50 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree has become viewed as a standard by many employers and students. In fact, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the number of students over the age of 25 pursuing bachelor’s degrees increased by 15% from 1980 to 2015. This trend is expected to continue, as the unemployment rates of those with just an associate’s degree is almost 1% higher than those with a bachelor’s degree and the median weekly earnings of people with bachelor’s degrees is $337 higher than those with only an associate degree. These statistics illustrate that graduates with bachelor’s degrees qualify for higher paying jobs and are prepared for a wider range of job opportunities upon graduation. Bachelor’s degree programs also prepare students for potential further studies in graduate school.

The rise of online education has had a significant impact on enrollment rates in bachelor’s degree programs. Online courses are becoming more widely available and offer new, more flexible learning options for the more than 36 million adults who have some college credits, but no degree. Distance learning programs not only provide students with flexibility in completing a bachelor’s degree, but they also cost substantially less than their on-campus equivalents. While the total average cost of traditional degree programs is around $85,000, an online degree only costs an average of $30,000 to complete, making it much more affordable. Some online programs also offer an accelerated format, which can also reduce the amount of time it takes to earn a degree.

Our guide to affordable online colleges focuses on bachelor’s degree programs that offer the lowest tuition and that have the highest return-of-interest for students.


50 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Huntsville Bible College

Value Score 8.31
Average Tuition $4,200
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $10,235
Graduation Rate 100%
Student to Faculty Ratio 5:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 35%
Retention Rate 35%

Huntsville Bible College is a non-denominational Christian seminary and is one of the smallest post-secondary institutions in the state of Alabama. Despite its size, HBC still serves a wide variety of students thanks to the school's online bachelor's degree programs. The school offers three 124-credit bachelor's programs as well as an assortment of associate, certificate, and master's programs. Distance learners can earn a bachelor's degree online in pastoral ministry, mission and evangelism, or Christian education.

HBC’s mission is to teach Christian men and women to live in accordance with biblical teachings. The school is a great choice for adult and nontraditional learns, as the school offers both online and on-campus options as well as some weekend classes. All online students at HBC pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education.


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2

University of Florida

Value Score 8.17
Average Tuition $4,477
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $7,024
Graduation Rate 87%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 48%
Enrollment Rate 50%
Retention Rate 50%

UF is a large, public research institution that was founded in 1853 in Gainesville, Florida. Today, the school serves more than 35,000 students each year split between on-campus and online studies. Distance learners can choose from more than a dozen affordable bachelor's degree programs online through UF on subjects such as business administration, computer science, or sports management. The school also features an online bachelor’s degree completion program in digital arts and sciences.

This flagship state institution is home to many famous graduates, including senators Bob Graham and Connie Mack as well as a steady stream of professional athletes. Distance learners at UF have access to a variety of student support services, such as the Career Resource Center, which helps new graduates work with fellow alumni to find networking opportunities. UF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Value Score 7.56
Average Tuition $6,648
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $4,229
Graduation Rate 90%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 31%
Enrollment Rate 43%
Retention Rate 43%

UNC was founded in 1789 in Chapel Hill as North Carolina University. Today, the school is consistently rated as one of the top public universities in the world and offers a variety of distance learning programs. UNC has established itself as a top-tier academic institution with a variety of academic offerings, a popular basketball team, and a strong alumni network. Notable UNC alumni include President James Polk and Michael Jordan.

Students can enroll in both hybrid or fully online distance learning programs through UNC Online. UNC Online is a distance education service provided by the school in conjunction with 16 other state schools and UNC campuses. This allows students to study at any one of the member institutions, providing students with a wide range of options to choose from. UNC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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4

University of Georgia

Value Score 7.51
Average Tuition $9,364
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $7,792
Graduation Rate 84%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 53%
Enrollment Rate 45%
Retention Rate 45%

UGA is a public research institution that was founded in 1785 in Athens, Georgia, and is one of the oldest public universities in the country. Today, the school is the flagship university of the University System of Georgia and serves more than 36,000 students each year through a mixture of on-campus and online programs. Best known to sports fans for its Bulldogs football team, UGA is comprised of 17 different schools and colleges.

Students can earn an affordable online bachelor’s degree from UGA through the school’s online learning service. Students can choose between a bachelor's of business administration or bachelor's of science in special education degree programs, as well as a wide variety of graduate and certificate programs. The school offers a wide variety of student support services for distance learners, including financial aid, tutoring, academic advising, and a dedicated distance learning librarian. UGA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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5

Truman State University

Value Score 7.49
Average Tuition $7,152
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $7,823
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 79%
Enrollment Rate 41%
Retention Rate 41%

TSU is a public liberal arts university that was founded in 1867 as North Missouri Normal State and Commercial College. In 1996, the school changed its name to Truman State University in honor of former President of the United States Harry S. Truman. Today, the school serves over 6,400 students each year and offers some of the most affordable online bachelor's degree programs in the country.

Most TSU online classes are offered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Some courses have consistent attendance requirements, but there are no scheduled times when students must sign-in. Distance learners have access to a variety of student support services, including financial aid, counseling, writing center, and an IT help desk. Online courses are delivered via Blackboard. TSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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6

University of Florida-Online

Value Score 7.42
Average Tuition $3,358
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $9,009
Graduation Rate 87%
Student to Faculty Ratio 35:1
Admissions Rate 56%
Enrollment Rate 92%
Retention Rate 92%

UF Online is a public research university that was launched in 2014. The school offers high quality, fully online bachelor's degree programs at an affordable cost. UF Online is fully accredited and offers bachelor's degrees that require the same academic rigor as their on-campus equivalents in the UF system. UF Online program are designed to be completed entirely online and students are not able to enroll in in-person classes at UF's main campus.

Students can pursue bachelor's degrees online in nearly 18 fields including public relations, nursing, and microbiology. Students can also complete a bachelor's completion program in digital arts and sciences, as well as a variety of other certificates or graduate degrees. UF Online is open to first-time and transfer students and features much lower tuition rates than at the UF system’s residential campuses. Diplomas from UF Online are functionally the same as those earned on-campus.


