2016 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Early Childhood Education Degrees

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With annual tuition ranging in price from $4,500 to $11,746, all 24 colleges on this list offer affordable online degrees in early childhood education. Students enrolled in these programs will spend a fraction of the cost of online degrees offered by other schools while gaining skills to prepare them for jobs as child care workers, pre-school teachers, and more. At $4,500 annual tuition, Aspen University takes first place for least expensive degree, offering both associate's and bachelor's degrees in early childhood education.

In order to be considered for this ranking, colleges were required to offer online degrees in early childhood education or a closely related field at the bachelor's degree level or higher. A full methodology can be viewed here

Looking for an Online Early Childhood Education Degree? Search Over 37,000 Online Programs:
Rank College Annual Tuition Early Childhood Education Degree Levels Offered
#1 #1 Aspen University Annual Tuition $4,500 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Associate and Bachelor's
#2 #2 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Annual Tuition $4,641 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Certificate
#3 #3 Fort Hays State University Annual Tuition $6,014 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's
#4 #4 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $6,440 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#5 #5 Fayetteville State University Annual Tuition $7,417 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's
#6 #6 Clarion University Annual Tuition $7,624 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Associate, Master's, and Certificate
#7 #7 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $7,755 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#8 #8 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Annual Tuition $7,850 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#9 #9 Arizona State University Annual Tuition $8,325 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's and Certificate
#10 #10 Ottawa University Online Annual Tuition $8,370 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#11 #11 University of Louisiana-Monroe Annual Tuition $8,550 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#12 #12 Northcentral University Annual Tuition $9,645 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's and Doctoral
#13 #13 Capella University Annual Tuition $10,212 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#14 #14 University of West Alabama Annual Tuition $10,400 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#15 #15 University of the Southwest Annual Tuition $10,440 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
#16 #16 Wayland Baptist University Annual Tuition $10,788 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's
#17 #17 Charter Oak State College Annual Tuition $10,890 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's and Certificate
#18 #18 Park University Annual Tuition $11,070 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's
#19 #19 Kaplan University Annual Tuition $11,250 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's
#19 #19 Liberty University Online Annual Tuition $11,250 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#21 #21 University of Nebraska at Kearney Annual Tuition $11,400 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#22 #22 Bluefield College Annual Tuition $11,680 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's
#23 #23 Rasmussen College Annual Tuition $11,700 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, and Certificate
#24 #24 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $11,746 Early Childhood Education Degrees: Master's
1
  • Annual Tuition: $4,500
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

Aspen University offers both an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and an online Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. Students will take liberal arts courses as well as classes specific to early childhood education, like curriculum design, child development, and education psychology. The program is affordable, averaging $4,500 in yearly tuition. Courses taken for the associate degree can later be applied toward the bachelor's degree. Students within the bachelor's program can customize their degree to fit their career goals by completing either a preschool or infant/toddler specialization.

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Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

2
  • Annual Tuition: $4,641
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Students interested in special education can complete the fully online Master of Arts in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. This 36-credit-hour degree can be completed in 24 months. It is also affordable, with tuition averaging $4,641 a year. This program is accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. Students in this program can take courses such as Current Trends in Programs and Services, Foundation and Legal Aspects of Special Education, and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students also have the opportunity to receive a University Certificate in Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood Education.

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3
  • Annual Tuition: $6,014
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Fort Hays Sate University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with an early childhood unified (ECU) endorsement. This degree includes special education courses and will prepare students for a variety of education careers. With an average tuition rate of $6,014 a year, this is one of the most affordable options. Students will get the opportunity to gain experience through internships and student teaching. The ECU endorsement allows students to teach children up to grade three in regular and special education classrooms. While this degree prepares students to become licensed to teach in the state of Kansas, students should note their state's specific license requirements.

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4
  • Annual Tuition: $6,440
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

The University of North Dakota's fully online Master of Science in Early Childhood Education offers in-state tuition for all students, regardless of residency, with tuition averaging $6,440 a year. Students will complete a 60-hour practicum within their community as part of this program, allowing them to get hands-on experience. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, this program provides students with the education they need to be prepared to teach students between the ages of three to eight. A unique feature of this program is that students can opt to obtain a National Director Credential for Early Childhood Administrators in addition to their degree.

