The 20 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs

Starting your career with an affordable online associate degree can be a smart financial move. Community colleges stretch tuition budgets by charging cheap prices. According to the Lumina Foundation, the average full cost at junior institutions is $9,000 annually.

Associate programs finish in 18 to 24 months to stop tuition bills faster. Online schools bring the classroom to your computer to nix sizable transport costs.

affordable online associate

Plus, the U.S. News & World Report found that 84 percent of online undergrads are employed to keep paychecks coming. Some community colleges offer even higher ROI from exceptionally low bargain rates. In this article, we’ll outline the 15 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs where two-year totals are under $10,000 for everyone.


Let us help you find the best and most affordable associate degree school program that fits your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptionally affordable programs designed just for you. 

The following schools are listed in random order. As every school displays its unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs and career aspirations.

The following factors were considered: 

  • Offers online classes for flexible or convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
  • Using the NCES College Navigator, we gathered 2020-21 tuition data to locate the most affordable online associate degrees,
  • We set the maximum price at $6,000 for public and private, nonprofit institutions with lower-division courses, (well, one is close to $9,000… but still under $10,000!),
  • Chances are you’ll choose an out-of-state online college, so we recorded the average non-resident tuition. If you remain in the state, the charges will be even less!
  • Exhibits rigorous, yet engaging and innovative training in coursework that takes into account the readiness of students to take the next step to their budding career,
  • Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts in the field,
  • Held in high esteem among academic agencies, industry organizations, and journalistic resources,
  • Displays stellar reviews and feedback from school alumni and students,
  • Offers a convenient application process,
  • Provides exceptional Student Career Centers, Resource Departments, and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, where applicable, 
  • Permits a wide range of scholarships, grants, and other financial support programs for eligible students,
  • Ensures the proper Accreditation in accordance with academic standards according to the field requirements.

If you would like to learn more about our selection process, feel free to see our Methodology page! 

The 20 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs

Clovis Community College

affordable online associate

Given four NISOD Excellence Awards in 2017, Clovis Community College is a public, HLC-accredited junior institution in New Mexico’s Curry County that serves 2,902 with 100 percent acceptance. On Canvas, CCC students pick from seven cheap online degrees like the A.S. in Computer Information Systems, A.A.S. in Legal Assistant Studies, and A.A.S. in Business Administration, and more!

Annual Tuition: $2,264

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Clovis College.

Barton Community College

affordable online associate

Ranked 341st for education outcomes by WalletHub, Barton Community College is a public, two-year SARA participant founded in 1965 in Great Bend, Kansas, that attracts 4,300 Cougars. Accelerated, nine-week Canvas courses can help Barton students complete over 50 online programs, such as Accounting, Liberal Studies, and Network Specialist, plus much, much more!

Annual Tuition: $3,390

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Barton Community College.

Lone Star College

affordable online associate

Established in 1973 by Harris County, Lone Star College is Greater Houston’s largest, a fastest-growing public school that ranked #3 nationally in Community College Week for affordably educating nearly 95,000 each year. Its D2L Brightspace portal connects to 11 online degrees, including the Speech Communication AA, International Studies AA, Health Information Technology AAS, and more.

Annual Tuition: $2,112

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Lone Star College.

Arkansas Northeastern College

affordable online associate

Located in Blytheville, Arkansas Northeastern College is a two-year, public technical institution ranked 82 nationally by Niche that’s headed by Dr. James Shemwell to teach 1,562 students at an average age of 24 or under. Eight cheap online ANC programs, such as the A.A.S. Criminology, A.G.S. General Studies, and A.S. Elementary Education (K-6), are powered by Jenzabar.

Annual Tuition: $2,016

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Arkansas Northeastern College.

San Juan College

San Juan College

Recognized for the 2011 AISES Chapter of the Year, San Juan College is an independent, two-year school in Farmington that’s celebrating its 60th anniversary with New Mexico’s fifth-highest enrollment of 6,741. The SJC Distance Learning Division utilizes Canvas for nine affordable online degrees like Business Administration AA, Physical Therapy Assistant AAS, and Psychology AA.

Annual Tuition: $3,360

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at San Juan College.

