2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Accounting Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 10/21/2021
2020 Most Affordable Accounting Bachelors Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 10/21/2021

A bachelor's degree in accounting can open the door to a wealth of job opportunities, and there are many affordable online programs that may prepare students for these positions. The following is a ranked list of affordable online bachelor’s degrees in accounting. Clayton State University offers the lowest tuition rate at $5,490 a year. We also provide information about this degree, including costs and funding options, career information for graduates, and pros and cons that might help students determine whether an online accounting degree is right for them.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's in accounting. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Clayton State University $5,490
# 2 (tie) #2 (tie) Georgia Southwestern State University $5,970
# 2 (tie) #2 (tie) University of the Cumberlands $5,970
# 4 #4 Southern Utah University $6,006
# 5 #5 Western Governors University $6,450
# 6 #6 Fort Hays State University $6,778
# 7 #7 Dickinson State University $6,947
# 8 #8 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus $7,492
# 9 #9 Fayetteville State University $7,556
# 10 #10 Athens State University $7,626
# 11 #11 University of the Potomac $7,785
# 12 #12 Central Methodist University $7,800
# 13 #13 American Public University System $8,100
# 14 #14 Clarion University $8,334
# 15 #15 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $8,400
# 16 #16 SUNY College at Plattsburgh $8,480
# 17 #17 Bemidji State University $8,758
# 18 #18 University of Arkansas Grantham $8,850
# 19 #19 Western Illinois University $8,883
# 20 #20 Peru State College $8,895
# 21 #21 Missouri Southern State University $9,172
# 22 #22 Fitchburg State University $9,240
# 23 #23 University of Maine at Augusta $9,269
# 24 #24 West Virginia State University $9,480
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $5,490
Annual Tuition: $5,490
Annual Tuition: $5,490

Clayton State University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. Students will develop accounting and business software skills and an understanding of ethical issues in the accounting profession. The 120-credit program consists of 30 credits of general education requirements and 90 credits of core curriculum, including one capstone course. Upper-division courses cover financial accounting and reporting, managerial cost accounting, income taxation, accounting information... services, and auditing services. The program's length depends on the number of transfer credits and the credits taken per term. Students can study abroad and earn course credit in the college's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where volunteers offer tax accounting services to the community.

Online coursework is delivered on the Brightspace learning platform, where students can contribute to class discussions, communicate with instructors and classmates, and submit assignments and exams. CSU offers reduced tuition rates for fully-online degree programs. Scholarships are also available to help offset the cost of tuition. Veteran students may be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Other resources for students include writing assistance, tutoring, and academic advising.

Students can apply during the fall, spring, and summer. First-year applicants must submit an online application, high school transcript (or GED), and official SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must submit an online application and official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 275
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (678) 466-4000

Example Classes: Auditing and Assurance Svc, Income Taxation, Information Systems, Managerial Cost Acct

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970

Georgia Southwestern University offers a fully online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. The 120-credit program includes 60 credits of general education and prerequisite courses and 60 credits of major/elective requirements, including a capstone course in strategic management. The program prepares students to perform business and accounting tasks such as preparing financial statements, recording business transactions, and planning tax strategy. Additionally, students will refine their... communication, critical thinking, leadership, and technology skills. Graduates of the BBA program who reside in state are eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam in Georgia; non-residents will need to check their state requirements.

Online coursework is delivered through the Brightspace learning management system. Instruction can be asynchronous or synchronous and utilize audio, video, or other technology. GSW offers a Prior Learning Assessment program that allows students to earn credits for prior learning, including work experience, certifications and licenses, or military experience. Online students have access to electronic library resources and services, a technical help desk, and tutorials on using the learning management system.

To apply, first-year students must submit an online application (with fee), SAT/ACT test scores that reflect minimum scores, and high school transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.4. Transfer applicants must submit their online applications and transcripts from previous post-secondary institutions.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 604
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 208
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Accounting Systems, Advanced Income Tax Accounting, Cost Accounting, Internal Controls & Auditing, Not-for-Profit Accounting

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
#2
#2

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970

The University of the Cumberlands (UC) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting through the Hutton School of Business. The program focuses on providing students with an understanding of the fundamentals of accounting, auditing, and economics. The curriculum is 128 semester hours and includes 37 hours of general education courses, 60 hours of accounting core requirements, and 31 hours of elective courses. Students take classes in financial accounting, micro and macroeconomics, cost accounting,... federal taxation, and must earn 3-15 credit hours in corporate internships.

