2019 Most Affordable Online Colleges with Open Admissions

2019 Most Affordable Online Colleges with Open Admissions Badge

The 25 schools on this list are the most affordable online colleges with open admissions. These schools, also called open enrollment colleges, have unselective admissions policies that provide students with the opportunity to access higher education if they meet the college’s open admissions criteria. Usually, the requirements are finishing high school or receiving a GED, but they may also include passing an uncompetitive GPA or test score benchmark. All of the colleges on this list have tuition rates under $14,000 and offer a variety of online bachelor’s degrees. The two colleges tied for first place, South Texas College and God's Bible School and College, cost just $6,000 per year.

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Rank College Annual Tuition
#1 (tie) #1 (tie) God's Bible School and College $6,000
#1 (tie) #1 (tie) South Texas College $6,000
#3 #3 Western Governors University $6,380
#4 #4 Weber State University $8,100
#5 #5 Briar Cliff University $8,300
#6 #6 Chadron State College $8,370
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) Peru State College $8,670
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) Wayne State College $8,670
#9 #9 University of Maine at Augusta $8,730
#10 #10 Montana State University-Billings $8,969
#11 #11 Wiley College $9,849
#12 #12 SUNY Empire State College $10,633
#13 #13 Granite State College $10,650
#14 #14 Wilmington University $11,160
#15 #15 Columbia College $11,250
#16 #16 Washburn University $11,340
#17 #17 Missouri Western State University $11,625
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Amridge University $12,000
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Baker College Online $12,000
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Kent State University at Ashtabula $12,000
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Kent State University at Salem $12,000
#18 (tie) #18 (tie) Touro University Worldwide $12,000
#23 #23 University of Northwestern Ohio $12,375
#24 #24 Ohio Christian University $12,690
#25 #25 Rogers State University $13,144
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC and ABHE
  • God’s Bible School and College admits high school graduates who completed their degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA over at least 17 credits. Students are required to have completed 3 units of english, 4 units of math and science, 2 units of social studies, and the remainder completed by elective courses. While ACT or SAT scores are not required, it is recommended that students submit their scores, as they may help some applicants “demonstrate their merit”. Students may also be asked to complete an admissions interview and/or submit an academic work portfolio. The entire application may be completed online and requires recommendations from a pastor, teacher, and professional, a high school transcript or equivalent, and application fee.

