2020 Most Affordable Online Computer Science Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 4/5/2021
2020 Most Affordable Computer Science Bachelors Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 4/5/2021

As the world grows increasingly reliant on digital and network technologies, a computer science degree can be a useful stepping stone to lucrative careers in writing code, working with machine learning, developing websites, or keeping customers' personal data safe through network security. The median yearly salary for these jobs is $88,240.

Below, we've ranked the 24 most affordable online bachelor's degrees in computer science, which feature an average annual tuition rate of $10,365. We also provide information about earning a degree completely online, the cost of an online computer science degree, and whether the payoff will be worth it for you.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's in computer science degrees. 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 Fort Hays State University $6,560
# 2 #2 Western Governors University $6,750
# 3 #3 Lamar University $7,440
# 4 #4 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $7,492
# 5 #5 Central Methodist University $7,800
# 6 #6 Weber State University $8,340
# 7 #7 Grantham University $8,850
# 8 #8 Southern New Hampshire University Online $9,600
# 9 #9 Thomas Edison State University $9,856
# 10 #10 Troy University $10,140
# 11 #11 Florida International University $10,376
# 12 #12 Colorado State University Global $10,500
# 13 #13 SUNY Empire State College $10,943
# 14 #14 Saint Leo University Online $11,100
# 15 #15 Eastern Oregon University $11,340
# 16 #16 Regent University Online $11,850
# 17 #17 Liberty University $12,090
# 18 #18 University of Illinois at Springfield $12,105
# 19 #19 Old Dominion University $12,210
# 20 #20 Franklin University $12,338
# 21 #21 Park University $12,450
# 22 #22 Baker College Online $12,555
# 23 #23 Wayland Baptist University $12,834
# 24 #24 Limestone College $13,230
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,560
Annual Tuition: $6,560
Annual Tuition: $6,560

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers a fully-online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The program focuses on software, digital storage and retrieval, information security, and more. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, including 55 credit hours of general education requirements and 65 credit hours of major requirements. Upper-division courses include topics in object-oriented programming, foundations of computing, operating systems, programming languages, and a three-credit... seminar.

Online courses are offered on the Blackboard learning management system, where students have access to discussion boards, videos, presentations, projects, labs, and exams. The class format is dependent on the instructor and can include both synchronous and asynchronous elements. FHSU's Credit for Prior Learning program allows students to earn college credits by completing either an examination, submitting a portfolio, or providing documentation for prior work, certifications, volunteering, community service, or military experience. Many resources are available to online students, including online tutoring, the writing center, counseling, career services, and the Forsyth Library.

To apply, students must complete an online application (with fee) and submit official transcripts from previously attended schools. Prospective students 21 years of age or older do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,608
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,404
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (785) 628-4000

Example Classes: Data Structures, Object-Oriented Programming, Operating Systems, Programming Languages, Survey of Computer Science

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
#2
#2

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City (UT)
Annual Tuition: $6,750
Annual Tuition: $6,750
Annual Tuition: $6,750

Western Governors University (WGU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. WGU offers competency-based education, so students are awarded a degree once they complete their personalized degree plan rather than credit hours. The majority of students finish the program in twelve months and gain skills in logic, architecture and systems, data structures, AI, and computer theory. Online courses cover topics in IT fundamentals, scripting and program, network and security, and data... manipulation. At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone project where they provide a solution to a real-world issue. Students have the option to concurrently earn industry certifications along with their degree at no cost, including ITIL® Foundation Certification, CompTIA Project+, and Oracle Database SQL.

Unlike traditional universities that charge per credit, WGU offers flat-rate tuition and course material fees for each 6-month term. Since units are self-paced, students have no limit in terms of the number of competency units they can complete per term. Additionally, students with previous college coursework and certifications may be able to waive some course requirements. Each student is paired with a program mentor during their course of study and has access to e-textbooks, library services, web-based tutorials, simulations, and online learning communities. Students in the computer science program have access to the Skillsoft library where they can complete modules.

Start dates are available on the first day of every month. Interested candidates can submit an online application, transcripts, and apply for financial aid. Prospective students must take part in an interview with an enrollment counselor and complete an orientation.

  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 88,921
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 32,516
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (801) 274-3280

Example Classes: Business of IT - Project Management, Data Management - Applications, Operating Systems for Programmers, Scripting and Programming - Applications, Software Quality Assurance, Structured Query Language

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Computer Science
  • B.S. Cloud Computing
  • B.S. Software Development - C#
#3
#3

Lamar University

Beaumont (TX)
Annual Tuition: $7,440
Annual Tuition: $7,440
Annual Tuition: $7,440

Lamar University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science through the College of Arts and Sciences. This 120-credit program can be completed in four years, and students can select a concentration in Bioinformatics. The program emphasizes programming languages, data structures, information systems, the theory of programming languages, computer architecture, and more. Students are required to complete 48 credit hours in computer science, covering topics in computer networks and architecture,... database design and structures, and programming languages. In addition to the general education requirements, 20 credit hours are needed in mathematics, 12 hours in laboratory science, and 6 hours in free electives. Seniors are required to take the ETS computer science field exam to graduate.

Online coursework is asynchronous and hosted through the Blackboard learning management system, where students can access recorded lectures, discussion boards, simulations, submit assignments, and complete exams and quizzes. LU offers transfer credits for previous work, life, and military experiences. No application fee is required. Online students have access to various resources, including Smarthinking tutoring services, college advising, the writing center, career services, and online health tools.

Lamar University's computer science program starts in January or May of each year. Students can submit an online application and official transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA to be considered.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1120
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,040
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,069
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (409) 880-7011

Example Classes: Computer Law & Ethics, Computer Org & Assembly, Data Base Design, Design & Analysis of Algorithm, Thinking, Speaking, Writing

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 860 -1070
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,693
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 979
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (575) 562-1011

Example Classes: Database Design and Programming, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, Logic Circuits, Operating Systems, Programming Language Concepts

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,590
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 130
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: .NET 1, Concepts of MIS, Database Systems and SQL, Networking, Scientific Computer Programming, Web Page Design

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $8,340
Annual Tuition: $8,340
Annual Tuition: $8,340
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,836
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 76
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (801) 626-6000

Example Classes: Client Side Web Development, Computer Architecture/Organization, Network Fundamentals and Design, Object-Oriented Programming

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Integrated Studies - Computer Science
#7
#7

Grantham University

Kansas City (KS)
Annual Tuition: $8,850
Annual Tuition: $8,850
Annual Tuition: $8,850
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 6,707
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,352
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (800) 955-2527

Example Classes: .NET Concepts and Principles, Database Applications, Programming in C++, Programming in Java, Software Engineering, System Analysis and Design

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Computer Science
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
  • Online Degrees: 20
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 76,929
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,983
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Phone #: (603) 668-2211

Example Classes: Collaboration and Team Projects, Emerging Systems Architectures & Technologies, Fundamentals of Data Mining, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Operating Environments, Software Testing, Automation, and Quality Assurance

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS Computer Science
  • BS Computer Science - Information Security
  • BS Computer Science - Project Management for STEM
  • BS Computer Science - Data Analytics
  • BS Computer Science - Software Engineering
  • BS Cyber Security
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $9,856
Annual Tuition: $9,856
Annual Tuition: $9,856
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 10,140
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 696
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (609) 984-1100 x2025

Example Classes: Computer Simulation, Computer Statistical Techniques, Operations Research, Problem Analysis and Solution, Programming Languages, Switching Theory and Automata

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Technical Studies
#10
#10

Troy University

Troy (AL)
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1145
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,492
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,056
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (334) 670-3100

Example Classes: Advanced Programming, Applied Discrete Mathematics, Applied Networking, Computer Science I, Computer Security, Data Structures and Algorithms

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Applied Computer Science
#11
#11
Annual Tuition: $10,376
Annual Tuition: $10,376
Annual Tuition: $10,376
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Average SATs: 1090 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 9,286
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,499
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (305) 348-2000

Example Classes: Computer Design, Discrete Mathematics, Ethical Hacking & Countermeasures, Integrated Circuits and Systems, Programming Embedded Systems, Telecommunication Networks

