2017 Most Affordable Military-Friendly Online Colleges

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This list of the 26 most affordable military-friendly online colleges, published by SR Education Group, was determined using a number of factors including strength of military culture, prevalence of support services to online students, as well as military-specific financial aid and flexibility. Western Governors University, #1 on our list, offers an exceptionally affordable tuition rate of $5,780. All schools on this list offer 10 or more online degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level.

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Rank College Annual Tuition Military-Friendly Score
#1 #1 Western Governors University Annual Tuition $5,780 Military-Friendly Score 74.01
#2 #2 Georgia Southern University Annual Tuition $6,120 Military-Friendly Score 75.40
#3 #3 Columbia Southern University Annual Tuition $6,600 Military-Friendly Score 89.17
#4 #4 Fayetteville State University Annual Tuition $7,406 Military-Friendly Score 78.54
#5 #5 Western International University Annual Tuition $7,500 Military-Friendly Score 68.61
#6 #6 Kaplan University Annual Tuition $7,763 Military-Friendly Score 88.84
#7 #7 Grantham University Annual Tuition $7,950 Military-Friendly Score 86.59
#7 #7 Southeast Missouri State University Annual Tuition $7,950 Military-Friendly Score 86.69
#9 #9 University of Central Missouri Annual Tuition $7,951 Military-Friendly Score 88.58
#10 #10 University of Maine at Augusta Annual Tuition $8,130 Military-Friendly Score 79.37
#11 #11 University of Southern Mississippi Annual Tuition $8,149 Military-Friendly Score 97.22
#12 #12 Columbia College Annual Tuition $8,700 Military-Friendly Score 97.22
#13 #13 University of Colorado Boulder Annual Tuition $8,805 Military-Friendly Score 85.20
#14 #14 Utah State University Annual Tuition $9,300 Military-Friendly Score 84.57
#15 #15 Thomas Edison State University Annual Tuition $9,352 Military-Friendly Score 90.70
#16 #16 Granite State College Annual Tuition $10,050 Military-Friendly Score 76.72
#16 #16 University of Nebraska at Omaha Annual Tuition $10,050 Military-Friendly Score 90.07
#18 #18 Troy University Annual Tuition $10,140 Military-Friendly Score 85.66
#19 #19 Colorado State University-Global Annual Tuition $10,500 Military-Friendly Score 79.93
#20 #20 University of Missouri Annual Tuition $10,641 Military-Friendly Score 81.92
#21 #21 Old Dominion University Annual Tuition $10,650 Military-Friendly Score 80.13
#22 #22 Norwich University Annual Tuition $10,875 Military-Friendly Score 68.81
#23 #23 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Annual Tuition $11,100 Military-Friendly Score 74.83
#24 #24 Trident University International Annual Tuition $11,250 Military-Friendly Score 88.15
#24 #24 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Annual Tuition $11,250 Military-Friendly Score 81.52
#24 #24 The University of Texas at El Paso Annual Tuition $11,250 Military-Friendly Score 78.34
  • Annual Tuition: $5,780
  • Military-Friendly Score: 74.01
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Beginning with the waived application fee for military students, Western Governors University provides support and guidance to servicemembers throughout their educational paths. Online degree programs are available at the bachelor's and master's levels in a variety of subjects and have been approved for Veterans Administration benefits and Tuition Assistance. Western Governors University offers a unique competency-based approach, meaning students who already have work or educational experience can take an assessment test and move on to the next course upon passing the test. In addition, Western Governors University offers part-time degree programs catered specifically to military students who need more flexibility in their educational pursuits.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (24)

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,120
  • Military-Friendly Score: 75.40
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Georgia Southern University accepts Joint Services Transcripts (JST) to award incoming military students transfer credit for their active duty training and experience. Students recently separated from the military can apply to pay Georgia in-state tuition rates at Georgia Southern University. The university also offers career development and job assistance to military spouses attending approved Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MYCAA) programs at GSU. Georgia Southern University’s online division offers fully online graduate studies in a range of specialty areas in fields including education, health and human services, business, and information technology. Georgia Southern University is one of the state’s largest institutions of higher learning offering a wealth of degree programs to over 20,000 traditional and online students.

