2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges & Degrees

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Of the 739 online schools researched by SR Education Group, these 25 schools represent the most affordable online colleges of 2017. With annual tuitions of less than $8,000, these schools offer a wealth of programs across many degree levels. Every school on this list offers 10 or more fully online degrees, each with at least one at the bachelor's or master's degree level.

For more specific rankings, please look at our subject rankings and rankings by degree level. These school lists cover the least expensive online degrees offered across the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree levels as well as the most popular subjects. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank College Annual Tuition Degree Levels Offered
#1 #1 Georgia Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $2,550 Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#2 #2 College of Southern Nevada Annual Tuition $4,217 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, and Certificate
#3 #3 Aspen University Annual Tuition $4,750 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#4 #4 California Coast University Annual Tuition $4,800 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#5 #5 Marshall University Annual Tuition $5,472 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#6 #6 American College of Education Annual Tuition $5,640 Degrees: Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#7 #7 Arkansas State University Annual Tuition $6,060 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#8 #8 Georgia Southern University Annual Tuition $6,120 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#9 #9 Northcentral University Annual Tuition $6,181 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#10 #10 Fort Hays State University Annual Tuition $6,217 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#11 #11 Great Basin College Annual Tuition $6,225 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, and Certificate
#12 #12 Lamar University Annual Tuition $6,240 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#13 #13 Delta State University Annual Tuition $6,298 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral
#14 #14 University of the Cumberlands Annual Tuition $6,368 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#15 #15 Apex School of Theology Annual Tuition $6,400 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral
#16 #16 Minot State University Annual Tuition $6,490 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#17 #17 Florida State College at Jacksonville Annual Tuition $6,496 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, and Certificate
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Clayton State University Annual Tuition $6,600 Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Columbia Southern University Annual Tuition $6,600 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#20 #20 Taft University System Annual Tuition $6,750 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#21 #21 California Intercontinental University Annual Tuition $6,915 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral
#22 #22 University of Maryland - College Park Annual Tuition $6,975 Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#23 #23 City Vision University Annual Tuition $6,999 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#24 #24 The University of West Florida Annual Tuition $7,182 Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
#25 #25 South Texas College Annual Tuition $7,200 Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, and Certificate

Most Affordable Online College Rankings by Subject

Our program-based rankings cover 111 subjects. Many schools on these lists offer degrees at a variety of levels, from certificates to doctoral options. The average tuition of these Most Affordable schools is a low $10,482.

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  V  |  W

In addition to our by-subject rankings, we offer a list of the Most Affordable Military-Friendly Online Schools, the Most Affordable LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools, and the Most Affordable Online Colleges for Students with Disabilities.

2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore student support services, online degrees offered, and accreditation information below.

  • Annual Tuition: $2,550
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 55%
  • Georgia Institute of Technology offers distance learners affordability and convenience through a top-ranked university. Students are held to the same academic standards as traditional students and receive comparable attention through interactions with professors. Boasting unique degrees in medical physics, manufacturing leadership, and operations research, this school is an affordable option to facilitate development of leadership competencies and specific, applicable technology education. Georgia Institute of Technology also facilitates networking among students and graduates, cultivating opportunities for advanced positions and peer supports.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,217
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • With an annual tuition of $4,217, College of Southern Nevada is one of the most affordable schools on this list. CSN offers 24/7 personal and technical support for online students, as well as an academic advisor to assist in course planning and scheduling. Currently, individuals can attain a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, a broad variety of associate degrees, or a Certificate of Achievement in areas such as casino management, criminal justice, or medical transcription. Those looking for online classes can choose from over 1,000 different courses at CSN.

Online Associate Degrees (18)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (4)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,750
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Aspen University offers a vast array of online programs from associate degrees through doctorates, starting at an affordable tuition rate of $4,750. Students at Aspen navigate through their online coursework with the help of respected professors and flexible class schedules. Undergraduate degree applicants are required to have a minimum 2.0 GPA, while nursing and doctorate applicants must hold a 3.0 GPA. Budget-conscious students are now able to enroll in a monthly payment plan to cover the cost of their degree. Aspen University also offers an employer reimbursement program.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (27)

Online Doctoral Degrees (2)

Online Certificate Programs (1)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,800
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Not Provided
  • California Coast University provides some unique and flexible options for online degree-completion at an affordable tuition rate of $4,800 per year. California Coast will mail all course materials to online students per their request, and the university has rolling admissions, allowing students to start when they chose and to work at their own pace. Areas of study include management, education, health care, psychology, business administration, marketing, criminal justice, and general studies. In addition to California Coast’s degree programs, the school offers 16 online certificates for working professionals looking to further their careers.

Online Associate Degrees (6)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (7)

Online Master's Degrees (11)

Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (16)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,472
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Marshall University provides online students with a reduced tuition rate of $215 and $310 for undergraduate and graduate courses, respectively, with a starting annual tuition rate of $5,472. The university offers multiple master's degrees and certificates in education, with areas of emphasis including early childhood education, teaching English as a second language, school principalship, and literacy education. Undergraduate degrees focus on healthcare studies, while master's degrees are available in leadership studies and new media studies. Students are able to log in and complete coursework at their convenience with no live meeting schedule, allowing individuals to continue with their career while developing additional professional skills.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (3)

Online Master's Degrees (18)

Online Certificate Programs (6)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,640
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: Not Provided
  • American College of Education (ACE) offers online master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and certificate programs focused on education. Students interested in careers in education will find a variety of specializations available at ACE, from early childhood education to online learning. In addition to a breadth of education-related degrees, ACE students will find a strong emphasis on technology in their degree programs. ACE has made a commitment to incorporating technology into its curriculum to introduce students to existing and emerging technologies that are relevant to the field of education. With a low annual tuition starting at $5,640, ACE provides prospective educators with the opportunity to earn affordable online degrees.

Online Master's Degrees (17)

Online Doctoral Degrees (10)

Online Certificate Programs (6)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,060
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Starting at a tuition rate of $6,060, Arkansas State University boasts a broad array of more than 25 undergraduate degrees, graduate certificates, and master's degrees for online students. From a Bachelor's of Art in Criminology, to a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management, Arkansas State offers high-quality online programs taught by expert faculty. The curricula of these online programs are based on the latest industry tends to ensure students are receiving the same top-notch education that traditional students receive in the classroom.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (17)

Online Master's Degrees (28)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (6)

Online Certificate Programs (8)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,120
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Georgia Southern University offers online undergraduate and graduate programs in healthcare, business, and education at an affordable rate of $6,120. Courses are taught by respected professors who excel in working with students who are working professionals, military service members, and individuals balancing family and school. Online programs include computer science, early childhood education, general studies, information technology, nursing, and sports management, among others.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (4)

Online Master's Degrees (17)

Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (17)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,181
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC and WASC WSCUC
  • Acceptance Rate: Not Provided
  • Northcentral University pairs each online student with a faculty mentor to ensure they are provided with a tailored learning experience that suits their career goals and individual learning styles. All of Northcentral’s faculty members have doctoral degrees in their field and pass on their knowledge and expertise through the university’s one-on-one learning model. Online programs include business and technology management, education, marriage and family therapy, and psychology, among others. The university also offers accelerated master's degree programs which allow students to earn a bachelor's and master's through a single program.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (73)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (111)

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Online Certificate Programs (65)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,217
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Fort Hays State University is a highly affordable university that offers over 40 online degree programs. FHSU also provides extensive support for online students from academic advisors, tutors, and other services. New undergraduate degrees cover subjects including accounting and computer science. There are a myriad of ways to expedite an individual's program of study including CLEP testing and the Advanced Placement program. Interested individuals can work with their academic advisor to figure out the best course of study. Tuition at FHSU starts at $6,217 per year.

Online Associate Degrees (3)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (29)

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Online Master's Degrees (25)

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Online Certificate Programs (54)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,225
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Great Basin College offers a variety of affordable certificates, associate, and bachelor's degree programs through their online interface. GBC boasts the ability to work at your own pace and at your convenience to successfully balance academics and work. Bachelor's degrees require four years of study and cover subjects including nursing, technology, and social science. The Bachelor of Arts in English, one of GBC’s new online programs, helps students develop skills in writing composition, creative writing, literary analysis, and the integration of culture in literature. Annual tuition for these online programs starts at $6,225.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,240
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Lamar University provides students with an affordable option for online degrees, with tuition starting at $6,240. Undergraduate programs include majors such as industrial technology, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice. Online classes can be taken in an accelerated eight-week semester format or the traditional 15-week format. Graduate programs range from education to social sciences. Students are also able to enroll in a nine-month preparation program in the areas of principal education, and superintendent education. Curriculum covers policy procedures, case law, and legal obligations, all the while blending theoretical and practical application knowledge passed on by seasoned educators.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (13)

Online Master's Degrees (30)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (3)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,298
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Delta State University focuses primarily on online graduate programs and certificates ranging from commercial aviation to geospatial information technologies and from counseling to elementary education. Students looking to further their education can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at either a full-time or part-time pace. Another convenient option for online students is the post-master’s Education Specialist program which allows educators to expand their expertise while continuing to work. Annual tuition at Delta State starts at $6,298.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (5)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,368
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • University of the Cumberlands offers online undergraduate degrees in business, social sciences, human services, ministry, nursing, and education. For more than 125 years, the university has been offering flexible, convenient degree programs to individuals. Online courses cost $199 per credit hour, making the rate an affordable option for distance-learning students. All classes are offered in eight-week terms and can be completed at various rates, depending on the needs of the student. Tuition at this university starts at $6,368 per year.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (19)

Online Doctoral Degrees (4)

