Earning an affordable online bachelor’s degree is an excellent career move for non-traditional students needing to set their own flexible learning pace. Online bachelor’s degrees can allow you to access readings, video lectures, and discussions on the Internet anytime – 24/7.
Attending an online college can significantly pay off. Pew Research found that bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $17,500 more than high school graduates each year. College-educated professionals are also much more likely to be employed full-time at 89 percent. Online education can prepare you for good-paying jobs while balancing school with work and family demands. Tuition is a key factor in picking an online university though because costs are rising.
Therefore, we’ve devoted this article to outline the 10 most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs in the United States. We began by searching for regionally accredited colleges that offered at least three baccalaureate programs fully online. Rankings from the U.S. News and World Report were used to judge the best online bachelor’s degrees available. Tuition prices were garnered from each prospective school’s website. Online universities charging in-state or out-of-state tuition had the two prices averaged together. At the time of publishing, we’re proud that every affordable college has average online tuition under $400 per credit! Other considerations were financial aid, learning technology, flexibility, award recognition, class size, retention rate, and student services.
Table of Contents
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
- Fort Hays State University
- University of Alaska – Fairbanks
- Ohio University
- University of North Carolina – Pembroke
- Amberton University
- Utah State University
- Western New Mexico University
- American Public University
- Oregon State University
- University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest way to get a bachelor’s degree?
If you are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, don’t let the cost deter you. However, there are several ways to achieve your goal. Here are a few:
- Consider an online program, which is often considerably less per credit than traditional on-campus classes,
- First, check into the community college in your area to see if they offer bachelor’s programs, for in-state schools may cost you less,
- Look for scholarships and/or grants that will help you pay for college,
- Some colleges offer free tuition costs; however, check for caveats, conditions, or limitations that may apply,
- Consider accelerated bachelor’s degree programs, if applicable in your area of interest. Less time may result in fewer costs!
Is earning a cheap bachelor’s degree a good idea?
You may worry if the least expensive bachelor’s degree program is respected, sufficient, or quality. Well, first… it depends on what type of degree you are earning. If you are interested in earning a professional degree or perhaps have hopes of entering a graduate program, you probably should not consider cost as much as the quality of your program. In addition, and most importantly perhaps, please be sure the “most affordable” program you choose is accredited so you can be assured of a quality education.
What are the most affordable bachelor’s degrees to earn?
In general, some of the least expensive bachelor’s degrees are focused on the most popular career choices, such as:
- Business Administration
- General Studies
- Graphic Design
- Healthcare Administration
- Computer Science
Let us help you find the most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs that fit your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at PremiumSchools.org utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptional online school programs designed just for you.
The following schools are listed in random order. As each and every school displays its own unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs and career aspirations.
The following factors were considered:
- Offers affordable tuition in an online bachelor’s degree program,
- Offers exceptional online classes for flexible or convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
- Exhibits rigorous, yet engaging and innovative training in bachelor’s degree coursework that takes into account the readiness of students in taking the next step to their budding career,
- Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts in their fields,
- 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 in online distance learning.
If you would like to learn more about our selection process, feel free to see our Methodology page!
If you have some extra time to explore, see our list of the:
Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Fort Hays State University
Endowed for $70.9 million, Fort Hays State University is Kansas’ fourth largest public, co-educational teaching institution that’s based on a rural 200-acre campus in Hays along the winding Big Creek. Nearly half of Fort Hays State University’s 14,200 headcount consists of online learners studying through the Virtual College. Fort Hays State has the nation’s second lowest tuition at $226.88 per credit hour and a high placement rate of 95 percent.
The U.S. News and World Report recognized Fort Hays State University for delivering the 24th Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in America. Online undergraduates choose from 29 baccalaureate degrees, including a B.A. in Sociology – Addictions Counseling, B.S. in Computer Science, B.A. in Philosophy, and B.S. in Medical Diagnostic Imaging. Each user-friendly program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Online Tuition: $226.88 per credit hour
University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Holding sea-grant, sun-grant, land-grant, and space-grant status, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is a flagship public, RU/H research institution located on a 2,250-acre urban campus just 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle. UAF enrolls more than 10,200 students on-site and through its eLearning Division.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, the University of Alaska – Fairbanks hosts the country’s 164th best online bachelor’s degrees. Forbes also lauded the University of Alaska – Fairbanks as the West’s 80th Best University. Online learners can select from eight undergraduate programs, including the AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Justice, and Bachelor of Emergency Management. There’s also an Information Technology Specialist Certificate. Online courses have a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 for individualized learning.
Online Tuition: $234 (100-200 level) or $289 (300-400 level) per credit hour
Envisioned by Manasseh Cutler and chartered in 1804, Ohio University is the state’s oldest selective public, four-year research institution with NCA accreditation to educate from its 1,850 rural campus in Athens along the Hocking River. In addition to its 23,300 residential students, Ohio University serves 5,900 online learners from its eCampus.
The U.S. News and World Report named Ohio the nation’s 135th Best University and 68th Top Public School with the 114th Best Business Degrees. According to the Fiske Guide, Ohio University is also America’s 14th “Best Buy.” Through Blackboard, online undergraduates can select from seven bachelor’s degree completion programs. Consider the affordable B.S. in Applied Communication, B.S. in Technical Operations Management, Bachelor of Criminal Justice, or RN-to-BSN Program.