Online courses may be synchronous or asynchronous and are hosted on the Canvas learning management system. The same on-campus faculty teach online courses. Instructors have experience as financial advisors, tax consultants, and corporate officers. The Cumberlands Commitment reduces tuition by 57%, and payment plans are also available to students. Resources for online students include TalkCampus, a mental health app, counseling services, academic advising, and career services.

To apply, students must submit an online application and official high school transcripts, GED scores, or transcripts from previously attended colleges/universities. Students with previous college credit must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Transfer students with an Associate of Applied Science degree may transfer up to 92 credits into the accounting program.

  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,852
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (606) 549-2200

Example Classes: Accounting Theory, Advanced Accounting, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Federal Taxation, Governmental Accounting

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
#4
#4

Southern Utah University

Cedar City (UT)
Annual Tuition: $6,006
Annual Tuition: $6,006
Annual Tuition: $6,006
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 730
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 497
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (435) 586-7700

Example Classes: Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Accounting, Business, Government, and Ethics

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
#5
#5

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City (UT)
Annual Tuition: $6,450
Annual Tuition: $6,450
Annual Tuition: $6,450
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 21%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 98,630
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 37,509
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (801) 274-3280

Example Classes: Business Ethics, Business Law for Accountants, Cost and Managerial Accounting, Global Business, Quantitative Analysis For Business

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Business Administration Accounting
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $6,778
Annual Tuition: $6,778
Annual Tuition: $6,778
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (785) 628-4000

Example Classes: Commercial Law, Ethics for Accountants, Financial Markets and Institutions, Money, Banking, & Macroeconomy

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $6,947
Annual Tuition: $6,947
Annual Tuition: $6,947
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 242
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 27
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (701) 483-2507

Example Classes: Business Ethics and Critical Thinking, Computerized Accounting, Cost Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Income Tax

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (575) 562-1011

Example Classes: Accounting Information Systems Theory, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting, Income Tax Accounting: Individual, International Accounting

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
#9
#9

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville (NC)
Annual Tuition: $7,556
Annual Tuition: $7,556
Annual Tuition: $7,556
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Average SATs: 870 -1010
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,714
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 603
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (910) 672-1111

Example Classes: Advanced Federal Income Taxes, Financial Statement Analysis, Forensic and Fraud Analysis, Government and Public Accounting, Legal Environments of Business

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Degree Completion)
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Degree Completion): Risk Management and Insurance
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $7,626
Annual Tuition: $7,626
Annual Tuition: $7,626
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,833
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 163
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (256) 233-8100

Example Classes: Auditing, Cost Accounting, Governmental Accounting, Law for Accountants, Management Decision Support Systems, Management Information Systems

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. in Accounting with Minor
  • B.S. in Accounting Without Minor
#11
#11

University of the Potomac

Multiple Locations
Annual Tuition: $7,785
Annual Tuition: $7,785
Annual Tuition: $7,785
  • Online Degrees: 10
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 31%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 56
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 42
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

Example Classes: Advanced Financial Reporting, Assurance and Audit Services, Business Ethics and the Legal Environment, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, Federal Taxes, Payroll Accounting

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Government Contract Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Healthcare Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - International Business
#12
#12
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,734
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 159
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Auditing, Cost Accounting, Fraud Examination, Governmental and NFP Accounting, Income Tax, Information Systems

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Accountancy
#13
#13
Annual Tuition: $8,100
Annual Tuition: $8,100
Annual Tuition: $8,100
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 37,335
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,914
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (877) 468-6268

Example Classes: Accounting Information Systems, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Individual Federal Tax, Payroll

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting - General
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics - Accounting
#14
#14

Clarion University

Clarion (PA)
Annual Tuition: $8,334
Annual Tuition: $8,334
Annual Tuition: $8,334
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 699
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 741
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (814) 393-2000

Example Classes: Accounting for Equities, Accounting Problems, Business Taxation, Comparative Accounting Systems, Cost Accounting, Personal Taxation

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting: CPA
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting: Industry
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting: Internal Audit and Forensic Accounting
#15
#15
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,676
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 757
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (501) 569-3000

Example Classes: Accounting for Governments, Not-For-Profits, and Other Financial Issues, Accounting Informations Systems, Accounting Issues, Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing Theory and Practice, Federal Taxation

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BBA in Accounting
#16
#16

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh (NY)
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480
Annual Tuition: $8,480
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 980 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 425
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 72
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (518) 564-2000

Example Classes: Business Applications and Information Systems, Business Ethics and Professionalism in a Global Society, Business Law for Accounting Majors, Cost Accounting, Government and Nonprofit Accounting, Legal Environment of Business

