Not researching and identifying the most affordable online programs can lead to accumulating overwhelming student loan debt that takes years to pay off. For this guide, we’re listing the cheapest online colleges to help prospective students with a high school diploma compare costs while attaining a quality college education. 

Top Options for the Cheapest Online College

American Public University, National University, and University of the People are some of the most affordable accredited online colleges, with annual tuition under $7,000. Other budget-friendly options include Great Basin College, Minot State College, and Chadron State College, public institutions with online bachelor’s degrees costing less than $9,000 annually for in-state students. 

Top accredited online colleges with low tuition fees

Researching the most affordable online colleges can help students find the best value and graduate with less debt. Let us help with your school search for the cheapest online college.

InstitutionIn-State TuitionOut-of-State TuitionAcceptance Rate
American Public University$6,880$6,880100%
National University$6,500$6,50079%
University of the People$4,200$4,2005%
Great Basin College$3,930$14,990100%
Minot State College$7,830$11,060100%
Chadron State College$8,020$16,170100%
Amridge University$6,000$6,000Not Available
Thomas Edison State University$7,848$10,624Not Available
Western Governors University$3,370-$6,740$3,370-$6,740Not Available
Brigham Young University$5,790$5,79052%
Baker College$9,360$9,360100%
Bellevue University$10,800$10,800100%
Park University$11,520$11,52074%
West Texas A&M University$8,354$11,95497%
Eastern New Mexico University$6,978$14,638100%
Granite State College$315 (for every credit hour)$315 (for every credit hour)76%
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin$5,898$17,28858%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University$9,934$9,93466%
Fort Hays State University$218 (for every credit hour)$218 (for every credit hour)100%
Aspen University$2,325-$12,450$2,325-$12,450100%
Troy University$9,125$18,250100%
University of Maine at Fort Kent$8,580$19,59076%
Georgia Southwestern State University$4,776$12,15659%
Marshall University$8,064$15,66497%
University of the Cumberlands$9,750$9,750100%
Peru State College$7,584$7,584100%
Valdosta State University$4,346$16,69859%
Mayville State University$7,977$7,977100%
Ohio Christian University$6,804$6,804100%
Mid-America Christian University$8,700$8,700100%

Here are our featured online colleges. Learn more about credits, programs available, financial aid, and other information that can help college students with a high school diploma save money while completing an online degree.

1. American Public University

Offering one of the most affordable online colleges, American Public University students benefit from affordable tuition rates. Meanwhile, active-duty members get a special deal of only $250 per undergraduate or graduate credit hour. Plus, their textbooks are free, and technology fees are waived.

American Public University logo

Since mobility is a trademark of the military, APU’s online degree programs are offered in eight- or 16-week courses. Student financial aid, such as military tuition assistance, veterans benefits, and employer benefits, is also available. Some of APU’s most popular programs include:

See Also: Top 30 Accredited Emergency Management Degree Online Options

2. National University

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

National University logo

National University caters to both out-of-state and in-person students. Online degree classes at the National University follow a four-week format. Financial aid, grants, and scholarships are available for these popular areas of study:

  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Technology

3. University of the People

At the University of the People, students don’t pay tuition. They pay an assessment fee of only $100 for undergraduates and $200 for master’s students. This university also offers several scholarships. 

University of the People

This school keeps costs low through donations and partnerships with world-leading companies. Despite offering affordable online education, this school excels in these academic areas:

See Also: 20 Accredited Online Colleges That Offer Laptops

4. Great Basin College

In-state students at Great Basin College can get an incredible deal on their online degree education. Lower-division courses cost approximately $108 for every credit hour, whereas students outside the Sagebrush State can also benefit from this low tuition. 

Great Basin College logo

Online students who are non-residents pay just $159.50 per lower-division credit hour. Through GBC’s Prior Learning and Experience program, prospective students can get a head start on their degree by receiving up to 15 credit hours for learning that occurred outside the classroom. Sample programs from this affordable online college include:

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

5. Minot State College

Minot State University offers an affordable undergraduate per-credit rate of about $316. Minot State’s online degree programs let students nationwide take advantage of its personalized educational experience and financial support services. Undergraduates can pursue several college degree majors online.

Minot State University logo

Here, the student-to-faculty ratio is just 12:1. MSU online students can customize their major by choosing from more than 100 academic disciplines. Students have several online options at MSU, covering areas of study like:

  • Education
  • Business
  • Information Systems

6. Chadron State College

Chadron State College offers flat-rate tuition. No matter where you live, you can profit from Chadron State’s affordable cost of attendance. Undergraduates pay around $296 for every credit hour, while master’s students pay $370.

Chadron State College

You can begin one of CSC’s online programs at three different start dates throughout the year, with online courses lasting eight weeks. Students can access material 24/7 with no set class times. Enroll online at CSC and choose a bachelor’s degree program in one of many subjects.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Geoscience
  • Family and Consumer Sciences

7. Amridge University

Amridge University is one of the most affordable colleges with a faith-based online degree education. First-time students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree receive a discount at Amridge. After the discount, you pay only $250 per college credit hour. 

Amridge University

Additionally, first responders seeking an undergraduate degree pay this same low tuition. Amridge offers several scholarships and financial services to students from unique backgrounds. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Amridge offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, including options in:

  • Religious Studies
  • Education
  • Human Services

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 is among the most affordable online colleges specifically designed for older students, with the average student age at this public university at 35. When you enroll at TESU, you can pay per college credit or a flat-rate tuition. 

Thomas Edison State University

For New Jersey residents, the per-credit rate is $399, while an in-state student takes 18 credit hours in a term. For example, pay a flat-rate tuition of $3,963 to save as much as $3,219! Financial aid and tuition discounts apply to areas of study like:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Engineering

9. Western Governors University

Like other cheap online colleges on this list, Western Governors University uses flat-rate tuition, so hardworking students save more money. For each six-month term, WGU’s undergraduates pay $3,255 in tuition. As WGU reports, its students had student loan debt that was less than half the national average in 2017.

We connected with Jerome L. Rekart, Ph.D., who has over 15 years of experience in educational research, on the cheapest online colleges on our list, and he recommends WGU as his top school. 

“The reasons why include the fact that it is 1) non-profit, 2) a competency-based program (which allows individuals to move at their own pace) and 3) is affordable.”

Western Governors University

WGU is an Alabama-based school started by a group of U.S. governors who sought to make higher education more accessible to a wider audience. It follows a competency-based learning model. This allows students to pull from previous knowledge to move quickly through courses that cover the material they already know. 

  • Information Technology
  • Business
  • Health

10. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a private university supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members pay just $125 per college credit hour, while non-affiliated students pay approximately $156, making this one of the cheapest online colleges.

Brigham Young University

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. For those seeking undergraduate programs, the school’s online learners can cover many areas, including:

  • Marriage and Family
  • Applied Business Management
  • Applied Technology

11. Baker College

As one of the most affordable online colleges, Baker College’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 a bachelor’s degree.

Baker College

While Baker’s online classes are asynchronous, deadlines keep students on track to graduate. Students can pursue a number of disciplines, including:

  • Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration 

12. Bellevue University

Bellevue University is a military-friendly campus that provides affordable $250-per-credit-hour tuition to active-duty service members and their spouses. Bellevue requires students to take classes in its Kirkpatrick Signature Series. This seeks to instill the importance of active American citizenship.

Bellevue University

Bellevue’s online coursework is like a traditional on-campus classroom. Classes are capped at 24 students. With financial aid available, this institution provides a variety of more than 50 online undergraduate majors, including:

  • Sports Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • International Business Administration

13. Park University

Park University only has a $415 cost per credit. There are lower rates for active military and veterans. Additionally, it awards several scholarships and financial grants, including two that cover half-tuition for undergraduate and graduate international students.

Park University

Application requirements include a high school diploma and standardized test scores. Park has more than 80 courses, including graduate programs such as:

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

14. West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University ranks highly on several of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for online education. As a cheap online college, WTAME requires some in-person courses, although these do not exceed 15% of the program’s total time.

West Texas A&M University

You can apply for grants and financial aid. At WTAMU, both graduate and undergraduate students can study online in various academic areas.

  • Business
  • Education
  • Health Sciences

15. Eastern New Mexico University

Whether you live in New Mexico or not, you’ll pay well under $400 for credits. This is the flat rate if you enroll in an undergraduate program at Eastern New Mexico University. ENMU’s online courses are delivered in four- or eight-week terms.

Eastern New Mexico University

Despite being one of the most affordable online colleges, ENMU utilizes Blackboard, where online students can access their syllabi, assignments, and discussion boards. Through Mediasite, online students can watch live and recorded lectures. Financial aid grants and scholarships for bachelor’s degrees are available in:

  • Aviation Science
  • Accounting
  • Social Work

16. Granite State College – University of New Hampshire

Granite State College allows students to transfer up to 90 credit hours. As a bonus, students can take advantage of an affordable per-credit rate of $314 for in-state students. When you earn your bachelor’s at GSC, you can get 10% off your tuition for graduate degrees.


Furthermore, in-state students who are 65 years of age or older can get their tuition completely waived. These programs allow learners to take their upper-division courses online after completing 60 credit hours of lower-division work.

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Health and Wellness
  • Operations, Supply Chain, and Logistics Management

17. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Undergraduate distance learners at the University of Texas pay approximately $9,799 each academic year. For instance, if you’re a full-time student taking 15 credit hours each semester, that works out to around $326 per credit.

University of Texas Permian Basin

As one of the cheapest online colleges, UTPB’s online degrees are easily accessible. 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

18. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has helped set online education standards for more than 25 years. This school ranks 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.


Its learning platform, EagleVision, allows learning to occur in real time. As one of the most affordable online colleges, Embry-Riddle’s students can choose to take fully asynchronous coursework or a blend of both. Some degree programs include:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Communication
  • Safety Management

19. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University ranks highly in U.S. News & World Report’s list. It’s ranked 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. Undergraduates pay approximately $218 per credit, while those taking online master’s degrees pay around $287. Undergraduates can choose from a list of 60 bachelor’s degree options, including:

  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Modern Languages

20. Aspen University

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

Aspen University

This school gives a complete breakdown of its academic programs, including how much students should budget for tuition, textbooks, and fees. Online degrees are available in:

  • Business and Technology
  • Education
  • Professional Studies

21. Troy University

At Troy University, you can find programs not commonly offered to online learners at other schools. This learning comes at an affordable price of $338 per credit. 

Troy University

Troy uses Canvas as its online learning platform to make courses accessible 24/7. Unique opportunities include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
  • Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management
  • Ph.D. in Global Leadership

22. University of Maine at Fort Kent

The University of Maine at Fort Kent students can customize their courses to save money on online schooling. Best of all, undergraduate tuition is just $245 for in-state residents.

University of Maine

UMFK has eight fully online degrees. This includes associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. These cover areas of study like:

  • Accounting
  • Nursing
  • Cybersecurity

23. Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University is one of the most affordable online colleges for business programs. This school offers a really affordable online Master of Business Administration, costing $257 per credit hour. Moreover, GSW is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 

Georgia Southwestern State University.

Online undergraduate students pay $182 per credit. Other online programs at this accredited college focus on:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Nursing
  • Computer Information Systems

24. Marshall University

Marshall University offers a customizable program designed for students who started college but didn’t finish. Any failing grades four or more years old are “forgiven.” This means they are not factored into the student’s final grade point average.

Marshall University

When you’re an undergraduate online student at Marshall, you can expect to pay just $303 for credits. It ranks among the best of its kind in U.S. News & World Report. Additional areas of study include:

  • New Media Studies
  • Geography
  • Math

25. University of the Cumberlands

In 2018, the University of the Cumberlands started the Cumberlands Commitment. This halved its undergraduate tuition rates, prompting undergraduates to pay just $199 per credit. These incorporate online coursework and weekend intensives for on-campus students.

University of the Cumberlands

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

26. Peru State College

Peru State College has done away with Friday classes. This Nebraska-based school also prides itself on student support services, including free tutoring. Students can also gain credits for prior work and life experiences to lower the total cost of education. 

Peru State

Peru State’s online tuition rate is approximately $296 per college credit hour. With that said, students can transfer up to 90 credit hours from another accredited institution. Peru State offers 10 online degree majors. Some options include:

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology

27. Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees at a low cost with no out-of-state tuition fees. Here, online undergraduates pay just $202 for credits. 

Valdosta State University

VSU’s students can pursue the first two years of their studies through eCore’s online general education courses. VSU is especially a good choice for distance learners pursuing a college degree in:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Humanities and Communication Studies
  • Social and Behavioral Services

28. Mayville State University

Mayville State University has a well-developed internship program. Mayville State’s online undergraduate tuition is just $305 per credit hour. For a unique learning option, Mayville State offers the Bachelor of University Studies. 

Mayville State University

This program is designed to help students who have 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

29. Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University is a faith-based institution with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Online learners can pursue several bachelor’s and master’s degrees at OCU. Students employed by partnering organizations can earn $250 toward an already affordable tuition rate.


Students can connect with classmates as they move through coursework with the same cohort of students. Earning a degree becomes less stressful with OCU’s one-course-at-a-time pace.

  • Government
  • Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

30. Mid-America Christian University

Mid-America Christian University students can pursue a faith-based education in undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. At MACU, non-traditional students can also choose to take weeknight classes. These courses occur just one evening per week.

Mid-America Christian University

MACU’s online undergraduate students pay $408 per lower-division credit hour. Upper-level courses are $478 for each credit hour. Students who major in Christian Ministries pay a discounted rate of $395, no matter the level.

  • Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Business Leadership
  • Healthcare Management and Ethics

How Can I Afford an Online College Degree?

A survey shows that 56% of students expect college costs to increase. As the cost of tertiary education rises, how can you afford college, even at the most affordable online colleges?

Man using his laptop
  • Apply for financial aid: Applying for financial aid should be the first step for all students. Filling out the FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study, even from a financial education company. Independent scholarships are also free money that doesn’t require repayment.
  • Opt for an in-state online college degree: Attending an in-state public university online can significantly lower tuition versus out-of-state rates. Some colleges provide discounted online tuition for students, regardless of residency. Earning general education credits at a community college and transferring to a four-year program cuts expenses.
  • Consider programs with tuition discounts: Look for the most affordable online colleges that provide discounted tuition rates for every student. This flat rate can be cheaper than in-state tuition at a brick-and-mortar school.
  • Earn credits at community colleges: Take general education courses at a community college, which has much lower tuition than four-year schools. Then, transfer these credits to complete your bachelor’s degree and save substantially.
  • Look for accelerated programs: Enroll in accelerated colleges that allow you to graduate faster, saving time and tuition costs in the long run. Some schools also offer fast-track bachelor’s-to-master’s degrees with a personalized education advisor.
  • Try part-time over full-time studies: Opt to study part-time, taking just a class or two each term. Paying per course as you go minimizes upfront costs and interest compared to paying for a full course load via loans. This also teaches financial planning fundamentals.

Along with the tips above, Dr. Jerome Rekart advises to pay attention to credit costs:

“From a student’s perspective, the main factors that influence affordability are going to be how much a credit hour costs, how easy it is to transfer in credits from other organizations, and whether all of the fees and costs are transparent and easy to know in advance. The per credit hour cost will show you how much you can expect to pay overall, assuming that most 4-year programs require 120 credits.”

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 the most affordable online colleges, you’ll get to choose when you study, making it easier to balance work and school.

With more choices comes more opportunity to find a program that fits your budget.

Online tuition rates are not usually lower than on-campus tuition. However, distance learners won’t need to pay expenses like room and board or meal plans. 

See Also: Easy Online Master’s Degree Programs

What Is the Average Cost of Online Programs?

The average annual cost of an online degree varies by school type. For 2020 to 2021, distance-learning-only public colleges averaged $10,089. Private nonprofit schools cost more at $15,118 on average, while private for-profit schools had the highest net price at $17,047.

Overall, college costs are rising over time. NCES data shows average undergraduate tuition and fees were $9,700 at public 4-year universities, up $600 over the last decade. Private nonprofit colleges saw an even larger increase, up $4,800 to $38,800 since 2010-11.

Students may avoid certain campus fees yet can incur other expenses like technology purchases, student visa support, and distance learner charges.

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

Low tuition means you’re looking for cheap online colleges. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average undergraduate tuition in 2016-2017 was $40,925 across all schools.

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

Dollars bills rolled with a rubber band on top of piles of dollar bills

For students taking online master’s degrees, 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.

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

Is an Online College Worth It?

Pursuing an online college degree can provide many benefits compared to stopping education after getting a high school diploma. Beyond increased income, research shows college brings other advantages. Graduates have higher employment rates, better health insurance and medical care, and greater job longevity.

  • 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.
  • College graduates typically earn significantly more over their careers – around $1 million more in lifetime earnings versus workers with only a diploma. This earnings boost is because employers often require degrees for better-paying roles. In 2021, college grads aged 25-34 made 55% more than those with just a high school diploma.
  • The stigma around online education is also fading. Students now express greater satisfaction with their learning experience than those taking in-person classes. Most employers view online credentials as comparable to or superior to traditional degrees from brick-and-mortar institutions.

See Also: Top Easy Accredited Online Master’s Programs

What Does Accredited Mean in Online Colleges?

An accredited university goes through a thorough evaluation. An outside organization, like the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, does this. This accrediting agency found the school’s educational programs and support services to meet its standards.

An entire institution earns accreditation from organizations like the Higher Learning Commission. The HLC only gives its stamp of approval when a school meets a long list of criteria. Examples of requirements include offering rigorous learning opportunities.

  • 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. These organizations confirm that programs prepare graduates for success in their chosen fields.

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

Why Is Accreditation Important for the Most Affordable Online Colleges?

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 an objective third party has evaluated and approved your chosen program’s educational standards.

  • Accreditation is not just important for your own educational benefit. Employers will want to see that you’ve earned a high school diploma or a degree from an accredited institution, like the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • State licenses, like those needed to become a public school teacher or a Certified Public Accountant, demand that you’ve graduated from an accredited institution.
  • To further your education with master’s programs or doctoral degrees, you’ll need to have completed previous academic work at an accredited school.

See Also: Top 30 Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs

Exterior of a school campus

How to Prepare for the Most Affordable Online Colleges

Pursuing a degree online while working or raising a family can be challenging. However, an online education is very achievable with the right planning and preparation.

  • Reflect on your career objectives: Talking to people already in your desired field can provide insight into which degrees and certifications are most valuable. This self-examination early on allows you to map out educational goals aligned with your professional aims.
  • Be clear on the degree you want: Seeking higher pay? Want a promotion? Choose a program that provides the precise qualifications your role demands.
  • Choose a program that suits your needs: Look for robust student services like tutoring, counseling, and career help, even for out-of-state students. Evaluate class format, instructor flexibility, and networking opportunities.
  • Brace for obstacles: You’ll need realistic expectations, time management skills, and a support network. Protect blocks of study time, and don’t overload your schedule. As you learn to save money, this experience also teaches financial planning fundamentals.
  • Vet schools thoroughly: Accreditation guarantees program legitimacy and financial aid eligibility from a financial education company. Some fields mandate degrees from accredited colleges for licensing purposes. Verify status on school websites or via the Department of Education and CHEA.

How We Picked the Cheapest 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.

Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, availability of a personalized education advisor, 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 students with a high school diploma or equivalent.

See Also: 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online College

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take to Earn My Degree?

In general, online bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credit hours and are designed to take four years to complete. An associate’s degree with 60 credits can last two years. These programs require 60 credits to graduate. For master’s programs, online degrees with 30 credit hours are typically designed to take two years.

How Can College Students Avoid Out-Of-State Tuition Costs?

The easiest way for online students to avoid pricier out-of-state tuition is by attending college in their home state. However, some institutions charge the same tuition rate for all online learners regardless of residency. Other cost reduction options include alumni or military waivers, student visa support, and qualifying for in-state rates with strong academics.

Will My Diploma Show That I Studied at an Online School?

To graduate, students must show they’ve mastered the topics in their undergraduate degrees. The expectations are the same for students attaining an online degree. The only difference is the way information is delivered. An online education may be the way to go for you!

Can I Apply for Financial Aid if I Study Online?

Yes, you can apply for federal student aid. To receive federal financial aid, students need to be enrolled in a school 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.

Can Online Students Receive a Scholarship if They Study Online?

Yes, some schools have scholarships awarded to online students. For example, departmental scholarships are often awarded based on academic merit. There are even awards for students participating in organizations like Girl Scouts or Future Farmers of America. 


Selecting one of the most budget-friendly online colleges allows students to easily minimize debt and complete their degrees. Identifying the cheapest online program that meets a student’s needs is a smart way to invest in higher education without breaking the bank.

Check out our 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges. Also read Top 30 Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges!