2016 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Education Degrees

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Undergraduate students looking to pursue an online degree in education should consider the six schools included on this list, all with annual tuitions of less than $10,000. Aspen University is the least expensive school on the list, offering a B.S. in Early Childhood Education for only $4,500 per year. The degrees and certificate programs offered at these colleges offer a variety of degree specializations in subjects such as elementary education, special education, ESOL training, and more. Schools must offer fully online degrees at the bachelor’s level in order to be eligible for this Most Affordable ranking. We also rank graduate programs on our most affordable master's in education list.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank College Annual Tuition Education Degree Levels Offered
#1 #1 Aspen University Annual Tuition $4,500 Education Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral
#2 #2 Western Governors University Annual Tuition $5,780 Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#3 #3 Fort Hays State University Annual Tuition $6,276 Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#4 #4 University of South Alabama Annual Tuition $8,442 Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#5 #5 University of Central Missouri Annual Tuition $8,827 Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
#6 #6 University of Southern Mississippi Annual Tuition $9,331 Education Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
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  • Annual Tuition: $4,500
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Aspen University provides a full range of online degree programs in the field of education for an affordable price of $4,500 per year. Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree holders have the option to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education by enrolling in the university’s completion program. New undergraduate students can also enroll in the BS in Early Childhood Education. Educators interested in upgrading their skills can enroll in one of the university’s online master’s degree in education programs, with concentrations in Curriculum Development and Outcomes Assessment, Educational Technology, and Transformational Leadership. Aspen University also offers a doctoral degree in Education Leadership for professionals seeking upper level management positions.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,780
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU and DEAC
  • Western Governors University’s Teacher’s College provides online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs with a focus on licensure, master’s degrees for previously certified teachers, and endorsement certificates. Undergraduate students seeking teacher certification can earn Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in interdisciplinary studies, special education, mathematics, or science. Prospective teachers holding undergraduate degrees can enroll in WGU’s post-baccalaureate teacher certification program. The university also offers online Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) degrees leading to certification in mathematics, English, science, social science, elementary education, and other education-related subjects for licensed teacher’s looking to expand their knowledge in a particular subject area. WGU offers endorsement preparation programs in English as a second language and education leadership. The university’s annual tuition is $5,780.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (9)

Online Master's Degrees (19)

Online Certificate Programs (6)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,276
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Fort Hays State University offers online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in education with licensure components. Students can major in Business Education, Early Childhood, or Elementary, with an optional minor in Special Education, and become certified upon program completion. The university requires undergraduate students to complete between 125 and 136 credits, depending on the education degree program. Career switchers already holding bachelor’s degrees in other subjects can earn teacher certification by enrolling in Fort Hays State University’s Master of Science (M.S.) in Education program. Previously certified teachers can pursue career advancement by earning M.S. in Education degrees with concentrations in ESOL, Library Media, Reading, JROTC Instructor and Higher Education, or Student Affairs. Educators ready to assume executive positions in schools can enroll in the online M.S. in Educational Administration program, which qualifies graduates to take principal certification exams in their home states. Annual tuition is $6,276.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,442
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • The University of South Alabama offers a variety of certificates and online master’s degrees for students holding an undergraduate degree or licensed teachers looking to advance their careers. Enrollees in master’s programs will choose one of a range of specializations, including various grade levels, Special Education, Education Administration, Instructional Design and Development, and more. Teachers seeking to assume leadership roles at educational institutions can enroll in the school’s Education Specialist (Ed.S.) – Teacher Leader program, upon completion of which they will qualify for Professional Educator Certification. Annual tuition at University of South Alabama is $8,442.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (11)

Online Certificate Programs (5)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,827
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC and CEA
  • Mid-career professionals interested in becoming teachers can enroll in the University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Occupational Education program. The program blends academic coursework and hands-on teaching opportunities to introduce students to the field.

    Prospective teachers can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in one of several specializations to become certified. Post-master’s degree students can pursue the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree, which is the highest education degree offered by the university. Annual tuition for these online programs is offered at a rate of $8,827.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,331
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • The University of Southern Mississippi ranks number #25 in our list of most affordable online education degrees with an average annual tuition of $9,331. Prospective education students will find a variety of degrees offered by USM, at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels. Fully online bachelor's programs include a BS in Elementary Education and a BS in Special Education. USM offers several master's programs in education, including specialization in special education. This program requires 33 credit hours, preparing students for licensure in Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Emotional/Behavior Disorders, Severe Disabilities, and Gifted Education.

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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.