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7

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Value Score 7.27
Average Tuition $6,220
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $6,966
Graduation Rate 76%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 41%
Retention Rate 41%

NC State is a public research university that was founded in 1887 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This top-tier university is well-known for its engineering, biology, education, and management programs. NC State offers two online bachelor's degrees in leadership in the public sector, one of which is specifically designed for military members. An online undergraduate minor in agricultural business management is also offered by NC State<.

Regional students can also earn a bachelor's of science degree in engineering at one of NC State's satellite campuses. NC State offers a variety of military and veteran’s benefits. This school is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), allowing students to easily transfer credits between other member institutions. NC State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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8

SUNY College at Oswego

Value Score 7.25
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $9,389
Graduation Rate 66%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 51%
Enrollment Rate 27%
Retention Rate 27%

Well-known for its scenic lakeside campus, SUNY Oswego is a medium-sized, public, liberal arts university located in Upstate New York. The school is part of the SUNY system and was founded in 1861 as a revolutionary teaching college. SUNY Oswego has offered distance learning programs since the 1960s and today offers more than 100 program, including several affordable online bachelor's degrees. SUNY Oswego allows students to earn bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, public justice, and vocational teaching.

The school also offers hundreds of online classes as well as graduate and post-baccalaureate degrees in unique fields such as behavioral forensics and integrated health systems. Oswego is the only SUNY campus that offers a software engineering degree. The school boasts numerous famous broadcasters among its alumni including ESPN’s Linda Cohn and NBC’s Al Roker. SUNY Oswego is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of College and Schools.


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9

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Value Score 7.14
Average Tuition $4,559
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $7,544
Graduation Rate 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio 24:1
Admissions Rate 45%
Enrollment Rate 31%
Retention Rate 31%

USF is a public research university that was founded in 1956 in Tampa, Florida, and one of the largest in the country. The school is part of the state university system of Florida and offers several online bachelor's degree completion programs in a variety of fields including nursing, information technology, criminology, and public health. These programs allow students to complete upper-level degree requirements via USF.

USF now consists of 14 individual colleges and three campuses locations. The school is also a space grant university, meaning that it is one of the school tapped by NASA to participate in space-related research. USF was the first school in the U.S. to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the new G.I. Bill. USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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10

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Value Score 7.13
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $7,823
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%

SUNY Plattsburgh is a medium-sized, public liberal arts school located near the Canadian border along the shores of Lake Champlain. The school's 300-acre campus is close to the large town of Burlington, Vermont, and features a large museum without walls in the Plattsburgh State Art Museum. Programs are taught by talented faculty, 97% of whom hold the highest degree in their field.

SUNY Plattsburgh offers some of the most affordable bachelor’s degree programs, including a bachelor's of science in accounting and an RN to BSN program. The school also features online certificate and graduate programs as well as remote on-site learning opportunities. Students can pursue a number of unique majors, including Canadian studies or expeditionary studies, which includes rock climbing and sea kayaking. SUNY Plattsburgh alumni include several well-known actors and broadcasters, including Tim Robbins. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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11

Appalachian State University

Value Score 6.96
Average Tuition $3,961
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $7,991
Graduation Rate 71%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 66%
Enrollment Rate 35%
Retention Rate 35%

Appalachian State is a public university that was founded in 1899 as a teacher's college. Today, the school is a member of the University of North Carolina system and is one of the largest institutions in the state. Appalachian state offers more than 174 undergraduate degree options, including a wide variety of distance learning programs.

Although it is no longer a teacher’s college, Appalachian State still offers a number of education degrees online including bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, special education, or technical education. The school also offers bachelor's degrees online in management, nursing, or advertising as well. All online undergraduate degrees at Appalachian State are degree completion programs and transfer students are evaluated for admission on a case-by-case basis. Appalachian State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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12

Saint Louis Christian College

Value Score 6.95
Average Tuition $10,075
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Net Price $11,547
Graduation Rate 48%
Student to Faculty Ratio 7:1
Admissions Rate 36%
Enrollment Rate 62%
Retention Rate 62%

SLCC is a private four-year Bible college that was founded in 1956 in Florissant, Missouri. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in Christian ministry through SLCC. Students can transfer into this degree completion program, or first complete the school's online associate degree in religious studies. SLCC is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and affiliated with the Restoration Movement of Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.

The Christian ministry program teaches students the leadership skills and academic knowledge needed to pursue careers in ministry, even with little vocational experience. SLCC also offers several evening and alternative degree programs both on-campus and at a local extension site. These alternative programs are a low-cost alternative to earning a degree and teach students biblical knowledge and Christian leadership skills. Applicants must have a high school diploma, current ACT/SAT scores, and both a church and employer reference forms to be considered.


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13

University of Central Florida

Value Score 6.95
Average Tuition $4,478
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $11,028
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 49%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 89%

UCF is a public research university that was founded in 1963 in Orlando, Florida. The school's main campus is one of the most populous in the country, which serves more than 65,000 students each year. This public space-grant university is well-known for its engineering and optical schools as well as programs in business, simulation, and digital media. UCF also offers many of its on-campus programs online. The school offers several affordable bachelor's degrees in fields such as communication, nursing, political science, religion, and technical education. There is also a three-tiered English major online in writing, literature, or technical writing.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0, SAT or ACT writing scores, and have completed two English composition courses and two math classes with a "C" grade or better to be considered. UCF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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14

Florida State University

Value Score 6.88
Average Tuition $4,640
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $12,155
Graduation Rate 79%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 56%
Enrollment Rate 37%
Retention Rate 37%

FSU is a large, public research university that was founded in 1851 in Tallahassee, Florida. The school is one of the largest, best-known, and oldest members of the State University System of Florida. FSU has a perennially-successful athletics program, with more than 20 teams that boast a combined 78 NCAA national championships. Students can choose from a variety of bachelor's degrees online on topics such as social science, criminology, computer science, and public safety.

These programs are friendly for students transferring from Florida public community colleges, allowing them to become admitted directly into the college of their choice provided they meet the minimum requirements for the chosen major. Astronaut Winston Scott, Governor Charlie Crist, and NFL star Deion Sanders are among the many famous FSU alumni. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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15

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Value Score 6.86
Average Tuition $1,454
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $10,440
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 57%
Enrollment Rate 27%
Retention Rate 27%

UMass Lowell is a member of the UMass System, and the second largest public school in Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1972 as the merger of two 19th century colleges on opposite banks of the Merrimack River: Lowell State College and Lowell Technological Institute. Today, UMass Lowell serves more than 18,000 students each year and offers a variety of distance learning programs.