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
#12
#12

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village (CO)
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500
Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,054
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,422
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (800) 920-6723

Example Classes: Artificial Intelligence, Data Structures and Algorithms, Database Management, Operating Systems and Architecture, Platform Based Development, Technology, Ethics, and Global Community

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS - Computer Science
  • BS - Computer Science - Intelligence and Homeland Security
#13
#13

SUNY Empire State College

Saratoga Springs (NY)
Annual Tuition: $10,943
Annual Tuition: $10,943
Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,170
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 965
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (518) 587-2100

Example Classes: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture, Database Systems, Social/Professional Issues in IT/IS, Unix Programming Environment

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA Science, Mathematics and Technology
  • BS Science, Mathematics and Technology
#14
#14
Annual Tuition: $11,100
Annual Tuition: $11,100
Annual Tuition: $11,100
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,889
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,329
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (352) 588-8200

Example Classes: Database Concepts and Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Network Theory and Design, Programming in C/C++, Programming in JAVA, Software Engineering

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • B.S. in Computer Science: Information Assurance
#15
#15

Eastern Oregon University

La Grande (OR)
Annual Tuition: $11,340
Annual Tuition: $11,340
Annual Tuition: $11,340
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1133
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,189
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 152
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (541) 962-3672

Example Classes: Algorithm Analysis, Applied 3D Graphics and Animation, Authoring Environment Programming, Interactive Software Design, Mobile Application Development, Unix Programming

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA in Computer Science
  • BS in Computer Science
#16
#16

Regent University Online

Virginia Beach (VA)
Annual Tuition: $11,850
Annual Tuition: $11,850
Annual Tuition: $11,850
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Average SATs: 958 -1113
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,052
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,630
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (757) 352-4127

Example Classes: Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, Linear Algebra, Mobile and Smart Computing, Network and Telecommunication Concepts, Software Engineering

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • B.S. in Computer Engineering
#17
#17

Liberty University

Lynchburg (VA)
Annual Tuition: $12,090
Annual Tuition: $12,090
Annual Tuition: $12,090
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 32,610
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 31,396
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (434) 582-2000

Example Classes: Algorithms & Data Structures, Computer Architecture & Organization, Modern Cryptography, Network Architecture & Protocols, Software Engineering, Technical Aspects of Computer Security

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS: Computer Science: Cyber-Security
  • BS: Computational Mathematics: Computer Science
#18
#18
Annual Tuition: $12,105
Annual Tuition: $12,105
Annual Tuition: $12,105
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1218
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 942
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 944
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (217) 206-6600

Example Classes: Applied Statistics, Business Calculus, Computer Organization, Data Structures & Algorithms, Discrete Structures, Programming Languages

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $12,210
Annual Tuition: $12,210
Annual Tuition: $12,210
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,736
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,275
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (757) 683-3000

Example Classes: Computational Methods & Software, Computers in Society, Human Behavior, Human Creativity, Operating Systems, Professional Workforce Development

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Degree Completion)
#20
#20

Franklin University

Columbus (OH)
Annual Tuition: $12,338
Annual Tuition: $12,338
Annual Tuition: $12,338
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 14%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,578
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,085
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (614) 797-4700

Example Classes: Enterprise Software Architecture, Human Computer Interaction, Information Systems Architecture & Technology, Mobile Programming, Object-Oriented Analysis And Design, Object-Oriented Data Structures & Algorithms

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Computer Science
#21
#21

Park University

Parkville (MO)
Annual Tuition: $12,450
Annual Tuition: $12,450
Annual Tuition: $12,450
  • Online Degrees: 6
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5,477
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,303
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (816) 741-2000

Example Classes: Computer Architecture, Data Management Concepts, Data Structures, Linear Algebra, Managing Information Systems, Programming Fundamentals

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science - Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science - Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science - Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science - Networking and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science - Software Development
#22
#22

Baker College Online

Cadillac (MI) (and 8 others)
Annual Tuition: $12,555
Annual Tuition: $12,555
Annual Tuition: $12,555
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 13%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,638
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 320
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Computer Architecture, Net-centric Computing, Object Oriented Programming With C++, Programming for Mobile Devices, Trends in Computer Science, Unit Testing and Interfaces