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5
  • Annual Tuition: $7,417
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Fayetteville Sate University offers a new online Bachelor of Science Birth through Kindergarten Non-Teaching degree. This degree is intended to give students a chance to keep working while earning their degree online. Students who enroll in this program will also choose a minor in either psychology or sociology. Fayetteville's School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. This online degree is affordable, with a tuition rate of $7,417 a year.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

6
  • Annual Tuition: $7,624
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

Clarion University offers an online Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, a Master's in Education with an Early Childhood concentration, and a Graduate Certification in Early Childhood. Students enrolled in one of Clarion's online programs will have access to a variety of classes, including Curriculum Development and Evaluation, Reading Pedagogy, and the Healthy Infant, Toddler, and Young Child. Students in the master's program will be required to complete a written comprehensive exam, a portfolio presentation, or a thesis defense in order to receive their degree. Annual tuition averages $7,624.

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Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (1)

7
  • Annual Tuition: $7,755
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

The online Master's in Education program from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has two curriculum options depending on the end-goal of the student. One option is ideal for students who are already certified in early childhood education and want to get a Master's in Education. The other option is designed for students who are already certified in elementary education and wish to also become certified in early childhood education. Students should be able to complete this program in less than two years while studying part-time. Students should note that they will be expected to complete a one-week summer residency during the first summer after they have started their program. Tuition for these online programs is affordable, averaging $7,755 a year.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

8
  • Annual Tuition: $7,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a variety of degree options in their online early childhood education program. Students can choose from one of the university's three master's programs or a post-baccalaureate certificate option. The master's programs meet all of the standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Students can take classes in the areas of health education, nutrition, early childhood education, and others. Average tuition is $7,850 a year.

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9
  • Annual Tuition: $8,325
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Arizona State University offers an online Master's of Education program. Students have the option to earn their Master's of Education in Early Childhood Education with or without certification. They can also enroll in a 15-credit graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, which can be completed alongside a master's degree or on its own. Students enrolled in the M.Ed. program can take classes such as Foundations in Early Childhood Education, Foundations of Diversity, Human Development, and the Young Child, and Child Guidance and Management: Child, Family, Community, and Culture. There is also a practicum component, which allows students to apply what they have learned in a real classroom environment. At $8,325 a year, tuition is affordable.

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10
  • Annual Tuition: $8,370
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Ottawa University Online offers a Master of Arts in Education. There are three specializations that online learners can choose from: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Education Technology. The amount of semester credit hours a student needs to complete the program will vary depending on their specialization. Students can take classes such as Positive Classroom Environments, Language Development and Disorders, and Exceptional Children from Diverse Communities. Students will also complete a research project. Tuition for these online programs is affordable, at $8,370 a year.

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11
  • Annual Tuition: $8,550
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Louisiana-Monroe offers an online Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an Early Childhood Education concentration. This program consists of 36 credit hours and is accredited by the SACS and the CAEP. During the program students will have the opportunity to take classes such as Communication and Literacy in Early Intervention, Cognitive Learning: Children and their World, and Educational Techniques for Exceptional Children in Regular Classrooms. Tuition is affordable, and averages $8,550 a year. Students who successfully complete the program will also receive an endorsement for Teacher Leader.

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12
  • Annual Tuition: $9,645
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and WASC WSCUC

Northcentral University offers online master's and doctorate degree options in their early childhood education program. Students can pursue a Master's of Education, Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Doctor of Education, or an Education Specialist degree. All of these degrees can be completed with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Students will explore the areas of curriculum, policy, assessment, program administration, childhood development, and early childhood education research, among others. The programs are accredited and taught by doctoral faculty, and tuition is affordable at $9,645 a year.

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13
  • Annual Tuition: $10,212
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Capella University offers a Master's in Early Childhood Education. This online program consists of 46 credit hours and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students take classes dealing with topics such as family engagement, early childhood learning environments, and child psychology. Students can also choose to take courses to focus on special education or supervisory skills. Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Exceptional Children in the Early Childhood Setting, and Infant and Child Development are just a few of the courses that are offered in Capella's master's program. Annual tuition averages $10,212 a year.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

14
  • Annual Tuition: $10,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of West Alabama offers several online degree options in its early childhood education program. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development, one of the university's three master's programs, or an Education Specialist Certification. The master's program offers concentrations in early childhood education, high school, and physical education. Students at the university will be able take such classes as Literature for Young Children, The Importance of Play, Life-Span Development and Learning, and many others. Tuition is affordable at $10,400 a year.