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
#17
#17
Annual Tuition: $8,758
Annual Tuition: $8,758
Annual Tuition: $8,758
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 998
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 345
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (800) 475-2001

Example Classes: Accounting Systems, Auditing I, Cost Accounting, Financial Management, Government Accounting, Senior Seminar: Accounting, Strategy Management

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Accounting
#18
#18
Annual Tuition: $8,850
Annual Tuition: $8,850
Annual Tuition: $8,850
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5,896
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,183
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (800) 955-2527

Example Classes: Auditing and Assurance, Cost Accounting, Forensic Accounting, Governmental and Non-Profit Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Taxation - Corporate

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Accounting
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $8,883
Annual Tuition: $8,883
Annual Tuition: $8,883
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 589
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 472
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (309) 295-1414

Example Classes: Accounting for Managers and Management Decisions, Accounting Systems and Control, Advanced Federal Taxation, Estate Planning and Taxation, Financial Modeling and Statement Analysis, Fraud Examination

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business in Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Business in Accountancy - Management Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business in Accountancy - Taxation
#20
#20

Peru State College

Peru (NE)
Annual Tuition: $8,895
Annual Tuition: $8,895
Annual Tuition: $8,895
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 616
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 238
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (402) 872-3815

Example Classes: Accounting Information Systems Analysis & Design, Advanced Accounting, Auditing, Cost/Managerial Accounting, Federal Income Taxes – Individual, Governmental & Not-for-Profit Accounting

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration - Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting
#21
#21
Annual Tuition: $9,172
Annual Tuition: $9,172
Annual Tuition: $9,172
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%
  • Average SATs: 840 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 999
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 46
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (417) 625-9300

Example Classes: Advanced Cost Accounting, Tax Accounting II, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) II

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting
#22
#22
Annual Tuition: $9,240
Annual Tuition: $9,240
Annual Tuition: $9,240
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 385
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,402
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Phone #: (978) 345-2151

Example Classes: Auditing, Cost Accounting, Federal Taxation

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting
#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $9,269
Annual Tuition: $9,269
Annual Tuition: $9,269
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 13%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,342
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Phone #: (207) 621-3000

Example Classes: Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Taxation, Auditing, Assurance & Consulting Services, Fraud Examination, Governmental and Not for Profit Accounting, Investment Management

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Business Administration: Accounting
  • BS in Business Administration: Accounting - Financial Accounting
  • BS in Business Administration: Accounting - Governmental Accounting
  • BS in Business Administration: Accounting - Management Accounting
#24
#24
Annual Tuition: $9,480
Annual Tuition: $9,480
Annual Tuition: $9,480
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Average SATs: 850 -1080
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 376
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (304) 766-3000

Example Classes: Business Law, Federal Taxation, Human Resource Management, Math Analysis for Business Decisions, Organization and Management

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accounting

Overview of Affordable Online Accounting Degrees

Students conducting a college search for affordable online bachelor's programs will find a number of degree options in accounting. Some colleges offer programs that lead to Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees specifically in accounting, while other schools offer degrees in business administration with a concentration in accounting. At some schools, enrollees can also choose specializations, such as taxation or forensic accounting. All of these programs are designed to be completed in four years of full-time study, but students may choose to enroll part-time instead. With convenient and affordable online options available, students can choose the program that best fits their interests, career goals, schedule, and budget.


How Much Does an Online Accounting Degree Program Cost?


Annual tuition rates among the more affordable online accounting programs range from $5,490-$9,480. As a point of comparison, the median annual tuition for an online bachelor's degree is $13,919, according to an internal analysis of over 800 schools.


Students may find that earning a degree online can lower the overall cost. Some schools charge in-state tuition rates for distance learners regardless of residency. There are also some campus-related fees that online students often do not have to pay, including housing and transportation.

Accounting students who plan to become certified public accountants (CPAs) should also consider the expense of taking additional courses, as well as the various fees associated with taking the CPA exam. These costs vary by state, but the total application, examination, and registration fees can range from $1,150-$1,350.


Funding an Online Bachelor's in Accounting

Online students are eligible for financial aid, just like students attending on-campus schools. There are federal, state, private, and school-sponsored scholarships and grants, which don't have to be paid back, as well as work-study programs. Some online accounting students may need to accept student loans, but they should consider all loan offers with care. Federal student loans are usually preferred because they offer more favorable repayment plans and usually have lower interest rates.

Certain students may also be eligible for other types of aid. For example, active duty military or veterans may be entitled to tuition assistance and GI Bill benefits, and members or employees of a school's partner organization may be awarded tuition discounts. Accounting majors can check with the financial aid office at their school to see if they qualify for any financial aid programs.

Online students are eligible for financial aid, just like students attending on-campus schools.

Most students begin the financial aid process by submitting a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. The personal financial information on this form is used to determine how much aid a student may be eligible for. When the applications have been evaluated, the schools will provide an offer to the students that details the type and amount of financial aid they can receive. In many cases, it will be a combination of the different types of funding available.

Online accounting students can also submit separate applications for some of the many private scholarships available. Professional organizations, such as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, fund scholarships for accounting undergraduates.

Other opportunities to consider include:

Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting Scholarships

Several scholarships ranging from $1,000-$16,000 are available for women majoring in accounting at all degree levels.

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program

Named for two members of ACFE killed in a terrorist attack in Pakistan while representing their Texas firm in Karachi, this fund offers scholarships in the amounts of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000.

Striving for Greatness Accounting and Finance Scholarship

Awards $2,500 to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who demonstrate service to their community in addition to academic achievement.

For additional information about college affordability, we've compiled resources about paying for a college degree.


Careers for Accounting Alumni

An online accounting degree from an accredited college or university can be the first step in a variety of career paths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many of these accounting careers for bachelor's degree holders offer lucrative salaries in growth occupations. Below is a list highlighting some of the multiple avenues available in this field.

Accountants and Auditors

  • Median Annual Salary:$73,560
  • Job Growth Rate: 7%

Organizations of all sizes and types need accountants to create and examine financial records, ensure compliance with accepted accounting practices, and assess the organization's financial operations. There are several types of accountants:

  • Public accountants, who provide accounting services for clients
  • Certified management accountants, or CMAs, who analyze financial records and data in consultation with an organization's senior leadership
  • Government accountants, who provide accounting services for government agencies
  • Tax accountants, who specialize in tax preparation and tax planning for clients

Auditors perform many of the same functions as accountants but their role is to confirm the accuracy of accountants' work.

Personal Financial Advisors

  • Median Annual Salary: $89,330
  • Job Growth Rate: 5%

Graduates with accounting degrees, including those from online programs, may be interested in working with individuals and families to provide financial advice. These professionals typically spend time with clients discussing their financial goals before offering guidance on investments, tax planning, and other financial matters. Most personal financial advisors need various types of licensure, depending on their state's requirements. The BLS lists the median annual wage for personal financial advisors as $89,330, although the highest 10% earn more than $208,000. The need for professionals in this occupation is projected to increase at a slightly slower rate than other industries.

Financial Managers

  • Median Annual Salary: $134,180
  • Job Growth Rate: 17%

Mid-sized and larger organizations typically have a financial manager on their executive team. In addition to preparing financial statements, they often create reports and forecasts. Their role is to use financial data to analyze internal operations as well as external trends so they can assist the organization's leaders in making sound financial decisions. Financial management — which includes controllers, treasurers, and chief financial officers — is a growth occupation with a projected 17% increase in job openings through 2030.

Financial Examiners

  • Median Annual Salary: $81,430
  • Job Growth Rate: 18%

These professionals are responsible for monitoring the activities of banks and other financial institutions to ensure they comply with laws and regulations. Financial examiners review documentation, evaluate decisions made by managers and officers, and assess each institution's level of risk.


Applying to an Online Program

The admissions criteria for online and in-person bachelor's programs are fairly consistent from one college to the next. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Other requirements often include a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and favorable scores on common college entrance exams, such as the ACT or SAT. For those enrolling in a degree-completion program, a cumulative 2.5 or higher GPA for completed college-level courses may be required.

When prospective students submit an application to enroll in an online accounting degree program, they may be asked for some of the following items:

  • An application fee ranging from $25-$80
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools attended
  • Test scores from ACT, SAT, or other standardized tests
  • Letters of recommendation from former teachers, coaches, supervisors, or clergy who know the applicant well
  • A personal essay highlighting the applicant's experiences and goals
  • A list of extracurricular activities, including team sports, clubs and organizations, jobs, and volunteer activities

Common Online Bachelor's in Accounting Courses

A bachelor's degree in accounting is designed to give students a strong foundation in financial accounting principles and prepare them for a wide range of careers in business. Students who earn a bachelor's in accounting often go on to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and pursue roles in public accounting as auditors, work for government or nonprofit organizations, maintain financial records for private companies, or take on individual clients. An accounting degree can also lead to roles in finance, including budget analysts, financial consultants, finance managers, or financial analysts.

  • Auditing: This course gives students an in-depth understanding of the auditing processes used in public accounting. Students learn about auditing procedures, documentation used to verify financial data, audit program design, and other external audit practices. The course also covers the ethical and legal responsibilities of public accountants.
  • Cost Accounting: Cost accounting involves understanding how much it costs to run a business, create a product, or provide a service, and using total costs to guide operations. Courses cover how to use accounting data to determine pricing, inform business decisions, make long-term plans, predict financial outcomes, and create data-driven company policies.
  • Government and Non-profit Accounting: This class covers the basics of fund accounting for non-profit organizations and public agencies. Students learn how to manage donor and public funds, which typically have strict requirements for use. They also learn how to prepare financial statements, document funding use, analyze financial data, and adhere to reporting requirements for non-profit organizations.
  • Intermediate Accounting: Once students have completed introductory courses in the basic principles of accounting, they can progress to a more advanced understanding of this complex subject. Course materials provide an in-depth examination of familiar topics, such as the time value of money. They also delve into new issues, including accounting for inventory, research and development expenses, and taxes.
  • Managerial Accounting: Managerial accounting refers to the process of gathering relevant financial data and using it to manage a business effectively. Students learn about the different reports and data points managers need to inform business decisions. Practical skills gained from this class include capital budgeting and preparing financial statements, cash budgets, and performance evaluations.
  • Microeconomics: In this course, students explore how individuals and organizations make decisions about using and distributing resources. Specifically, they learn how people within organizations share information, assign value to goods and services, and collectively work toward the efficient production and exchange of resources. Some common topics include supply and demand, market equilibrium, monopolies, and labor economics.
  • Tax Accounting: Sometimes called income tax or federal tax accounting, this course gives an overview of income tax laws. Students learn how to prepare taxes for individuals, including determining gross income and itemized deductions. They also learn how to research specific tax laws related to individual circumstances. Some courses may cover how tax laws can impact business decisions.

Accreditation

Accreditation is an important quality to look for when selecting a college. Accounting students must be enrolled in an accredited institution and/or program to qualify for federal financial aid, and in many states it is a requirement to obtain licensure. Additionally, students who intend to transfer schools or apply to a master's program may only be accepted if their previous college credits were earned through accredited programs.


For accounting programs, the primary accrediting agency is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), although some business programs may be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


Accreditation means that a school's academic programs, faculty, research programs, and student services meet educational standards for quality. Schools can also earn programmatic accreditation for individual degree programs. For accounting programs, the primary accrediting agency is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), although some business programs may be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can access databases of recognized schools, programs, and accrediting agencies on the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation websites.


Is an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Worth It?

Whether an online bachelor's degree in accounting will be worth it is ultimately up to each individual, and depends in part on a student's personal circumstances, financial situation, and other responsibilities. There is a significant upfront investment in time and money that may or may not result in a satisfying and lucrative career. It's worth examining the pros and cons of this degree, along with the advantages of earning it online.

Potential Benefits

  • Accountants are typically paid wellAccountants are typically paid well, earning median yearly wages of $73,560 compared to $41,950 for all U.S. professions.
  • A bachelor's degree in accounting can qualify you for entry-level positions in a variety of areas, including auditing, bookkeeping, and financial investigation.
  • Learning online affords you greater flexibility. Working independently around family or other commitments can be easier when you are in control of your schedule and course load.

Potential Benefits

  • Day-to-day work as an accountant can be tedious with intervals that bring on high anxiety, such as tax season and end-of-year accounting. According to CareerExplorer, accountants have reported fairly low job satisfaction.
  • Competition for jobs may be intense, because job growth is likely to remain average at 7% through 2030, according to the BLS.
  • Online learning may decrease opportunities for networking, which can be an essential part of the job search after graduation.

Next Steps for Accounting Graduates

After earning a bachelor's in accounting, graduates who would like to qualify for higher-paying positions or job opportunities that require licensure might consider becoming CPAs. To become a certified public accountant, which indicates greater competency in the field, students must complete 150 college credits and pass the four-part Uniform CPA Examination. Although a master's degree is not required, many aspiring CPAs obtain an advanced degree in order to earn the additional credits needed. A few states will accept years of work experience in lieu of some college coursework. Students should check with their state's Board of Accountancy for a detailed list of licensure requirements.

In addition to preparing graduates to pass the CPA exam, a master's degree in accounting offers other benefits. Their advanced training may qualify them for more competitive, specialized roles in the field, such as in auditing or taxation. This expertise could mean higher salaries and greater job security.

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