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,600
  • Military-Friendly Score: 89.17
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Columbia Southern University has an extensive history of working with military students and has a dedicated support team to assist military students with the application process and the transition to online education. Military students can earn degrees in fields such as business, emergency services, fire administration, human resource management and homeland security. Although most military students can’t visit Columbia Southern University in person, Columbia Southern University representatives with military backgrounds travel regularly to meet with students. Students also have access to phone and email support through the school’s Academic Advising and Support Center.

Online Associate Degrees (7)

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Online Master's Degrees (20)

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,406
  • Military-Friendly Score: 78.54
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Established in 1867, Fayetteville State University is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) located in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. Fayetteville State University is listed as a top school for veterans in North Carolina, and one of the best schools in the country, as well as a top choice in affordable online education. The school has over 30 years of experience educating military students and their family members; Fayetteville State University has satellite campuses in nearby Fort Bragg Army Base and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Fayetteville State University's online degree programs make it possible for military personnel to continue their education from diverse locations. Online degree programs at Fayetteville State University include criminal justice, sociology, and fire science.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,500
  • Military-Friendly Score: 68.61
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Western International University provides military students with an affordable option for online degrees with an annual tuition of $7,500 for undergraduate degrees. This tuition rate can be made even more affordable for service members through federal tuition assistance. In addition to providing affordable online degrees, Western International University recognizes that current service members and veterans often have prior education and experience that is applicable to higher education pursuits. Military students can earn academic credit for their military training and non-classroom military experiences, making online degrees at this institution even more affordable.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,763
  • Military-Friendly Score: 88.84
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Service members looking for an online degree will find a welcoming community and financial benefits at Kaplan University. In addition to tuition rate discounts which are available to current military members, veterans, military spouses, and military children, Kaplan offers the Kaplan University/American Freedom Foundation Scholarship Program which provides up to 750 partial scholarships to eligible military personnel. Kaplan University’s dedicated military support staff help military students figure out the best way to receive benefits and financial aid. In addition to financial assistance, Kaplan University provides career and education advising services to military students.

Online Associate Degrees (26)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (71)

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Online Master's Degrees (81)

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,950
  • Military-Friendly Score: 86.59
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Grantham University is a veteran-founded institution of higher learning that has been working with service members and veterans for over 60 years. Also, many Grantham teachers and staff members have military backgrounds, a fact that makes this school especially attuned to the needs of military students. Online degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels in fields like accounting, business, criminal justice and computer science. The Grantham University schedule is designed to fit the needs of military students, with flexible start options throughout the school year. Every Grantham University student also has ongoing access to a dedicated advisor who offers support and guidance throughout their degree programs.

Online Associate Degrees (9)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (17)

Online Master's Degrees (17)

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,950
  • Military-Friendly Score: 86.69
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Southeast Missouri State University has a dedicated team to support military students throughout their education experience. In addition, the school offers the "Southeast Salutes: Military Package" that includes in-state tuition, fee deferment, and maximum credit transfer for active duty experience. Military students at Southeast Online can major in a variety of fields including computer information systems, criminal justice, business administration, and education.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (24)

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,951
  • Military-Friendly Score: 88.58
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Military students at University of Central Missouri Online can log in to class from locations all over the world and learn from the same instructors that teach at the school’s physical campus. The school offers online degree programs in a range of fields including crisis and disaster management, occupational education, library science and information services, and kinesiology. UCMOnline helps to make education affordable for military students by offering a Military Tuition Package that exempts them from most fees associated with the cost of enrollment. The school also offers scholarships and other financial aid to military students. UCM promotes engaged and life-long learning for all its students. The school’s “Learning to a Greater Degree Contract” helps students to get the most out of their time at UCM and graduate with less debt.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (7)

Online Master's Degrees (21)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,130
  • Military-Friendly Score: 79.37
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • The University of Maine at Augusta has a long history of supporting military students. A signatory on the “Got Your 6” pledge, University of Maine at Augusta has an entire team of support staff devoted to military and veteran support. Online degrees at University of Maine at Augusta are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and certificate levels. Possible areas of study include computer information systems, mental health and human services, and business administration.