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15
  • Annual Tuition: $10,440
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

University of the Southwest offers an online Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education. This program consists of 36 credit hours and has a practicum portion that can be completed wherever the student resides. Students may also complete a licensure program congruently with their master's, which enables them to receive a teaching license in early childhood education. While enrolled in this program, students will have the opportunity to take classes such as Child Growth and Development, Culturally Diverse/Special Needs Populations, and Early Literacy and Language Acquisition. With a tuition rate of $10,440 a year, this program is an affordable option for students.

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Online Master's Degrees (1)

16
  • Annual Tuition: $10,788
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Wayland Baptist University offers an online bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education. Their Bachelor of Applied Science benefits those with previous vocational training or work experience, which can be applied towards credit to complete their degree. Students enrolled in the early childhood development program will complete 36 semester credit hours. They will have the opportunity to take courses such as Principles of Caring for Preschool Children, Partnering with Parents, Early Literacy and Phonics, and Administration of Programs for Young Children. Tuition averages $10,788 annually.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

17
  • Annual Tuition: $10,890
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE

Charter Oak State College offers two concentrations for students looking to get an online bachelor’s degree related to early childhood education: a concentration in child and youth development and a concentration in child studies. Students interested in these concentrations can expect to take classes such as Child Development, Sociology of the Family, and Psychology of Exceptional children. Charter Oak State College also offers an online 12-credit Infant-Toddler Care certificate. Tuition is affordable, with degrees averaging $10,890 annually.

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18
  • Annual Tuition: $11,070
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Park University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Education with two concentrations available: early childhood education and leadership, and early childhood education teaching young children. The degree requires 120 credit hours to graduate, and averages $11,070 in annual tuition. Students enrolled in Park University's program can expect to take classes such as School as a Social System, Human Resources in Early Childhood Programs, and Study of the Family.

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19
  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Kaplan University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration. This program is intended to guide students into careers involving the operation and management of early childhood education programs. Students enrolled in this program can expect to explore the areas of early childhood education and curriculum, leadership and advocacy, and business management. The average annual tuition is $11,250, and students new to this program are eligible to receive Kaplan University Tuition Cap Pricing, which limits the total cost of tuition to $45,000 for a bachelor's degree.

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19
  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Liberty University Online offers several degree options for early childhood education. Students can pursue degrees at the associate, bachelor's, or master's degree level. Graduate and undergraduate certification programs in preschool studies are also available. One unique feature of Liberty University's program is that it includes a focus on Christian education for those that wish to gain employment in Christian schools and churches. Liberty University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. At $11,250 a year, tuition is affordable.

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21
  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers many online degree options in their education program. Students looking to pursue a bachelor's degree can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Education (Early Childhood Inclusive) or their Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Family Advocacy. Students can expect to gain hands-on experience during this program by working with children in their community. The university also offers two Master of Arts in Education degrees: one in early childhood education and one in elementary education. Students may also apply to receive a Graduate Certificate in Education (Early Childhood Inclusive) as an additional endorsement or initial certification. Tuition for these online programs is affordable, averaging $11,400 a year.

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22
  • Annual Tuition: $11,680
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Bluefield College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. Students enrolled in this program can expect to get a lot of hands-on experience, as they are required to complete 120 hours of field experience in their final year. In addition to field experience, students can take classes such as Body-Brain Based Learning, Family, School, and Community Involvement, and Literature of Children and Adolescence. Bluefield College is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Tuition averages $11,680 per year.

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23
  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and ABHES

Rasmussen College offers both associate and bachelor's degrees in their online education program. Students who are looking for an accelerated program can apply to Rasmussen's AcceleratED Bachelor in Early Childhood Education, which is meant to be completed in as little as 18 months. The Associate degree in Early Childhood Education can be customized to fit a student's specific interests by choosing a specialization in child development, child and family studies, or special needs. Students can also enroll in a nine to twelve-month early childhood education certificate program. Students can expect to take classes such as Empowering Contemporary Families, Early Childhood Language and Literacy Learning, and Ethics and Leadership in Early Childhood Education. Tuition averages $11,700 a year.

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24
  • Annual Tuition: $11,746
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC

Eastern New Mexico University offers an online Master's in Special Education, and students can choose a general emphasis or an early childhood emphasis. Students can also choose between a thesis option, which requires 30 hours of coursework and a written thesis or graduate project, or the non-thesis option, which requires 36 hours of coursework and a written exam. Available classes include Special Education Law, Theories of Learning and Motivation, and Positive Supports for Learning. Tuition for this online program averages $11,746 a year.

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Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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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.