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Computer Science - Bachelor
  • Computer Science - Computer Programming - Bachelor
  • Computer Science - Data Analytics - Bachelor
  • Information Systems - Web Development - Bachelor
#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $12,834
Annual Tuition: $12,834
Annual Tuition: $12,834
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Average SATs: 890 -1090
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 769
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 631
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (806) 291-1000

Example Classes: Computer Organization and Design, Concepts of Database Systems, Data Structures, Object-Oriented Programming, Programming Language Survey and Concepts, Programming Principles, Software Engineering, Web Programming

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BAS in Computer Science
#24
#24

Limestone College

Gaffney (SC)
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,294
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 67
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (800) 795-7151 x0

Example Classes: Database Management, Information Systems Analysis and Design, Internet Graphics, Internet Programming, Microcomputer Applications, Web Page Development

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Computer and Information System Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Programming

Can I Get a Computer Science Degree Online?


Computer science is an increasingly popular subject for undergraduate students who are interested in becoming software developers, with the number of students and faculty in the field growing dramatically over recent years. Students are drawn to the salary potential and job prospects in the growing tech industry and the flood of technology jobs in traditionally non-tech businesses. Fully online computer science degrees are available at accredited schools across the country, many of which offer relatively low-cost tuition rates.

When researching online programs, you should check to see if the school is accredited. All schools on our site have met the quality standards needed to achieve national or regional accreditation, which allows you to receive federal financial aid while attending and transfer credits more easily among schools. The Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) also certifies some schools at the program level. Most schools will feature a CAC accreditation prominently on their computer science program page if they've earned one.


How Much Does an Online Computer Science Degree Cost?


Of the most affordable options listed on our site, annual tuition ranges from $6,560 to $13,230 for an online bachelor's degree in computer science. If you widen your search, you'll find programs that can cost much more.

But tuition is only part of a degree's cost: schools charge additional fees that vary by institution. For example, Eastern Oregon University Online's net price calculator estimates $400 in fees over the life of a 180-credit bachelor's degree, and Thomas Edison State University charges fees mainly as penalties rather than requirements (e.g., for late registration or returned checks). Colleges often break down their fee structure on pages for tuition or financial aid, and occasionally on individual degree program pages — you may have to dig to find details.

In general, online programs tend to cost less than equivalent on-campus programs. Tuition rates are often lower for online students than traditional students, including for those at private schools. Colleges can charge lower tuition because they're able to enroll more online students without costly infrastructure upgrades to their campuses. Students can also benefit from attending a public college in another state, because these colleges usually charge online students a flat, in-state rate regardless of residency. In other words, there's usually no penalty for living out of state, which can help with affordability.


Is an Online Computer Science Degree Worth It?


Pursuing a computer science major is worth the cost and effort by most measures. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) page on Computer and Information Technology Occupations lists 10 types of jobs, all with median salaries above the U.S. average (most of them well above). Professionals, such as network architects and information security analysts, can start working in most of these fields with just a bachelor's degree. For example, computer programmers earn median annual wages of $86,550 — more than twice the national average of about $40,000 — and most programmers begin their careers with a bachelor's degree.

The job outlook is also promising for computer science graduates: BLS expects computer-related jobs to grow 11% through 2029, significantly faster than most other occupations in the U.S. Computer science students have a strong chance of gaining high-paying, stable employment in line with their career goals after graduating.

Depending on your learning style, a computer science degree program might be especially suitable for online learning. In-person core courses in this field tend to focus less on Socratic dialogue and student-faculty interaction than humanities or business disciplines, and much of the group work is done on separate computers, so students might not miss much by working asynchronously or at a distance from partners. Remote learning can also help to build the discipline required for remote employment, which has been increasing for years in the tech industry and which the COVID-19 pandemic has likely accelerated. Still, each individual needs to decide whether the smaller amount of classroom interaction and potential networking opportunities are worth the greater flexibility and generally lower cost of an online bachelor's degree.