    With a retention rate over 70%, it is clear that God’s Bible School and College is a strong option for students seeking a Christian higher education.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • South Texas College offers a free online application which requires a number of fields to be completed. Applications require a personal email address, beginning and completion dates of high school career, and dates of previous college or university attendance, if applicable. Official transcripts from high school, proof of GED, and transcripts from previous colleges and universities must be submitted for review. Once students have successfully applied and the necessary materials have been submitted, applications are generally accepted within 10 days, at which time South Texas College will provide students with an identification number needed for their registration process. All incoming students are required to complete an assessment of math, reading, and writing skills. Prior to beginning courses, students are encouraged to become familiar with South Texas College by taking an online orientation, specific to online courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,380
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU and DEAC
  • Western Governors University offers online degrees in teaching, nursing, IT and business. Unlike many programs offering only quarterly enrollment, WGU offers program enrollment at the beginning of each month, meaning that students may begin at any time. To start the process, students must submit an application, which requires basic information, as well as academic history. There is generally a fee associated with the online application, but WGU has periodically offered coupon codes which reduce or waive the fee. WGU considers previous college work and experience, readiness assessment results (if applicable), and the amount of time students estimate they will be able to spend on coursework when making admissions decisions. Additional admissions requirements may apply to certain programs. Once applications have been submitted, WGU contacts applicants within 2 business days to discuss their status, and provide information about the enrollment process if accepted.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Weber State University offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees online in a number of fields. Interested students must begin their application process by confirming the availability of online programs in their state, as WSU is not authorized in all 50 states. Next, students in eligible states are encouraged to apply for admission. Applications require a number of fields, a nonrefundable application fee, as well as high school and previous college transcripts if applicable. Submission of ACT or SAT scores is not required but can help determine math and english placement. Once information and materials have been submitted, WSU will respond to applications within 2 weeks. If accepted, students must locate their nearest WSU approved testing center, and make special arrangements to take exams if they do not have access to WSU testing centers.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Briar Cliff University evaluates applications based on a number of criteria. First, students must have graduated from an accredited high school, or completed their GED with a cumulative GPA above 2.5. Education must have included a minimum of sixteen units of work in english, natural sciences, foreign language, social studies, and math courses. Furthermore, students must have a score above 19 on the ACT, or equivalent score on the SAT. Applications require a fee, and can be evaluated by the Admissions Advisory Committee if students do not meet the minimum requirements.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,370
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Chadron State College offers a number of online courses. All courses take place in an 8-week format and require only a flat rate fee with no out of state tuition. CSC admits students who have graduated from an accredited high school, or who have completed a high school equivalency certificate and GED. Interested students are required to submit an application and a number of materials including official transcripts and test scores. Applications must also include an application fee, which can be refunded in cases where the applicant is denied admission to CSC.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,670
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Peru State College offers online undergraduate and graduate programs in a number of fields. In order to be admitted, PSC requires applicants to submit an application for admission, including official transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. Students are also required to provide their health history including immunization records, and a completed Peru State College Health and Counseling Form. Applications for online programs are free, and students may transfer up to 90 credits from an accredited college or university, or 66 credits from a community or technical college. Online courses are offered on both 8- and 16-week schedules throughout the year.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,670
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Wayne State College offers a number of fully online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All programs require applicants to have graduated from an accredited high school with strong curriculum recommendations, including 4 years of english, 3 years of math, 3 years of social studies, and 3 years of science. WSC also recommends courses in foreign language, arts, and computer literacy. Transcripts and test scores must be sent directly to WSC, and while standardized testing scores are not generally used in admission evaluation, they are important for determining the appropriate course load. Once students have submitted their application and materials, they should expect notification within 7 business days.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,730
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • The University of Maine at Augusta offers a number of entirely online degrees, including both bachelor’s and master’s tracks. Applications for admission are free, and require official high school transcripts, or GED test scores. Incoming students must complete placement testing to determine appropriate courses, however placement testing can be waived for some students by demonstrating appropriate test scores, previous college coursework, or other criteria. While the university specifies its own admission criteria, some programs specify additional admission requirements and application deadlines, so it is important for students to be mindful of the expectations of their program of interest.

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,969
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Montana State University-Billings offers numerous online degree programs. Admission requires either a composite ACT score above 22, a SAT combined math and verbal score of over 1030, a GPA greater than 2.5, or a class rank in the upper 50 percent of the student’s graduating class. While the university specifies academic requirements, applications are evaluated on an individual basis, and students not meeting the requirements are encouraged to complete an application and request additional review. Interested students are required to submit an online application which includes ACT or SAT scores, immunization records, AP scores, previous college and high school transcripts, and an application fee.

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  • Annual Tuition: $9,849
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Wiley College is a historically black college with one of the most affordable open admission online programs in the country. Wiley was founded by the Methodist Church in 1871 and retains a strong affiliation with the United Methodist Church. First-time freshman applicants to Wiley must have at least a 2.0 high school GPA or must have earned their GED. The college offers a variety of bachelor's degrees, including two programs for adult learners: Organizational Management and Criminal Justice Administration. Adult learners must be at least 25 years old, and have 60 transferrable college credits, or an Associate of Arts degree. Up to 90 credits may be transferred. Credit may be granted for prior learning, such as military training. Wiley has 1,200 students at its Marshall, TX campus, and more than 200 online. 

