Most Affordable Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees

by Genevieve Carlton
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Most Affordable Online Colleges for Bachelor's Degrees

More than seven million college students took online classes in fall 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Nearly 3.5 million pursued a degree fully online.

Many top-ranked colleges offer fully online bachelor's degrees. Online enrollees interact with professors and classmates in a virtual learning environment. An online format provides flexibility. Students can often continue working while earning their degree. Online programs also offer affordability. Learners can enroll in the most affordable program in any state.

With an online degree, graduates can work in diverse, growing fields like business, education, and healthcare. Affordable online colleges help students graduate with less debt.

Our ranking features the most affordable online colleges for bachelor's degrees. Read on to learn about costs and potential programs.

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Questions About Bachelor's Degrees


What is the fastest way to get a bachelor's degree online?

Degree-completion and accelerated programs offer the fastest route to a bachelor's degree. These programs help learners earn their bachelor's in 12 months.

Can you get a bachelor's degree entirely online?

Many top-ranked colleges offer fully online bachelor's degrees. In distance-learning programs, enrollees meet graduation requirements by taking classes and earning credits online.

Do employers consider online bachelor's degrees?

Employers make no distinction between a campus-based or an online bachelor's degree. Accredited online degrees meet the same high standards as on-campus degrees.

Why Earn a Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor's degree can lead to new careers and higher salaries. Many entry-level careers require a bachelor's degree. In fields like business, healthcare, and education, bachelor's degree-holders may qualify for many roles.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $27,000 more annually than those with a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earning a degree online provides flexibility, accessibility, and affordability. Accredited online degrees meet the same high academic standards as in-person degrees.

Featured Online Programs

How Much Does a Bachelor's Degree Cost?

Online bachelor's degrees cost an average of $51,090, according to EducationData.org. However, many factors influence cost, including school type and learners' residency status. Students attending in-state, public colleges usually pay the most affordable tuition. Enrollees at private or out-of-state schools may pay much more.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree online can research colleges anywhere. They need not limit their search to local schools. They also do not need to relocate to attend a more affordable program.

Additional Online Student Fees

In addition to tuition, online learners must budget for other expenses. These may include distance learning or technology fees. Online learners may also need to buy a new laptop or upgrade their internet.

Additional expenses may include books and supplies. According to the NCES, undergraduates spend $1,065-$1,230 per year on books and supplies. Some careers require a license or certification after graduation. Online learners should factor these fees into their degree's total cost.

Available Online Bachelor's Degrees

Accredited schools offer online bachelor's degrees in many in-demand majors. Students can earn a bachelor's degree online in fields like business, healthcare, and education.

During an online bachelor's program, degree-seekers meet their graduation requirements through online classes. These requirements include general education, major, and elective classes. Online students typically meet in-person requirements like clinical practicums or student teaching locally.

See below for some of the most popular online bachelor's degrees. Keep in mind that programs vary by school. Students should contact their prospective schools to learn more about specific options.

Most Affordable Online Colleges for Bachelor's Degrees

  1. University of Florida-Online
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $10287

    Established in January 2014, UF Online now offers affordable and fully online baccalaureate degree programs. UF Online ranks 3rd in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report Best Online Programs.

    UF Online offers a total of 24 fully online degree programs in multiple areas of interest. These programs include four-year degrees in advertising, anthropology, biology, business administration, computer science, criminology, digital arts, education, environmental management, geography, journalism, nursing, psychology, public management, and sport management.

    Applicants must complete their online application, and pay a non-refundable application fee of $30.

    The University of Florida-Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    Recognized as a Top 50 public university in the country, FIU now enrolls a total of almost 54,000 undergraduate and graduate students every year.

    FIU Online offers more than 40 fully online degree programs that are taught by the university's credentialed on-campus professors and instructors. Some of the university's online degrees focus on the areas of business, computer science, education, economics, history, hospitality management, health sciences, public relations, and social sciences.