Online Tuition: $240 (in-state) or $243 (out-of-state) per credit hour
University of North Carolina – Pembroke
Established in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School to serve American Indians, the University of North Carolina Pembroke is a public, co-educational liberal arts institution occupying a 153-acre rural campus in Robeson County outside of Fayetteville. The University of North Carolina – Pembroke’s over 6,200 students take classes face-to-face, online, and in hybrid formats. As an Institutional Sloan-C Member, the University of North Carolina – Pembroke provides eight online bachelor’s degree completion programs.
The U.S. News and World Report named the University of North Carolina Pembroke as the South’s 47th Top Public School with the 212nd Best Online Baccalaureate Education Nationwide. Online students could finish a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management, or Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice affordably.
Online Tuition: $53.21 (in-state) or $188.34 (out-of-state) per credit hour plus flat fee
Regionally accredited by the SACS, Amberton University is a private, nonprofit Evangelical Christian institution founded in 1971 upon an urban campus in Garland, Texas, within the bustling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. With enrollment over 1,400, Amberton focuses on offering flexible education for non-traditional students above the age of 21. Continually, Amberton University is named among the top “Best Buys” by GetEducated.com.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognizes Amberton’s seven online bachelor’s degrees. Online learners could pursue the B.S. in Human Relations, BBA in Project Management, BBA in Management Accounting, or B.A. in Professional Development. Added specializations are available for Diversity Awareness, Executive Communication, and more. Online programs at Amberton are structured into 10-week terms with “pay as you go” plans.
Online Tuition: $285 per credit hour
Utah State University
Classified for “higher research activity,” Utah State University is an accredited public, land-grant and space-grant institution accredited by the NWCCU to educate approximately 28,600 students. Although it’s located on a main 400-acre suburban campus in Logan near Bear River Mountains, USU has extensions in Brigham City, Tooele, Uintah Basin, and online. The Distance Education division currently offers seven affordable online bachelor’s degrees.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, Utah State University awards America’s 20th Best Undergraduate education online. Washington Monthly also named Utah State University as the 17th Best Public University Nationally. Available online offerings include the B.S. in Agribusiness, B.S. in Family Life Studies, and B.S. in Communicative Disorders. Condensed online courses with four-week and seven-week timelines accelerate learning.
Online Tuition: $191 (in-state) or $310 (out-of-state) per credit hour
Western New Mexico University
Based on an 83-acre rural campus overlooking Silver City with satellites in Deming, Gallup, Lordsburg, and online, Western New Mexico University is a regionally accredited public, four-year institution focused on “Transforming the Future Together.” Since its founding in 1893, WNestern New Mexico University has grown to accommodate over 3,500 diverse students with an 18:1 student-faculty ratio. Western New Mexico University presently confers 11 online bachelor’s degrees through the Canvas system.
Western New Mexico University has been ranked the nation’s fifth hottest desert college value. Washington Monthly placed the university among the West’s Best Bang for the Buck too. Online undergraduates may pursue the B.S. in Elementary Education, B.A. in English, B.S. in Psychology, or Bachelor of Social Work with 24/7 support.
Online Tuition: $273.93 (in-state) or $351.98 (out-of-state) per credit hour
American Public University
Approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the American Public University is a private, for-profit distance institution founded in 1991 to provide open-enrollment education online from its headquarters in Charles Town, West Virginia. Approximately 56 percent of APU’s 98,400 students have served active duty in the military. According to the U.S. News, American Public University hosts the nation’s 58th Best Online Baccalaureate Degrees. American Public University was also selected for the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education.
Requiring 120 to 124 semester hours, there are 46 bachelor’s degrees granted fully online. Some unique offerings include the B.S. in Space Studies, B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, B.A. in Reverse Logistics Management, and B.S. in Fire Science.
Online Tuition: $285 per credit hour ($250 with military grant)
Oregon State University
Noted for a $2.06 billion economic footprint, Oregon State University is the Beaver State’s largest public, land-grant RU/VH research institution with a beautiful 400-acre urban campus in Corvallis just 46 miles from the Pacific Coast. Offering 200+ NWCCU-accredited programs, Oregon State University educates more than 30,000 students on-site and online.
The eCampus confers 21 fully online bachelor’s degrees and a University Exploratory Studies Program. High-quality degrees like the B.A. in French, B.S. in Horticulture, B.S. in Sustainability, and B.A. in Anthropology are accessible by Internet connection. Online students could also add minors in geography, public health, and more. According to the U.S. News, Oregon State University is America’s 68th top public school with the seventh best online undergraduate education.
Online Tuition: $318 per credit hour
University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Established by oil industrialist Bill Noel in 1973, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is an SACS-accredited public, state research institution that’s undergone rapid growth to educate over 5,600 students. Headquartered on a 644-acre urban campus in Odessa on West Texas’ resource-rich Llano Estacado, UTPB offers face-to-face and online education using AVID strategies.
The U.S. News and World Report recognized Permian Basin for designing the 92nd best online bachelor’s programs nationally. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin was also recognized by The Economist for having Texas’ lowest four-year tuition. Online students may choose the B.A. in Humanities, BBA in Marketing, B.S. in Industrial Technology, or B.A. in Political Science. Several programs have accelerated eight-week options through the University of Texas Online Consortium.
Online Tuition: $210.90 per credit hour
Need the Basics? What is a Bachelor’s Degree?