  • Annual Tuition: $10,633
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Empire State College of the State University of New York has one of the richest selections of degrees of any open admissions online university. Applicants to Empire State College SUNY must have a high school diploma and must write an essay as part of their application. Most of the degrees offered are Bachelor's of Science, Bachelor's of Arts, or Bachelor's of Professional Studies degrees. ESC degrees can be tailored to a student's preferences by using electives and concentrations. Some programs are degree completion programs, and several may require an on-campus residency. ESC's policy regarding transfer credits and the assessment of prior learning is generous.  ESC's administration is in Saratoga Springs, and the school has more than 30 learning sites throughout New York and abroad. Founded in 1971 to serve adult learners, the college has developed a national reputation for its online programs. The college serves 5,000 online students.

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,650
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Granite State College was founded in 1972 as the adult education center for the University of New Hampshire system. GSC retains its focus on adult learners by offering many online bachelor's degrees in an open admissions system. Many of the degrees are adult completion programs and require an associate degree. Among the programs are Bachelor of Science degrees in Allied Health Leadership, Public Service Management, and Service and Hospitality Management. Up to 90 credits may be transferred, and prior learning will be assessed for possible credit. GSC is located in Concord and has several other centers in New Hampshire. More than 80% of students are transfers, and 68% are ages 25 to 49. The school has 3,100 students.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,160
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Delaware's Wilmington University has an open admissions policy for its online programs, which include more than 30 bachelor's degrees. The degrees offered online include a BS in Computer and Network Security and an RN to BSN. The BS in Business Management has two unusual concentrations, one in Nonprofit Management and another in Aeronautics Management. The school is known to its students as WilmU. It is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, with a combined online and campus enrollment of 20,000 students. The home campus is in New Castle, near Philadelphia. Eighty-seven percent of students work full or part-time. Applicants may be required to take a math and English skills assessment for placement.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Columbia College, based in Columbia, Missouri, offers more than two dozen online bachelor's degrees with a strong emphasis on a liberal arts set of core courses. The programs offered are particularly rich in business studies, including a BA and BS in Marketing, Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship and International Business. Columbia College serves 20,000 students annually, including approximately 4,700 online students. Policies about transfer credits and evaluation of prior learning are generous. CC was founded in 1851 as a Christian college for women. The school still has an affiliation with the Disciples of Christ church, but is now nondenominational. 

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,340
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Washburn University's open admission online bachelor's degrees include a Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Administration and a Bachelor of Health Science (BHS). Applicants will be granted admission if they have a high school GPA of 2.5 with an ACT score 19, or a GPA of 3.0 with an ACT score of 16. Students will also be accepted if they have either a GPA of 3.5 and above or an ACT score of 23 and above. Students may transfer in up to 90 credits. Washburn was founded in 1865 as Lincoln College by the Congregational Church, but it no longer has a religious affiliation. The school acquired its present name from a later donor, Ichabod Washburn. Uniquely, the school uses his first name as a nickname, the "Ichabods." The university is located in Topeka, Kansas, and applicants from several adjacent states qualify for in-state tuition. The school's total enrollment on-campus and online is 7,000. 

  • Annual Tuition: $11,625
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Missouri Western State University's online programs are open admissions. MWSU features several online bachelor's degree programs. The BS in Technology (BST) requires an associate degree or 30 credits of applied coursework or military training, and allows students to construct personal concentrations. It is a career-oriented program. The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) requires 75 credits with a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and is a degree completion program that lets students to build a degree from two concentrations. Located in St. Joseph, MWSU currently enrolls a total of 5,000 students on campus and online. MWSU has a variety of possibilities for admission. Applicants age 19 and under will be automatically accepted with 3.5 GPA or 21 ACT score or 680 GED score, but can also be granted admission on a sliding scale of GPA and test score. For example, an applicant may be admitted with an ACT score of 15 and a GPA of 2.7 or with an ACT score of 18 and a GPA of 2.0. 

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • The open admission online programs at Amridge University include eight bachelor's degrees. Four are BS degrees in business and IT, including Management, Business Administration, Information Systems Management and Human Resource Leadership. Also offered are BS degrees in Criminal Justice and in Human Development. There are also two programs in Bible studies. Amridge was founded in 1967 as a school of religion and retains a Christian philosophy in all of its programs. Amridge was a pioneer in distance learning, offering its first online course in 1993. Amridge has a total of about one thousand students online and on its campus in Montgomery, Alabama.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Baker College's online offerings feature over twenty bachelor's degrees and concentrations. All students with a high school diploma or GED are accepted. Baker focuses on programs in business, health, human services and technical careers. The online programs include degrees in Accounting, Computer Science, Healthcare Administration, Information Systems, Management, and Game Software Development. An accelerated Business Administration degree can be finished in one to two years. An unusual degree is the Criminal Justice concentration in Law Enforcement Police Academy, where students become certified police officers upon graduation. The General Studies degree is interdisciplinary and lets students build their own degree. Baker is the largest nonprofit independent college in Michigan, with more than 23,000 students at nine Michigan learning centers and online. 

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Kent State University at Ashtabula offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees. The first two years may be taken on any KSU campus. Online degrees are awarded by the student's home campus. Among the degrees available are the BS in Insurance Studies and the BS in Public Health, which has five concentrations such as Clinical Trials, which trains students in research methods in epidemiological studies. Another is Global Health, which trains students to assess health needs of diverse and underserved populations. KSU Ashtabula is located in the far northeast of Ohio, on Lake Erie. Founded in 1958, the campus has 2,000 students on campus and online. 

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • The open admissions online programs at Kent State University at Salem include the BS in Insurance Studies and the BS in Respiratory Care. There are also five concentrations in the BS in Public Health, including Community Health Outreach and Development, and Health Services Administration. These are degree completion programs, requiring an associate degree or the equivalent in transferrable credits. The first two years of these programs may also be completed on any KSU campus. KSU Salem is one of twin campuses in Columbiana County. Founded in 1958, KSU Salem has 2,000 students on campus and online.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • The open admission online programs at Touro University Worldwide are well regarded. TUW is a non-profit 100% online institution. It's affiliated with Touro College and University System, the largest Jewish-associated university in the country. Touro offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees, including a BA in Psychology, a BA in Social Work, and a BS in Business Administration and Management. Three concentrations in the BA in Health Sciences are offered through the Edith Neumann School of Health and Human Services: Health Education, Health Care Administration and Long-Term Care Administration. Founded in 2008, TUW has 1,300 students and is headquartered in New York City.

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,375
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • The University of Northwestern Ohio offers online bachelor's degrees. The school focuses on preparing students for their careers, and its College of Applied Technologies is nationally recognized. The other schools at UNOH are Business, Occupational Professions, Health Professions and Graduate Studies. The school recommends that applicants to online programs have a 3.0 GPA, but does not require it. The programs are particularly strong in business and accounting. Among the more notable concentrations are the BS in Forensic Accounting and a five-year Accounting plus CPA track. Three of the UNOH schools are on the quarter system. Applied Technologies is on six-week terms. UNOH graduates about 250 online students per year. The school is located in Lima.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,690
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC and ABHE
  • Ohio Christian University offers more than 20 bachelor's degrees online. They include the BA in English and the BA in Leadership and Ministry (which has five concentrations, including Church Planting). The BA in Business has 13 concentrations, including Emergency Management, Logistics, and Agribusiness. The BA in Interdisciplinary Studies permits a student to build a personal program. UCU also offers the Online Plus program for recent high school graduates, which combines online courses, study abroad and community experience in a degree. Founded in 1948 as a Bible college, OCU retains a strong Christian orientation. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union.

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  • Annual Tuition: $13,144
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Rogers State University offers more than a dozen bachelor's degree programs online. Among the degrees offered are the BS in Business Administration and Management, the BS in Organizational Leadership, the BS in Organizational Leadership and the BA in Liberal Arts. Business Administration offers three concentrations, including Software Development and Multimedia. The Bachelor of Technology (BT) has concentrations in Applied Technology and in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Founded in 1909, Rogers became a university in 2000. It was the first college in Oklahoma to offer a bachelor's degree online, and one of the first in the country.  It's also the fastest growing university in the state. RSU's home campus is in Claremore, in northeastern Oklahoma. The school has a combined enrollment of 4,000.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.