Cheapest & Most Affordable Online Colleges 2023

Searching for the cheapest online colleges? Our list takes an in-depth look at affordable online colleges with further information about each school to help your search.

Two decades ago, online courses were mostly limited to large, state-funded universities. Today, virtually every college or university has developed online programs or hybrid classes, including continuing professional education classes for working adults who may not be able to attend traditional courses. Online learning opens the door to flexible courses for everyone, regardless of lifestyle needs. This allows students to have greater flexibility with work and mobility for those who need to travel or have variable schedules.

Online learning is not new, but its success and necessity in recent years show the importance of technology in increasing the affordability and accessibility of higher education. With all the uncertainty in today’s economy, it’s important to find a college that is affordable and allows for simultaneous income.

Featured Online Colleges

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

To ensure that as many people can find this accessible and convenient degree program, EDsmart has compiled a list of the cheapest online schools in the nation.

Not only do these schools charge the cheapest tuition, but they have also been vetted for quality factors such as student-faculty ratio, freshman retention, published rankings, graduation rate, reputation with employers, financial aid, and online technology.

Studies show that most online students prioritize affordability over other factors when searching for a school where they wish to obtain their undergraduate education. You seeking out this page shows that you are a smart investor looking for an inexpensive degree to get the best value for your dollar. researching tuition is a great place to start your search.

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FAQ | Criteria | Most Affordable Accredited Online Colleges | Cheapest Online Associate’s Degrees | Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degree | Financial Aid for Online Students

Ranking Criteria

Our data team gathered the most recent data from the NCES College Navigator database [2023] to narrow down four-year colleges offering extremely inexpensive online degree programs with tuition under $10,000 per year.

  • Any schools charging substantially higher out-of-state tuition were removed from our list.
  • For-profit colleges without one of the six regional accreditations were also removed from our list.
  • Only schools that offer 10+ online degree programs were added to the list.

We compile and update our lists annually with the aim of helping online students to find the most economical online colleges offering the best likelihood of completing a college degree without hurting their wallets or incurring unneeded debt.

Top 10 Cheapest and Most Affordable Online Colleges 2023

Florida State College at Jacksonville- Bachelor’s Degree $3,129
Washtenaw Community College- Associate’s Degree $3,624
Arkansas Northeastern College- Associate’s Degree $3,648
Copiah-Lincoln Community College- Associate’s Degree $3,833
Houston Community College- Associate’s Degree $4,813
Western Nebraska Community College- Associate’s Degree $4,958
Clovis Community College – NM- Associate’s Degree $5,411
Carl Albert State College- Associate’s Degree $5,451
Cochise College- Assocciate’s Degree $6,260
Fayetteville State University- Bachelor’s Degree $6,969
Hutchinson Community College- Associate’s Degree $6,969
College of Southern Nevada- Associate’s Degree $7,019
Southeast Community College- NE- Associate’s Degree $7,190
Louisiana State University-Alexandria- Bachelor’s Degree $7,301

Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degrees 2023

Cheap online colleges for bachelor’s degrees

1. Florida State College at Jacksonville

Average Net Price: $3,129

Florida State College at Jacksonville, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, offers the cheapest online bachelor’s degree on this list. It was included among the shortlist of the Aspen Institute of eligible schools approved to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a coveted award signifying excellent ranking among American community colleges.

In 2021, it was one of the winners of the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges award by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s Accrediting Commission recognized its Culinary Management Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program as “Exemplary” and accredited it through 2026. FSCJ offers several bachelor’s degrees: Computer Systems Networking, Information Technology Management, Public Safety Management, Supervision and Management, Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, Financial Services, Human Services, Nursing, and Logistics.

2. Fayetteville State University

Average Net Price: $6,969

Fayetteville State University opened its doors in 1867 through the African American community in Fayetteville, marking a milestone in education. The name changed a few times, but the school fared well and expanded its curriculum, eventually becoming one of the first normal colleges — designed specifically to educate teachers based on the French model of “Ecole normal” — for adult African Americans in the south. Today UNCSFU’s online program is ranked top among all historically black adult educational institutions and ranks third among all North Carolina institutions.

In 2022, the MBA program of this university was acknowledged by the online platform College Consensus as one of the top ten programs in the United States. College Consensus aggregates scores from reputable sources like Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, The Financial Times, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes. Online bachelor’s degree programs include Business Administration and Sociology, among the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs available.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

3. Louisiana State University-Alexandria

Average Net Price: $7,301

Louisiana State University-Alexandria boasts one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in Louisiana and the southern region; it comes with a comprehensive transfer policy as well. LSUA is Louisiana’s only state-funded undergraduate university and was launched in 1960 as part of LSU to offer two-year nursing degrees. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, but individual programs have additional accreditation from related approved organizations.

Bachelor’s programs at LSU-A include applied arts and sciences, communication studies, communication studies – human relationships, english, religious studies, accounting, business administration, business administration – entrepreneurship, criminal justice, criminal justice/criminal psychology, health professions/medical imaging, health professions/health care administration, medical lab science, mathematics, mathematics/actuarial science, nursing (RN to BSN), psychology, psychology/clinical psychology, psychology/family and community dynamics, psychology/industrial and organizational psychology, disaster science and emergency management, health sciences, humanities, organizational studies, and social sciences.

4. Louisiana State University-Shreveport

Average Net Price: $8,703

Louisiana State University-Shreveport has been in existence in northwestern Louisiana since 1967. Its survival is an accomplishment since government feasibility studies denied the need for a two-year college in that part of the state. Still, the Shreveport community was steadfast and kept fighting for a school.

LSU-Shreveport currently offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. LSUS offers six online bachelor’s programs: Management and Administration, Finance, Marketing, General Business Administration, General Studies, and Mass Communication. The people in the Shreveport community are close-knit and rightfully proud of their school.

5. Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

Average Net Price: $8,961

The Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus has been combining an engaging learning environment with current technology to provide a rich and diverse educational experience for all. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Eastern New Mexico University #87 in Top Performers on Social Mobility. The university is proud of its continuous accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

The online bachelor’s degree program at ENMU is designed to enable students to earn their degrees while maintaining their professional life and personal commitments. Unlike many other schools that offer cheap online degrees delivered by correspondence courses or independent study programs, ENMU’s online bachelor’s degree program has been specifically designed for the student who needs to balance the demands of a busy life with the pursuit of a college degree. Some of ENMU’s online programs include bachelor of business administration with concentrations, bachelor of science in nursing, bachelor of science in computer science, bachelor of arts in communication-journalism, bachelor of science in early child education, and many more incredible programs.

6. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Average Net Price: $10,792

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a publicly funded college in the eponymous Pembroke, North Carolina, right between Charlotte and Wilmington. Native Americans originally founded it as a college specifically for the local indigenous populations. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, it offers six online bachelor’s degree programs: Criminal Justice, Sociology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Business Administration, RN-BSN, and Birth-Kindergarten Education and has a detailed as well as helpful Office of Online Learning page on the website. UNCP also has online certificate and licensure programs available. Regarding other states’ reciprocity in distance education, this school is approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

7. Columbia Southern University

Average Net Price: $11,241

Columbia Southern University is a private Christian institution in Orange Beach, Alabama. The university provides conventional undergraduate degree programs in arts and sciences as well as professional programs in fields like business, education, and nursing. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits CSU. CSU has provided cost-effective online college programs for over 25 years.

The university offers a variety of programs ranging from specialty certificates to doctorate degrees. A few online bachelor programs at CSU include criminal justice administration, emergency medical services administration, fire administration, health care administration, homeland security, environmental management, occupational safety and health, and psychology. CSU courses are specially designed and taught by professors appointed to the faculty for their expertise. The courses at CSU incorporate real-life experiences and the latest industry standards, allowing students to stay competitive in a constantly evolving job market.

8. Clayton State University

Average Net Price: $11,663

Clayton State University

is located in Morrow, Georgia, starting in 1969 as a junior college. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits it. The University has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #20 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, and it is tied for Regional Universities South and Top Public Schools. gave Clayton State an overall grade of B- for its diversity, academics, and value.

Online Bachelor’s Degree programs include Accounting, Administrative Management, Biology, Biology with Secondary Education Concentration, Chemistry, Dental Hygiene, Elementary Education, Film Production, General Business, Legal Studies, Nursing, Nursing RN to BSN, Sociology, and a wide range of other degrees and subjects. Tailored to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel as a leader in today’s cut-throat job market, Clayton State University’s online bachelor’s program is a unique offering.

9. Valley City State University

Average Net Price: $11,676

Valley City State University ranks second in North Dakota in Top Public Universities in America according to US News and World Report. It has been recognized by them as among the Best Universities nationally for 24 consecutive years. Located in the southeast region of the state, it was founded in 1890 as a normal school or teachers’ college. Today it is part of the North Dakota University System and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Bachelor’s Degree majors at VCSU include Communication, English, History, Music, and Social Science, among many others. Online minors include Business Library Media, Marketing, Mathematics, Psychology, and Technology Education.

10. Minot State University

Average Net Price: $12,205

North Dakota is home to Minot State University, a large public university offering a prestigious education. Fully accredited by the HLC-NCA, it offers 21 online degree programs, including subjects like business administration & management, social work, special education, nursing, and teacher education. Minot State University is proud of its offerings of affordable online bachelor’s degrees as well as opportunities for remote students and those with demanding work schedules to earn online certificates and graduate degrees.

MSU has been highly recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its excellence, ranking #33 in the list of Top Public Schools.’s rankings have placed MSU in the top spots in various categories, including #1 in North Dakota for Colleges with the Most Diversity, #2 for Best Colleges for Business and Best Small Colleges in North Dakota, and #3 for Best Colleges for Education and Top Public Universities.

11. University of Missouri – Saint Louis

Average Net Price: $12,232

The University of Missouri at Saint Louis has many reasons to be proud. It is a highly regarded educational institution with much to offer students and the community in general. U.S. News & World Report ranks it #118 among the top public universities nationwide. They’ve also named UMSL “#1 in Missouri for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.” INSIGHTS into Diversity Magazine has given it the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award five times. Based on student reports of what matters most to them, Forbes identifies the school as one of “America’s Best Colleges.” Business Insider says that UMSL is “#1 in Missouri for Affordability.” UM- SL’s list of accolades goes on, including its status as a Tier 1 National Research University.

Online bachelor’s degree programs at Saint Louis include applied psychology of child advocacy studies, business administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, computing technology, criminology & criminal justice, cybersecurity: computer science, cybersecurity: information systems & technology, educational studies: early childhood, educational studies: exercise science & wellness, educational studies: park & museum studies, educational studies: youth & adult development, entrepreneurship, finance, history, information systems, and technology, international business, liberal studies, management, marketing, nursing (RN to BSN), organizational leadership, philosophy, political science, psychology, public policy and administration, sociology, and supply chain management.

12. Mississippi University for Women

Average Net Price: $12,761

The Mississippi University for Women, also known as “the W,” was founded in 1884 as the first public university in the nation that exclusively taught women. Today the Mississippi University for Women accepts both males and females. Located in eastern Mississippi, near the state line of Alabama, the W is a prestigious institution that has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The W’s curriculum comprises a diverse range of programs, some of which will require you to complete two years of coursework at a community college and an additional two years of online study before being awarded your degree. Furthermore, a few select programs offer you the option of on-campus residency.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees available through MUW include Early Childhood Development, Public Health Education, and Business Administration with a wide variety of business admin specializations, among many others. Available online minors include General Business, Health Care Management, Human Geography, Human Resource Management, Legal Studies, Public Health Education, Management Information Systems, and Sexual Health.

13. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Average Net Price: $13,092

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has had the trademarked name “ECO-U” since 1971 due to its green philosophy. Established in 1965 to provide secondary education to the Green Bay area, UW Green Bay is now part of the University of Wisconsin state-funded school system. Green Bay’s degrees are accredited by the HLC of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has 51 undergraduate programs, including 14 fully-online bachelor’s degrees. UWGB offers many online programs in the arts, science, accounting,
business administration, finance, health IT, HR management, humanities, organizational leadership, management, marketing, nursing, psychology, and public administration.

14. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,189

In 1902, Fort Hays State University was established in West Central Kansas on the grounds of an old military outpost. Originally planned as an agricultural school, it opened as a teachers’ college. This public university has maintained high ratings among the top midwestern education centers. FHSU is proud of its affordability and high quality of education. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the institution, and several programs have individual accreditations.

Online Bachelor’s Degree programs include Accounting, Agricultural Leadership, Criminal Justice, Health Studies, Human Health and Performance, Marketing, Music, Psychology, and Sociology.

15. Valdosta State University

Average Net Price: $13,240

Valdosta State University provides its students a unique opportunity – to experience the benefits of both worlds. Valdosta places focus on providing tailored, personal attention to each student. U.S. News & World Report ranked it among the Best Universities in the nation in 2022.

Valdosta State University’s online degree programs are designed to make earning a Bachelor’s Degree more convenient for busy students like you. Now, you can study and access materials in a comfortable environment at your own convenience and gain access to valuable opportunities while still earning a high quality education from your home. Online Bachelor’s Degree programs include criminal justice, french, general business, management, office administration and technology, organizational leadership, psychology, Spanish, and workforce education. Valdosta partners with educators that have an impact on students by encouraging innovative, accessible, and meaningful learning. The faculty at VSU strive to help improve student experiences and graduate outcomes, making the whole learning experience more enlightening and personalized.

16. Southern Utah University

Average Net Price: $13,578

Southern Utah University is the perfect place to grow academically while offering a cozy campus atmosphere that can help you get ready for a career that you are passionate about. Here, you will get to discover yourself and explore your interests. Southern Utah University has 140 undergraduate programs and 21 graduate/certificate programs. These programs provide a world-class education that will challenge you to complete real work-based projects before you graduate. The U.S. News and World Report ranked SUU #32 in top public schools, #67 in regional universities west, and #83 in top performers on social mobility.

Southern Utah University offers 12 fully online bachelor’s programs. Online Bachelor’s Degree programs including accounting, aviation administration & leadership, business management, communication, criminal justice, elementary education, family life & human development, finance, general studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, marketing, political science, and RN – BSN Nursing. The professors in each program are highly trained and are prepared to teach you skills that will carry you far into your career.

17. Western Carolina University

Average Net Price: $13,924

Western Carolina University is renowned for its beautiful setting in Asheville, NC—famous for the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Mountains. On top of that, Western Carolina University holds its place among the leading 10 public universities in the Southern part of the United States, being a member of the UNC System.

Western Carolina University’s Distance Learning Programs offer everyone, from those completing a degree to those continuing their education, the flexibility and convenience of getting an education at Western Carolina University. Their remote and online course offerings are perfect for people with busy lives because they can take the courses at their convenience. They’re also affordable, ranking among some of the top programs in the country. A few of their most popular online bachelor’s programs include business administration/law, emergency medical care, innovation leadership, and RN to BSN program.

18. Arkansas State University

Average Net Price: $14,189

Arkansas State University, known as “A-State,” was founded in 1909 as one of few high schools intended to teach agriculture, horticulture, and textiles. After years of expansion, it has been continuously accredited since 1928 by The Higher Learning Commission. A-State advisors can help you with your academic decisions to ensure you get the input and guidance you need to graduate with a profitable degree. You can take each course knowing that dedicated staff will give you the practical skills you need for success in a career environment.

Bachelor’s Degree programs at A-State include General Studies, Business Administration, Health Promotion, RN to BSN, Organizational Supervision, Criminology, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Engineering Management Systems.

19. Georgia Southern University

Average Net Price: $15,571

Georgia Southern University is located in Statesboro, not far from Savannah. At Georgia Southern University, their learner-centered culture preps students to think critically, lead effectively, and collaborate with others. GSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and maintains regional accreditation in specific department programs.

At Georgia Southern University, they offer a variety of flexible online programs in business management, education, and health care. Bachelor’s Degree programs include world languages and cultures with concentrations in french, interdisciplinary studies, information technology, criminal justice and criminology, and RN-BSN. When taking classes online, you can work around your other commitments. You’ll be able to earn your degree at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

20. Ohio University-Main Campus

Average Net Price: $16,845

Ohio University was founded in 1808 with only one building, three students, and one professor. Ohio University has a central purpose focused on the intellectual and personal development of its students. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the institution, and specialized accrediting organizations accredit over 30 programs.

OHIO has several programs based on the flexibility that allows you to study and earn your degree completely online. Ohio University’s professors have mastered the art of giving you their undivided attention regardless of where you’re located, so you can be sure you’re gaining the best education possible. Online Bachelor’s Degree programs include Business, Communication, Psychology, Customer Service Leadership, Hospitality Management, Human Services, and Interior Architecture. Bachelor’s Completion Degrees for students who have acquired Associate’s or general education studies include Applied Management, Criminal Justice, Integrated Healthcare Studies, RN to BSN, Technical and Applied Studies, and Technical Operations Management.

21. Kennesaw State University

Average Net Price: $18,522

Kennesaw State University, affiliated with the University of Georgia, has two campuses located near Atlanta. It holds a unique elite status among American schools as a Carnegie-designated research institution. KSU is traditionally known for its innovative teaching methods, especially in undergraduate and graduate programs. As a leader in education, they offer degrees of all levels (bachelors-doctoral) to over 43,000+ students every year. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Kennesaw State University #54 in First-Year Experiences, #37 in Undergraduate Teaching, and #153 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, among other rankings.