Online Associate Degrees (7)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (12)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,149
  • Military-Friendly Score: 97.22
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families offers dedicated educational and professional support to students from application to job placement after graduation. Students can also apply for one of the school’s many scholarship opportunities for service members and veterans. Students at USM Online can enroll in specialized degree programs such as a bachelor’s level degree in construction and industrial engineering or a master’s degree in logistics, trade and transportation.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,700
  • Military-Friendly Score: 97.22
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Columbia College has a reputation of educating service members through multiple on-base locations including Patrick Airforce Base, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. The Ousley Family Veterans Service Center at Columbia College supports service members, veterans and their families whether they attend classes on campus or online. The center’s goal is to facilitate smooth military student transfers into the college community and provide an ongoing support network. From its origins as the first woman’s college west of the Mississippi, Columbia College has grown into a national institution of higher learning with 35 locations and a total enrollment of over 21,000 students. Columbia College offers 58 online degrees in fields including computer science, criminal justice, education, psychology and liberal arts. The school’s career services center also offers job and internship placement and support for students and alumni world wide.

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,805
  • Military-Friendly Score: 85.20
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Service members and vets are drawn to the 20 because of its reputation as a world-class research university. While enrolled at the school, the university’s office of veteran’s services provides information and counseling services to military students. Online students have access to the same professors and many of the same programs as campus-based students. Some online degree programs the 20 offers include aerospace engineering, computer science and linguistics.

Online Master's Degrees (11)