UMass Lowell offers several online bachelor's degree programs and hybrid programs for local students. These programs cover a variety of topics, including English, information technology, business administration, and criminal justice. UMass Lowell also offers a hybrid program in mathematics and a second bachelor's in information technology, which is designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another subject and want to change careers into IT. UMass Lowell is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


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16

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Value Score 6.84
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $10,970
Graduation Rate 60%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 57%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%

Alfred State College is a small, public college located in western New York. The school is a part of the SUNY system and shares its college town with Alfred University. Alfred State offers 19 bachelor's degrees on subjects such as applied technology, engineering, architecture, and arts and sciences. The school offers several bachelor's degrees online in technology management, healthcare leadership, and human services management. Students can also earn an online RN to BSN degree at Alfred State.

Online programs at Alfred State are delivered via Blackboard. Alfred State and Alfred University come together every year for the Hot Dog Day celebration, which features live music and raises money for charity. The two Alfred schools are also part of the Rochester Area Consortium, which also includes the University of Rochester and SUNY Geneseo. Alfred State is accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education.


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17

Louisiana Tech University

Value Score 6.80
Average Tuition $6,400
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $6,539
Graduation Rate 53%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Admissions Rate 64%
Enrollment Rate 48%
Retention Rate 48%

Louisiana Tech is a large, public research institution that was founded in 1894. The school is part of the University of Louisiana System and is well-known for its aeronautics and engineering programs. Louisiana tech conducts research funded by a variety of government agencies, including the FAA and NASA.

Louisiana Tech offers an affordable bachelor's degree online in health informatics and information management through the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. This program prepares students to work in a variety of roles in the health IT industry. The Louisiana Tech bachelor’s degree online is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. It has also received the Louisiana State Board of Regents' Commendation of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded to an academic program by this organization. Graduates are prepared to sit for the American Health Information Management Association's Registered Health Information Administration credential exam.


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18

California State University-Fresno

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $3,730
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 52%
Enrollment Rate 35%
Retention Rate 35%

California State University, Fresno, commonly known as Fresno State, is a large university in the state’s fifth most populous city. Fresno State is a large, public research university and is among nearly two dozen schools in the CSU system. The school was founded in 1911 as Fresno State Normal School and underwent several names changes before becoming CSU, Fresno in 1972. The school has on-site raisin and wine vineyards, as well as a commercial student winery. It is the first commercial students winery at a university in the country.

Fresno State offers two completely online bachelor's degree programs: an accelerated bachelor's degree in business administration and a bachelor's of science in criminology with a law enforcement option. Both are degree completion programs that are designed for students who have already earned an associate degree. Fresno State is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


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19

California State University-Fullerton

Value Score 6.77
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $3,472
Graduation Rate 62%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 42%
Enrollment Rate 25%
Retention Rate 25%

CSUF is a public research university that was founded in 1957 by the state legislature to serve Orange county. Today, the school is the largest of the 23 CSU System institutions and serves more than 40,000 students each year. It is well known for the Grand Central Art Center, the Arboretum, and the Philip K. Dick science fiction collection.

CSUF offers 120 bachelor's degree programs, as well as 118 master's programs on-campus. The school also offers two cheap online bachelor's degrees: a bachelor's of arts in sociology and a bachelor's of arts in business administration that is delivered through the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. These programs are open to all students but are specifically designed for California community college graduates. The school also offers a variety of certificate programs online. CSUF is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


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20

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

Value Score 6.77
Average Tuition $150
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $13,078
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 77%
Enrollment Rate 32%
Retention Rate 32%

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a state-funded military school located in Charleston, South Carolina. The school was founded by the state legislature in the 1840s and originally had an arsenal academy in the state capital. Typically called “The Citadel,” the school is one of the six Senior Military Colleges in the U.S., along with the University of North Georgia, Norwich University, Texas A&M, Virginia Military Institute, and Virginia Tech.

The Citadel is a comprehensive college that teaches both Cadet Corps students and civilians, all of whom are working toward a bachelor’s degree. Cadet Corps students complete ROTC training and have to meet a rigorous set of physical and academic standards. Civilians can earn a bachelor’s degree online from The Citadel in either criminal justice or business administration. The school also offers a variety of graduate certificates and master's programs. The Citadel is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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21

Clarkson College

Value Score 6.75
Average Tuition $12,480
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $17,579
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 52%
Enrollment Rate 74%
Retention Rate 74%

Clarkson College is a private nonprofit institution that was founded in 1888 as Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. The school was the first nursing college in the state. Today, the school offers a variety of health science degrees on subjects such as nursing, medical imaging, radiology, healthcare administration, or physical therapy.

The school first offered online courses in 1998, much early than many other colleges. Online courses are delivered through Canvas. Several Clarkson programs are available for distance learners, including an bachelor's degree online in healthcare business management. Other programs, have significant online portions but do require some in-person instruction. Clarkson College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is affiliated with both the Episcopal Church and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.


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22

San Diego State University

Value Score 6.73
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $7,430
Graduation Rate 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio 28:1
Admissions Rate 34%
Enrollment Rate 26%
Retention Rate 26%

SDSU is a public research university that was founded in 1897 in San Diego, California, as San Diego Normal School. Today, the school is the largest and oldest institution of higher learning in San Diego County and is a member of the CSU system. The campus has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and has been used as the backdrop in a variety of TV shows and films.

SDSU features nearly 200 bachelor’s degree and 100 master’s degree programs, as well as 25 doctoral options. The school also offers an online bachelor's of science in business administration through its College of Extended Studies. While this is the only online bachelor's degree at SDSU, the school also offers a number of certificates that can be earned by distance learners. The program is available for both part- and full-time students. SDSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


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23

Valley City State University

Value Score 6.73
Average Tuition $5,153
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $8,720
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 86%
Enrollment Rate 60%
Retention Rate 60%

VCSU is a public land-grant college that was founded in 1890 in Valley City, North Dakota. In fact, the school's inception predates North Dakota's statehood. Today, the school is a part of the 11-member North Dakota University System and offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees.

