Most Affordable Online Colleges & Degrees Methodology

Most Affordable Online Colleges by Subject

To be considered for these subject rankings, schools need to be regionally or nationally accredited and need to offer at least one fully online degree in a given subject for the degree level of the list.

Tuitions were manually researched and reflect the degree level of the list. Out-of-state tuitions were used unless in-state tuition is offered to all online students. Figures are accurate at the time of publication; please check with the institution for current tuition rates.

Fully Online Status

Schools with programs that require some on-campus coursework were still considered for our rankings if the amount of in-person work required was limited to two weeks or less. This allows students to retain their current employment or other personal responsibilities.

Data Sources

Acceptance rates, programmatic accreditation, and profit status of schools were collected from official websites of the accreditation agencies or from the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data are updated annually. The NCES does not release data into downloadable formats until they have been approved, so the most current available data will not be for the most recent academic year. We also use data from the NCES to determine the list of eligible schools for these rankings. Program data including available degrees, tuition rates, and details about program coursework were collected from official school websites, reflecting data for the 2019-2020 school year. These data were collected in August of 2019.

Our ranking lists sometimes include partner schools, however we use the same methodology for all schools (partner or non-partner) when developing these lists.