top cheapest online colleges

Can I Afford to Earn My College Degree?

You might wonder which ia the most affordable online college?

Featured Programs

One of our 30 Top Cheap Accredited Online Colleges can be your key to unlocking $2.8 million in additional earnings. That’s the lifetime value of a bachelor’s degree, according to a study conducted by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. 

Georgetown University has shown that higher education’s long-term salary benefits greatly outweigh the cost of a degree. And this makes going back to school a no-brainer. Paying for tuition before you get a promotion or pay raise, however, can be difficult. That’s why we’ve compiled the most affordable online colleges for online degrees.

Online degree programs can be the way to your college education! We have put together a list of cheap online colleges to help your school search. Whether you are looking for a bachelor’s degree or higher education, online learning can be convenient beneficial.

See Also: Top Easy Accredited Online Master’s Programs

Is an Online Degree Cheaper Than an On-Campus Program?

The biggest benefit of a cheap online degree program versus an on-campus program is flexibility. In a majority of online programs, you’ll get to choose when you study, making it easier to balance work and school. As an online student, you won’t need to quit your job, which means you’ll keep bringing home a paycheck to help with your tuition costs.
Additionally, online students are not limited to schools within an arm’s reach. You can enroll in an online degree program that is five states away. Then you can complete all of your assignments without visiting campus. This means you have more choices! With more choices comes more opportunities to find a program that fits your budget.
Lastly, online tuition rates are not usually less than than on-campus tuition. However, distance learners are not expected to pay expenses like room-and-board or meal plans. 

See Also: Easy Online Master’s Degree Programs

Will My Diploma Show That I Studied At An Online School?

Prospective students will be happy to know universities don’t distinguish between online and on-campus students. This is because the academic achievements of both types of students are equal.

To graduate, all students need to show that they’ve mastered the topics in their degree programs. The expectations are the same for online students. The only difference is the way information is delivered. An online education may be the way to go for you!

Online degrees offer flexibility for quality programs. The most affordable online colleges can still offer college students the education they desire without being an on campus student.

See Also: Financial Aid Tips for Online College

What Are the Best Affordable Online Colleges?

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. This is done to determine the final score. Final scores are shown 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 about accredited online colleges, visit our methodology page.

There are many online degree programs for prospective students to choose from. Which of the least expensive online colleges is right for you?

See Also: 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online College

Let us help with your school search for a cheapest online college. Check out these affordable online colleges!

30 Most Affordable Online Colleges From Accredited Online Colleges

1. American Public University

American Public University

At American Public University, all students benefit from affordable tuition rates. But with this school’s long-standing service to the U.S. military, active-duty members get a special deal at APU. These students pay just $250 per undergraduate or graduate credit hour. Plus, their textbooks are free, and technology fees are waived. If you are looking for the cheapest online colleges, this may be the one for you.

APU was founded in 1991 by a former Marine Corps officer. Today, service members and veterans make up 80% of its student body.

Since mobility is a trademark of the military, all of APU’s online degree programs are offered in eight- or 16-week courses.

Courses start monthly. This is in lieu of following a traditional semester schedule. 

Financial aid is available. Aid such as military tuition assistance, veterans benefits, and employer benefits can be found here.

At APU, you can find degrees of all academic levels. Some of APU’s most popular programs include:

  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports and Health Sciences

Learn more about this Cheapest Online College at American Public University here.

See Also: Top 30 Accredited Emergency Management Degree Online Options

2. National University

Similar to APU, National University was established by a retired U.S. Navy captain in 1971.

National University

As a Yellow Ribbon school, NU offers a nearly free education for veterans and active-duty military. But all students benefit from a low cost of attendance. Undergraduate tuition rates are just $370 per quarter unit. This is certainly a low cost online college!

National University delivers both online and in-person classes. The University has a San Diego campus for in-person courses. In-person courses are also offered at a number of military bases.

Classes at National University follow a four-week format. This shorter duration allows students to concentrate on one topic at a time. This, in turn, can be helpful to students that have work and family responsibilities. 