Southeast Community College

affordable online associate

Budgeting $250 million, Southeast Community College is a public, 23-site Nebraska institution ranked 66th nationally by Niche that’s serving over 9,756 Blackhawks with 300+ online courses. Fifteen fully online Moodle programs, including Criminal Justice, Dietary Management, and Healthcare Services A.A.S., are even cheaper with the Learning to Dream Scholarship.

Annual Tuition: $4,680

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Southeast Community College.

Western Iowa Tech Community College

affordable online associate

Placed 10th nationally by the Center for Digital Education, Western Iowa Tech Community College is a public, five-campus junior institution based in Sioux City with HLC accreditation to train 5,976 Comets. In eight, 12, or 16-week formats, online Canvas courses lead toward six affordable degrees, such as the Agribusiness Technology AAS, Human Resources Management AAS, and Technical Business AAS.

Annual Tuition: $5,190

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

Lake Region State College

affordable online associate

Maintaining a 14:1 student-professor ratio, Lake Region State College is a public, two-year NDUS constituent, and 2016 Phi Beta Lambda Chapter Award winner that instructs 1,982 Royals from Devils Lake. Using Blackboard Learn, the LRSC Online Campus launched six affordable associates, including the Fitness Trainer A.A.S., Law Enforcement A.A.S., and Speech-Language Pathology A.A.S.

Annual Tuition: $4,249

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Lake Region State College.

Hutchinson Community College

affordable online associate

Directed by Dr. Carter File, Hutchinson Community College is a public, two-year Kansas vocational school in Reno County that ranked ninth nationally on Niche for teaching 5,315 Blue Dragons. The Online Education Department has 250+ courses logging into Canvas for 10 inexpensive programs like the Accounting A.A., Health Information Management A.A.S., and General Education A.S.

Annual Tuition: $3,600

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Hutchinson Community College.

North Hennepin Community College

affordable online associate

Named Minnesota’s 19th top pick by Niche, North Hennepin Community College is a public, two-year CRLA member founded in Brooklyn Park in 1966 that’s serving 6,198 Norsemen with a 57% retention rate. NHCC students affordably access D2L Brightspace for 11 wholly online degrees including the AAS Entrepreneurship, AAS Marketing, and AS Computer Science.

Annual Tuition: $5,627

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at North Hennepin Community College.

Broward College

affordable online associate

Ranked #2 for African-American associate education in Diverse Issues, Broward College is a public, coed Aspen Prize Finalist with Distinction that’s endowed for $75.7 million in Fort Lauderdale to educate 38,976 Seahawks. D2L Brightspace classes start every eight weeks for 13 cheap online degrees, such as the Cybersecurity AS, Office Administration AS, and Project Management AS.

Annual Tuition: $3,537

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Broward College.

Amarillo College

affordable online associate

Boasting the 216th highest PayScale salary potential at $64,100, Amarillo College is a public, SACS-accredited junior school opened in 1929 that inspires 9,739 Badgers from Washington Street to Dumas and the internet. Five asynchronous online programs, including the Criminal Justice A.S., Radiation Therapy A.A.S., and Business Administration A.S., give college credit on Blackboard.

Annual Tuition: $3,375

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Amarillo College.

Cowley Community College

 Cowley Community College

Enrolling 2,463 Tigers for 70,000+ credits, Cowley Community College is a public, four-campus “Military Friendly” institution founded in 1922 in Arkansas City that’s ranked in the Aspen Institute’s top 150 nationwide. Cowley Online is authorized in 50 states for 35 online degrees like the A.A. in Sports Management, A.A. in Political Science, and A.A.S. in Nondestructive Testing on Blackboard.

Annual Tuition: $4,435

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Cowley Community College.

Peninsula College

 Peninsula College

Declared America’s 97th most popular liberal arts school by College Factual, Peninsula College is a public, open-enrollment WCTC member-initiated in 1961 that’s based in Port Angeles, Washington, to enlighten 1,966 Pirates from 15 nations. Twenty-eight cheap online programs, such as the Homeland Security AAS, Hospitality & Ecotourism AAS, and Web Design AAS, start quarterly on Canvas.

Annual Tuition: $4,941

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Peninsula College.

Albany Technical College

Albany Technical College

Reporting 98 job placement, Albany Technical College is a low-cost public, SACS-accredited vocational institute ranked 337th nationally by WalletHub that’s managed by Dr. Anthony Parker with 3,285 Titans. Known for its Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, ATC has nine online Blackboard degrees like the Fire Science Technology A.A.S., Business Logistics A.A.S., and Operations Management A.A.S.

Annual Tuition: $4,800

Learn more about the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Albany Technical College.

Trinity Valley Community College

Trinity Valley Community College

A leader in providing quality education since its establishment in 1946, Trinity Valley Community College is spread out across a number of campuses, including Athens, Terrell, and Palestine. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC. The college hosts some of the most affordable associate degree programs, including Accounting, Athletic Training, Biology, Business Administration, and many more. 

Annual Tuition: $1,170 

Get more details on the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Trinity Valley Community College.

College of Southern Nevada

College of Southern Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada has become one of the leading education institutions in the country since its foundation in 1971. It has four main campuses, including Nevada, Cheyenne, Charleston, and Henderson. They offer fully accredited online associate degrees to students in various areas of study. Some of their program offerings include Communication, Hospitality Management, Business Management, and Fire Technology Management, among others. 

Annual Tuition: $3,293 

Get more information on the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at College of Southern Nevada.

Houston Community College

Houston Community College

An open-admission, public higher learning institution founded in 1971, Houston Community College offers one of the most affordable educational programs for academic advancement, career development, and workforce training. They recognize the importance of education, especially for working professionals, hence the availability of online programs designed for flexibility and convenience. This includes programs such as Computer Information Systems, English, Multidisciplinary Studies, History, and more. 

Annual Tuition: $1,530

Check out Houston Community College’s Most Affordable Associate Degrees.

Western Nebraska Community College

Western Nebraska Community College

Established in 1926 originally as an extension of the University of Nebraska, Western Nebraska Community College now has three campuses in the cities of Scottsbluff (where its main campus is), Sidney, and Alliance. Currently, there are 10 online Associate degrees on offer, which includes an Associate of Arts in Psychology, an AA in Business Administration, and Information Technology, and Associate in Applied Arts degrees (AAS) in Information Technology Technical Support and Health Information Technology.

Annual Tuition: $3,195

Get in-depth information on the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Western Nebraska Community College

Central Community College

Central Community College

Central Community College, a two-year public college in Nebraska, has three campuses in the cities of Columbus, Hastings, and Grand Island that were all founded as separate institutions in the 60s-70s. Central Community College currently offers a number of Associate Degrees in 8 fields, including Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in Business Administration, Environmental Health & Safety, Quality Technology, and Information Technology and Systems.

Annual Tuition: $3,360

Interested? Explore the Most Affordable Associate Degrees at Central Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I earn an online Associate degree?

First, to begin your college education, you will need to earn an Associate degree. Earning this accolade is a great stepping stone to earning a bachelor’s degree… and it is necessary. In addition, many career choices only require an Associate’s degree to begin; therefore, allowing you to get out into the workforce quickly.

What makes an online Associate degree program affordable?

Typically, earning an affordable Associate degree will cost under $10,000. Here, we have highlighted several schools that offer options for less than $5,000; however, it may depend on the subject matter.

Can I earn an Associate degree online?

Yes, most two-year associate programs provide online distance learning options for those who require flexible schedules and convenience. Your quality of education is no different than if you were sitting in the traditional classroom.

Is there a difference in tuition fee rates between in-state and out-of-state students? 

Essentially, yes. Many higher learning institutions in the country offer different tuition fee rates, depending whether one is in-state or out-of-state. Students who live within the state often receive lower tuition rates compared to their counterparts from out of state. This practice is only limited to public universities as they rely on the tax revenue allocated from their state’s government in order to operate. Private universities do not differentiate between students within and outside the state. Their tuition rates for both sets are the same.

Are there available financial aid options for online associate degree students?

It depends on the particular eligibilities of each college, but typically students have access to financial aid options, including federal grants, state grants, and institutional grants and scholarships. Additionally, some colleges would also offer alternative or tailored payment plans to students.

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Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor