2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees

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These are SR Education Group's 26 most affordable schools offering online master's degrees for 2017. Each school on this list has an annual tuition under $6,000, and the average number of programs offered is 20. Fourth-ranked Aspen University offers the most online master's degrees on this list, with 28 to choose from including degrees in education, business, and information technology. The most affordable school on the list, Georgia Institute of Technology, has an outstandingly low tuition of $2,550 per year.

To be considered for this list, all schools must offer at least 10 online master’s degree programs. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Rank College Annual Tuition Online Master's Degrees
#1 #1 Georgia Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $2,550 Online Master's Degrees 16
#2 #2 Columbia Southern University Annual Tuition $3,345 Online Master's Degrees 20
#3 #3 Fort Hays State University Annual Tuition $4,090 Online Master's Degrees 26
#4 #4 Aspen University Annual Tuition $4,150 Online Master's Degrees 28
#5 #5 Graceland University Annual Tuition $4,350 Online Master's Degrees 12
#6 #6 Amberton University Annual Tuition $4,500 Online Master's Degrees 11
#7 #7 University of Arkansas Annual Tuition $4,584 Online Master's Degrees 20
#8 #8 California Coast University Annual Tuition $4,600 Online Master's Degrees 11
#9 #9 Arkansas State University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $4,626 Online Master's Degrees 21
#10 #10 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Annual Tuition $4,641 Online Master's Degrees 11
#11 #11 University of Central Missouri Annual Tuition $4,860 Online Master's Degrees 21
#12 #12 Southeast Missouri State University Annual Tuition $4,875 Online Master's Degrees 21
#13 #13 University of Central Florida Annual Tuition $4,898 Online Master's Degrees 25
#14 #14 Marshall University Annual Tuition $4,920 Online Master's Degrees 18
#15 #15 Georgia College & State University Annual Tuition $5,184 Online Master's Degrees 16
#16 #16 Tennessee Tech University Annual Tuition $5,205 Online Master's Degrees 23
#17 #17 Valdosta State University Annual Tuition $5,274 Online Master's Degrees 25
#18 #18 Clarks Summit University Annual Tuition $5,400 Online Master's Degrees 33
#19 #19 Columbus State University Annual Tuition $5,418 Online Master's Degrees 17
#20 #20 University of Alabama Annual Tuition $5,505 Online Master's Degrees 23
#21 #21 Lamar University Annual Tuition $5,640 Online Master's Degrees 19
#22 #22 Concordia University-Saint Paul Annual Tuition $5,670 Online Master's Degrees 19
#23 #23 Holy Apostles College and Seminary Annual Tuition $5,760 Online Master's Degrees 13
#23 #23 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $5,760 Online Master's Degrees 25
#25 #25 Chadron State College Annual Tuition $5,850 Online Master's Degrees 24
#25 #25 Wayne State College Annual Tuition $5,850 Online Master's Degrees 10
  • Annual Tuition: $2,550
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 16
  • Georgia Institute of Technology offers a variety of master's degree programs online. Students can choose subjects such as aerospace engineering, medical physics, and operations research. The institute offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science, which is offered through the Udacity platform. Students can apply to the MS in Computer Science program at any time during the year and pay an affordable tuition of just $2,550.

  • Annual Tuition: $3,345
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 20
  • Columbia Southern University takes the #2 spot as the most affordable online option for pursuing a master's degree, with annual master's-level tuition starting at an affordable $3,345. Master's programs at CSU include criminal justice administration, business administration, and public health, among others. With many concentration options available within the different programs, students have the ability to choose a path that best fits their educational and career goals. Online students also benefit from a variety of supportive resources, such as career counselors, academic advisers, writing and math tutoring, and the ability to contact various school personnel through text messaging. With over 20 years of experience providing online education, CSU prides itself on allowing students the opportunity to complete their degree at a pace that works for them.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,090
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 26
  • Fort Hays State University has an extensive array of fully online degree program available through its Virtual College. Programs cover topics such as counseling, public history, nursing education, special education, liberal studies, business administration, and others. Courses are delivered through the learning management system Blackboard. Resources provided to online students include tutoring free of charge, new student orientation, library services, and access to the writing center. Annual tuition for a master's degree starts at $4,090, making Fort Hays State University one of the more affordable schools on our list.

