Plan. This unique program makes tuition a flat fee across the board: $500 per semester for students from the Tarheel State and $2,500 a semester for students from other states. That's a bold move and one makes that UNC Pembroke an incredible deal, especially if you're looking at getting one of their online degrees like the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Business Administration, or Master of Public Administration.

18. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Even when you add up the requisite fees and add them to tuition costs, students at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin pay around $3100 a semester for a full-time load of 12 credit hours. This Odessa school also runs the Guaranteed Tuition Rate Plan, which keeps tuition prices the same for up to 8 semesters, and a rebate plan that gives students $1,000 off their tuition payment if they complete 30 hours and maintain a 2.5 GPA annually, starting freshman year. Plenty of undergraduate and graduate programs are available completely online here including a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and Master of Arts in English.

19. Central Washington University

Central Washington University in Ellensburg deserves kudos for the ways it's made a quality college education both accessible and affordable. On their own schedule, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management, or a Master of Education in Higher Education, among many other online options. And, they can do it inexpensively; residents of Washington pay a little over $200 a credit for up to 10 credits and can then take up to 8 more credit hours for no extra cost.

20. Boise State University

Boise State University offers over 40 online degrees and certificates completely online, letting students complete their degrees in harmony with their professional and personal lives. Tuition for undergraduates at this Boise, Idaho institution runs a little over $350 per credit up to 16 credit hours and $250 a credit after that, with summer courses available at a discounted rate. In addition to this reasonable tuition, Boise State participates in the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, which provides up to $3,500 per year for adult students who are returning to college. Online degree options here include a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology.

21. Mayville State University

Tuition and fees for undergraduate students Mayville State University in Mayville, North Dakota is just $295 per credit. Graduates pay only slightly more at $323 per credit, and both of those affordable rates are for in-state, out-of-state, and international students. Mayville also offers financial aid and scholarship guidance to make sure all students get as much assistance as possible paying for college. Mayville's online degree options include a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, an Associate of Arts in Business Management, and a Master of Arts in Teaching.

22. Angelo State University

Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, coordinates with over 400 different scholarship programs (both inside and outside scholarships) every year and does a great job connecting students with financial help anywhere they can get it. That's on top of the already inexpensive tuition here, which comes in at a tad over $2,000 a semester for an undergraduate taking 12 credit hours. Angelo State University has some excellent online degree offerings like a MBA, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor of Border and Homeland Security.

23. University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley continues to be a pioneer in distance education. The school started offering distance education in 1902 and online programs in the 1990s. That experience shows, both in the fully formed Extended Campus program and the ways in which the University of Northern Colorado has made distance learning streamlined and affordable. Tuition and fees are bundled together for a clear, upfront, per-credit price. This varies by program but undergraduates can expect this rate to be between $500 and $600 per credit. The University of Northern Colorado also offers a wealth of online degree programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language (ASL) English Interpretation, Master of Biological Sciences, Master of Business Administration, and Doctor of Nursing Practice.

24. University of Louisiana at Monroe

The University of Louisiana at Monroe doesn't believe in a 'one price fits all' style. Every program has different costs to run, so the school charges per-credit prices that reflect that. For instance, if you're enrolling in the Master of Education, Educational Leadership program, you'll pay $300 per credit hour, while the Doctor of Education, Curriculum and Instruction program is $500 per credit. The University of Louisiana at Monroe has more than 35 completely online degree programs divided into 8-week, flexible courses designed to work with your schedule.

25. New Mexico State University - Main Campus

New Mexico State University - Main Campus in Las Cruces, NM boasts a robust online learning presence, with over 60 programs and more than 500 courses taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus. Via video chat, advisors from New Mexico State University Online walk each student through his or her financial aid and scholarship options to make sure college is as affordable as possible. Tuition is a flat rate across the board: undergrads will pay around $370 per credit hour. Active duty military members get a discounted rate of $250 per credit hour. Program offerings here are diverse, with options like: Bachelor of Family & Child Services, Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, Associate of Applied Science in Business Management: Accounting/Bookkeeping, Master of Public Health, and Master of Arts in Spanish.

26. Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University is located in Northern Minnesota but that's not important because online students pay one price for tuition, regardless of where they live. Including fees, the cost for a semester here is just slightly over $3,500. Even better, Bemidji State has scholarships designed exclusively for online students like the Niganawenimaanaanig Program Grant, the Gladys McKinley Distance Learning Scholarship and the Edward Gersich Distance Education Scholarship. Bemidji State University offers online degree programs like a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, MBA, and a Master of Special Education.

