Most Affordable Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees

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by Genevieve Carlton

Updated September 26, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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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.

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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 Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A public institution, the University of Central Florida operates from its main campus in Orlando. At the school, learners enroll in 47 programs offered online. The online programs provide high quality educational experiences in a flexible format.

At the school, online learners can take classes that require no set meeting times. Academic advisors and career counselors help majors reach their goals. Distance learners participate in the school's internship programs to gain real-world experience. The school works with enrollees to approve experiential learning sites in their area.

After completing general education and major requirements, students graduate with an accredited bachelor's degree. With a bachelor's degree, graduates can work in business, education, healthcare, and other in-demand fields that require a college degree.

University of Central Florida Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 41,097

Total Bachelor's Programs: 88

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 30-to-1

Admission Rate: 44%

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#2

Northeastern State University

School Information
Location Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Tahlequah, Northeastern State University enrolls students in online bachelor's programs as a public institution. The school currently offers 29 online programs for distance learners. Online degree-seekers benefit from the institution's high academic standards and flexible enrollment options.

At the school, online learners can take classes that require no set meeting times. Academic advisors, online tutors, and career counselors help majors reach their goals. Distance learners participate in internship programs to gain hands-on experience. Programs work with enrollees to approve experiential learning sites in their area.

After meeting graduation requirements, students earn an accredited bachelor's degree. A degree often helps graduates launch careers in business, education, healthcare, and other in-demand fields.

Northeastern State University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,977

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Admission Rate: 100%

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#3

University of Louisiana at Monroe

School Information
Location Monroe, Louisiana
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe grants degrees as a public institution. In addition to in-person options, the school offers 34 online programs. Degree-seekers who prefer an online format benefit from the institution's high academic standards and flexible programs.

The school provides synchronous and asynchronous course options. Majors benefit from academic and career support. Distance learners engage in internships to gain hands-on experience. While earning a degree online, enrollees build experiential skills at approved sites in their community.

The school awards accredited bachelor's degrees to graduates from its online programs. A bachelor's degree helps graduates launch careers in business, education, healthcare, and other in-demand fields.

University of Louisiana at Monroe Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,756

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Admission Rate: 80%

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#4

McNeese State University

School Information
Location Lake Charles, Louisiana
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its campus in Lake Charles, McNeese State University grants degrees as a public institution. Distance learners choose from 26 programs offered online at the school. Those who prefer the flexibility of an online format benefit from the institution's high academic standards.

The school offers both synchronous and asynchronous course schedules. Programs connect majors with academic advisors, online tutors, and career counselors. Distance learners also participate in hands-on learning opportunities like internships. While earning a degree online, enrollees meet internship requirements in their local community.

Students who meet the graduation requirements receive an accredited bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree helps professionals launch careers in business, healthcare, education, and other growing fields.

McNeese State University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,070

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Admission Rate: 81%

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#5

Fort Hays State University

School Information
Location Hays, Kansas
Admission Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fort Hays State University ranks among the best public institutions with online bachelor's degrees. The school offers 40 online programs for distance learners. Online degree-seekers benefit from the institution's high academic standards and flexible enrollment options.

Synchronous and asynchronous classes let learners schedule coursework around their other responsibilities. Programs connect majors with academic advisors, online tutors, and career counselors. Distance learners also engage in hands-on learning opportunities, including internships and practicums. While taking online classes, enrollees complete internships at local community sites.

The online programs award accredited bachelor's degrees. A bachelor's degree helps professionals launch careers in business, healthcare, education, and other growing fields.

Fort Hays State University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 8,759

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Admission Rate: 91%

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