Distance learners at VCSU can earn a bachelor's degree online in professional communication, business process integration management, or music. There are also a variety of education degrees that prepare students to teach the following subjects: business, English, history, and technology. Students can also pursue an online minor in library media, psychology, or technology education. Some programs include learning experiences that require additional authorizations, so out-of-state students should check their state requirements before applying. Two of North Dakota’s U.S. representatives have graduated from VCSU: Earl Pomeroy and Thomas Kleppe. VCSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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24

Florida International University

Value Score 6.72
Average Tuition $4,721
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $9,785
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 39%
Retention Rate 39%

FIU is a public research university that was founded in 1965 in Miami, Florida. The school is one of the largest in the U.S. with more than 55,000 students, ranking only behind the University of Central Florida, the Ohio State University, and Texas A&M. Today, FIU offers a variety of distance learning programs through the school's online learning division, FIU Online. The school offers several cheap bachelor's degrees online on a variety of subjects, including religious studies, sociology, recreation and sport management, supply chain management, or information technology.

FIU is authorized to provide online programs in most U.S. states, but the school recommends that students check the state authorization page before applying. The school offers a readiness quiz to help students determine if online learning will be right for them. FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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25

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Value Score 6.70
Average Tuition $9,273
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $8,443
Graduation Rate 85%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 58%
Enrollment Rate 39%
Retention Rate 39%

UW is a public research university that was founded in 1848 in Madison, Wisconsin, the same year as the state's inception. The school is the flagship institution of the University of Wisconsin System. UW is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the country and serves more than 45,000 students each year.

Distance learners can earn a bachelor’s degree at UW via the University of Wisconsin System’s eCampus. There are dozens of online bachelor's degrees available through the eCampus on a variety of subjects, including golf enterprise management, nursing, criminal justice, diagnostic imaging, marketing, and American studies. Many of these programs are offered through a collaboration of one or more UWS affiliate schools. Beyond bachelor's degrees, students complete a variety of online associate, master's, doctorate, and certification programs. UW is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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26

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Value Score 6.68
Average Tuition $12,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $9,908
Graduation Rate 72%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 82%
Enrollment Rate 66%
Retention Rate 66%

Mount Carmel College of Nursing is a private, four-year institution with locations in Columbus and Lancaster, Ohio. MCCN was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The school specializes in nursing education and is affiliated with the Catholic Church.

The school began offering distance learning programs in the 2010s with a master's in nursing, and has since begun offering online bachelor's degrees as well. Current RNs may be interested in the school’s online RN to BSN program. In all of the school's programs, MCCN emphasizes nursing ideals and Catholic morality in regards to respect, compassion, and social responsibility. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. MCCN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is among the largest nursing schools in the state.


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27

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Value Score 6.65
Average Tuition $12,604
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $10,119
Graduation Rate 93%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 30%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%

UVA is a public research university that was founded in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson. The school also featured two other early U.S. presidents on its board: James Madison and James Monroe. Today, UVA is the flagship institution for the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves more than 22,000 students each year. The school is public, but often compared to Ivy-League universities for its academic excellence and secret societies.

UVA offers several distance learning programs, including a variety of cheap online bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's of professional studies in health science management prepares students for a variety of healthcare roles from administration to radiology. The school also offers a bachelor's of interdisciplinary studies that allows distance learners to pursue an undergraduate degree in nearly any business or liberal arts area. UVA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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28

Fort Valley State University

Value Score 6.65
Average Tuition $3,886
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $13,732
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 21%
Enrollment Rate 43%
Retention Rate 43%

FVSU is a historically black university that was founded in 1895 as Fort Valley State College. The school was formed in 1939 through the consolidation of Fort Valley High and Industrial School and the State Teachers and Agricultural College of Forsyth. Today, FVSU is a member of the University System of Georgia and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. This land-grant school has a commitment to community, personal growth, and African-American culture.

FVSU offers four online bachelor's degree programs: bachelor's of arts degrees in psychology, political science, and criminal justice, as well as a bachelor's of science in organizational leadership. In addition to traditional degree programs, FVSU offers the cooperative developmental energy program, which helps students find long-term careers in the energy sector. Prior learning credits may be earned in certain cases and all online learners have access to discipline-specific academic advising. FVSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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29

SUNY College at Brockport

Value Score 6.64
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Net Price $8,887
Graduation Rate 69%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 53%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%

SUNY Brockport is a public liberal arts university that was founded in 1867 in upstate New York. The school is a member of the SUNY system and offers more than 40 undergraduate and 29 graduate degrees. SUNY Brockport boasts a variety of specialty academic programs that combine multiple majors or use regional resources such as the Rochester Institute of Technology for multi-campus degree options.

The school offers an online RN-to-BSN fast-track program that is designed for registered nurses who hold an associate degree in nursing. SUNY Brockport also offers a wide variety of online and hybrid graduate programs on subjects such as school counseling, liberal studies, health education, physical education pedagogy, and more. Distance learners have access to several student support services, including IT support, a Blackboard help desk, and FAQ page. SUNY Brockport is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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University of Wyoming

Value Score 6.64
Average Tuition $3,570
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Net Price $8,309
Graduation Rate 55%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 96%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%

UW is a public land-grant university that was founded in 1886 in Laramie, Wyoming, which is on the state's Laramie Plains at an elevation of 7,220 feet. The campus is located between two mountain ranges and is consistently rated as one of the best outdoor colleges for its rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking and other outdoor activities. In addition to the school's main campus, UW serves students online and at nine satellite campuses throughout the state. Distance learning programs at UW are offered in both completely online and hybrid formats.

The schools offers an RN-BSN completion program, and bachelor's degrees in business administration or family and consumer science that can be completed entirely online. Students can also earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, psychology, or social science, but these programs are only offered in a hybrid format. UW is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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31

Stony Brook University

Value Score 6.64
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $8,706
Graduation Rate 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 41%
Enrollment Rate 20%
Retention Rate 20%

Stony Brook is a public sea- and space-grant research university that was founded in 1957 on Long Island in New York. The school is part of the SUNY system and has separate partnerships with private universities in the state such as Cornell, Columbia, and NYU. Stony Brook is distinguished for its scientific programs and research specializing in atmospheric and marine projects. The school boasts alumni who have won numerous Nobel prizes and field medals, including distinguished scientists and mathematicians like Robert Aumann.

Stony Brook is home to the only online bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in the state. In fact, there are only a handful of schools in the U.S. that provide online electrical engineering degrees. The school also offers online bachelor's programs in nursing and nutrition, as well a variety of online graduate degrees. Stony Brook is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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32

Piedmont International University

Value Score 6.63
Average Tuition $8,850
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $13,671
Graduation Rate 35%
Student to Faculty Ratio 7:1
Admissions Rate 24%
Enrollment Rate 77%
Retention Rate 77%

PIU is a private Bible college and graduate school that was founded in 1945 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The school was originally called Piedmont Bible Institute but changed its name in 2012 to PIU. PIU was founded by Baptist leaders in the 1940s as a junior college and began offering bachelor’s degrees in the 1950s.

Students can earn an online bachelor’s degree from PIU in biblical studies, ministry, or sign language interpreting. There are also a variety of minors and online graduate degrees available on a variety of liberal arts topics, such as English, history, humanities, and nonprofit management. The school is currently authorized to offer distance learning programs in 20 U.S. states, and is in the process of earning authorization in the remaining states. As such, prospective students should visit the school's state authorization page before applying. PIU is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.


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33

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

Value Score 6.60
Average Tuition $9,484
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $8,288
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 31%
Retention Rate 31%

ASU Downtown is one of four ASU campuses in the state. This medium-sized school is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix and in close proximity to the school's main campus in Tempe. ASU Downtown was founded in 2006 and is home to the modern Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The school, named for the famed broadcast journalist, is just one of the notable independent schools and colleges that comprise ASU Downtown, such as the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Students may also enroll in distance learning programs through ASU Online. The school offers a variety of affordable online bachelor's degree programs in food industry management, sustainability, healthy lifestyles, business journalism, electrical engineering, and more. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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34

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Value Score 6.58
Average Tuition $4,129
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Net Price $6,915
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 59%
Enrollment Rate 45%
Retention Rate 45%

UNCG is a public liberal arts and research university that was founded in 1891 in Greensboro, North Carolina, as State Normal and Industrial School. The school is a member of the UNC system but acts as an independent university, just like the campuses in Charlotte or Chapel Hill. The school boasts a number of notable academic institutions, including one of the first nanoscience and nanoengineering departments in the country and a renowned MFA writing program. UNCG’s campus is also home to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, which is home to one of the largest U.S. modern art galleries.

UNCG offers a variety of online bachelor's degree programs on topics such as pre-law philosophy, supply chain management, and human development. The school's alumni include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Claudia Emerson and former North Carolina poet laureate Kathryn Byer. UNCG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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35

Ohio State University-Main Campus

Value Score 6.57
Average Tuition $9,168
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Net Price $9,959
Graduation Rate 83%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 49%
Enrollment Rate 35%
Retention Rate 35%

OSU is one of the largest and best known universities in the country. This land-grant university was founded in 1862 in Columbus, Ohio, as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. Whether known for the Buckeyes football team or its expansive academic research, OSU is consistently rated as one of the best public universities in the country. Today, the school serves more than 60,000 students each year and offers dozens of undergraduate majors, including respiratory therapy, Jewish studies, and social sciences air transportation.

Students can also earn online bachelor’s degrees from OSU in fields such as nursing, dentistry, and health sciences. OSU has an extensive archives and library system, which houses such rarities as the largest academic collection of original cartoons and the papers of astronaut and senator John Glenn. The school boasts several famous alumni, including professional athletes such as Jesse Owens and Jack Nicklaus. OSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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36

Fayetteville State University

Value Score 6.57
Average Tuition $2,833
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $3,452
Graduation Rate 32%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 60%
Enrollment Rate 27%
Retention Rate 27%

FSU is a historically black public research university that was founded in 1867 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The school was built on land bought and donated by seven prominent African American men in the years following the Civil War. In fact, it was the first state school for African Americans in the South. FSU is a member of the University of North Carolina System and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an education nonprofit that helps thousands of students each year.

Today, FSU offers nearly 50 bachelor's and 25 master's degree programs. The school also offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees on topics such as business, criminal justice, and nursing. Online courses are delivered via Canvas and are also available to local Fort Bragg military personnel. FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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37

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $6,593
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $11,782
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Admissions Rate 76%
Enrollment Rate 62%
Retention Rate 62%

ULM is a public research university that was founded in 1869 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The school is the state's oldest post-secondary institution and the largest in the University of Nebraska system. ULM is well-known for its Cornhuskers football team, which have won multiple national championships. In fact, the school's football stadium is so large that when it is full, it could count as one of the three largest cities in the state.

UNL has a strong history of academic research that emphasizes sustainability, ecology, and agricultural sciences. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including online bachelor's degrees in early childhood education or applied sciences. Distance learners can also earn an online certificate in meat culinology. UNL is authorized to offer online learning programs in all 50 U.S. states, although Kentucky places restrictions on some education programs. UNL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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38

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Value Score 6.55
Average Tuition $4,188
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $10,379
Graduation Rate 71%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%

UNCW is a public university that was founded in 1947 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The school originally started as a junior college, Wilmington College, before becoming the fifth school in the North Carolina System in the 1906s. Today, the school serves more than 15,000 students each year and features more than 50 bachelor's degree programs on topics such as marine biology, physics and physical ocean, and ocean studies.

The school also offers online bachelor's degree programs in criminology, international studies, nursing, education, and clinical research. Distance learners can also earn an executive MBA as well as a several other graduate degrees. The school recommends that all online students view the state authorization page to ensure that their desired program is offered in their state before applying. UNCW is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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39

Western Carolina University

Value Score 6.55
Average Tuition $3,779
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $8,921
Graduation Rate 57%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 40%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%

WCU is a public university that was founded in 1889 in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The school is a member of the University of North Carolina system and serves more than 10,000 students each year. The nearly 600-acre rural campus is located in the valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. WCU’s location offers students a variety of outdoor activities from rock climbing and hiking to rafting and kayaking.

Today, the school has five colleges and offers more than 50 undergraduate programs, including a variety of affordable bachelor's degrees online. Distance learners can earn their degree in a variety of subjects, including entrepreneurship, disaster management, criminal justice, or business administration and law. WCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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40

North Carolina A & T State University

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $3,370
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $7,133
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 60%
Enrollment Rate 49%
Retention Rate 49%

NCA&T is a public, historically black research university that was founded in 1891 in Greensboro, North Carolina, as an agricultural and mechanical school for African Americans. Today, the school serves more than 10,000 students each year and is the largest historically black university in the nation. NCA&T collaborates with UNCG and a number of federal agencies on research projects. In fact, it is classified as a high activity research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Students can earn a bachelor’s degree online in a variety of subjects, including education, geomatics, and agriculture. Distance learners have access to a variety of career development resources, including career fairs, job search strategies, and online assessments. NCA&T is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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41

Winston-Salem State University

Value Score 6.53
Average Tuition $3,238
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $7,806
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 59%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Retention Rate 34%

WSSU is a historically black public research university that was founded in 1892 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The school is a member of the University of North Carolina System and is affiliated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Today, the school serves more than 6,000 students each year and offers programs on a variety of topics, including education, liberal arts, health sciences, and business.

WSSU also offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees on subjects including clinical lab science, nursing, and interdisciplinary studies. Distance learners can also earn an online master's degree in nursing or rehabilitation counseling. WSSU is home to the Simon Green Atkins Scholar Society, which uses community and cultural support to foster young scholars. WSSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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42

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Value Score 6.52
Average Tuition $5,407
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $7,312
Graduation Rate 45%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Admissions Rate 55%
Enrollment Rate 53%
Retention Rate 53%

ULL is a public research university that was founded in 1898 in Lafayette, Louisiana. The school is the largest in the nine-campus University of Louisiana System and the second largest in the state. ULL was one of the first institutions of higher education in the South to desegregate following the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling in the 1950s. ULL has made a name for itself with successful academic programs in environmental biology, nursing, computer science, and industrial design. The school features a large primate lab and its New Iberia Research Center for various scientific work.

ULL offers a variety of bachelor's degrees that can be completed online or through a hybrid format. Distance learners can earn a bachelor's degree online in health services, kinesiology, nursing, or general studies online. ULL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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43

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Value Score 6.52
Average Tuition $12,240
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $7,951
Graduation Rate 77%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 45%
Enrollment Rate 28%
Retention Rate 28%

The University of Minnesota is a public research university that was founded in 1851 in the state's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The school is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota system and serves more than 50,000 students each year. This high-level public research institution is credited with many inventions, including K-Rations. Notable Minnesota alumni include former vice presidents Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphries.

Minnesota offers more than a dozen bachelor’s degree online options on subjects including applied health, manufacturing operations management, psychology, and manufacturing management. The school offers most of these program entirely online, though some are offered in a hybrid format. Distance learners can also earn a variety of undergraduate and graduate certificates online. Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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44

Westfield State University

Value Score 6.51
Average Tuition $970
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $10,916
Graduation Rate 63%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 80%
Enrollment Rate 32%
Retention Rate 32%

WSU is a public four-year university that was founded in 1838 by Horace Mann as Westfield Normal School, the first public co-educational college in America without barrier based on race, gender, or socioeconomic status. The school is a part of the Massachusetts State University System, but not the UMass system.

WSU offers 34 different undergraduate majors and 34 minors, including a variety of online bachelor's degree completion programs. Students can earn a bachelor's of arts degree in sociology, history, psychology, or liberal arts, or a bachelor's of science degree in criminal justice or business. The school maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1 to allow each students to receive individual attention. Distance learners have access to a variety of resources, including technical support, online library services, and academic advising. WSU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


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45

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Value Score 6.49
Average Tuition $3,628
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $5,288
Graduation Rate 53%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 63%
Enrollment Rate 33%
Retention Rate 33%

UNCC is a public research university that was founded in 1946 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, the school serves more than 30,000 students each year online and across three area campuses. Charlotte is one of the largest banking cities in the U.S., making the city center campus of UNCC ideal for business and public administration students. UNCC began offering four-year degrees in 1963 and today offers 85 bachelor's and 63 master's programs.

UNCC's schools of health and human services, engineering, and education offer a variety of affordable online bachelor's degree programs on subjects such as engineering technology: fire safety or neurodiagnostics and sleep science. There are also a number of online master's and certificate programs available in these fields. UNCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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46

North Carolina Central University

Value Score 6.48
Average Tuition $3,555
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $8,968
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 66%
Enrollment Rate 22%
Retention Rate 22%

NCCU is a public historically black university that was founded in 1910 in Durham, North Carolina. The school is a member of the University of North Carolina System and is affiliated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which helps thousands of students pay for their education each year. NCCU's academic strengths include subjects like history, jazz, and media.

NCCU offers a variety of online bachelor’s degree programs on subjects such as criminal justice, early childhood education, hospitality and tourism, and nursing. These programs can all be completed entirely online are are available to freshmen as well as transfer students. The school also offers several master's degree and certificate programs online, as well as a number of hybrid degrees. NCCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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47

California State University-San Bernardino

Value Score 6.47
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $3,968
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 65%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Retention Rate 34%

CSUSB is a public university that was founded in 1965 in San Bernardino, California. The school is one of 23 schools in the California State University system and is well-known for its business school and national security master's degree. CSUSB features two campuses: one in San Bernardino and another in Palm Desert. The Palm Desert location has a close affiliation with the College of the Desert community college and accepts many of its graduates to four-year programs. CSUSB is a space-grant university and home to the Murillo Family Observatory.

The school offers hundreds of undergraduate majors on a wide range of subjects, including political economy and international business. CSUSB also offers several online and hybrid bachelor's degree programs. Students can complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice entirely online or earn a BSN in nursing through 80% online work and 20% class time on-campus. CSUSB is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


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48

Clemson University

Value Score 6.47
Average Tuition $13,022
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $11,538
Graduation Rate 81%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 51%
Enrollment Rate 30%
Retention Rate 30%

Clemson is a public land- and sea-grant university that was founded in 1889 as an agricultural college modeled after Mississippi State University. Today, Clemson is the second largest university in South Carolina and is known for its prestigious colleges of computer science, business, and agriculture.

Distance learners can earn a bachelor's degree online from Clemson in youth development. This accelerated program features synchronous courses and only requires a brief three-day orientation in-person, with the remaining offered entirely online. The program prepares students for careers in youth community programs and organization. Clemson also offers a variety of online graduate degrees in subjects such as youth development leadership, industrial engineering, healthcare genetics, biological sciences, and more. Clemson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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49

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Value Score 6.46
Average Tuition $4,620
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Net Price $9,134
Graduation Rate 61%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 75%
Enrollment Rate 44%
Retention Rate 44%

OSU is a large, public land- and sun-grant university that was founded in 1890 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The school was created under the Morrill Act and was originally known as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Today, the school is the flagship of the OSU System and serves more than 23,000 students each year. OSU still features a number of agricultural programs on everything from animal sciences to landscape contracting. The school boasts famous alumni including oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, country singer Garth Brooks, and NFL legend Barry Sanders.

OSU offers a variety of online bachelor's degrees through the school's OCampus. Distance learners can earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology, marketing, or business management from OSU. The College of Sciences and Natural Resources also feature several online graduate degree programs. OSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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50

Minot State University

Value Score 6.46
Average Tuition $5,066
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $7,685
Graduation Rate 43%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 57%
Enrollment Rate 71%
Retention Rate 71%

MSU is a public four-year institution that was founded in 1913 in Minot, North Dakota, as a teaching college. Today, the school serves more than 3,000 students each year and is a member of the North Dakota University System. Famous alumni include actor Josh Duhamel, North Dakota representative Lisa Wolf, and senator John Warner.

MSU is composed of three colleges offering 60 programs in a variety of liberal arts and professional education subjects. Distance learners at MSU can earn an online bachelor's degree in a variety of subjects related to business or human services. The school also offers several graduate degrees and certificate programs. Distance learners have access to a variety of support services, including Blackboard Collaborate tutorials, academic advising, and a writing center. All online students at MSU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. MSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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Accreditation is the process by which schools are vetted for their high standards and quality of education by approved accreditation agencies. Accreditation provides schools with a variety of academic standards that allow students to easily transfer credits between schools or be considered for admission into graduate and professional degree programs. Schools may be regionally or nationally accredited, although regional accreditation is much more common. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education have compiled a list of recognized accreditation agencies that you can find here.

Programmatic Accreditation

Programmatic accreditation is the accreditation of individual programs by an independent accrediting agency. An accredited bachelor’s degree has a seal of approval from a recognized organization signals to employers that a program has credibility, integrity, and high-quality. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has a database of programs and institutions that are accredited by recognized accrediting organizations within the U.S. You can use this database to search for accredited online college programs within your desired field.

The Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree

The cost to earning a bachelor’s degree varies from school to school. However, online programs are typically more affordable than their on-campus equivalents across the board.

Average Cost for Four-year Undergraduate Degrees
School Type Yearly Tuition Cost + Fees
Public four-year college (in-state students) $9,410
Public four-year college (out-of-state students) $23,890
Private four-year college $32,410

Source: College Board

Online vs. On-Campus Bachelor’s Degrees

In the 2014-15 academic year, the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for a student at a traditional four-year public institution was $18,632. Living on-campus in a dormitory alone can account for around $6,000 of that cost–and this doesn’t take into consideration the extra costs of commuting and child care costs that off-campus commuter students are responsible for. Enrolling in an online degree program eliminates many of these extra costs. However, there may be some additional costs for online students, such as technology and distance fees.

How Long Will it Take to Earn My Online Bachelor’s Degree?

While degree requirements and timelines vary from school to school, most bachelor’s programs require the completion of 120 credits over four years of full-time study. Students can also enroll part-time, although this will lengthen the amount of time it takes to earn a degree. Online colleges offer a variety of learning option and platforms that can impact how long it takes to earn a degree. In fact, an important factor that determines the cheapest online colleges is how long it takes to complete a program. Here are a few of the factors that can affect the length of time it takes to complete your bachelor’s degree online:

Part-Time vs. Full-Time Programs: Full-time students generally enroll in 12-15 credits per semester and earn their degrees in four years. Part-time students enroll in classes on weekends, evenings, and during the summer, allowing them to earn a degree in five to six years.

Accelerated Programs: Accelerated programs allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in just three years of full-time study. Rather than full 15-week semesters, accelerated programs may run on shorter five- to eight-week sessions on a year-round basis, allowing students to complete more credits in a shorter amount of time. However, this format is more demanding requires self-discipline and good time management skills to achieve success.

Other Factors That Impact Your Degree Time

There are many factors that can impact how long it takes to earn a college degree. This is important because the longer it takes to earn a degree, the most expensive it will become. When searching for cheap online schools, consider the following factors:

  • Standardized Testing and Work Experience: Transfer credits with prior work experience, military service, or standardized test scores (including AP, CLEP, and IB exams) can reduce the number of credits you must enroll in to earn your degree.
  • Community College Transfer Credits: Earning an associate degree or taking classes at a community college can also reduce the amount of time it takes to earn your bachelor’s degree. Community colleges typically offer lower tuition rates, which can also reduce the cost of your education.
  • Maximum Course Load: Taking the maximum number of courses allowed during each quarter or semester can help you earn your bachelor’s degree as quickly as possible. However, this can result in a rigorous schedule and requires a great deal of self-discipline and hard work.

Upgrading From an Associate Degree

There are some important benefits for students who wish to upgrade their associate degree into a bachelor’s degree. Not only are there more job opportunities for those with a bachelor’s degree, but those holding a bachelor’s degree earn on average 26% more than those with only an associate degree. Below, you will find a table outlining the pay difference for associate and bachelor’s degrees in a few common fields:

Average Salaries for Associate vs. Bachelor’s Degree-Holders
Field Associate Salary Bachelor’s Salary
Information Technology $39,100 $53,156
Graphic Design $32,100 $40,750
Architecture $38,300 $45,470
Marketing $35,500 $46,021
Computer Science $40,900 $62,905

Based on early career salary data collected from Payscale.com

Choosing an Online Bachelor’s Program

Types of Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelor’s of Arts (BA): This degree generally focuses on programs within the liberal arts or sciences. The typical BA curriculum requires students to study a variety of subjects, including humanities, literature, history, social sciences, communications, and more.
Bachelor’s of Science (BS): A bachelor’s of science degree is focused on a specific scientific subject area and equips students with technical and practical expertise in their chosen field.
Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA): A bachelor’s of fine arts differs from a traditional BA in that it focuses specifically on the visual and performing arts, such as dancing, painting, sculpting, and theater.

The Most Popular Online Majors

There is a great deal of overlap when it comes to popular bachelor’s programs for online and traditional students. In fact, data collected regarding the majors most commonly chosen by students in online bachelor’s degree programs and on-campus programs revealed that they are often fairly similar:

Most Popular Online Degrees vs. Most Popular Traditional Degrees
Most Popular Online Bachelor’s Degrees Most Popular Traditional Bachelor’s Degrees
Psychology Business
Business Accounting
Elementary Education Nursing
Nursing Psychology
Health Administration Elementary Education

Career Paths

Next we will explore online bachelor’s programs and cheap online colleges in greater detail, including career paths these majors lead to, job growth in each field, and salary statistics. The following information is meant to serve as a starting point for your research of prospective bachelor’s degree programs that will meet your long-term career goals.

Psychology

$46,890 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

The field of psychology focuses on the functions of the human mind, and human behavior in different settings and contexts.

Career Options: Social Worker, Psychiatric Technician, Administrative Service Manager, Human Resources Specialist

Job Growth: The field of social work is growing at a rate of 12%, which is much higher than average.

Average Salary: $46,890

View our ranking of the most affordable online psychology programs.

Business

$127,560 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

The study of business-related fields, including accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, and management.

Career Options: Human Resources Management, Health Care Administration, Marketing Management, Commercial Loan Officer

Job Growth: The field of marketing management is growing at an above-average rate of 9%.

Average Salary: $127,560

View of our Ranking of the most affordable online business and accounting programs.

Elementary Education

$55,490 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

Those in elementary education work with and teach students in grades pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, sometimes specializing in one subject area.

Career Options: Elementary Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Childcare Provider, Childcare Provider, Pre-School Teacher

Job Growth: Elementary Teacher: 6%

Average Salary: Elementary Teacher: $55,490

View our ranking of the most affordable online education and early childhood education programs.

Nursing

$68,450 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

A degree in nursing prepares students to work in healthcare settings to care for patients and manage cases.

Career Options: Registered Nurse, School Nurse, Emergency Room Nurse, Pediatric Nurse

Job Growth: Registered nurse: 16%

Average Salary: Registered Nurse: $68,450

View our ranking of the most affordable RN to BSN and nursing programs.

Healthcare Administration

$68,450 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's Degree Required

Healthcare administration is focused on the inner-workings of healthcare systems, from finance to personnel management.

Career Options: Office Manager for Physician, Administrative Medical Assistant, Staff Auditor, Medical and Health Services Manager

Job Growth: Medical and Health Services Manager: 17%

Average Salary: Medical and Health Services Manager: $96,540

The Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

The table below outlines the top-five highest paying jobs for people with a bachelor’s degree (based on mid-career salary). The five careers in this table represent a small sample of the many careers that can be pursued with a bachelor’s degree.

Top Paying Jobs for Bachelor’s Degrees
Degree Early Career Salary Mid-Career Salary
Petroleum Engineering $96,700 $172,000
Systems Engineering $66,400 $121,000
Actuarial Science $60,800 $119,000
Chemical Engineering $69,800 $119,000
Computer Science & Engineering $71,200 $116,000

Data accessed 5/2017: Payscale.com

Unemployment Rates Among Bachelor’s Degree Majors

The job market for those with a bachelor’s degree is certainly promising, and it only becomes better as you experience. The table below shows the unemployment rates for popular majors based on degree level and experience from this Georgetown University study.

Unemployment Rate by Major
Major Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s Graduates (No Experience) Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s Graduates (Some Experience)
Agricultural and Natural Resources 7.0% 3.5%
Life and Physical Sciences 7.7% 3.5%
Architecture 13.9% 9.2%
Humanities and Liberal Arts 9.4% 6.1%
Communications and Journalism 7.3% 6.0%
Computers and Mathematics 8.2% 5.6%
Education 5.4% 3.9%
Engineering 7.9% 4.9%
Law and Public Policy 8.1% 4.5%
Social Science 8.9% 5.7%
Health 5.4% 2.2%
Psychology and Social Work 7.3% 5.9%
Recreation 8.3% 4.5%
Arts 11.1% 7.1%
Business 7.4% 5.3%

The Economic Value of College Majors, Georgetown University (2015)

Financing Your Online Bachelor’s Degree

Even though earning an online bachelor’s degree is typically cheaper than studying on-campus, many students still need financial help to offset the costs of tuition. Fortunately, many online schools offer financial aid to online students. All online students should start by filling out the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students applying for aid through FAFSA must be enrolled in an online bachelor’s program that’s been accredited by a federally-recognized accreditation agency.

Scholarships

HRM Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship $2,500

This scholarship is for Asian female business students who have demonstrated community service, scholarship, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Scholarship Deadline: October 10, 2017

Eligibility Requirements: Student must be a current SHRM member with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

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Asian Women in Business Scholarship $2,500

This scholarship is for Asian female business students who have demonstrated community service, scholarship, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Scholarship Deadline: October 25, 2017

Eligibility Requirements: Student must be female of Asian descent. Must be enrolled full-time in bachelor’s program and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship for Women $10,000

This scholarship offered by The Sunflower Initiative is awarded to a female student enrolled in a women’s college.

Scholarship Deadline: February 6, 2018

Eligibility Requirements: Student must matriculate at a women’s college, and must have earned at least a 1900 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT.

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Boundless Opportunity Scholarship Varies

This scholarship is designed for adults learners returning to their education at certain universities in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

Scholarship Deadline: Rolling

Eligibility Requirements: Student must be a resident of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah, and must demonstrate financial need.

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College JumpStart Scholarship $1,000

The College JumpStart Scholarship is merit-based, and designed to recognize stand-out students (both traditional and non-traditional) for their commitment to using education to better themselves, their families, and their communities.

Scholarship Deadline: October 17, 2017

Eligibility Requirements: Student must be high school sophomore, junior, senior, or adult student. They must be legal resident of US.

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Visit our Affordability Center to learn more about financial aid and to view our extensive catalogue of scholarships.