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,150
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 28
  • Aspen University is a fully online school that offers several master's degree programs at an affordable tuition rate start at $4,150. Students can earn their master's in the fields of criminal justice, business, nursing, psychology and addictions counseling, technology, and education. Aspen University has a unique monthly payment structure, where master's-level students pay a portion each month instead of paying for the entire semester or year at one time. The university's goal is for most students to be able to earn their degree without going into debt.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,350
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 12
  • The online education division of Graceland University offers master's degree programs in the fields of education, nursing, and religion. There are also several concentration options to choose from. For instance, those enrolled in the Master of Education program may choose a specialization such as special education, instructional leadership, or literacy instruction, while nursing students can choose a track in family nurse practitioner or nurse educator. Individuals who want to pursue a career in ministry may be interested in Graceland's Master of Arts in Religion. Students in online programs will learn from the same teachers that teach on-campus classes. Students will also be provided with opportunities to connect with other students, allowing online students to feel like they are a part of the university's community.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 11
  • Amberton University is committed to providing flexible online learning options to adult learners who want to advance their education but who also need to fit their classes in around work and other obligations. This school may be a good choice for someone who is interested in a Christian-centered education, as Amberton is a Christian school and this is something that is integral to the way the school operates and its educational philosophy. There are several fully online programs available at the master's level, covering areas such as Christian counseling, school counseling, family studies, and human relations. Distance education courses follow the same structure and are taught by the same professionals as the classes that are offered on campus. Online students also enjoy the access to resources such as the library, tech support, research assistance, and advising.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,584
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 20
  • The University of Arkansas offers many affordable fully-online master's degree programs. Fields of study include operations management, engineering, agricultural and food law, special education, food safety, and nursing. These programs are created by the same teachers that design the on-campus programs, so students can be sure that they aren't missing out on quality by completing their degree online. The University of Arkansas utilizes the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. Online students have the advantage of paying in-state tuition regardless of their residency, and the annual tuition for an online master's degree starts $4,134.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,600
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 11
  • There are several fully online master's degree programs available through California Coast University. Students can choose to pursue an MBA with several concentration options, or a master's in education, psychology, or management. One unique feature of CCU's online programs is that they can be completed entirely at one's own pace, and there are no set test dates, required meeting times, or group projects. This provides busy individuals with the utmost flexibility when it comes to completing online master's degrees. Starting at $4,600 per year, CCU is a very affordable option for online master’s degrees.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,626
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 21
  • Arkansas State University has many fully online degree programs available in addition to its campus offerings, including several online master's degrees. Master's-level students can choose from multiple Master of Science in Education specializations, such as educational leadership and curriculum and instruction. Other master's programs are available in early childhood services, sports administration, public administration, and engineering management. Many of the online master's programs can be finished in a year to a year and a half. Online students also benefit from access to a wide array of online resources through the university's library, such as e-books and journals.

Online Master's Degrees (21)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,641
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 11
  • There are many affordable online master's degree options available through North Dakota State University (NDSU). NDSU offers several online degrees directly from its campus, as well as in partnership with the Great Plains IDEA consortium, which is a group of 11 universities that allow students enrolled in any one of the member colleges to take online courses from any of the other member colleges. Students who enroll in a Great Plains IDEA online degree program through NDSU will still receive their final degree from NDSU, even if they take classes from the other schools in the consortium. Available master's degrees cover subjects such as merchandising, dietetics, software engineering, community development, construction management, and transportation and urban systems.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,860
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 21
  • The University of Central Missouri has a variety of affordable online master’s degrees. Programs include the Master in Science in Kinesiology, Master of Science in Aviation Safety, Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services, and Master of Arts in Teaching. Students enrolled in a fully online program through the university will take classes from professors who also teach on-campus. Courses are delivered through the learning management system Blackboard. Online students have access to many of the same resources that campus-based students do, such as the writing center, veteran's services, advising, and the library.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,875
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 21
  • Southeast Missouri State University offers 21 online master’s degrees starting at an affordable tuition rate of $4,875. Subjects include applied behavior analysis, business administration, criminal justice elementary education, ESL, exceptional child education, healthcare management, secondary education, and technology management, among others. Those seeking a general management path can benefit from SEMO’s online MBA program which has the same AACSB accreditation as its on-campus program.

Online Master's Degrees (21)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,898
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 25
  • University of Central Florida has a wide selection of distance education opportunities, including more than 20 fully online master's degree programs. Online programs are created and taught by the same people who teach on campus, so online students can be sure that they are receiving the same quality education that they would in a traditional classroom setting. Master’s-level degree subjects include aerospace engineering, digital forensics, healthcare systems engineering, social work, non-profit management, and hospitality and tourism management. Individuals who are enrolled in online programs have access to a range of resources, including library services, training in the use of various types of software, tutoring, and advising.

  • Annual Tuition: $4,920
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 18
  • Marshall University offers several affordable, fully-online master's degree programs, most of which have one or more specialization options that can help students to customize their educational experience. Degrees include a Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Education, Master of Journalism in New Media Studies, Master of Arts in Education, and Master of Arts in Mathematics. Classes are administered through the learning management system Blackboard, which allows online students to interact with one another via tools such as discussion boards and chat groups, giving distance students the chance to make valuable connections the same way they would in a face-to-face classroom. Online students can also make use of certain campus services, such as online library resources and tutoring.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,184
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 16
  • Students at Georgia College and State University have a few different options for fully online master's degree programs. Degrees are available in the fields of education, music therapy, nursing, public administration, business administration, and more. Students enrolled in an online program will be able to connect with their classmates through online forums and via email. This way, online students still get the benefit of working collaboratively with other students, while still having the freedom to work from wherever they want. At a tuition rate of $5,184 per year, Georgia College's fully online master's degree programs are very affordable.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,205
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 23
  • Tennessee Tech University offers five master's-level degrees in a fully online format. Students have the opportunity to earn a Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Exercise Science, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Education, or Master of Nursing. Each of these programs has a number of concentration options, allowing distance education students to follow an educational track that meets their goals. One notable program is the online MBA, which students are able finish in one year. Some of the programs are provided in collaboration with the Tennessee eCampus, an online partnership between public higher education institutions in Tennessee.