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  • Annual Tuition: $9,300
  • Military-Friendly Score: 84.57
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Utah State University offers fully online degree programs at the bachelor's and master's level. Subjects that students can study include agribusiness, psychology, family life studies, natural resources, horticulture, and human resources. There are also various certificate and endorsement programs, as well as an online Associate in General Studies. Active duty military and veteran students can access the university's Veterans Resources Office, which provides the students with a range of support services. Employees in the resources office are specially trained to understand the needs of military students. Services offered to military students include free tutoring and financial support.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,352
  • Military-Friendly Score: 90.70
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Military students enrolled in an online program through 58 will find that they have access to a robust range of services tailored to their specific needs. For instance, the university has created degree programs in conjunction with the different branches of the military, ensuring that these programs meet the unique needs of the military students enrolled in them. Additionally, military students can earn academic credit for their service and will never be expected to come to campus for any residency requirements. There is a broad array of online degrees offered through Thomas Edison State University. Students can choose from associate, bachelor's, master's, and undergraduate and graduate certificates. Topics of study available include criminal justice, psychology, finance, liberal studies, hospitality management, and information technology.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,050
  • Military-Friendly Score: 76.72
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • Granite State College offers a wide array of fully online programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's level, as well as teacher certificate programs. Students interested in earning an online degree can choose from topics of study such as English, early childhood education, leadership, and management. Active duty military and veteran students in online programs will find that there are many support services available to them. For example, the college offers tuition discounts to active duty military members. Additionally, military students have access to a Military Outreach and Support Specialist, who can guide them to any help or resources they may need.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,050
  • Military-Friendly Score: 90.07
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Military students enrolled in an online degree program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will find that they have access to a variety of resources through the Office of Military and Veteran Services. Support begins in the application process when the $45 fee for applying is waived for military students. The university also employs a VA employee full-time, whose job it is to help students deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, each semester the staff and faculty members are provided with training on how to work with military students and the special support that these individuals might need. Online degree programs are available at the at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels. Topics of study include non-profit administration, library science, aviation studies, and public management.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Military-Friendly Score: 85.66
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Troy University offers military students a range of services, including maintaining partnerships with different branches of the military to offer service members in those branches specially tailored programs. For instance, those who are in the Navy can take part in the Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership, which offers degree programs specifically designed for Navy members based on Navy ratings. Individuals in this program can earn either an associate degree in business administration or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Technology Management. Troy University has a similar partnership with the Air Force. There is a broad range of other online degrees available, ranging from associate degrees to doctoral degrees, as well as certificates. Topics of study include accounting, criminal justice, interpreter training, elementary education, and sports management.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Military-Friendly Score: 79.93
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Colorado State University-Global Campus offers discounted tuition to active military, veterans, and their dependents. Military applicants also enjoy an automatic application fee waiver allowing them to apply for no charge. Additionally, staff members at the university who work in financial and academic advising are specifically trained to meet the unique needs of military students and their families. Colorado State University-Global provides 100% online bachelor’s and master's degrees, as well as nationally-recognized certificates and continuing education programs. Some options include a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, a Master of Healthcare Administration, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,641
  • Military-Friendly Score: 81.92
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Students enrolled in online courses at the University of Missouri will experience a curriculum taught by the same professors that teach in the campus-based classes. Bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs are all available in a fully online format. Some unique programs available include a Master of Science in Agroforestry, a Master of Science in Academic Medicine, a Bachelor of Health Science in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences with an emphasis in Radiologic Sciences, and a Graduate Certificate in Food Safety and Defense. Active duty and veteran military members who are enrolled in an online degree program will benefit from a 10 percent reduction in tuition. Additionally, the university employees a military specialist specifically for online military students to contact with questions, and the extensive Veterans Center can guide students through applying for and using their benefits.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,650
  • Military-Friendly Score: 80.13
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Old Dominion University has a wide variety of online degree programs available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. A diverse array of subjects can be studied, including human services, dental hygiene, aerospace engineering, criminal justice, and professional writing. Additionally, the university has special “military affiliated” online degree programs that are designed to allow military members to use their military experience for academic credit. These special degree programs include a Master's in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Services Administration. The university also offers current military and veteran students support services through the Military Connection Center, which can assist students in finding tutors and mentors and navigating the application process for various resources.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,875
  • Military-Friendly Score: 68.81
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • Online degrees at Norwich University are available at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels. These degrees are designed to accommodate the various needs of military students with the option to receive credits for military education and experience. Norwich University representatives visit military bases across the country to connect with military members and provide guidance as they begin their educational endeavors. Once enrolled, military students will find a dedicated support staff to help with military tuition assistance.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,100
  • Military-Friendly Score: 74.83
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students is dedicated to providing support and guidance to military students. As a Yellow Ribbon Program and a Federal Tuition Assistance school, University of Wisconsin-Platteville provides a variety of financial benefits to military students. In addition to financial assistance, University of Wisconsin-Platteville provides career assistance to veterans through American Corporate Partners. Online degrees at University of Wisconsin-Platteville are available at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Military-Friendly Score: 88.15
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Trident University International offers online degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. With tuition assistance, military discounts, and grants, servicemembers will find exceptional financial support at this school. In addition to financial support, the Trident University International Military Assistance Center provides academic and career guidance as well as financial management and health services.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Military-Friendly Score: 81.52
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • University of Massachusetts-Lowell provides support to military students through its dedicated Office of Veterans Services. Eligible veterans and active military members can take advantage of the university's educational and vocational counseling programs in addition to federal Tuition Assistance. Online degrees at University of Massachusetts-Lowell are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in fields such as engineering management, information technology, and paralegal studies.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Military-Friendly Score: 78.34
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • The Military Student Success Center at The University of Texas at El Paso provides military students with resources to guide them through the transition into student life. Military students can participate in the school's Military Mentor Program which pairs them with faculty, staff, and other students who can provide academic and social support. Tuition Assistance is available at UTEP for eligible military students pursuing one of the school's many bachelor's, master's, or certificate level online programs.
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