An associate’s degree takes about two years to earn, and it can help to get you ready for a good career or give you a great start on a four-year degree. The 30 most affordable accredited online associate’s degrees include associate of arts, associate of sciences, and associate of applied sciences degrees, each of which is offered in many different subject areas to fit your goals.
An Associate’s Degree Gets You Ready for Higher Degrees
An associate’s degree is an affordable first step toward an advanced degree. Two-year degrees usually satisfy general-education requirements of a bachelor degree program at a lower tuition cost than at four-year universities. Associate’s degree programs include a set of required courses plus some elective class credits that are typically related to your intended career field.
An Associate’s Degree Can Prepare You for Work
Associate’s degrees in technical areas help graduates prepare for careers in skilled trades. You can finish a degree program in about four semesters of full-time school, usually in two years. With one of the most affordable accredited online associate’s degrees, you can earn a respected and valuable college degree online, on your schedule.
What Are the Best Associate’s Degrees?
The type of associate’s degree for you is based on your needs, interests, and skills. Look at the career potential in the field you are considering. When choosing a college, consider accreditations the school has received for its degree programs, the quality of the faculty and courses offered, and the costs of tuition compared to other similar institutions.
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more, visit our methodology page.
Earn an affordable associate’s degree from Holmes Community College wherever you are, whether at home or at your local coffee shop. Degrees offered at Holmes are taught 100% online and feature set dates to start and end school so you can plan your semester with precision.
With 24/7 access to the online learning portal, Holmes Community College offers flexible class schedules, either full-time or accelerated, with four- and eight-week classes available. Degree choices cover many associate of arts and associate of applied sciences programs in areas such as paralegal technology, medical billing and coding, and medical office technology.
You can start learning now with online classes from East Mississippi State College’s eLearning Department. Many students with family responsibilities and work duties that keep them from meeting a regular college class schedule find that studying online is an ideal solution to fit the work of earning a college degree into a busy life already in progress.
Online classes at East Mississippi Community College meet all the standards of excellence and accreditation that traditional learning opportunities on campus are known for, all with the flexibility and convenience to pursue educational plans on your personal schedule.
For more than 40 years, Barton County Community College has educated students at its main campus near Great Bend, KS. Offering a full college experience on campus, with general education courses for new college students and returning adult learners, Barton takes pride in its school community and the athletics programs that have earned 57 national championships.
For more than 20 years, BARTonline has offered a virtual campus with outstanding online education courses. Barton County Community College is very proud to earn accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and offers the same excellent educational opportunities to distance learners, with online classes available for students pursuing an associate’s degree.
With two campuses in Iowa, Allen County Community College helps thousands of students reach their goals in higher education. Allen offers the same quality education and learning resources to students wherever they may be, with completely online classes.
The wide range of general education courses available online are parallel to university courses and give students a solid base of education that transfers to a four-year college. Allen offers access to respected associate of arts and associate of science degree programs, both of which features 15 degree tracks, in addition to associate of applied science programs with nine degree options available.
In student surveys, 90% of learners report that online courses at Allen are challenging, and more than 90% of Allen students say that they would recommend online classes at Allen. Allen can help you find the path to your career and life goals.
Online learning at Laramie County Community College provides the flexibility to conveniently connect with courses from anywhere you have an internet connection. All of the online courses and degree programs at LCCC are directed by qualified faculty who are experts in their subject matter.
While most online classes at LCCC do not require class attendance on campus, they do involve assignments with weekly deadlines. Some factors to consider when deciding whether online learning is right for you are things like your work and family duties, personal time management abilities, and your record of success with keeping yourself on schedule with coursework.
Clovis Community College serves new college students, adults returning to higher education after time in the workforce, and career professionals seeking technical skills. From its main campus in New Mexico, Clovis helps to keep a college education accessible and convenient for people with schedules that don’t allow for full-time attendance on campus.