27. Indiana State University

For full-time undergraduate students in an online program, Indiana State University in Terre Haute offers tuition rates just under $9,000 for the entire school year. Most graduate students pay a per-credit fee of $527. All sorts of financial aid and scholarships are available to help defray the costs, including the Online Transfer Scholarship and the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, and advisors are available to walk new online students through their options. There are more than 70 online programs at Indiana State including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Master of Arts in History, and a Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education.

28. East Tennessee State University

What's more affordable than free? East Tennessee State University in Johnson City has a range of online courses available at no cost whatsoever. Of course, those looking for a full degree can go for one of several online options, including a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, or a Doctor of Education in Global Sport Leadership here. In-state undergrads at this school pay around $400 per credit while graduate students pay around $575.

29. Concord University

Concord University's tuition for graduate students is $481 per credit as of 2019, which is already pretty good deal. Throw in the fact that Concord University offers a tuition reduction program for qualifying students and a nice variety of scholarships and it's easy to see why graduates of this Athens, West Virginia school also have less loan debt of any 4-year public school in the state. Online programs include a Master of Arts in Health Promotion, Master of Education, and Master of Social Work just to name a few.

30. Black Hills State University

The basic tuition and fees rate for undergraduate students at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota rings up at about $9,000. The school really shines when it comes to special discounts, though; if you're a teacher, you might pay as little as $169 per credit hour. If you're the child of an alum, your rate will be reduced to $300 per credit hour and if you're over 65, you might find tuition as low as $182 a credit. Online learners can choose from programs like a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership, a Master of Education in Reading or a Bachelor of General Studies.

31. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY is an affordable option, no matter where you live. Undergraduate students pay the same flat rate of around $400 per credit, whether they live in Eastern Kentucky, Western Washington or Southern California. Active-duty service members get a pretty hefty discount, too, with each undergraduate credit only costing $250. Eastern Kentucky University offers online programs at every level, from an Associate of General Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies to a Master of Arts in Teaching, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

32. Stephen F. Austin State University

Located in Nacogdoches, Texas, Stephen F. Austin State University boasts nationally recognized online degrees for education and nursing at both the bachelor's and master's level (with 97% of nursing students passing the licensing exam the first time). There's a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Education in Special Education, and plenty of programs for students who are interested in other degrees! Tuition and fees for the average undergraduate come in at just a touch over $10,000 for the academic year.

33. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has built a reputation for catering to busy professionals who want to advance their careers with a graduate degree. While the school has no 100% online undergraduate degrees, it's got a diverse array of award-winning online master's and doctoral programs including a Master of Arts in Art Therapy, a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Tuition and fees here for graduate students equal about $16,000 for the academic year and EU makes a great effort to connect students with grants, aid and scholarships.

34. University of North Alabama

To help make education more affordable for motivated undergraduates, the University of North Alabama, located in Florence, recently switched to a banded tuition program so any classes you take above the typical 12 credit hour load are free (up to 18 credits). And, to help students stick to this more affordable plan, the school has a Success Center, Student Counseling Services and a CARE Team to offer support. The University of North Alabama has many online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including a Bachelor of Science in History, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in Family Studies.

35. Valdosta State University

There's a reason Georgia's Valdosta State University has garnered national attention for its online programs: they're exceptionally affordable and academically robust. Online undergraduates pay $226 per credit in eTuition and $159 per credit for core curriculum courses. Graduates pay just a touch under $300 per credit. The programs at Valdosta State University include a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership.

36. Oregon Institute of Technology

As an undergraduate at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, you can get a credit hour for under $250. And, the school prepares its students to do well financially after school, in fact, it offers the best return on investment of any university in Oregon. Here you can earn online bachelor's degrees in Applied Psychology, Health Informatics, and Technology and Management, or opt for a master's in engineering or a Master of Science in Allied Health.

37. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers more than 35 degree and certificate options and boasts a robust, 5,000-strong community of online students. You get chat support, academic advising, and career counseling as a part of your tuition, which varies by program but runs around $250 per credit for most undergraduate studies. Graduate students pay just over $300 per credit in majority of Arkansas State's programs. Arkansas State, which is located in Jonesboro, also boasts a healthy lineup of degree options, from an Associate of General Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology to a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum & Instruction and an Ed.S. in Reading.

38. Northern Kentucky University

Online undergraduate students at Northern Kentucky University (just outside Cincinnati) pay about $450 per credit hour, but the school also offers several Accelerated Online programs where you can pay a set fee for the entire degree. For instance, the school's online Master of Business Administration can be finished in as little as 12 months for a set price of around $17,000. Northern Kentucky University has over 30 online degrees, including an Ed.S in Educational Leadership and an RN to BSN, available in 5-, 7- and 16-week formats.

39. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University in Statesboro landed on our list thanks to a well-rounded distance learning department and affordable tuition rates. The school has different rates depending on the program you choose. Most graduate programs cost around $350, which is incredibly low for a well-regarded, 4-year public university. Some programs offer even lower rates including the Undergraduate RN-to-BSN Pathway, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies ($186 per credit each), and the MSN in Nursing ($277 per credit). Georgia Southern University also offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, a Master of Science in Sport Management, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

40. Morehead State University

Whether you're finishing a degree or starting one from scratch, Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky represents an impressively affordable option. Students can take anywhere from 12 to 18 hours per semester for the same flat price of just under $4,500. Morehead State has built a diverse array of fully online programs, too, including a Doctor of Education, a Master of Arts in Counseling, and a Master of Business Administration.

41. Georgia Institute of Technology

A majority of the online programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology are offered at higher tuition rates than many of the schools on the list (around $1,000 per credit hour). However, Georgia Tech has paired with tech companies to pioneer the Massive Open Online Course format, which lets students earn a Master of Science in Computer Science from the prestigious institution for a fraction of the cost of similar accredited programs. The total cost for this degree is just $7,000. Georgia Tech also offers a Master of Science in Analytics, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science in Medical Physics.

42. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

SUNY College of Technology at Delhi in Upstate New York has gone to great lengths to make sure its online education offerings are flexible and affordable. In-state online students pay less than $300 per credit up to 12 credit hours and nothing after that. That equals a per-semester rate of under $3,500! SUNY College of Technology at Delhi offers several onlong degree programs including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Culinary Arts Management, and a Master of Science in Nursing Education.

43. Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University's online programs have garnered their fair share of accolades and it's not hard to see why. The courses are robust, the tuition is affordable and the degree offerings are diverse. Eastern Illinois, located in the town of Charleston, has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development, a Master of Arts in Aging Studies, and a Master of Science in Education in Special Education (among many others), all for around $350 per credit hour.

44. Framingham State University

Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts, combines tuition and fees into one flat rate for online students. Per course, undergraduate students pay $1,125 and graduate students pay $1,255. If you work for a qualifying company, Framingham offers a 10% discount on tuition. What's more, veterans and seniors (over 60 years of age) are only responsible for a $371 program fee. Students here can get an online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, a Master of Education with a concentration in Educational Technology and a Master of Science with a concentration in Merchandising.

45. Minnesota State University Moorhead

Online undergraduates at Minnesota State University Moorhead pay just $239 per credit hour up to the usual full-time load of 12 credit hours. Anywhere between 12 and 19 credit hours is the same price (around $3,700 a semester). In addition, the school awards over $3.36 million every year in scholarships including the Distinguished Dragon, Ignite, and Moorhead Achieve. Completely online programs include the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master of Healthcare Administration.

46. University of Memphis

The Tennessee in-state per-credit tuition rate for undergrads at the University of Memphis is $420 and $603 for graduate students. University of Memphis Global offers a variety of ways to save; things like the Tiger Success Grant, the Dean's Scholarship and the First Scholars program can all help defray costs. Students can also take advantage of the Summer 3 + 3 Scholarship, an initiative that offers offers 3 free credit hours for students who pay for at least 3 credit hours during the summer. Students can choose from a wide array of online degrees here including a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Arts in History, or a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

47. University of Colorado Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs works with the State of Colorado's College Opportunity Fund to bring students a stipend of $85 on every credit hour they take. Online students in Colorado can take advantage of this, too, and those stipends can add up to more than $1,000 off every full-time semester. The school offers online degree programs like a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, a Master of Engineering in Space Operations, and a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice.

48. Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee has developed a rich, student-centered online education system with more than 30 degree options, 370 full-time faculty members, an 18-to-1 faculty-to-student ratio, tutoring, career services, and more. Tuition is a great value here, $274 per credit hour up to 12, and just $52 per credit hour after that. Graduate students can also take advantage of this generous system; for them, it's $440 per credit hour up to 10 and only $85 for every credit hour above that. Austin Peay's diverse lineup of fully online programs include an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Master of Arts in Education.

49. Wayne State College

Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska boasts flexible, nationally recognized online undergraduate programs in criminal justice and human resource management, plus graduate programs like a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Organizational Management. In addition to financial aid and scholarship help, Wayne State has done a commendable job keeping tuition rates low -- undergrads pay a flat rate of $289 per credit hour and graduate students pay $361.25 per credit hour as of 2018-2019.

50. University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

With all the requisite tuition and fees, undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth will pay about $1,200 per 3-credit course. Graduate tuition varies by program, but is around $1,900 per 3-credit course. The Office of Online & Continuing Education helps connect students with financial aid and other ways to offset costs, including the Ryan David Reaves Memorial Scholarship, which offers support exclusively for online students. UMass Dartmouth has a wealth of fully online programs including a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Graduate Certificate in Business Foundations.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.