Online Master's Degrees (23)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,274
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 25
  • Valdosta State University offers a range of fully online master's programs in the fields of education, business administration, criminal justice, library and information sciences, and others. Valdosta State uses the BlazeVIEW online learning system to deliver its distance courses, as well as GoVIEW, which is a system that allows students at Valdosta to take courses through collaborations with other universities in Georgia. This means that online students not only get the opportunity to connect with students at their own school, but at other schools as well. Distance education students also have access to the Online Student Support Team, which provides assistance for those who need help navigating their online educational experience.

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE and ABHE
  • Online Master's Degrees: 33
  • Clarks Summit University is a Christian school that offers fully online master's degrees in the areas of literature, education, and counseling. They also offer a Master of Arts degree with concentration options that can be customized depending on students’ interests and goals. There are no required class meetings so online students can study when it is best for them. Also, there are five different times throughout the year when an individual can start taking online classes, meaning that students can get started as soon as they are ready.

Online Master's Degrees (33)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,418
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 17
  • There are a wide variety of fully online master's degree programs available at Columbus State University. Fields of study include applied computer science, nursing, business administration, teaching, and public administration. Online classes are taught using CougarVIEW, an online learning system, and there are extensive instructions on the university's website explaining how their online courses work. Columbus State is also part of GoVIEW, which allows students to take classes with students from other participating universities in Georgia. The university is also part of the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,505
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 23
  • Fully online master's degree programs available through the University of Alabama can be earned in subjects such as human environmental sciences, special education, management, educational leadership, engineering, and many others. Online students take classes taught by the same professors who teach campus-based classes. The university's website also has recorded information sessions on many of their online programs which can help prospective distance education students decide whether or not a program is right for them. With an annual tuition of $5,505, an online master's degree from the University of Alabama is an affordable option for many.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,640
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 19
  • Lamar University offers graduate students the opportunity to earn an affordable online master's degree in subjects such as business administration, public health, education, engineering management, and nursing. Students who are interested in earning a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Education will have the ability to focus their studies through an array of concentrations options, helping them meet their educational goals while learning in a flexible environment. Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, and the university prides itself on providing the utmost flexibility for working adults.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,670
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 19
  • Concordia University-Saint Paul is a Christian university that offers 20 affordable online master's degree programs. Degree options include the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership, Master of Arts in Family Science, Master of Arts in Special Education, Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Management, among others. The university strives to foster a strong sense of community among its students, so that online students can earn their degree while also feeling like they are part of a larger community. Students in the online programs will take their classes in a cohort, meaning that they will start their program with a certain group of students and take all of their classes with those same students. This way, online students will have more opportunities to work with and get to know their fellow students, despite not being present for face-to-face classes.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,760
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • Online Master's Degrees: 13
  • Holy Apostles College and Seminary is a Catholic school with online and campus-based programs, including fully online master's degrees in the areas of theology, philosophy, and pastoral studies. Those enrolled in the online theology program can choose from seven concentration options, including apologetics, moral theology, and sacred scripture. Students who are interested in earning their online degree from a small, budget-friendly school that promotes Catholic values may find that Holy Apostles College and Seminary is an appropriate fit.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,760
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 25
  • The University of North Dakota offers a wide variety of fully online master's degrees at an affordable rate of $5,761 per year. Fields of study include space studies, nutrition, forensic psychology, aviation, medical laboratory science, and business administration. Some of the online programs have complete flexibility, with students being able to watch lectures and take tests at times that work for them. Other programs are more structured, with live, online meetings that are required at certain times. Either way, students in online classes will follow the same curriculum as on-campus students.

Online Master's Degrees (25)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 24
  • Chadron State College offers fully online master's degrees in the areas of business and education, as well as partially online programs in the areas of organizational management and counseling. Annual tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, with master's-level tuition starting at $5,850 per year. Online students can take accelerated classes that are eight weeks long, allowing them to complete their program faster. Additionally, distance education students benefit from a 24-hour hotline that they can use if they encounter technical difficulties with the online learning platform.

Online Master's Degrees (24)

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCACSTHLC
  • Online Master's Degrees: 10
  • Wayne State college offers many fully online degree programs through its eCampus, including master's-level degrees in business administration, education, and organization management. While online learning provides the opportunity for students to work when it is convenient for them, online programs at Wayne State will require students to take part in group projects, scheduled chats, and complete assignments and tests by a certain time. Students enrolled in one of these programs will take their courses through the online learning system Sakai. Through this platform, students will be able to connect with their peers and teachers via live chats.

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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.