Kennesaw State offers 17 online Bachelor’s programs. Bachelor’s Degree programs include studies in marketing, information technology, cybersecurity eMajor, industrial engineering technology, integrative studies, manufacturing operations, supply chain logistics, geography, criminal justice, political science, psychology, sociology, computer game design and development, and software engineering.

22. Central Methodist University

Average Net Price: $25,095

Central Methodist University began its history as a small school in Fayette, Missouri, in 1823. Since then, it has expanded into a private four-year liberal arts university supporting its Wesleyan heritage. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the institution, and several programs hold additional accreditations. Central Methodist University received rankings from the U.S. News and World Report for #40 in Regional Colleges West and #51 in Top Performers on Social Mobility.

CMU offers online programs for students challenged by distance or busy schedules. CMU boasts that their online courses are among the highest quality in the country, and they’re confident that you’ll enjoy them as much as their on-site courses. You’ll be able to learn from some of the best professors in the world regardless of whether you complete your degree entirely online or add an occasional course to your schedule. A few of their online bachelor degree programs include Accounting, Applied Behavior Analysis, Cybersecurity, Early Childhood Education (Missouri Certification Only), Educational Studies, Nursing – RN to BSN, Occupational Therapy Assistant – Post-Professional Completion, and Sports Management.

Cheapest Online Associate’s Degrees 2023

1. Washtenaw Community College

Cheap online colleges for associate’s degrees

Average Net Price: $3,624

Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor Charter Township, Michigan, is the cheapest online associate’s degree for students and offers 137 courses, 45 of which can be completed completely online. The #1 online college in Michigan offers 200 courses that are available entirely on-demand, with fewer time restrictions, and over 500 that have a virtual element but still require students to attend lectures at a certain time.

The school is renowned for its diversity and boasts a large cohort of international students studying abroad. Many programs under the umbrella of Computer Science are available completely online, including C++, Computer Networking Academy, and Computer Software Applications. Other popular online majors include Criminal Justice, Construction Supervision, and Technical Communication.

2. Arkansas Northeastern College

Average Net Price: $3,648

Arkansas Northeastern College was founded in 1972 and is highly spoken-of public community college, located in Blytheville. Arkansas Northeastern College offers a variety of programs that are available completely online, including degrees in business, early childhood education, and teaching certificates.

Additionally, ANC offers several degree programs that are available partially online but do require certain classes to be taken on campus for a more hands-on approach, including steel industry technology, networking, and criminal justice. Arkansas Northeastern College also offers an early college credit program, which allows high school students to dual-enroll and take classes that satisfy high school graduation requirements, as well as counting for college credits towards a college degree.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

3. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Average Net Price: $3,833

Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, has an enrollment number of just over 2,000 full-time students, which can be good news for fans of smaller class sizes. They offer 33 fully online programs, including economics, speech pathology, and marketing.

Copiah-Lincoln has served the Mississippi area for over 100 years since its founding in 1915. CLCC has an impressive graduation rate of 59%, which is 10% above the national standard, and 85% of its alumni secure a job within two years, surpassing the rate of graduates across the country by 2%. These impressive numbers have made it a popular choice among students. rates the school as the third-best school in Mississippi and gives it an overall B rating. Its highest individual ranking is an A+ for safety.

4. Houston Community College

Average Net Price: $4,813

Houston Community College has 4 campuses in Southeast Texas besides its online presence. This American college stands out from the rest as it does not make proficiency in English a prerequisite for admission. With this, various students have the chance to earn an online associate’s degree regardless of their language skills.

Houston Community College offers 60 online degree programs and 80 online subjects for students looking for the cheapest associate’s degree, including vocational nursing, astronomy, welding, accounting, fire protection technology, marketing, real estate, nuclear medicine technology, and so much more. It comprises 18,000 full-timers and 39,000 part-time students from both online and traditional backgrounds.

5. Western Nebraska Community College

Average Net Price: $4,958

Western Nebraska Community College

an upstanding college based out of Scottsbluff. Western Nebraska Community College offers seven fully online associate degree programs that you can take, including business administration with concentrations in accounting, business administration, management information systems, information technology, business technology/general business technology, computer science, coding technician, information technology technical support, and psychology. WNCC also offers classes from other programs which can be taken independently or as electives towards a different degree, such as agricultural sciences, criminal justice, and psychology. ranks the school as the 3rd best community college in Nebraska, giving it high marks for diversity and a favorable faculty ratio to students.

6. Clovis Community College

Average Net Price: $5,411

Clovis Community College in New Mexico provides students with a fantastic opportunity to gain an invaluable higher education. They offer seven fully online degree programs: Behavioral Science, business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice, general studies, paralegal studies, and liberal arts.

Clovis’ low-class sizes and professor-pupil ratio are frequently cited as the top-selling points. Former students, professors, and promotional literature issued by the school itself highlight the importance of a one-on-one relationship between students and faculty, which can be critical in online learning environments where students can’t simply speak to the professor individually during open office hours. ranks the school as the 5th best community college in New Mexico and gives it an overall B-. Much like the previous school, however, it should be noted that Clovis received a low score for location, which brings down the weighted average and overall grade.

7. Carl Albert State College

Average Net Price: $5,451

Carl Albert State University is located in Poteau, in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. CASU is well-spoken of for providing an education that prepares students to become world leaders. Carl Albert State offers 12 online degree programs, including health/physical education, history, political science, enterprise development, and occupational health and safety. You also have the choice to take your general education requirements online as well. gives an overall grade of C+, with professors at the school giving a B- and B in diversity. Several reviews on the website emphasize the close relationships former students had with their professors, which they feel helped them achieve more than they normally would have, especially in subjects like history and math, which the students considered difficult.

8. Cochise College

Average Net Price: $6,260

Cochise College in Sierra Vista, Arizona, is a two-year public school with a total enrollment of about 3,670 students per semester. There are 16 students for every faculty member, which puts CC lower than the national average. Their website also features free, non-credit classes that students may use for their personal enrichment.

Cochise offers 6-degree programs that can be completed online, including business administration, computer programming, intelligence operations studies, and social and behavioral sciences. The intelligence operations studies program is the most popular course offered here, as very few colleges offer the degree.

It is rated the #7 college in the state of Arizona by and has an overall grade of B. The school’s diversity and safety are listed among its highlights, in addition to its lower class sizes and outreach programs for Hispanic students.

9. Hutchinson Community College

Average Net Price: $6,969

Hutchinson Community College in

located in Hutchinson, Kansas is a well-known community college among the locals.

HCC offers over 250 classes and 19-degree programs online to students like you, with programs having a transfer option for students who wish to pursue their bachelor’s, or they offer a career/technical option for students who want to begin work upon graduating. A remarkable 56% of students who take classes end up graduating, significantly exceeding the national average. Additionally, 95% of attending students receive some kind of monetary assistance. Liberal Arts/Humanities is the most popular major at Hutchinson Community College.

10. College of Southern Nevada

Average Net Price: $7,019

The College of Southern Nevada is located in Clark County and is conveniently spread across three campuses situated in Charleston, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.

CSN offers 20 courses for cheap online associate degrees in such fields as casino management, hospitality management, communication, and special education. They are also one of the few universities to offer a handful of 4-year degrees completely online, should you consider exploring higher education. Despite the average cost being well below most other 2-year institutions, CSN has 2-year employment rates, and the median income for graduates is extremely close to the national average in those categories.

11. Southeast Community College

Average Net Price: $7,190

The fourth Nebraska entry on our list is Southeast Community College, headquartered in Lincoln. It is a popular transfer spot for students looking for a cheap way to complete the first part of their degree program, as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a 1:1 transfer credit system with Southeast Community, meaning there is no risk of students taking a class that wouldn’t be counted for credit at the other institution.

SCC offers 20 online programs, as well as many degree programs available either partially or fully online. Many of their online programs allow all the courses to be taken online but require in-person clinical or labs. These programs include Paramedics, Practical Nursing, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, Early childhood Education, and Healthcare Services.

12. Allen County Community College

Average Net Price: $7,409

Allen County Community College in Iola, Kansas, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023, and approximately 2500 undergraduate students are enrolled in classes, either full or part-time, a much larger class than the 93 students who attended in the fall of 1923.

ACCC offers a wide variety of courses and degree programs over the internet. These include Business Administration, Computer Systems, and Childcare Services. Nursing Studies was the most popular course for female students, while Business Administration was the pick for males.

13. Trinity Valley Community College

Average Net Price: $8,031

Trinity Valley Community College in based in Athens, Texas, and usually has an enrollment of around 4,200 students per semester. It’s a relatively small but reputable college.

TVCC offers 19 cheap online associate degree programs in various fields, including pre-law, biomedical sciences, business and administration management, and Spanish. They also offer hybrid programs allowing students to take some classes through distance learning and complete the rest in person in areas such as drama, dance, and agriculture.

TVCC has recently been recognized for extracurricular activities, including its cheerleading team. They are well-known regionally for their liberal arts program, which is so popular that it has nearly 6 times the number of students as the second entry on that list, the welding program.

14. Central Community College

Average Net Price: $8,069

Central Community College in Grand Island, Nebraska stands out among its peers with a hefty enrollment of 6,300 per semester. It is the largest of all community colleges in the state. It is one of the six Nebraska community college systems located regionally throughout the state and serves 25 of its 93 counties. The school offers the Navy Tech Prep program in electronics in partnership with the United States military. At its founding in 1966, Central was the only multi-vocational college in Nebraska to serve multiple counties.

CCC offers multiple degree programs online in such fields as Criminal Justice, Environmental Health and Safety, Health Information Technology, and Business Technology. The most popular degrees at this school include Business, Automotive Technology, and Liberal Arts and Humanities. Graduates tend to fare better than their counterparts at other schools, as both median income and employment rate 2 years after graduation are higher for Central Community alumni than the national average. 88% of students are employed in their fields 6 years after graduating.

15. Delgado Community College

Average Net Price: $8,311

Delgado Community College in New Orleans is one of the nine constituent members of the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges program and serves over 14,000 students each year. It was founded in 1921 as Delgado Trades School and, after various reorganizations and name changes, was given its current name by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1980. Grammy Award winner Irma Thomas, commonly known as “The Soul Queen of New Orleans,” attended the school and is the namesake of Delgado’s Irma Thomas School For W.I.S.E Women (WISE being an acronym for “Women In Search of Excellence).

DCC offers various degree and certificate programs fully online, including Real Estate, Hospitality Management, Logistics, and Marketing. Liberal Arts is by far the most popular degree available, with nearly 6 times as many graduates receiving that diploma than the number two most popular, Nursing. The school does have an extremely low graduation percentage of 11%. However, this is largely due to many attendees only attending for their first year before transferring to another university in Louisiana.

16. Great Basin College

Average Net Price: $8,467

The second Nevada school on this list, Great Basin College, is located in Elko and was formerly known as Northern Nevada State College. It has approximately 3,800 enrollees, including traditional, online, and hybrid students, and the ratio of students to faculty at GBC is 15:1.

GBC offers 17 online associate degree programs, including social science, land surveying/geomatics, graphic communications, and infant/toddler education. They also offer several four-year degrees completely online, as well as several two-year technical certificate programs.

17. Northeast Community College

Average Net Price: $9,029

Northeast Community College is, as the name suggests, in the northeast corner of Nebraska and is the third member on our list of the Nebraska regional community college system.

NCC offers eight cheap associate degrees online in 15 fields, including agriculture, behavioral sciences, library and information sciences, and social science. The nursing and liberal arts programs produce the most graduates in this school.

It is ranked by as the second-best community college in the state of Nebraska and received a grade rating of B for student life, safety, and value. Two years after graduating, a significant 92% of alumni are gainfully employed in the same field they studied and have an average annual income of $33,900 — higher than the median salary nationwide.

18. Truckee Meadows Community College

Average Net Price: $9,200

Truckee Meadows Community College is a commuter college serving the area of Reno, Nevada, and recently celebrated its 50th year of classes in 2021.