Online Certificate Programs (10)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: TRACS
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Apex School of Theology’s distance education program provides a faith-based Christian curriculum through online undergraduate and graduate programs in education, theology, counseling, and divinity. Working professionals are also able to take continuing education courses to further their career and keep up-to-date with licensure requirements. Online classes are comparable with those that are taught on campus and take place over eight-week sessions. The Doctor of Ministry program allows students to choose from four competency tracks including biblical studies, Christian counseling, developing effective series, or leading for congregational change. Annual tuition starts at $6,400 per year.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,490
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Minot State University has a variety of affordable online undergraduate and graduate programs for distance-learning students. Students can opt for a Bachelor of General Studies, which allows them to work with an academic advisor to individualize their curriculum. Education professionals can pursue a Master of Science in Special Education with an emphasis in a variety of areas, including deaf or hard-of-hearing learning, specific learning disabilities, or early childhood education. Online tuition at Minot State starts at $6,490.

Online Associate Degrees (2)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (13)

Online Master's Degrees (7)

Online Certificate Programs (4)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,496
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville delivers extensive curriculum for a wide variety of undergraduate and certification programs ranging from early childhood education to human resources. Online classes at Florida State College are delivered via the Blackboard learning system, allowing students to participate in online discussions via chat groups and providing a place to submit online assignments. All online programs at FSCJ follow the same timeline and deadlines as the on-campus classes. Annual tuition for the online programs starts at $6,496.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Clayton State University is an affordable school that provides students with one-on-one tutoring, personal advising for course selection, and a writing studio to facilitate the writing and editing process, all from the convenience of students’ homes. Available subject include administrative management, archival studies, dental hygiene, homeland security, information technology, nursing, and technology management. Tuition for online programs at Clayton State starts at $6,600.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (18)

Online Master's Degrees (3)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,600
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Columbia Southern University provides students with open enrollment for their numerous programs in arts and sciences, safety and emergency services, business, and continuing education. The continuing education programs include subjects such as criminal justice, fire safety, and behavioral health, among others. With such a broad selection at an affordable tuition rate, students of Columbia Southern University can complete a course in four to 18 weeks.

Online Associate Degrees (7)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (28)

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Online Master's Degrees (18)

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (21)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,750
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Taft University System is dedicated to educating professionals through undergraduate and graduate programs for over five decades. The School of Business includes a master's degree in information technology, a multitude of business administration programs, and over five certificate programs. Students seeking an online graduate degree in education can choose from the Master of Education or Doctor of Education programs. Majors include educational administration, educational technology & leadership, and charter school administration. Tuition starts at $6,750 annually.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,915
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • California Intercontinental University facilitates critical thinking and the acumen of knowledge paired with practical application needed for furthering your career. CIU offers 10 undergraduate degrees, including both bachelor's and associate degrees in business administration and information technology. Students can also choose from specialties such as healthcare administration, internet marketing and entrepreneurship, and networking and systems security. With six master's programs and four doctoral programs, there are also many choices for those seeking a graduate degree. Each program is uniquely designed to promote quality education and ongoing support for online students. Annual tuition at CIU starts at $6,915.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,975
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Acceptance Rate: 47%
  • University of Maryland - College Park provides flexible online learning with an asynchronous timeframe, meaning that students can access and turn in their assignments at any time during the term. Students can interact through chat rooms, discussion forums, video conferencing, and email, among other avenues. Among the online graduate programs offered are master's degrees in chemical and life sciences, applied entomology, and technology entrepreneurship. Courses are offered in 12-week, four-term plans. Tuition at UMD starts at $6,975 per year.

Online Master's Degrees (21)

Online Certificate Programs (16)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,999
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • City Vision University is a fully online school offering 1 associate degree program, 8 bachelor's degree programs, and 4 master's programs. Undergraduate students can earn an associate degree in business or a bachelor's degree in addiction studies, urban missions, business administration, or non-profit management. City University also offers an online Master in Technology and Ministry with three different concentration options. Students can choose from five start dates each year, and classes are eight weeks long, making this school a flexible choice for working students.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,182
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • The University of West Florida offers a variety of fully online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as certificate programs. Areas of study available at the bachelor's level include engineering technology, maritime studies, education, and nursing. Master's-level students have many online options including business administration, English, public health, and mathematics. The university also offers a fully online doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. Individuals looking to earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate online will also find many opportunities available at the University of West Florida. Tuition starts at $7,182 per year, with out-of-state students paying in-state rates when enrolled in a fully online program.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (10)

Online Master's Degrees (36)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (12)

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • South Texas College offers online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s and certificate levels. Associate degrees are available in a wide variety of topics including philosophy, accounting, and computer information systems. Bachelor’s degrees available at South Texas include Medical and Health Services Management and Organizational Leadership. There are also eight unique certificate programs offered. With one-on-one online advising and online tutoring with video chat capabilities, students at South Texas College will feel supported throughout their academic experiences. Classes are delivered through Blackboard.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.