Catching the online education wave can provide tremendous benefits. Studying online allows you to matriculate at top-notch colleges with diverse majors across the United States. Courses are easily accessible 24/7 through interactive online platforms while you satisfy your other work or life commitments. Online learning will also communicate to employers that you’re self-motivated and organized with requisite tech skills. Perhaps that’s why the Online Learning Consortium found that online enrollment increased by 3.9 percent to 5.82 million students in 2015. Despite popular belief, online colleges aren’t always cheaper than their traditional counterparts though. Careful degree shopping is necessary to maximize your schooling budget for good Return On Investment.
Therefore, we’ve outlined the Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition below. We used the NCES College Navigator database to narrow down four-year distance learning options with average undergraduate costs less than $10,000. Any online colleges charging considerably more for out-of-state students were nixed. We also eliminated all for-profit colleges that didn’t hold one of the six regional accreditations. Extra consideration was given for student-faculty ratio, freshman retention, published rankings, graduation rate, reputation with employers, financial aid, and online technology. Quality online colleges offering 10+ degrees were then arranged from least expensive to slightly more.
Without further introduction, here are our selections for the Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition:
1. Great Basin College
Regionally accredited by the NWCCU, Great Basin College is a public, state-funded member of the Nevada System of Higher Education serving over 3,400 students from its rural campus in Elko and beyond. Ranked America’s 116th “Best Online College” on Niche, GBC was named the #1 most affordable option by SR Education Group. For only $2,805 per year, students select from 13 associate, seven bachelor’s, and 10 Certificate of Achievement programs. Fully online offerings include the AAS in Early Childhood Education, AA in Graphic Communications, BAS in Land Surveying, and RN-BS in Nursing.
Average Tuition: $2,805
2. Brigham Young University – Idaho
Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private, nonprofit institution adhering to an Honor Code for educating over 17,500 in Rexburg, Island Park, Victor, and online. Crowned the West’s 10th best university by the U.S. News, BYU-Idaho was deemed the #2 “Most Conservative College” nationally on Niche. Affordable online learning leads to six associate, 11 bachelor’s, and 13 certificate programs. Consider earning the AAS in Computer Programming, AAS in Family History Research, BS in Public Health, or BS in Business Management for Entrepreneurship.
Average Tuition: $3,830
3. University of Texas at Permian Basin
Established in 1973 by oil industrialist Bill Noël, the University of Texas at Permian Basin is a public, fast-growing research institution enrolling around 6,050 Falcons on its Odessa campus and online from anywhere. According to the U.S. News, UTPB is the West’s 93rd best university and 37th top public school with the 92nd best online bachelor’s nationwide. The University of Texas Online Consortium (UTOC) presently offers 19 cheap degrees with accelerated, eight-week formats. Online students could pursue the Psychology B.A., Criminal Justice B.S., Special Education M.A., or Kinesiology M.S.
Average Tuition: $5,250
4. Western Governors University
Offering online competency-based learning for over 76,200 students, Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit NWCCU-accredited institution headquartered in Salt Lake City with six state-affiliated schools. Deemed America’s 33rd “Best Online College” on Niche, WGU earned the Sloan Consortium’s prized Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education. Low tuition and a 100 percent admission rate helps students pursue 58 degrees across four online colleges. Excellent options include the B.S. Marketing Management, B.S. Software Development, M.A. Teaching Science, and M.S. Nursing Education.
Average Tuition: $6,070
5. Thomas Edison State University
With the motto “Learning Throughout Life,” Thomas Edison State University is one of New Jersey’s 11 public, state-funded teaching institutions focused on educating over 18,500 adults on-site in Trenton and online via Course Access. Graded “A” for value on Niche, TESU was selected for the 2011 NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award. Busy working professionals can choose from 55 online degrees holding MSCHE accreditation. Some noteworthy programs are the AAS in Nuclear Engineering Technology, BS in Homeland Security, MS in Hospitality Management, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Average Tuition: $6,135
6. Chadron State College
Positioned in one of Sports Afield magazine’s “Top 50 Outdoor Sports Towns,” Chadron State College is a public, co-educational higher learning institution founded in 1911 that’s educating over 3,000 face-to-face and online. Selected as Nebraska’s fifth top public university on Niche, CSC was ranked #5 nationally by the Guide to Online Schools. With an above-average retention rate of 67 percent, Chadron State has 20 affordable online degrees. Log-in to receive the B.S. in Geoscience, B.A. in Business Administration, B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences, or Master of Organizational Management.
Average Tuition: $6,220
7. Minot State University
Classified as a North Dakota’s third-largest public, co-educational Master’s I institution, Minot State University enrolls more than 3,400 Beavers with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio from “The Valley” and online. Chosen as the #38 “Best Online College in America” on Niche, Minot State is recognized by the U.S. News for the 191st best online bachelor’s and 78th best online graduate business degrees. Fully HLC-NCA accredited, MSU Online has 16 affordable programs on Blackboard. Online students could earn the B.S. in International Business, A.S. in Human Services, M.S. in Special Education, or M.S. in Information Systems.
Average Tuition: $6,390
8. American Public University
Boasting open-enrollment of over 98,400 Golden Eagles, American Public University is an accredited private, for-profit distance institution based in Charles Town, West Virginia, with six academic schools. Lauded for the nation’s 58th best online bachelor’s degrees by the U.S. News, APU was ranked the Southeast’s “Best Bang for the Buck” in Washington Monthly magazine. Nearly half of APU’s students are military members using G.I. Bill benefits and low tuition to finish 100+ academic programs. Consider the A.A. Military History, B.A. Reverse Logistics Management, B.S. Electric Engineering, M.S. Space Studies, and more.
Average Tuition: $6,880
9. Amridge University
Following the Church of Christ’s tradition, Amridge University is a SACS-accredited private, nonprofit Christian institution attracting around 750 students to its Montgomery campus off Interstate 85 and online division. Distinguished as Alabama’s #2 most affordable college by BVS, Amridge was graded “B” for value on Niche. Amridge’s four colleges confer 35 online programs via Blackboard with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Available offerings include the Associate of Arts in Web Development, Bachelor of Science in Management, Master of Arts in Old Testament Studies, and Doctor of Ministry in Family Therapy.
Average Tuition: $6,900
10. West Texas A&M University
Endowed for $71.79 million, West Texas A&M University is a public, co-educational research institution tracing back to 1910 that’s educating around 9,400 Buffs from the Amarillo Metro and beyond. Graded B+ for diversity on Niche, WTAMU is declared the West’s 91st best college and 35th top public university with the 11th best online bachelor’s programs nationwide by the U.S. News. With SACS accreditation, the Distance Education division confers 19 online and hybrid programs via the SREB Electronic Campus. Low tuition accompanies the BBA in Economics, B.A. in Criminal Justice, Healthcare MBA, and M.S. in Finance online.
Average Tuition: $7,041
11. Bellevue University
Based in Nebraska’s Sarpy County with satellites in West Omaha and online, Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit teaching institution established in 1966 that’s endowed for $28 million to educate over 10,300 Bruins. Given Military Friendly Gold Status by Victory Media, Bellevue is acclaimed for America’s 72nd best online bachelor’s and 141st top online MBA programs by the U.S. News. The HLC-NCA accredited university offers small, low-cost courses for 77 online degrees. Cohorts could attain the Digital Marketing B.S., IT Operations Management B.S., Clinical Counseling M.S., and Organizational Performance M.S.
Average Tuition: $7,050
12. University of Maine at Fort Kent
Located just six minutes from Clair, New Brunswick, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is a public, co-educational liberal arts border institution teaching over 1,500 students in French and English. Named the 468th “Best College that Accepts the Common App in America” on Niche, UMFK is ranked the North’s 13th top public school with the 120th best online undergraduate majors nationally by the U.S. News. Through Blackboard, enrolled Bengal tigers can pursue 19 NEASC-accredited degrees online. Consider the A.A. Conservation Law Enforcement, A.S. Allied Health, B.S. Healthcare Administration, or B.S. Rural Public Safety Administration.
Average Tuition: $7,575