Check out their financial aid and scholarship information here.

Here you can get:

  • associate’s degree
  • bachelor’s degree
  • master’s degree
  • doctoral degree

There are eight areas of study. These areas include:

  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Criminal justice

Its Language Institute also provides English Language Learning certificates for students seeking to master their communication skills

Learn more about this Cheap Online Degree at National University here.

3. University of the People

University of the People

At the University of the People, students do not pay tuition. They pay an assessment fee of only $100 for undergraduates. The fee is $200 for graduate students. Fees are paid after each course is completed.

This university also offers several scholarships. These scholarships cover the minimal costs discussed above. If you are looking for cheapest online colleges, no tuition certainly helps! In fact, it’s tops in terms of the cheapest online college per credit hour.

So, how does this University operate as a tuition-free institution? This school keeps costs low through donations and partnerships with world-leading companies. Businesses like Intel, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard have made donations.

Founded in 2009, the University of the People firmly believes in the power of higher education. Advancing people’s education can elevate communities out of poverty. The university serves 27,000 students. Of those, 1,000 are refugees. 

The University of the People offers eight online programs. This includes:

  • associate’s
  • bachelor’s
  • master’s.

These fall into four academic areas:

  • Business administration
  • Computer science
  • Health science
  • Education

Additionally, online students can take part in the school’s mentorship program. This allows you to gain career and life advice from an industry professional who is part of the University of the People community. 

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at University of the People here.

See Also: 20 Accredited Online Colleges That Offer Laptops

4. Great Basin College

Great Basin College

Great Basin College is located in Nevada. In-state students can get an incredible deal on their education. Lower-division courses cost approximately $108 per credit hour.

But students who live outside the Sagebrush State can benefit from this low tuition too. Online students who are non-residents pay just $159.50 per lower-division credit hour. This makes Great Basin College one of the cheapest online colleges.

GBC serves around 4,000 online students. It has campuses across the state as well. This school is entirely dedicated to undergraduate studies. It offers:

  • associate’s degrees
  • bachelor’s degrees
  • certificate programs

Sample programs from this cheapest online college include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Communication

What’s more, through GBC’s Prior Learning and Experience program, prospective students can get a head start on their degree. These students receive up to 15 credit hours for learning that occurred outside the classroom. For example, previous students have earned credits for military training. 

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Great Basin College here.

5. Minot State College

Minot State University

Minot State University is a North Dakota-based public university. It offers an affordable, undergraduate per-credit rate of about $316. Better yet, MSU provides a small-school experience for this low price. Here, the student-to-faculty ratio is just 12:1. MSU serves a little over 3,100 students.

Minot State’s online degree programs let students from around the country take advantage of its personalized educational experience. Undergraduates can pursue several bachelor’s degree majors online. This includes those in early childhood education, international business, and human services.

General studies is also an option. This degree allows online students to customize their own major by choosing from more than 100 academic disciplines. 

Graduate students have five online options at MSU, covering areas of study like:

  • education
  • business
  • information systems

Financial aid information is available here.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Minot State University here.

6. Chadron State College

Chadron State College

Chadron State College sits on Nebraska’s High Plains. This school’s locale is not the only thing that’s flat. CSC offers flat-rate tuition.

So no matter where you live, you can profit from Chadron State’s affordable cost-of-attendance. Here, undergraduates pay around $296 per credit hour. Graduate students pay $370.

Enroll online at CSC, and you can choose a bachelor’s degree program in one of many subjects. Options range from psychology and education. You can choose from geoscience and family and consumer sciences. Many other options are available.

You can also develop your own cheap online degree with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Graduate students have four online master’s options, too. True to CSC’s history as a teacher’s college, many of these graduate programs focus on educational studies. 

You can begin one of CSC’s online programs at three different start dates throughout the year. Online courses last eight weeks. Students can access material 24/7 with no set class times.

Financial aid and scholarship information can be found here.

Learn more about this cheapest online college at Chadron State College here.

7. Amridge University

Amridge University

Amridge University is a great option if you want an affordable faith-based education.

This private university has more than 35 online degree programs. Each program is ingrained with Christian values and beliefs.

First-time students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree receive a discount at Amridge. After the discount, you pay only $250 per credit hour. Additionally, first-responders seeking an undergraduate degree pay this same low tuition.

On top of its affordable cost of attendance, Amridge offers several scholarships to students from unique backgrounds. For example, the Home School Student Award is granted to a home-schooled student who is a first-time freshman. Alternatively, the Dr. Rex and Barbara Turner Ministerial Award provides financial assistance to students in the Turner School of Theology, pursuing degrees like its Master of Divinity. 

In addition to religious studies, Amridge offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. There are options in:

  • business
  • general studies
  • education
  • human services

Financial aid and scholarship information is available here.

Learn more about one of the cheapest online colleges at Amridge University here.

See Also: Mastering the Virtual Classroom: 8 Tips for Success in Your Online Master’s Program

8. Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

It’s never too late to go back to school! Thomas Edison State University is specifically designed for older students who want to do just that. The average student age at this public university is 35. 

If you enroll at TESU, you can choose to pay per credit. You can also pay a flat-rate tuition. If you can take ten credits or more each term, then the latter will save you money in the long run.

For New Jersey residents, the per-credit rate is $399. If an in-state student takes 18 credit hours in a term, then they pay a flat-rate tuition of $3,963, saving as much as $3,219!

The bottom line is that the more time you’re able to dedicate to your studies at TESU, the less you’ll pay in total.

TESU’s online programs range from associate’s degrees to Ph.D.s. There are options spanning areas of study like:

  • nursing
  • business
  • engineering

Financial aid information is available here.

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at Thomas Edison State University here.

9. Western Governor’s University

Western Governors University

This Alabama-based school was started by a group of U.S. governors who sought to make higher education more accessible to a wider audience. Why? They recognized that higher education levels would lead to more wealth in their states. 

Since its founding, WGU has developed four colleges. These colleges include:

  • information technology
  • business
  • health professions
  • teaching

Each college offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As a school, WGU follows a competency-based learning model. This allows students to pull from previous knowledge to move quickly through courses that cover material they already know. 

Like other schools on this list, Western Governors University uses flat-rate tuition. This helps hardworking students save more money.

At WGU, if you take on more classes, you’ll pay less overall for your degree. For each six-month term, WGU’s undergraduates pay $3,255 in tuition. This payment model has proved successful. As WGU reports, its students had student loan debt that was less than half the national average in 2017. So check out WGU, one of the cheapest online colleges!

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Western Governors University here.

10. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a private university supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This school boasts the highest undergraduate enrollment of any private institution, serving more than 30,700 students. It also touts tuition rates that provide students an exceptional educational experience at a low cost.

U.S. News & World Report ranks BYU at No. 12 among its Best Value Schools, a list topped by higher education heavy-hitters like Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

BYU’s Idaho-based campus offers more than 40 fully online undergraduate degrees and certificates. For those seeking a bachelor’s degree, the school’s online programs cover many areas. This includes:

  • marriage and family
  • applied business management
  • applied technology

BYU-Idaho is especially cost-effective for online students who are also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These learners pay just $125 per credit hour. Non-affiliated students pay approximately $156 per credit making this one of the cheapest online colleges.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Brigham Young University here.

11. Baker College

Baker College

Baker College is a not-for-profit private school. It has an affordable path for transfer students. Baker’s Bridge to Bachelor’s program makes it simple for students. If you have an associate’s degree from an accredited junior college, you can earn an additional 60 credits to gain their bachelor’s.

Moreover, Baker offers two scholarships for transfer students. Earn one of these, and you can take as much as $9,000 off your tuition. That’s a discount for each year!

Baker offers:

  • associate’s programs
  • bachelor’s programs
  • master’s degree programs

It has ten campuses across Michigan and online. Students can pursue a number of disciplines, too. This includes accounting, criminal justice, and healthcare administration. 

