Starting your career with an online associate degree can be a smart financial move. Community colleges stretch tuition budgets by charging cheap prices. According to the Lumina Foundation, the average full cost at junior institutions is $9,000 annually. Associate programs finish in 18 to 24 months to stop tuition bills faster. Online schools bring the classroom to your computer to nix sizable transport costs. Plus, the U.S. News & World Report found that 84 percent of online undergrads are employed to keep paychecks coming. Some community colleges offer even higher ROI from exceptionally low bargain rates. In this article, we’ll outline the 15 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs where two-year totals are under $10,000 for everyone.
Using the NCES College Navigator, we gathered 2017-18 tuition data to locate the cheapest online associate degrees. We set the maximum price at $5,000 for public and private, nonprofit institutions with lower-division courses. Our 179 results then shrunk based on the availability of five or more 100 percent online degrees, not certificates. Chances are you’ll choose an out-of-state online college, so we recorded the average non-resident tuition. If you remain in state, the charges will be even less! Next, our team judged academic quality by checking for regional accreditation and at least one award or ranking recognition. The last step was ordering the yearly prices from lowest to highest to arrange the 15 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs below:
1. Clovis Community College
Given four NISOD Excellence Awards in 2017, Clovis Community College is a public, HLC-accredited junior institution in New Mexico’s Curry County that serves 3,596 with 100 percent acceptance. On Canvas, CCC students pick from eight cheap online degrees like the A.S. in Computer Information Systems, A.A.S. in Legal Assistant Studies, and A.A.S. in Business Administration.
Annual Tuition: $2,904
2. Barton Community College
Ranked 341st for education outcomes by WalletHub, Barton Community College is a public, two-year SARA participant founded in 1965 in Great Bend, Kansas, that attracts 6,281 Cougars. Accelerated, nine-week Canvas courses help Barton students complete 38 online programs, such as the Wildlife Science AS, Hazardous Materials Management AAS, and Medical Admin Technology AAS.
Annual Tuition: $3,456
3. Lone Star College
Established in 1973 by Harris County, Lone Star College is Greater Houston’s largest, fastest-growing public school that ranked #3 nationally in Community College Week for affordably educating nearly 95,000 each year. Its D2L Brightspace portal connects to 15 online degrees, including the Speech Communication AA, International Studies AA, and Human Resource Management AAS.
Annual Tuition: $3,760
4. Arkansas Northeastern College
Located in Blytheville, Arkansas Northeastern College is a two-year, public technical institution ranked 82 nationally by Niche that’s headed by Dr. James Shemwell to teach 1,914 students at an average age of 28. Eight cheap online ANC programs, such as the A.A.S. Criminology, A.G.S. General Studies, and A.S. Elementary Education (K-6), are powered by Jenzabar.
Annual Tuition: $3,970
5. San Juan College
Recognized for the 2011 AISES Chapter of the Year, San Juan College is an independent, two-year school in Farmington that’s celebrating its 60th anniversary with New Mexico’s fifth highest enrollment of 12,723. The SJC Distance Learning Division utilizes Canvas for seven affordable online degrees like the Occupational Safety AAS, Physical Therapy Assistant AAS, and Psychology AA.
Annual Tuition: $4,114
6. Southeast Community College
Budgeting $250 million, Southeast Community College is a public, 23-site Nebraska institution ranked 66th nationally by Niche that’s serving over 10,800 Blackhawks with 300+ online courses. Fifteen fully online Moodle programs, including the Diversified Manufacturing Technology A.S., Dental Assisting A.A.S., and Human Services A.A.S., are even cheaper with the Learning to Dream Scholarship.
Annual Tuition: $4,182
7. Western Iowa Tech Community College
Placed 10th nationally by the Center for Digital Education, Western Iowa Tech Community College is a public, five-campus junior institution based in Sioux City with HLC accreditation to train 6,787 Comets. In eight, 12, or 16-week formats, online Canvas courses lead toward six affordable degrees, such as the Agribusiness Technology AAS, Financial Services AAS, and Technical Business AAS.
Annual Tuition: $4,224
8. Lake Region State College
Maintaining a 13:1 student-professor ratio, Lake Region State College is a public, two-year NDUS constituent and 2016 Phi Beta Lambda Chapter Award winner that instructs 1,898 Royals from Devils Lake. Using Blackboard Learn, the LRSC Online Campus launched six affordable associates, including the Fitness Trainer A.A.S., Law Enforcement A.A.S., and Speech Language Pathology A.A.S.
Annual Tuition: $4,336
9. Hutchinson Community College
Directed by Dr. Carter File, Hutchinson Community College is a public, two-year Kansas vocational school in Reno County that ranked ninth nationally on Niche for teaching 13,518 Blue Dragons. The Online Education Department has 250+ courses logging into Canvas for 10 inexpensive programs like the Accounting A.A., Health Information Management A.A.S., and General Education A.S.
Annual Tuition: $4,384
10. North Hennepin Community College
Named Minnesota’s 19th top pick by Niche, North Hennepin Community College is a public, two-year CRLA member founded in Brooklyn Park in 1966 that’s serving 10,705 Norsemen with 57 percent retention. NHCC students affordably access D2L Brightspace for 11 wholly online degrees, including the AAS Entrepreneurship, AAS Marketing, and AS Computer Science.
Annual Tuition: $4,420
11. Broward College
Ranked #2 for African-American associate education in Diverse Issues, Broward College is a public, coed Aspen Prize Finalist with Distinction that’s endowed for $75.7 million in Fort Lauderdale to educate 67,000 Seahawks. D2L Brightspace classes start every eight weeks for 13 cheap online degrees, such as the Cybersecurity AS, Office Administration AS, and Project Management AS.
Annual Tuition: $4,476
12. Amarillo College
Boasting the 216th highest PayScale salary potential at $64,100, Amarillo College is a public, SACS-accredited junior school opened in 1929 that inspires 11,675 Badgers from Washington Street to Dumas and the internet. Five asynchronous online programs, including the Criminal Justice A.S., Radiation Therapy A.A.S., and Business Administration A.S., give college credit on Blackboard.
Annual Tuition: $4,704
13. Cowley Community College
Enrolling 4,997 Tigers for 70,000+ credits, Cowley Community College is a public, four-campus “Military Friendly” institution founded in 1922 in Arkansas City that’s ranked in the Aspen Institute’s top 150 nationwide. Cowley Online is authorized in 50 states for 35 online degrees like the A.A. in Sports Management, A.A. in Political Science, and A.A.S. in Nondestructive Testing on Blackboard.
Annual Tuition: $4,712
14. Peninsula College
Declared America’s 97th most popular liberal arts school by College Factual, Peninsula College is a public, open-enrollment WCTC member initiated in 1961 that’s based in Port Angeles, Washington, to enlighten 2,205 Pirates from 15 nations. Twenty-eight cheap online programs, such as the Homeland Security AAS, Hospitality & Ecotourism AAS, and Web Design AAS, start quarterly on Canvas.
Annual Tuition: $4,752
15. Albany Technical College
Reporting 98 job placement, Albany Technical College is a low-cost public, SACS-accredited vocational institute ranked 337th nationally by WalletHub that’s managed by Dr. Anthony Parker with 4,812 Titans. Known for its Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, ATC has nine online Blackboard degrees like the Fire Science Technology A.A.S., Business Logistics A.A.S., and Operations Management A.A.S.
Annual Tuition: $4,848