Heated competition for career promotions is making many working professionals hit the Web to find some of the easiest and cheapest accredited online colleges for graduate degrees. Finishing a graduate program helps you upgrade outdated skills, get employer recognition, find teaching opportunities, and maximize your earning power. On average, master’s graduates are saddled with $37,000 in graduate school debt though. Avoiding high-priced options while saving money by living at home, skipping campus commutes, and continuing to work full-time is essential for strong ROI. If you’re planning to study beyond your baccalaureate, here are six affordable, accredited graduate schools where online tuition is less than $5,000 each year.
1. Western New Mexico University
Established in 1893 by Colonel John W. Fleming, Western New Mexico University is a public, co-educational regional institution that won the Quality New Mexico Zia Award for delivering high-quality education to 3,500 Mustangs in Silver City and online. College Value Online ranked Western New Mexico fifth nationally with average yearly graduate tuition at $3,026. WNMU Online offers 200+ courses via Canvas with an 18:1 student-faculty ratio. Five easy master’s programs, including a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Master of Business Administration, are available online.
2. Fort Hays State University
Affiliated with noted alumni like Kathryn McCarthy, Les Miller, and Nola Ochs, Fort Hays State University is Kansas’ third-largest public, co-educational regional institution budgeting $155.5 million to serve 14,210 Tigers in the Smoky Hills region and online. Named America’s 48th best online school by Niche, FHSU is recognized by the U.S. News for the 77th best graduate teaching programs online. The Virtual College charges average yearly graduate tuition of $3,398 for cheap Blackboard courses. Post-grads select from 19 online degrees, including a Master of Arts in Public History, Master of Science in School Psychology, and Master of Science in Health and Human Performance.
3. Chadron State College
Led by President Richard R. Rhine, Chadron State College is a public, co-educational NSCS constituent founded in 1911 on the Nebraska Panhandle that’s now retaining 67 percent of its 3,000 Eagles in Chadron and online. Graded B+ for diversity as America’s 98th best online college on Niche, CSC is ranked the 11th best for vets university in Military Times. On Blackboard, the Online Learning Division charges post-grads $3,600 yearly on average. Easy, eight-week courses lead to 17 online degrees, including a Master of Organizational Management in Natural Resources, Master of Education in Reading Specialist PK-12, and Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling.
4. Texas A&M University-Commerce
Located on Gee Lake in East Texas just an hour’s drive from Dallas with a 1,800-acre farm, Texas A&M University-Commerce is a public, co-educational research institution led by President Ray Keck with 603 academic staff and 12,385 Lions. Declared America’s 107th best college with free applications on Niche, TAMUC was ranked fifth for its Online MBA by the U.S. News. With average yearly tuition at $3,630, the eCollege offers 22 graduate programs 100 percent online. Logging into the myLeo portal is essay for online degrees like the Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Applied Criminology, and Doctor of Education in Educational Administration.
5. Cameron University
Passing its 100th anniversary, Cameron University is a public, co-educational member of the Lone Star Conference that’s carrying a $16.1 million endowment to educate 5,589 Aggies under President John M. McArthur’s leadership in Lawton, Oklahoma, and online. Applauded for the 145th best online MBA by the U.S. News, Cameron has the state’s third lowest median student loan debt with average post-grad tuition at $4,296 yearly. Cameron’s five easy online master’s, including the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master of Business Administration in Economics, and Master of Education in Special Education, are available everywhere except California, Florida, or Massachusetts on Blackboard.
6. Arkansas State University
Following the motto “Educate, Enhance, Enrich,” Arkansas State University is a flagship public, co-educational research institution opened by Pastor Robert W. Glover in 1909 that’s now endowed for $54.2 million to serve 21,976 Red Wolves in Jonesboro and online. Deemed America’s 54th most conservative college on Niche, A-State is congratulated for the 10th best online MBA by the U.S. News. Using the SREB Electronic Campus platform, A-State Online bills $4,626 for average graduate tuition yearly. Students can easily access 16 online graduate degrees, including the M.S. in Sport Administration, Master of Public Administration, and Ed.S. in Educational Leadership.
Haven’t found what you’re looking for? The NCES College Navigator is an excellent online tool for post-graduates to conduct advanced searches for degree specifics while limiting annual tuition to the maximum $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 marks. When shopping for inexpensive online graduate degrees, be cautious about scams that seem too good from diploma mills by checking for regional or national accreditations. Some more of the easiest, cheapest accredited online graduate degrees are found at New Mexico Highlands University, University of Texas Permian Basin, Wayne State College, Amberton University, Southern Arkansas University, and Henderson State University.