Featuring an online educational platform that provides maximum flexibility for distance-learning students while providing them with ample integrated learning opportunities, Clovis Community College gives students a chance to fit higher education into a busy life schedule. Clovis offers affordable accredited online associate’s degrees in a variety of desirable fields, including computer information systems, criminal justice, early childhood education, and the liberal arts.
Albany Technical College has some 60 years of experience providing higher education in pursuit of its mission to provide technical education to the community in the seven counties around Albany, GA. A public two-year college that is devoted to providing learning opportunities for community growth and sustainability, economic development, and student self-sufficiency, Albany Tech features top educators in their fields.
With online learning opportunities for busy adults, Albany Tech’s Distance Learning Program serves students who are unable to be present at one of the campus locations for classes. Online learning is ideal for students who need a quality education to help them develop career and life skills but can’t afford to halt job or family responsibilities in the process.
As a leader in distance-education delivery, Great Basin College offers a wide variety of accredited associate’s degrees that you can earn completely online. GBC distance learning works on your schedule, not on a set daily class routine.
In about two years of school work on a flexible schedule, you can earn either an associate of applied science in a specific technical field or an associate of arts. An accredited online degree from GBC prepares you to transfer to a four-year program or enter the workforce with up-to-date technical skills.
At Southeast Community College Online, you can take the free Readiness Index for Learning Online to get a better idea of whether distance learning is right for your unique learning needs. SCC Online offers the same excellent courses that are taught on campus. Remote learners have access to a variety of services to make the higher education journey smoother and more successful, such as advising, tutoring, and the Library Resource Center.
Designed for the needs of students who want a learning opportunity that offers flexible schedules combined with challenging courses in today’s top subject areas, SCC Online courses follow the same calendar as the on-campus classes. With more than 300 classes available online every term, some programs are 100% online, while others blend remote learning with in-person classes.
The mission of Arkansas Northeastern College is based on the value and dignity of each individual. ANC has opened study opportunities to those who are unable to physically attend classes with online learning in pursuit of these goals.
With programs designed to transfer to four-year universities, including a variety of affordable and accredited online associate’s degrees, ANC provides a relevant and useful education that can work with your unique schedule. There is likely an online class program in your subject area that can fit with your personal life demands.
From small beginnings as a branch of New Mexico State University with just 25 students, San Juan College has since progressed to become one of the largest comprehensive two-year community colleges. Current enrollment totals more than 15,000 students annually who gain valuable, practical educational opportunities at the main campus in Farmington, NM, or at one of three other regional campuses.
San Juan College is proud to extend the same learning opportunities online for students who need flexibility in their school schedule to fit with a busy life. Students here can select from among hundreds of two-year degree programs and benefit from the school’s mission to “educate and empower individuals to thrive in an ever-changing world.”
With a reputation for educational excellence that spans 90 years, Hutchinson Community College has grown from a classic “junior college” to become the full-service community college that is known and respected today. Serving nearly 5,000 students every semester, in addition to a number of others who are involved in non-credit activities and community service, HutchCC has grown from its campus in Hutchinson, KS, to serve the world with online learning opportunities.
Students at HutchCC can choose to pursue an affordable, accredited online associate’s degree in one of dozens of available disciplines, including specialty areas designed to help prepare students for transfer to a four-year college. What’s more, HutchCC offers even more career and technical options for those wanting to further hone their education.
As the only community college in northeastern New Mexico, Luna Community College is known for its outstanding classes and teachers. Loved for its location on the lower slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range above Las Vegas, satellite centers also serve towns of Santa Rosa, Springer, and a site in Mora, NM.
LCC also offers options for students who wish to pursue a more flexible schedule toward an online associate’s degree. Only the Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration is available fully online, while all other LCC programs are created with some emphasis on on-campus learning.
Students have the option to pursue nearly half of the remaining courses online via the school’s advanced Learning Management System. Classes here are transmitted “live” over the internet or can be viewed later, following an asynchronous format.
Beyond the Douglas Campus in Douglas, AZ, Cochise County Community College has several education centers across the state, as well as a virtual campus that serves students with remote-learning opportunities online. In the 50 years since Cochise College opened its doors to serve the region of the state around Douglas, students have been the center of its mission.
Cochise College has grown and nurtured a reputation for outstanding educational opportunities with academic excellence and personal guidance for students on their path to an associate’s degree. Now with remote-learning opportunities available, students can pursue an affordable online associate’s degree on a flexible schedule from anywhere with an internet connection.
Broward College Online offers affordable associate’s degree programs in areas that are relevant to the jobs that are most in demand today. With BC Online, students with busy schedules and life commitments can have education come to them, wherever there is an internet connection and a computer.
With more than 70 online programs available through BC Online, students saved over $5 million in textbook costs and enjoyed 24/7 access to courses and college services. At around $100 per credit hour, BC Online degrees are some of the most affordable higher education options in Florida and beyond.
With deep roots in the community dating back to 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is among the most admired of the state’s 22 technical colleges. Known for student-centered educational opportunities and training to start a career path, Georgia Piedmont Tech provides the opportunity to individuals of all ages and backgrounds to get the skills and education they need to serve the workplace and the larger community with valuable career and life skills
With five technical schools, including programs in the arts and sciences, business and computer information systems, industrial technologies, and public safety and legal studies, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is one of only two technical colleges in the state to offer an American Bar Association-approved program of paralegal studies. Affordable and accredited online degrees at Georgia Piedmont Tech let you gain the education and training you need to take your life and career to the next level.
Oconee Fall Line Technical College helps students gain the hands-on knowledge, skills, and expertise they will need to succeed in their life and career efforts. Online study options include associate of applied science degrees in useful career fields like accounting, business technology, computer support systems, and criminal justice technology.
Through OFTC, students study on their own schedules, complete exercises and assignments like their peers in class, and develop the skills needed to succeed in higher education and in a career. School takes work and time, but many busy adults with family and career responsibilities find that they can plan out the hours per week that it will take to pursue a college degree.
Lone Star College System lets students live their life in their own way, all while earning one of 20 fully online degree programs. Many students never have to step onto a college campus again on their way to an affordable and accessible online degree from Lone Star College-Online.
Lone Star College offers choices of fully online and hybrid programs, as well as stand-alone online classes, to help students achieve goals in higher education in a way that fits their unique needs. With more than 87,000 students served as of Fall 2019, Lone Star College makes higher education possible with tuition that is significantly lower than that of comparable Texas institutions of higher learning.
Northeast Community College serves the community’s educational needs from a spacious and well-appointed campus in Norfolk, NE, but many students need go no further than Northeast Community College Online to get the education they seek. Known for an innovative style of higher education, NCC has educational and industry experts who guide students’ education toward advanced degrees or into careers that can serve them well.
NCC offers courses and degrees online, including the Associate of Applied Science in Business and the Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice, with either a Corrections or Law Enforcement focus, to suit the specific needs of students with particular career goals.
Alvin Community College serves a district of over 400 square miles in Brazoria County, Texas, famous for its numerous bayous, rivers, and lakes. On 113 acres of land between Highway 35 and Mustang Road in Alvin, Texas, 16 buildings form the main campus of Alvin Community College.
For students who want to learn from wherever they are, Alvin offers three degree programs that are available completely online. Students can pursue accredited associate’s degree programs in management, psychology, and sociology from anywhere with access to a computer, an internet connection, and the required browser and software.
Some of the many associate’s degrees offered online at Western Iowa Tech Community College cover disciplines like accounting, agribusiness technology, and video game design. With classes designed around skills and knowledge that can put you in the lead for jobs in the field, online learning at WITCC gives you the option to fit the requirements of the course into your life, not to be on the school’s schedule of classes.
If you’ve wondered whether online education is for you, check out the online orientation course that is Western Iowa Tech’s introduction to distance learning. It is designed to help you figure out what type of education fits your needs and style best, whether fully online; an eight-, 12-, or 16-week format; or hybrid courses that combine online learning with classroom experience to give you more flexibility in the use of your time.
Atlanta Technical College combines outstanding staff and leading learning technologies to offer online courses that are made to fit the needs of every student. ATC knows that modern responsibilities of family, work, and distance from campus don’t have to stop you from pursuing your goals in education.
Classes at ATC are offered online in various ways, depending on the program. Some courses feature a hybrid format, while others are fully online. Many students also benefit from web-enhanced learning that lets them delve deeper into the subject on their own, using ATC’s innovative learning platform to gain additional experience and knowledge.
Since 1933, Clark College has offered higher education opportunities to all the people of Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat counties in southeastern Washington. With an average of 76% first-generation college students, Clark College is known for offering a chance to build a strong future to more than 10,000 credit-seeking college students each year.
At Clark College, you have access to online accredited associate’s degrees from anywhere you are. With eLearning at Clark, you have access to the same outstanding courses that are taught by skilled faculty on campus.
With a theme of “transformation,” the goal of the faculty and staff at Clark College is to share in the challenges and successes of students reaching for educational aspirations. Best of all? An affordable, accredited online associate’s degree here can open career doors for you.
The mission of Amarillo College is to serve and strengthen the community of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle region by providing learners a path to educational resources and opportunities. Amarillo College is committed to its students throughout their educational ventures, providing resources, support, and the successful skills needed to earn a college degree.
Offering eight accredited online associate’s degree programs, Amarillo College extends its commitment to educational access to all types of busy adults who need the convenience and flexibility of a completely online course schedule.
Degrees in disciplines that are most in demand today, including in criminal justice, secondary education, and business management, provide you the same challenging and rigorous learning experience as with classes offered traditionally on campus.
In a 230-mile area in northeast Kansas, five locations of Highland Community College put education within reach of cities such as Topeka and Lawrence as well as small communities. From a simple start as the first college in Kansas, HCC has grown and developed into today’s dynamic institution of higher education.
While HCC has consistently provided northeast Kansas with excellence in higher education, now those same educational opportunities, from a single college class to an affordable associate’s degree program, are within reach of anyone with a computer and internet access.
For students looking to finish a degree, find a class that they can’t get elsewhere, or who just need the flexibility of a schedule that fits around unique life needs, HCC Online may be the answer.
Online learning courses at Central Wyoming College provide the same type of educational opportunities as the physical classes on campus, all while keeping the learning process more streamlined and flexible for modern life schedules. Just as in traditional classes, success in online learning courses requires effort, self-discipline, and time to succeed in your efforts.
Students are expected to plan on a school schedule of three to 12 hours per week, per class in an online program. Some of the completely online associate’s programs at CWC include an AAS in Technical Studies – Entrepreneurship, to help hone business development skills, and Meta Major in Social Science that could be an ideal start for an academic pathway to a higher degree.
With online associate’s degrees that are affordable and accredited, North Dakota State College of Science gives you the knowledge you need to enter the workforce ready to serve. North Dakota State College of Science provides opportunities to participate in a process it calls the Science of Success.
Here, expert instructors focus on real-world skills and training in designing courses and curricula. But not all students are able to be on campus or study according to the school’s class schedule, and so NDSCS Online gives them options that can fit with modern schedules, using today’s top technology.
Students have the choice to pursue an entire associate’s degree program online or take any of the various general education classes available at NDSCS Online. Online program advisors are also provided to guide students along their journeys, from deciding what style of learning is ideal for them to focusing on career possibilities as the program comes to an end.
Established in 1965, Washtenaw Community College has grown to be one of the country’s premier community colleges. With some 18,000 students enrolled annually, WCC offers a college education for the community of Ann Arbor and Superior Townships and beyond.
With more than 25 online programs to choose from, Washtenaw Community College will help you prepare, wherever you are, for a degree in digital media arts, information technology, or occupational studies. An affordable and accredited online degree in general studies from WCC satisfies general-education requirements of a traditional four-year degree.
Get a jump start on earning a higher degree to move you closer to your career dreams. An affordable online associate’s degree from Washtenaw Community College can be yours, on your schedule and your terms.
Western Nevada College has offered quality education at an affordable cost to the community reaching from Reno to Hawthorne and the Tahoe Basin since 1971. In the decades since then, the school’s added new campuses in Carson City and Douglas and now offers education to students everywhere, with affordable online associate’s degrees.
Students at WNC thrive in the stimulating learning environment of small classes that are taught by leading faculty in the state. Proud of their reputation for challenging, rigorous, and personal instruction, faculty and staff are involved in students’ successes.
With online opportunities, the dream of an affordable accredited associate’s degree is a step closer to being achieved, even if you are too busy to attend regular class sessions on campus.
In just 33 years since it started, Ogeechee Technical College has helped thousands of graduates progress from higher education to productive careers. OTC offers students the option of taking classes in a traditional format on campus, online, or in a hybrid style that utilizes some of the best elements of each type of instruction.
Online learning at OTC allows students to have a lot of flexibility in scheduling coursework. Students who appreciate the opportunity to get their schooling completed on their own time, when it’s most convenient for them, enjoy the remote learning possibilities.
Earning an online associate’s degree according to your schedule doesn’t mean that school doesn’t take time and effort; of course, you have to make the effort to learn with any kind of schooling. But with OTC’s Online Learning Site, you choose when and where you’ll focus on schooling.
Is an associate’s degree useful in the real world of careers?
Yes! Many careers start with a two-year degree in a field that prepares graduates for work, as is the case with an Associate’s of Applied Science in Paralegal Technologies, for example.
It’s true that some degree programs are designed with the idea of earning credits that can be transferred to a university, but many associate’s degree programs are created with real-world work in mind.
Can I get financial aid for an associate’s degree?
Yes, you certainly can. Most US federal student assistance programs, whether via grants, loans, or scholarships, are designed to cover tuition and other costs of an accredited associate’s degree program.
Each school is unique, but many colleges offer financial aid to students who are accepted to study there and meet certain financial qualifications. Check with the school you are interested in and talk with financial aid advisors for more information.
What if I don’t know what I want to study yet?
A two-year associate’s degree may be the perfect type of degree for you. An accredited Associate of Arts in General Studies is designed to satisfy the requirements of a four-year university degree. An affordable, online AA degree may be the ideal stepping stone to get you closer to your higher education goals for the career you seek.
Many students find that they soon focus on the subjects and areas that interest them the most and that they learn the basics of the career field as they take classes in an area. You can change your major area, too, if you need to, because part of the experience of earning a college degree is learning who you are and what you want most in life.
Is an online associate’s degree as good as one earned on campus?
Yes, in most cases. An accredited online associate’s degree from a good school can give you the education, training, and skill set needed to succeed in a field related to your degree or at a university for a degree-completion program.
Naturally, only you can put in the time, effort, and thought that it takes to succeed in an educational program. Not every school that offers associate’s degrees online has the reputation, accreditation, and degree programs available that you may need, so plan to do some research on the schools and programs that you are considering attending.
The schools that provide accredited online associate’s degrees are usually the same schools that have developed the process of presenting learning opportunities to college students for many years. The administrators and faculty who design the courses are trained in academic methodologies, including remote teaching, in many cases, and know how to deliver the information that you need.
Why should I look for an accredited online associate’s degree?
Accreditation matters in a college degree for a few good reasons. First, the accreditation agency reviews the school and its degree programs, classes, and faculty regularly to be sure that they meet clear standards of educational excellence.
Second, accreditation can help you be sure that your class credits earned in your online associate’s degree program will transfer to another school. It is important to do the research to be sure that the accreditation earned by the college you are considering is in line with that of the other school or university you may want to transfer to at some later time.
Third, accreditation is indicative of a college that cares about its reputation and its students. Schools that maintain the rigorous standards that are required by accreditation agencies pay attention to the details and have proven that they can deliver a sound educational experience.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the 15 Most Affordable Online Business Bachelor’s Degrees and the 10 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges!