The Most Affordable Online Colleges 2016-2017
Have you ever found yourself wondering:
What’s the cheapest online college by credit hour?
Here at Best College Reviews we realize that many people looking for online degrees are often looking for the flexibility and affordability required to juggle busy work and life commitments with schoolwork.
Featured Online Colleges
With the aim of providing a comprehensive look at the online colleges that are the cheapest available today, we’ve surveyed over 160 programs to pull out the 25 cheapest. We’ve calculated the price of colleges by looking at out-of-state per-credit-hour tuition rates (because most online students won’t be in the same state as the institution they’re attending). We’ve then multiplied that rate to obtain the average cost of tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester. While this may not account for the range of fees that some institutions apply to their students, it’s a good starting place for finding the cheapest online degrees out there today.
1. Aspen University
Aspen University’s Economic Responsibility Goal includes offering tuition rates low enough that a majority of students will be able to afford to pay tuition in cash. And at $125 per credit hour (or $1,950 estimated tuition cost per semester), they’re at least closer than anyone else in our ranking to being able to offer this. Aspen offers 12 bachelor’s programs in the fields of business, criminal justice, general studies, health, nursing, and education. Their online offerings also include proctored exams and capstone projects.
2. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers tuition for a 15-credit-hour and up semester at $2,467, effectively making the cost of unlimited semester classes around $2,500 before applicable fees. Northwestern State is known as one of the most veteran-friendly online schools according to US News and has a broad range of offerings, including 13 bachelor’s level degrees and many concentrations. Currently general studies and psychology are the most popular bachelor’s level majors. A number of graduate programs are also available.
3. Valley City State University
Valley City State University has been providing online education since the 2000-2001 school year, and currently have an in and out-of-state per-credit tuition rate of $168. For a 15 credit semester, this brings the estimated tuition cost up to $2,520, or the third cheapest of schools surveyed. Eight undergraduate majors are offered online, with the largest portion of offerings centering around education topics. Technical teacher education and business teacher education are the most popular majors. Eight online minor and certification programs are also available.
4. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University offers online courses through their virtual college for $186.50 per credit hour or $2,797.50 for a 15-credit-hour semester. 21 fully-online bachelors-level programs are available with a number also offering a number of concentrations. Business administration and organizational leadership are the most popular majors. Graduate-level programs are available fully online as well. Currently Fort Hays State University is the 16th ranked best online bachelor’s program according to US News and the 8th ranked online college in our top online college ranking.
5. The University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands offers online programs for $199 per credit hour, rounding out an estimated tuition cost for a 15-credit-hour semester at $2,985. Currently seven bachelor’s degree-granting programs, as well as some certification programs are available. Business administration and management is the most popular major. The University of the Cumberlands also offers a number of graduate programs online. Courses are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, allowing you to work at your own pace if you so wish.
6. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University offers online courses for $204 per credit hour, or an estimated $3,060 per 15-credit-hour semester. 6 fully-online bachelors level degrees are currently available including criminal justice (BA and BS), general business administration, general studies, nursing, and psychology. General studies is by far the most popular major, and allows students to design a curriculum that fits their unique interests and needs. A large number of masters, doctorate, and certification programs are also available.
7. Lamar University
Lamar University currently offers online courses for $208 per credit hour, for an estimated $3,120 per 15-credit-hour semester. 7 fully-online bachelor’s degree programs are available, as well as two degree completion programs. The largest concentration of majors revolve around business administration, including specializations in entrepreneurship, general business, and management. A number of graduate degrees and certification programs are also available.
8. Chadron State College
Chadron State College offers online courses to both in and out-of-state students at the same low price of $225 per credit hour, bringing the estimated cost of a 15-credit-hour semester to $3,150. Six online undergraduate majors are available, with one–business administration–offering specializations in accounting, accounting CPA path, business information systems, management, and marketing/entrepreneurship. Other offerings include 8 online minor options and 8 partially-online degree options.
9. Oregon Institute of Technology
The Oregon Institute of Technology offers online courses for $220 per credit hour, or an estimated $3,300 for a 15-credit-hour semester load. Currently four bachelors programs are available fully online, including applied psychology, information technology, operations management, and technology and management. A number of degree completion programs and certification programs are also available, all centered around medical fields like clinical sleep health or dental hygiene.
10. Western International University (tie)
Western International University offer online courses for $250 per credit hour, or $3,750 for a 15 credit-hour semester. Fully online bachelors-level degrees are available in accounting, behavioral science, business administration, information technology, and management. Behavioral sciences and accounting are the most popular majors. A number of graduate programs including an MBA are also available fully online.
10. Valdosta State University (tie)
Valdosta State University offers online courses for $250 per credit hour, or $3,750 in estimated tuition for a 15 credit-hour semester. Bachelors degrees that are available entirely online include criminal justice, human capital performance, legal assistant studies, management, office administration and technology, and organizational leadership. Two innovative online offerings include the eCore program, that allows University System of Georgia students the opportunity to complete the first two years of college online, and eMajor, a series of adult-learner focused and workforce-ready majors.
10. Allied American University (tie)
Allied American university offers online courses for $250 per credit hour, for a total of $3,750 in estimated tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester. Currently four bachelors-level degrees are available fully online including general studies, computer information systems, criminal justice, and business administration. Associates degrees are available as well. Unique offerings include the ability to start your studies on the first Monday of any month, short eight-week classes, and an open enrollment policy.
13. University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas offers online courses for $256 per credit hour, or $3,840 for a 15-credit-hour semester. Currently three bachelors degrees are available fully online: general business, education in human resource and workforce development education, and an RN to BSN program. The RN to BSN program accounts for close to half of all online undergraduate students. One minor, nine certifications, and numerous graduate-level offerings are also available fully online.
14. Athens State University
Athens State University offers online courses for $257 per credit hour, or $3,855 for a 15-credit-hour semester. Thirteen fully-online bachelors degree programs are currently available, as well as several certificate programs. A large majority of offerings are through the college of education and business, with business over half of all programs available through the college of business. The adult degree program offers a chance for adult learners to apply their prior experience and knowledge for credit and obtain a bachelor’s level degree.
15. Columbia College
Columbia College offers online courses for $260 per credit hour, or $3,900 for a 15-credit-hour semester. Currently 24 undergraduate level degrees are offered fully online by Columbia College. Certifications, associates, and masters level programs are also available online. Courses are asynchronous, allowing students to logon when it fits their schedule. Courses are also held in eight-week sessions that rotate five times a year, offering flexibility to fit courses around your busy life.
16. Grantham University
Grantham University offers online courses for $265 per credit hour, or $3,975 in estimated tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester course load. Active service members, veterans, and first responders receive even better rates. 15 bachelors-level degrees are currently available, with a large number of certifications, associates level, and graduate degrees available online as well.
17. The University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota offers online courses for $266 per credit hour, or $3,990 in estimated tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester course load. 11 bachelors-level degrees are currently available, as well as a number of graduate-level degrees and certificates. Psychology, general studies, mechanical engineering, and communication are the most popular majors. Courses are also available for lifelong learners and not-for-credit through personal and professional development courses.
18. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University offers online courses for $269.93 per credit hour, or $4,048.95 for a 15-credit-hour semester course load. 11 undergraduate level degrees can be completed fully online, as well as a number of certifications, an MBA and a number of graduate programs. Online student support services include live-feedback, a writing center, and tutoring.
19. Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers online courses for $271 per credit hour including tuition and the distance learning fee. This makes the total estimated tuition costs for a 15-credit-hour semester $4,065. Oregon State University offers 19 undergraduate programs fully online including a special post-bacc program in computer science. The University Exploratory program is designed for students who are not quite sure what they would like to study, but would like to explore a range of subjects while working on baccalaureate requirements. In total, over 900 classes are offered online.
20. Waldorf College
Waldorf College is a residential and online college offering online courses for $275 per credit hour, or $4,125 in estimated tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester course load. 22 bachelor’s-level programs are available fully online, many with a number of concentrations. Degrees offered include bachelors of arts, bachelors of science, and bachelors or applied science. Associates, masters are certifications are also available. Free tutoring and textbooks are provided with enrollment.
21. West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University offers online courses $277 for out-of-state students,bringing the estimated cost of tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester to $4,155. Currently three undergraduate degree programs are available entirely online: criminal justice, general studies, and business administration. Four specializations are available through the business administration major. Three degree completion programs and graduate programs are also available online.
22. Utah State University
Utah State University offers online courses for $290 per credit hour for out-of-state students, bringing the estimated tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester course load to $3,575.50. Eight bachelors-level degrees are offered fully online, as well as associates degrees, minors, and graduate degrees. Courses are offered in a traditional semester-based format as well as a flexible and condensed 4-7 week timeline. Some courses are also open entry format so as to allow students to study at their own pace.
23. King University
King University offers online courses for $300 per credit hour, making the estimated total for tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester $4,500. Thirteen undergraduate-level degrees are available fully online, with rolling admissions for greater flexibility throughout the application process. Class sizes are small, with a total enrollment of 780. Other degrees offered include an associates of arts degree, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Masters of Science in Nursing.
24. Clarion University
Clarion University currently offers online courses for out-of-state students for $301 per credit hour. This brings the estimated total tuition for a 15-credit-hour semester to $4,515. Currently nine undergraduate-level programs are offered fully online, with an additional six concentrations that may be taken if you’re pursuing a bachelor of science in liberal studies. Admissions are rolling for greater flexibility throughout the admissions process, and classes are small due to the total online enrollment of around 300 students.