    All applicants must submit all transcripts of records, and pay the required $30 application fee.

  3. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK

    Tuition

    $8490

    Established in 1909, Southeastern is composed of a student body of almost 4,750. 90% of Southeastern's students receive financial aid.

    Southeastern offers 12 undergraduate online programs at an affordable cost of only $285 per credit hour. These online bachelor's programs include degrees in accounting, communication, criminal justice, general business, management, marketing, liberal and applied studies, occupational safety and health, and recreation sports management.

    To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the online application and send over their transcripts of records.

  4. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    Since first opening its doors in 1963, UCF has become a premier metropolitan research university. UCF confers more than 17,000 degrees each year.

    UCF Online has more than 20 bachelor's programs and 35 minor options offered fully online. The university offers online bachelor's degrees in the areas of anthropology, communication, criminal justice, hospitality management, nursing, political science, psychology, social sciences, and sociology.

    UCF Online requires applicants to submit their academic transcripts, and pay the $30 non-refundable application fee.

  5. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $9800

    Founded in 1969, UTPB now has two campus locations in Texas. Around 5,800 students attend UTPB on a yearly basis.

    UTPB's online undergraduate programs consist of four-year degrees in accounting communication, criminal justice, humanities, industrial technology, management, marketing, political science, psychology, and sociology. UTPB offers all these programs through a 100% online course delivery.

    Applicants must submit a completed online application, official high school transcripts, and a non-refundable application fee of $40.

  6. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $9091

    Based in Pensacola, UWF now has an alumni network of more than 90,000 professionals. UWF's total enrollment in 2020 reached 13,043 students.

    UWF Online provides prospective students with the opportunity to choose one from the university's 14 online undergraduate degrees. The university's online degree programs allow students to work at their own pace, and schedule classes according to their convenience.

    Applicants must complete the online application, pay the required $30 application fee, and submit official transcripts from all institutions previously attended.

  7. Northeastern State University
    Location

    Tahlequah, OK

    Tuition

    $9138

    With three campuses in Oklahoma, NSU continues to expand its reach and deliver quality education to students. NSU now offers 59 undergraduate programs and 26 graduate degrees.

    NSU Online's diverse list of programs includes online degrees in business, criminal justice, general studies, geography, homeland security, hospitality and tourism management, information systems, legal studies, nursing, and technology. NSU Online offers courses in fully online delivery and/or blended formats.

    All prospective students must finish the online application for admission, and pay the $25 non-refundable application fee.

  8. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $9455

    Founded in 1931, ULM offers students with topnotch resources such as the Student Success Center, the Career Center, and the Office of Student Engagement.

    ULM also offers over 35 online degree programs. These include online bachelor degrees in business administration, criminal justice, education, health studies, marketing, management, modern languages, nursing, political science, and risk management and insurance.

    ULM requires applicants to complete the online application, pay the $20 application fee, and send over their official transcripts of records.

  9. Eastern Washington University
    Location

    Cheney, WA

    Tuition

    $10751

    Established in the year of 1882, EWU was named by the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity as the top college of diversity in Washington.

    Through the Eastern Online platform, EWU offers online undergraduate programs in the areas of communication, dental hygiene, health science, interdisciplinary studies, and public relations. The university offers these bachelor's degrees entirely online, allowing students to pursue their studies at the comforts of their own home.

    All interested applicants must complete the online admission application and pay the $60 application fee.

  10. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Lancaster, PA

    Launched in 1903, PA College now offers nearly 20 degree options. About 1,800 students enroll at PA College every year.

    PA College offers degree programs with coursework that students can complete entirely online. Among these programs are bachelor's degrees in health sciences, healthcare administration, and an RN to BSN program.

    To be considered for admission, students must submit a high school transcript or an official GED transcript. PA College may also require the submission of SAT or ACT scores.

Featured image: AzmanL | E+ | Getty Images

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