Of the 50 degree and certificate programs offered by the school, 15 associate degree programs are available completely online, including Anthropology, Entrepreneurship, History, and Criminal Justice. The Lab Technician Certificate Program, partially available online, is the most common diploma issued by TMCC. In 2015, the school was authorized to begin issuing Bachelor’s Degrees as well, in the fields of Logistics Operations Management, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security. These programs, available partially online, allow students to take their cheap associate’s degree and turn it into a cheap bachelor’s degree.

19. Baton Rouge Community College

Average Net Price: $9,245

Baton Rouge Community College has proudly been a pillar of the Baton Rouge education landscape since 1995, renowned for its commitment to the community and comprehensive range of educational offerings. It is set in the bustling city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was one of just 850 educational institutions chosen as a Space Grant Institution across the United States.

BRCC offers various online courses and degree programs, including business associate, computer science, general science, and liberal arts. This institution welcomes nearly 8,000 students every semester and can boast a 6% higher graduate employment rate than the national average – 89% of graduates have found work in their field 2 years after receiving their degree. 57% of the students at the school take at least one class via online delivery.

20. Georgia State University-Perimeter College

Average Net Price: $9,316

Established in 1964, Georgia State University-Perimeter College is based on the outskirts of Atlanta and provides students with a rich learning experience. Being close to a bustling city provides them easy access to all its opportunities, people, and culture. This enabled students to take advantage of all the state-of-the-art resources and abundant opportunities available with UGA’s excellent academic reputation.

Perimeter is well-known for its online presence, with nearly 10,000 of the 18,500 enrolled students being strictly online and an additional 6,000 taking at least one class online. Nearly every program offered by the college is available at least online, except for certain technical programs that require hands-on training, such as welding or nursing.

21. Moraine Park Technical College

Average Net Price: $9,464

Moraine Park Technical College is the cheapest member of the 16 Wisconsin Technical College systems and has over 4,000 students yearly. Established in 1912, it is one of the oldest institutes of higher learning still active in the state today and has a very popular Nursing Assistant program that provides a bulk of the school’s graduates.

MPTC offers night classes for students who work during the day, plus over 30 cheap online degrees, certificates, and technical programs, including Administrative Coordinator, Business Analyst, Leadership and Organizational Development, and Marketing and Social Media Management. 73% of enrollees graduate from Moraine Park, placing it well above the national average of 49%.

22. Barton County Community College

Average Net Price: $10,003

Barton County Community College located in Great Bend, Kansas, serves approximately 4,200 students per year, with around 900 attending full-time. Almost half of the school’s students only attend virtual classes, and an extra 9% receive a combination of in-person and remote instruction.

BCCC offers 29 fully online programs, including Emergency Management/Homeland Security, Medical Coding, Wildlife Sciences, and Hazardous Materials Management. Liberal Arts and psychology are some of the two most popular online programs at this school, with welding as the most popular strictly in-person area of study.

Barton County Community College also notes that the 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio is the national average, and 41% of students are varsity athletes.

23. Chippewa Valley Technical College

Average Net Price: $11,115

Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is a part of the 16-institution community college system with around 7,600 students enrolled yearly. The student-to-faculty ratio here is 14:1. Ever since its establishment in 1912, this community college has been providing invaluable education.

CVTC has an extensive catalog of courses and degree programs available online, including Business Management, Early Childhood Education, Legal Studies/Paralegal, and Professional Communications. The most popular degrees are Nursing or Nursing Assistant, EMT Paramedic, and Criminal Justice, but all of these programs require some in-person classes/training.

The graduation rate, employment retention rate, and post-graduation median income of the school are all considerably higher than the national averages in each category.

24. Albany State University

Average Net Price: $13,520

Albany State University in Albany, Georgia has a rich history of being a Historically Black College. It was also the birthplace of the Albany Movement during the 1960s – an integral group of Civil Rights advocates and activists. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself spoke at the school in 1961. It was founded in 1903 by Joseph Winthrop Holley, the son of two former slaves, and was originally named The Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute. In 1996, it officially joined the Georgia State University system.

Albany offers over 60 different degree and certificate programs, 8 of which are two-year degrees that can be completed entirely online. Some of these include Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Health Information, and Medical Laboratory technicians.

Financial Aid for Online Students: Your Guide to Paying for Online Classes

Taking online classes is a great way to reach your educational goals without commuting but you should be aware of the financial implications of enrolling beforehand. Consider how the investment of school may affect your budget before signing up. Fortunately, many schools offer flexible payment options and scholarships that can help make the cost of online classes more manageable for you. There are various student financial aid options available for those studying online. This guide intends to give a thorough breakdown of different career prospects and how to successfully apply for them. Consequently, it is essential that you put in the effort to analyze and comprehend the different opportunities accessible.

Federal Aid for Online College: Grants and Loans

Financially challenged students can turn to the federal government for help and support. Grants like the Federal Pell Grant, give a great opportunity to pursue online classes without accruing debt as they do not have to be paid back. In order to stay eligible, students need to maintain a satisfactory academic performance. The maximum award amount for the 2023-24 academic year is $7,395.

Federal loans, including subsidized loans, can be used by learners to cover their college expenses. Subsidized loans only incur interest once students graduate. Hence, students are able to attend university without the concern of building interest during their studies.

State Aid for Online College: Grants, Scholarships, and Tuition-Free Community College

Numerous states have various grants and loan options, including virtual classes to aid students in their college expenses. Eight states use a state lottery to fund merit-based scholarships or provide students with tuition-free community college. Eligibility requirements vary by state, so learners should research what options are available in their state.

Scholarships for Online College: Awards Based on Merit

Scholarships are another great resource for students to help cover the cost of their online schooling. Scholarships provide an opportunity to finance the costs associated with taking online classes. They’re essentially free money that can alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with higher education. Colleges and private institutions award scholarships, and scholarship committees consider applicants’ GPAs and extracurricular activities. Deadlines and application materials vary by scholarship, and recipients do not have to pay the scholarship back as long as they make sufficient academic progress.

Loans for Online College: Private Lenders

Private lenders, including banks, offer student loans to help students pay for educational expenses. Private loans, unlike some federal loans, start accruing interest pre-graduation and may have a higher interest rate. Students ineligible for federal loans can turn to private loans, but loans can negatively impact learners’ financial health. Students should use loans as a last resort.

Employer Assistance for Online Colleges: Tuition-Reimbursement Programs

Many employers offer employee tuition-reimbursement programs, which can be an excellent way for learners to get financial aid for online classes. Several elements may be taken into account when assessing eligibility for tuition reimbursement, including economic situation and academic achievement. Some employers may require employees to major in an approved subject or meet specific GPA requirements.

As stipulated in the agreement, recipients of financial aid for their studies usually need to remain employed for a certain duration after graduation as part of their commitment. This helps guarantee the funds were properly used and invested in beneficial ways. This helps ensure that the funds provided were not wasted and invested in a meaningful way. This helps ensure that the funds provided were not wasted and invested in a meaningful way. Employees who leave before this date may have liable for repayment of part or all of their tuition assistance.

Completing the FAFSA for Online School: Your First Step to Financial Aid

Remember to complete the FAFSA when applying for online college courses as it is an essential part of the financial aid process. Completing your FAFSA on time is critical in order to acquire all the required funding that you need. It’s essential to ensure your form is filled out correctly and submitted promptly. This process helps assess students’ eligibility & they need to submit necessary monetary data by the annual federal application deadline in order to be considered.

Eligibility for the FAFSA: American Citizens and Permanent Residents

Completing the FAFSA is essential if you need financial assistance to cover your educational costs. Submitting the form will make you eligible for federal student aid. Moreover, to remain eligible, recipients need to follow the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criterion set by their schools.

Each college evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) differently so it is essential to know the criteria of your school. The requirements may include a specific GPA score or a certain number of credits taken each semester. Make sure you review your school’s guidelines carefully.
Learners must submit the FAFSA each year, and students or their guardians must provide current financial information that affects aid amounts.

Application Process for the FAFSA: Register and Submit Required Financial Information

The FAFSA website outlines the application process in detail, including answers to 2022’s most frequently asked questions. First, students must create an FSA ID to secure and access their account and information whenever needed.

For students who are dependents to be eligible, parents must share relevant financial documents such as their W-2s and other tax documents with the school. In some cases, other forms of verification may also be necessary to accurately report their income status.

Submitting Your FAFSA: How to Maximize Your Financial Aid Opportunities

Are you struggling to afford college? FAFSA has helped millions of students to reach their higher education goals. This free application makes it easy to access Federal Student Aid and make sure your journey to academic success is financially doable and to help you avoid compromising loans. Higher education institutions often use a thorough process to assess candidates’ eligibility for grants, scholarships, work-study programs and student loans to help FAFSA determine each person’s eligibility.

Critical Deadlines: Submit Your FAFSA Before the Priority Deadline

To get the most financial aid possible, submitting your FAFSA on time is crucial. The application opens on October 1 every year. Remember that these are federal deadlines, but many states have their deadlines, which can be earlier. Be sure to check with your school’s financial aid department to determine the deadline for your state and institution.

Submitting Your FAFSA: Review Your SAR and Make Corrections

Following the submission of your FAFSA, you should expect a Student Aid Report, or SAR, within three to five days through an online filing. The SAR will show you the Expected Family Contribution, the amount your family is expected to contribute to your education. Colleges use this number to determine your financial aid eligibility.

It’s important to review your SAR carefully to ensure all the information is accurate. You can log in to your FAFSA account and make changes if any mistakes are identified. It helps to inform the financial aid office at your school of alterations you make on the FAFSA website so that their records match.

Maximizing Your Financial Aid Opportunities: Tips for Success

Submitting your FAFSA on time and reviewing your SAR for accuracy are essential steps in maximizing your financial aid opportunities. To maximize your chances of getting aid, you can take the following additional steps which will help increase the possibility of receiving financial support.

Research your options: Students have access to plentiful financing from private organizations and businesses in the form of scholarships and grants for research.

Apply for state aid: In addition to federal aid, many states offer their financial aid programs. You can check with your state’s higher education agency for available programs.

Consider work-study: Work-study programs allow you to earn money while attending college. Investing your time in researching the financial aid options available at your school can prove beneficial.

Knowing the deadlines and qualifications for FAFSA can help you ensure that you maximize your use of available financial aid. Keeping track of this information will also allow you to plan your college expenses more effectively and efficiently manage your finances.

Cheapest Online Colleges FAQ

How much does an online college degree cost?

Choosing an online bachelor’s degree program can be a daunting task, and tuition fees are typically the number one factor students have to consider. Always compare the different options available before choosing a program to suit your needs and budget. For those with fewer means, community colleges, and in-state public institutions are designed to help people overcome hurdles.

Are online schools a cheaper option?

If you enroll in online schooling, typical traditional college costs such as housing, transportation, and fees won’t be a concern. It is often more affordable than campus-based learning and the convenience it offers can be invaluable. The wide variety of online degrees can make enrolling in an online program cheaper than on-campus.

What is the cheapest degree to get?

There is no single degree that is the cheapest. University of the People (UoP) offers cheap online associate and bachelor’s degrees. UoP also provides scholarships to cover any fees they charge.

Can you use Pell Grants to pay for online schooling?

The Pell Grant Program is a federally-funded scholarship awarded to individuals in financial need that meet additional academic and annual income requirements. Any accredited college that awards federally recognized degrees will accept Pell Grant money to pay for any online course.

Where can I purchase cheap college textbooks online?

It’s no surprise that pinching pennies and pursuing an undergraduate degree go hand-in-hand for most young, aspiring individuals. A smart student knows how to allocate resources and find the best deals on school supplies like textbooks. Buying secondhand, renting, reselling, and even getting a library card are great ways to save a few bucks.

Which affordable online college has the lowest cost?

For many students, one of the best way to obtain affordable education is to look at local state and community colleges near you. Community colleges are highly likely to offer various options regarding foundational coursework in your field of interest.

According to EDsmart’s 2023 Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges ranking, Great Basin College is the best, most affordable online college to offer a cheap online degree.

How do I minimize my overall costs?

A lot of college costs are the result of lifestyle choices, so really, it’s up to you. Depending on your housing situation, everyday expenses, and level of budget maintenance, you can minimize your college expenses by a significant amount.

What are the specific types of federal financial aid available to undergraduates?

With the various funding options available, you can easily finance your education costs without any hassle. You can explore your options which includes federal grants, loans, work-study programs, and education tax credits or deductions which you can apply for. Grants and scholarships are the preferred mode of financial aid for most college students because they don’t require a long-term repayment plan as federal loans do. Work-study programs enable students to actively pay for their college education through work with an organization, government agency, or on-campus position. The majority of students also qualify for education-related tax returns.

How do I complete a FAFSA?

Completing the FAFSA process requires having the necessary financial documents, registering with a federal student ID, reading all guidelines on, and submitting your application on time for the designated year. For more information, visit

What does it mean when an online school is “accredited”?

A college’s accreditation can be either regional or national. All accredited universities offer career-building opportunities and high-quality educational programs, although the extent of the options available and the quality of the coursework may depend on the type of accreditation. Accredited degree programs are often more highly regarded by employers than non-accredited degrees.

Does Free Online College Exist?

Some schools are free tuition online colleges. Most schools offer “free tuition” through financial aid programs. These schools offer benefits such as covering housing costs or other expenses if one’s family income can’t cover them. For example, Antioch College in Ohio helps with housing needs when the FAFSA shows that a student’s family income or estimated contribution won’t be able to handle housing costs. Barclay College provides scholarships that cover the whole cost of tuition.

Making Online College More Affordable

1. For many students, opting for a two-year local college such as a community or junior college to pursue higher education is a financially viable choice due to its affordability. According to the College Board, tuition & fees at such institutions were less than $4K in 2021-2022 – compared to public universities at almost $11K. Plus, you can earn credits or obtain an associates degree here. This means taking your first two years of college at an inexpensive local junior or technical institute could actually save you some money.

2. Participating in an Advanced Placement or IB program is highly suggested for those seeking an edge when applying to colleges. Such programs can give you the upper hand you need to land a spot at your desired university. It’s an excellent way to get ready for the academic rigor of higher education institutions. It bridges the gap between secondary and college studies, helping them stay ahead of their classmates and build a strong base for university life. This is an outstanding way to get a head start in their university journey. Public high schools only charge a small fee when it comes time to take the associated AP/IB tests, which means that these exams won’t break your budget.

3. Moving to another state for residence can make sense to save money on your education expenses. Moving to a certain state can bring you many advantages, like being able to enjoy lower tuition fees as an in-state student. This can help you save money on college expenses.

4. Apply for the FAFSA – Annually, the U.S. Department of Education gives around $8,390 per pupil through scholarships and grants. This is enough to fund tuition costs for a two-year college and nearly cover it at public universities. Completing the FAFSA registration quickly is essential to get the most out of it as funds are limited.

From, “Most colleges send out financial aid award letters around the same time as admission offer letters. Submitting your FAFSA form early, and in accordance with the college’s accepted timeline, can increase your chances of receiving financial aid faster. However, the competition you are up against also has an effect on how soon you receive the aid. Taking all these factors into account is crucial when considering this matter.

5. Take 12-18 credits per semester – Some four-year institutions offer cost-saving flat tuition rates for students taking 12 to 18 credits per term. For example, students who are Michigan residents and meet certain criteria such as earning less than $65,000 per year, providing proof of grants or loans each year, and enrolling full-time during semesters, can receive scholarship funds from Michigan Higher Education Aid, which covers fees for lab space and equipment usage.

How to Pay for Your Online Degree

For students, finding the right degree program can be challenging—this is especially true for those on a tight budget.

If you’re looking for ways to minimize college costs. Completing the FAFSA is an essential step toward gaining access to available financial aid options like scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study programs.

Filling out a FAFSA will assist in determining your eligibility for them. Individuals can also apply for federal scholarships and field-specific or merit-based scholarships. The FAFSA is the place to start.

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Many online students are using employer tuition reimbursement to pay for their education. In a 2018 survey by Aslanian Market Research and Learning House, 23% of all past or current online undergraduate program student respondents and 32% of online graduate student respondents said they used tuition reimbursement from their employer to pay for their online degree. Experts recommend students ask their company’s HR for tuition reimbursement opportunities.

Scholarships & Grants for Online Students

Scholarships that are available for on-campus students are often available to online students.

Here are some resources for finding scholarships for online students. Distance Learning Scholarships offers a list of over 40 scholarships for online students. This site offers information on each scholarship, including amounts and deadlines.


Unigo: Online College Scholarships offers a list of 58 scholarships for online students that includes information about each scholarship, including award amounts, deadlines, and links for applying.


GetEducated: Grants for Online College introduces the different types of grants for online college students and links to available grants. Types of grants include federal/public, state, private, institutional, need-based, merit-based, academic departmental, corporate and professional association grants. This site offers great information on grants for online students.


Further Resources

Best Online Colleges
Most Affordable Colleges
Accelerated Online Degree Programs (Associates, Bachelors, Masters)
Cheapest Online PHD Programs and Online Doctoral Programs
Cheapest Online Master’s Degree Programs
Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges
Cheapest Affordable Online MBA Programs
Online Medical Assistant Programs

Visit Great Basin College’s accredited online programs
Visit the University of Texas at Permian Basin’s Accredited Online Programs
Visit Thomas Edison State University’s Accredited Online Programs
Visit West Texas A&M University’s Accredited Online Programs
Visit American Public University’s Accredited Online Programs

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.