Baker’s online classes are asynchronous. This means students cab schedule their studies when it’s most convenient for them. However, coursework is not self-paced. There are set deadlines keep students on track to graduate.

Learn more about this cheapest online college at Baker College here.

12. Bellevue University

Bellevue University

Based in Omaha, NE, Bellevue University is a military-friendly campus. It provides an affordable $250-per-credit-hour tuition to active-duty service members and their spouses. This makes it a least expensive online college for you to consider.

At this not-for-profit private school, all undergraduates can take advantage of low costs. Bellevue requires students to take classes in its Kirkpatrick Signature Series. This seeks to instill the importance of active American citizenship.

Bellevue offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. This institution provides variety with more than 50 online undergraduate majors. There are majors in:

  • Sports management
  • Cybersecurity
  • International business administration

There are many other options, too.

Bellevue’s online coursework is like a traditional on-campus classroom. Classes are capped at 24 students. This allows students to get personal feedback from their professors.

Program participants also join a cohort of fellow students. These students progress through their studies at the same pace. What’s more, support services like tutoring and writing assistance are easily accessible online.

Check out financial aid information here.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Bellevue University here.

13. Park University

Park University

Park University has 41 campuses. Students can certainly save on commuting costs!

This school spans across the U.S. There are campuses in Washington, Georgia, Maine, and Arizona. Its main campus is in Parkville, MO. As the name suggests, Parkville is a scenic home base. It stretches over 700 forested acres near the Missouri River.

Park makes itself convenient to students across the U.S. However, you don’t need to commute to any campus to become a “Pirate.” Park has more than 80 online programs, such as:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science
  • Associate of Science in Social Psychology.

Park’s tuition is $415 per credit hour. There are lower rates for active military and veterans.

Additionally, it awards several scholarships. This includes two that cover half-tuition for undergraduate and graduate international students. 

Apply for financial aid at Park University here.

Learn more about this cheapest online college at Park University here.

14. West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University

Online learners excel at West Texas A&M University. This school ranks highly on several of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for online education.

For example, it holds the No. 16 spot on U.S. News’ list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. It is number 8 on the list of the Best Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs

Situated on the Texas Panhandle, WTAMU is part of the Texas A&M University System. The school serves more than 10,000 “Buffaloes.” Approximately three-quarters of its students are undergraduates.

WTAMU offers fully and mostly online programs. There are other hybrid options. Mostly online programs require some in-person classes, but these do not exceed 15% of the program’s total time.

Face-to-face requirements take many forms. They might be orientations, laboratory sessions, or exams. At WTAMU, both graduate and undergraduate students can study online in a variety of academic areas. This includes business, education, and health sciences. 

Check out financial aid information from WTAMU here.

Learn more about this cheapest online college at West Texas A&M University here.

15. Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University

Whether you live in New Mexico or not, you’ll pay well under $400 per credit hour. This is the flat rate if you enroll in an undergraduate program at Eastern New Mexico University.

Better yet, as a “Greyhound,” you can speed through your coursework. ENMU’s online courses are delivered in four- or eight-week terms. This helps students move quickly through their studies. 

ENMU enrolls around 5,700 students. This makes it the largest public university in New Mexico.

Online programs utilize Blackboard. This is where online students can access their syllabi, assignments, and discussion boards. Through Mediasite, online students can watch live and recorded lectures.

Choose ENMU, and you can pick from a many different bachelor’s degrees and master’s programs. Online bachelor’s degrees are available in aviation science and accounting. You can major in Spanish or social work, too.

Graduate students can major in educational studies. There are several specializations available in its Master of Education program.  

Find out about financial aid here.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Eastern New Mexico University here.

16. Granite State College


Granite State College has a great transfer policy. Students can transfer up to 90 credit hours. This makes it easy for students to finish what they started.

As a bonus, students can take advantage of an affordable per-credit rate. It’s just $314 for in-state students. 

This New Hampshire-based school also provides discounts to students who fit certain criteria. For example, if you earn your bachelor’s at GSC, you can get 10% off your tuition for a master’s program, like its Master of Science in Project Management. Furthermore, in-state students who are 65 years or older can get their tuition completely waived. 

GSC offers fully online:

  • associate’s degree
  • bachelor’s degree
  • master’s programs

Some of its undergraduate degrees are completion programs. These programs allow learners to take their upper-division courses online after they’ve taken 60 credit hours of lower-division work. All bachelor’s programs culminate with a research paper or internship.

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at Granite State College here.

17. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

University of Texas Permian Basin

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin proves that not everything is bigger in Texas. This includes your educational costs. UTPB’s undergraduate distance learners pay approximately $9,799 each academic year. If you’re a full-time student taking 15 credit hours each semester, that works out to around $326 per credit hour. If you want the cheapest online university, this one should be on your list.

UTPB is the smallest institution in the University of Texas System. The system is a group of 14 universities across the state. Here, students join a close-knit community of just 6,000 students. While it’s a small school, students still benefit from the resources of this larger network. 

UTPB’s online programs are easily accessible. Nineteen programs are available in total. This includes both bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees. Sample degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing
  • Master of Arts in Bilingual or ESL (English as a Second Language) Education

Learn more about this cheap online degree the Permian Basin here.

18. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has helped set the standard for online education for more than 25 years. This school ranks at No. 2 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees and Programs. It has appeared in the top five since U.S. News started calculating this list in 2013.

What sets Embry-Riddle apart is its online technology. Called EagleVision, this learning platform fashions a virtual classroom, allowing learning to occur in real-time. 

Embry-Riddle’s students can also choose to take fully asynchronous coursework or a blend of both. No matter the format followed, technology will enhance the course material. For instance, aerospace engineering students can test simulated flights with the Virtual Aerial Robotics Lab. 

Embry-Riddle especially excels in aviation-related fields. It also offers online degree programs in a variety of disciplines. Three of its colleges deliver fully online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The College of Aeronautics, the College of Arts & Science, and the College of Business all have online options.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University here.

19. Fort Hays State University


Often the mark of a great education is how well former students perform on industry-focused exams. Fort Hays State University boasts top marks in several disciplines.

For example, its Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates touted a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam. FHSU also ranks highly on U.S. News & World Report’s list. It’s ranked at No. 42 among its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. It is also ranked No. 35 among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

Over 45% of FHSU’s students study online. It’s not hard to see why with online tuition rates this low. Undergraduates pay approximately $218 per credit hour. Graduates pay around $287.

Fort Hays offers online associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs. Additionally, it has an online Doctor of Nursing Practice program. 

Undergraduates can choose from a list of 60 bachelor’s degree options. These degrees range from:

  • computer science
  • modern languages
  • education
  • finance

So check out FHSU online degree program!

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at Fort Hays State University here.

20. Aspen University

Aspen University

The full cost of attendance at most universities can be tricky. This is specially true if math is not your discipline of choice. Aspen University seeks to solve this issue by making the price for higher education more transparent.

This school gives a complete breakdown for each of its academic programs. This includes how much students should budget for:

  • tuition
  • textbooks
  • fees 

Nearly all of Aspen’s undergraduate online degree programs cost just $150 per credit. Additionally, Aspen’s students can easily fit their tuition into their monthly budgets with the school’s no-interest payment plans.

Based in Denver, Aspen is an entirely online institution. It delivers:

  • bachelor’s degrees
  • master’s degrees
  • doctoral degrees

Degrees are available in four school. This includes business and technology, education, nursing, and professional studies.

It also provides one online associate’s program. This program is the Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. Check out the online degree program at Aspen University!

Learn more about this cheap online college at Aspen University here.

21. Troy University


At Troy University, online learning does not mean limited majors.

In fact, this Alabama-based school has 71 online degree programs. Here, you can find programs not commonly offered to online learners at other schools. For example, unique opportunities include a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. There is a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management, too. You can even get a Ph.D. in Global Leadership.

It’s not hard to see why Troy ranks at No. 52 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Online undergraduate “Trojans” get quality online instruction. This learning comes at an affordable price of $338 per credit hour. 

Troy uses Canvas as its online learning platform. This makes courses accessible 24/7. There are no set class times.

Before beginning, students take a PREPARE Assessment. This exam makes sure they know what to expect in their virtual classrooms. Troy also provides online Trojans with a free Canvas orientation course. Check out the online degree program at Troy University.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Troy University here.

22. University of Maine at Fort Kent

University of Maine

Parlez-vous français? If “oui,” then the University of Maine at Fort Kent might be a great choice for you! This school sits on Maine’s northern border with Canada’s Quebec province. French is the official language in Quebec. So, you’ll notice that this university includes both French and English on its logo. This is because of its unique location.

Besides straddling two countries, UMFK also boasts a scenic campus. The school is surrounded by outdoor activities. You don’t need to visit campus, however. UMFK has eight fully online programs. This includes associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. These cover areas of study like:

  • accounting
  • nursing
  • cybersecurity 

Additionally, students have the option to customize their courses. For example, students can get an Associate of Arts in General Studies. Or, students can pursue a self-designed Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Best of all, undergraduate tuition is just $245 for in-state residents. 

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at University of Maine at Fort Kent here.

23. Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University.

Business programs often come with a higher cost than others. But that’s not the case at Georgia Southwestern State University. This school offers a really affordable online Master of Business Administration. It’s just $257 per credit hour.

Moreover, GSW is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 

GSW’s School of Business Administration offers an online associate’s degree in business . There is a Bachelor of Business Administration, too. The BBA has three specializations:

  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Human resource management

Other online programs focus on:

  • criminal justice
  • nursing
  • computer information systems

GSW is based in the small town of Americus, GA. It has an 18-hole golf course on campus.

What’s more, students can afford an extra set of clubs with this school’s low tuition rates. Online undergraduate students pay $182 per credit hour. Check out the online degree program at GSW.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Georgia Southwestern State University here.

24. Marshall University

Marshall University

The key to new career opportunities can be forming professional connections. Founded in 1837, Marshall University has had many years to build its network. There are now more than 91,000 graduates. 

This West Virginia school provides several online bachelor’s and master’s programs. Its Master of Science in Criminal Justice is well-regarded. It ranks among the best of its kind by U.S. News & World Report. Additional areas of study include:

  • new media studies
  • geography
  • math

Among the offerings for online undergraduate students, Marshall provides the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. This is a customizable program designed for students who started college but didn’t finish.

More than 100 online courses are available. This helps students get the credits they need to graduate.

Any failing grades that are four or more years old are “forgiven.” This means that they are not factored into the student’s final grade point average.

Best of all, if you’re an undergraduate online student at Marshall, you can expect to pay just $303 per credit hour. This includes fees!

Learn more about this cheap online college at Marshall University here.

25. University of the Cumberlands

University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands is turning the tide on rising tuition.

In 2018, it started the Cumberlands Commitment. This halved its undergraduate tuition rates. Today, undergraduates pay just $199 per credit hour.

UC is a Christian university. It sits in the foothills of Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains. More than 15,000 students from around the world enroll here. Roughly 86% of these are seeking graduate degrees.

In addition to fully online degrees, UC offers executive-format programs in business and information technology. These incorporate online coursework and weekend on-campus intensives. This is a perfect opportunity for networking. 

Online learners can pursue degrees of various academic levels here. This includes degrees from associate’s to doctoral.

This school has a faith-based mission. As such, programs are available in ministry and religious studies. UC also has a lot of offerings for students interested in:

  • counseling
  • psychology
  • social and behavioral sciences

You can find the online program that works for you at University of the Cumberlands.

Learn more about this cheap online degree at University of the Cumberlands here.

26. Peru State College

Peru State

Do you enjoy a three-day weekend? If so, you should enroll at a school that shares your love of Fridays.

Peru State College has done away with Friday classes. This is one of many perks of becoming a “Bobcat.” For instance, this Nebraska-based school also prides itself on its student support services. This includes free tutoring.

Peru State’s online learners have the ability to study when they want. They can study wherever they are, too.

Peru State offers ten online bachelor’s majors. Some options includes:

  • business administration
  • criminal justice
  • psychology

Graduate students have two online options. There is a Master of Science in Education. There is also a Master of Science in Organizational Management.

Peru State’s online tuition rate is approximately $296 per credit hour. With that said, students can transfer up to 90 credit hours from another accredited institution. Students can also gain credits for prior work and life experiences. This helps to further lower the total cost of education. 

Learn more about cheapest online college at Peru State College here.

27. Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University has a picture-perfect campus. It has palm trees swaying under a blue Georgia sky that on campus students can enjoy! However, you can become a Blazer no matter how far you live from this southern campus.

VSU offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Both are at a low cost with no out-of-state tuition fees.

Here, online undergraduates pay just $202 per credit hour. But these online students have the option to pay even less for their education. VSU’s students can pursue the first two years of their studies through eCore’s online general education courses. These classes are provided by the University System of Georgia. This lower-division coursework costs just $159 per credit hour.

VSU offers many online bachelor’s degree programs. VSU is an especially good choice for distance learners who love language. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish. Educators can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching in Foreign Language Education or English to Speakers of Other Languages. Check out the online degrees at VSU!

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Valdosta State University here.

28. Mayville State University

Mayville State University

Today, internships are a common part of the undergraduate experience. So, if you choose to pursue your bachelor’s online at Mayville State University, you won’t need to forgo this valuable experience.

This North Dakota-based school takes experiential learning seriously. It has a well-developed internship program. This program helps students find relevant on-the-job training. This training is helpful no matter how they choose to study.

Mayville State’s online undergraduate tuition is just $305 per credit hour. Most online programs are at the associate’s or bachelor’s level. However, MSU does offer an online Master of Arts in Teaching. Undergraduate studies range from education and business to nursing and mathematics.

For a unique learning option, Mayville State offers the Bachelor of University Studies. This program is designed to help students who had to put their college education on pause. These bachelor’s students can complete the credits they need to graduate online. This is done while pursuing a minor in areas like:

  • library media and information science
  • special needs
  • accounting

Check out the online degrees at Mayville State University!

Learn more about this cheap online degree at Mayville State University here.

29. Ohio Christian University


Ohio Christian University is a faith-based institution. It is located in Circleville, Ohio. This school provides a Bible-based education. There are more than 3,000 students. The university has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Online students can pursue several bachelor’s and master’s degrees at OCU. There are options in business, religion, technology, and government. OCU also offers programs in the humanities. For example, there are Bachelor of Arts degrees in history, English, and interdisciplinary studies. 

Earning a degree becomes less stressful with OCU’s one-course-at-a-time pacing. Also, students have the opportunity to connect with classmates as they move through coursework with the same cohort of students. 

Ohio Christian offers another perk. Students who are employed by partnering organizations can earn $250 toward an already affordable tuition rate. Business partners include:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Bob Evans
  • FedEx

Check out the online degrees at Ohio Christian University!

Learn more about this cheapest online college at Ohio Christian University here.

30. Mid-America Christian University

Mid-America Christian University

Mid-America Christian University is in Oklahoma City. However, students around the globe can pursue a faith-based education. MACU offers many affordable online programs.

MACU provides undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. They are in a range of academic disciplines. For example, you can study addiction and substance abuse counseling. You can also study business leadership. There is a curriculum and instruction option as well.

True to its Christian mission, MACU also delivers programs in ministry and worship arts.

MACU’s online undergraduate students pay $408 per lower-division credit hour. Upper-level courses are $478 per credit hour. Students who major in Christian Ministries, however, pay a discounted rate of $395 per credit hour, no matter the level. That’s what you expect at a cheap online college!

At MACU, non-traditional students can also choose to take weeknight classes. These courses occur just one evening per week.

Check out the online degrees at Mid-America Christian University!

Learn more about Low Tuition Accredited Online Programs at Mid-America Christian University here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does “Accredited” Mean?

An accredited university goes through a thorough evaluation. This is done from an outside organization. This accrediting agency found the school’s educational programs and support services to meet its standards.

Accreditation can occur at two levels. An entire institution earns accreditation from organizations like the Higher Learning Commission. This agency oversees universities in 19 states. The HLC only gives its stamp of approval when a school meets a long list of criteria. Example requirements include offering rigorous learning opportunities. Additionally, the HLC looks at:

  • Hiring faculty and staff that come from diverse backgrounds
  • Ensuring that instructors are easily accessible to students

The other level of accreditation is at the program level.

Programmatic accreditation means that a school’s specific academic program is approved by an accrediting agency. Examples of this are:

These organizations confirm that programs are truly preparing graduates for success in their chosen fields. 

See Also: Top 21 Best Online Master’s in Educational Technology

Why Is Accreditation Important for an Affordable Online Degree Program?

Accreditation makes the value of your education certain.

For example, if your goal is to become a nurse, you’ll want to enroll in a program that will teach you the skills and knowledge you’ll need on the job. You’ll want to learn from professors who know this information thoroughly.

Entering a CCNE-accredited program can help guarantee this. This accreditation shows that your chosen program’s educational standards have been evaluated and approved by an objective third-party. 

Accreditation is not just important for your own educational benefit. Employers will want to see that you’ve earned a degree from an accredited institution.

State licenses, like those needed to become a public school teacher or a Certified Public Account, demand that you’ve graduated from an accredited institution.

And if you want to further your education with a master’s or doctoral degree, you’ll need to have completed previous academic work at an accredited school.

See Also: Top 30 Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs

How Long Will it Take to Earn My Degree?

In general, online bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credit hours. They are designed to take four years to complete. An associate’s degree is intended to take two years. These programs require 60 credits to graduate.

For master’s degrees, online programs are typically designed to take two years. These generally require 30 credit hours. There is a lot of variation in this, though. For example, some master’s programs require 60 or more credits.

No matter what degree you get, online college can make earning your degree easy and convenient.

What Does “Low Tuition” or Mean for an Affordable Online College Program?

You’re looking for cheap online colleges. Affordable colleges can be hard to come by.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average cost for yearly undergraduate tuition in 2016-2017 was $40,925 across all schools.

To compare, say you enroll in an online bachelor’s program that has a tuition rate of $340 per credit hour. Online students pay approximately $40,800 for the entire four years of undergraduate education, totaling 120 credit hours.

For graduate students, the NCES reported that the average total graduate tuition for all institutions was $18,416 in 2016-2017. At this total cost, a 30-credit-hour program would have a $614 per-credit-hour rate. An affordable online college would offer rates well below this average. Online learning may be within your grasp!

See Also: Why Are Application Fees for Colleges Being Dropped?

Can I Apply for Financial Aid if I Study Online?

Yes, you can apply for federal student aid. This is another reason why accreditation is important. To receive federal financial aid, online students need to be enrolled in a school that is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education

Keep in mind, the types of federal financial aid available to you depend on your enrollment status. For example, certain loan programs require students to study at least half-time. 

Scholarships and financial aid can still be available for online school. These programs might be separate from federal financial aid. Check with your chosen school to see what options they offer.

Can Online Students Receive a Scholarship if They Study Online?

Yes! Some schools have scholarships that are only awarded to online students. It can help with online degree cost. When searching for scholarships, you need to check with the financial aid department for all available awards. 

You can also contact your academic department to ask if there are any departmental scholarships available to online learners. Since these are specific to students in your area, they will likely have less competition. Departmental scholarships are often awarded based on academic merit. This means that they might not be available to you until you’ve progressed in your studies.

Also, scholarships can be found outside of academics. Companies and non-profit organizations award financial assistance to students according to varying criteria.

For example, scholarships exist for first-generation students. There are also scholarships for students who reside in certain states or cities. There are even awards for students who take part in organizations like Girl Scouts or Future Farmers of America

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education and online degrees, then you should check out our 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges. Also read Top 30 Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges