50 Most Affordable Online Colleges

More than ever before, students are choosing to attend college online. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than two million college students are enrolled in entirely online degree programs. There are a number of factors that explain this surge in popularity.

First, many online programs are taught asynchronously, a format that allows students to study on their own schedules, at their own pace. This makes online college courses ideal for students balancing higher education with full- or part-time jobs, family time, or other life obligations. Second, online programs are also an affordable alternative to traditional programs; at the very least, students can save money by using online course materials and forgoing the daily commute to campus.

Students should note that online coursework is just as challenging as traditionally delivered material, if not more so. Since students pursuing degrees online won’t have the traditional classroom structure, it is crucial that they are self-motivated and organized. For those who can prioritize and plan for virtual assignments, lectures, and tests, distance education can be affordable and accommodating.


50 Most Affordable Online Colleges
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

University of Florida

Value Score 8.50
Average Tuition $4,477 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $7,207
Graduation Rate 85%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Admissions Rate 46%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 53%
Number of Programs 52 (Online)
LMS Canvas
UF is not only one of the most affordable online colleges but also among the most prestigious. The school offers over 50 online degrees through its 16 distinct colleges, allowing all UF students to choose an online major that matches their academic interests. The university’s library system is the most comprehensive in Florida, and distance learners have full access to the school’s online materials and interlibrary loan services. Distance students can also take online workshops to familiarize themselves with UF’s library resources. Online students rank well above national averages in both GPA and SAT scores, and the college’s generous financial aid packages allow 66% percent of students to graduate with no student loan debt.
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2

University of Central Florida

Value Score 7.66
Average Tuition $4,478 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $10,637
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 31:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 19%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51%
Number of Programs 33 (Online)
Located in Orlando, UCF is the second-largest university in the country, serving more than 63,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 150 different countries. The school ranks among the top 25 public universities in community engagement and research activity, and UCF’s 13 colleges offer degrees in everything from history and religion to nursing and creative writing. With two decades as an innovator in educational technology, UCF ranks as one of the most creative universities as well as one of the country’s cheapest online colleges. In addition to online majors, students can pursue a variety of online minors offered through the school’s various colleges. Online students also have access to a variety of online academic resources, including extensive library services and the university’s writing center.
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3

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Value Score 7.33
Average Tuition $6,038 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 69%
Net Price $6,451
Graduation Rate 71%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 52%
Enrollment Rate 22%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 35%
Number of Programs 35 (Online)
NC State is a top research university, with 12 colleges representing all major academic disciplines. The school’s distance education system boasts top-rated programs in engineering, business, and liberal arts, offering a range of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs. NC State’s Hunt Library receives widespread praise as a leader in innovation, emphasizing technology and digital media. Online students have full access to the library’s selection of over 10,000 e-books, along with academic journals and other digital resources. Distance learners can also make use of several online services including academic advising, application and enrollment support, testing services for remote exams, and state resources for distance learners.
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4

University of South Florida

Value Score 7.27
Average Tuition $4,559 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $6,735
Graduation Rate 57%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 53%
Enrollment Rate 17%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44%
Number of Programs 13 (Online)
Serving 48,000 students across three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is a major research university and the top producer of Fulbright scholars in the country. The school’s curriculum centers on interdisciplinary education and research, offered through 14 distinct colleges. USF’s Innovative Education program strives to accommodate all styles of students through creative collaboration with faculty members, teaching assistants, and academic administrators, with a focus on distance education. Through USF’s distance education programs, students can take individual online courses as well as online undergraduate majors ranging from gender studies to information technology. The school also offers a robust selection of online master’s programs, including popular degrees in business, education, arts, and public health. Online students have access to various academic resources, including tutoring, test preparation, career services, and counseling.
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5

University of Illinois at Springfield

Value Score 7.10
Average Tuition $9,405 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $7,052
Graduation Rate 47%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 63%
Number of Programs 24 (Online)
Located about 200 miles southwest of Chicago and roughly 100 miles northeast of St. Louis, UIS is a smaller state university of approximately 5,000 students. UIS offers an intimate learning experience with a low student:teacher ratio. The school’s academic mission stresses collaboration, scholarship, and community building at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels. The university’s distance education program offers undergraduate degrees in a range of subjects, from computer science and business administration to political science and philosophy, and students can also choose from a wide selection of graduate degrees and online certification programs. The school also maintains partnerships with other colleges throughout the state and country, intended to facilitate seamless transfers from other institutions to UIS.
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6

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

Value Score 6.98
Average Tuition $1,454 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $10,718
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 62%
Enrollment Rate 18%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42%
Number of Programs 50 (Online)
Located about 40 minutes outside of Boston, UMass Lowell serves more than 17,000 students through six different colleges, offering programs that emphasize and connect the disciplines of health, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and more. UMass Lowell seeks to offer students an affordable, accessible path to higher education, with an emphasis on research and public service. Also ranked as one of the country’s most affordable online colleges, the school’s distance education program receives strong praise for its online bachelor’s and graduate programs. Lowell’s online MBA, IT, and criminal justice programs are particularly renowned. Distance education students also have access to a host of online resources, including live chat advising, virtual open houses, and other student support services. Students can also use the college’s online advising appointment tool to schedule phone conferences with dedicated academic advisors.
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7

Florida International University

Value Score 6.90
Average Tuition $4,721 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91%
Net Price $9,039
Graduation Rate 49%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Programs 21 (Online)
Miami’s only public research university, FIU serves a student body of nearly 54,000. One of the largest universities in the country, FIU is a top-tier research school and one of the cheapest online colleges in the U.S. Committed to promoting education and knowledge, FIU also boasts an extremely diverse student body. Online students at FIU can earn a range of degrees through the school’s many colleges, from finance and hospitality management to psychology and gender studies. The school also offers a host of resources to distance learners, including libraries, career counseling, academic counseling, veteran’s services, and support for international students. FIU is also known for organizing the TED Talk-licensed TEDxFIU, an annual academic and cultural conference featuring presentations and lectures from students, faculty, and community members.
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8

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Value Score 6.87
Average Tuition $6,423 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 67%
Net Price $4,431
Graduation Rate 89%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 28%
Enrollment Rate 13%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 11%
Number of Programs 12 (Online)
Founded in 1795, UNC-Chapel Hill is the nation’s oldest public university, now in its third century of offering affordable education to students. Serving a student body of nearly 30,000 through 14 different colleges, UNC-Chapel Hill consistently ranks as one of the best value schools in the nation. Through the school’s distance education program, students can pursue a variety of individual courses, certificates, master’s, and doctoral programs, from physical therapy and health leadership to molecular diagnostic science. Particularly of note is the school’s UNC Exchange System, which allows students to seamlessly take online courses offered through other colleges in the UNC system. With 17 different institutions in the state, the Exchange System allows students to pursue a range of courses, at their convenience.
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9

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $1,714 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $11,064
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 13%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Programs 19 (Online)
Nestled in Massachusetts’ beautiful Pioneer Valley, UMass lies about 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. Consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the nation, UMass serves nearly 30,000 students through nine distinct schools and colleges. With over 1,500 online courses offered each year, the school also ranks as one of the most affordable online colleges in the country. A leader in distance education for more than two decades, UMass offers a wide selection of certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees through its distance education program, including popular programs in nursing and business. Online students also have full digital access to the school’s library, which features seven million items and is the largest library at a state-supported college in New England.
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10

Fort Hays State University

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $3,450 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $9,104
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 88%
Enrollment Rate 42%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 75%
Number of Programs 38 (Online)
Fort Hays State serves about 13,000 students, offering certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees through 28 academic departments across four colleges. Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, Fort Hays has taken major strides to integrate telecommunications technology into its curriculum, and online students now make up the majority of the school’s enrollment. A world leader in affordable online education, Fort Hays ranks among the cheapest 2% of U.S. universities. The school’s virtual student body comprises over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries, and Fort Hays offers a range of graduate and undergraduate degrees, from business management and marketing to political science and elementary education. Online students have access to the full range of student resources, from academic advising and career counseling to the student bookstore. Hays’s virtual college also offers accommodations specifically intended for military veterans and active duty personnel.
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11

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Value Score 6.77
Average Tuition $7,672 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $10,832
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Programs 37 (Online)
One of the oldest technological institutions west of the Mississippi, S&T serves a student body of nearly 9,000 students from 29 states and 10 countries. One of the country’s top technological research universities, S&T also ranks as one of the best and most affordable online colleges. S&T’s Global Learning division has offered distance education courses since 1974, long before the arrival of online learning. The college offers a range of graduate degrees and certification programs in engineering, science, and business, but no entirely online bachelor’s degrees. Fitting given its proximity to Fort Leonard Wood, S&T also offers specialized graduate degrees and certificates for military personnel, in fields including engineering management, geological engineering, civil engineering, and environmental engineering.
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12

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Value Score 6.76
Average Tuition $3,932 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $7,923
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Programs 24 (Online)
Home to nearly 19,000 students across 10 schools and colleges, UNCG is a nationally ranked and globally recognized public research university. Distance learners can choose from a wide range of online bachelor’s and master’s programs organized by field of study, including business and information technology, education, health, public service, and social sciences and humanities. Scholarship at UNCG emphasizes research, organized around the principles of support, engagement and impact, and the university is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its research activity and community engagement. UNCG is also the home of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, an extensive collection of American modern art that is one of the largest and most renowned in the country.
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13

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Value Score 6.64
Average Tuition $6,480 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $11,395
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Programs 19 (Online)
A leader in higher education for nearly 150 years, UNL is a top research university that also ranks as one of the top cheap online colleges. UNL offers a small selection of online undergraduate degrees, and its online graduate programs rank among the best in the country. The school offers a wide selection of graduate certificates, master’s programs, and doctoral programs, from textile studies to business analytics. Online students also receive generous support from the institution, including admissions counseling, academic advising, technical support, and library assistance. The college is well known for its historic developments in the field of ecology, and the campus represents that history with both botanical gardens and arboreta. UNL is also a major proponent of arts and literature, serving as home to both the Sheldon Art Museum and the renowned Prairie Schooner literary journal.
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14

The University of West Florida

Value Score 6.60
Average Tuition $4,319 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91%
Net Price $8,387
Graduation Rate 45%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52%
Number of Programs 21 (Online)
Located in Pensacola, the University of West Florida ranks as one of the top online colleges in the state. With a mission to inspire innovation, creativity, and collaboration, UWF favors smaller class sizes and individualized student attention. One of the top affordable online schools in the state, UWF offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees online, along with a number of online certification programs. UWF offers substantial support and resources for active duty military personnel and veterans, with Military Times ranking the school among the top 25 in the nation for veteran education. Additionally, the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program to fund education expenses for veterans. Online students who live outside of Florida can also apply for an out-of-state tuition waiver that substantially reduces tuition costs.
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15

East Carolina University

Value Score 6.60
Average Tuition $3,959 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $10,257
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Programs 57 (Online)
Serving a student body of more than 28,000, ECU is a top value college that also ranks highly among affordable online schools. It offers an expansive distance education program that includes undergraduate degree completion programs, graduate degrees, and graduate certificates. The school offers online master’s degrees in a range of fields, from education and English to nursing and network technology. The college’s online programs in business, criminal justice, education, and nursing are all nationally renowned. ECU’s online education system also offers a range of resources for non-traditional and continuing students, including a language academy, military outreach programs, and a continuing medical education program. The school’s mission is to prepare students to succeed in a global, multicultural world, and ECU’s student body reflects that mission, with ethnic minorities comprising more than a quarter of all undergraduates.
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16

University of Memphis

Value Score 6.60
Average Tuition $7,056 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $9,894
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 31%
Number of Programs 43 (Online)
The University of Memphis is home to the largest honors program in Tennessee, and is recognized nationally for its academic and research programs. This extends to the school’s TN eCampus, where distance learners can choose from over 500 degree and certificate programs offered by participating Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities. The TBR collaborative is a $2.2 billion per year enterprise made up of six state universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology. Online student support services include free learning resources, help desk assistance, and the school’s Smarthinking Tutoring service.
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17

University of St. Francis

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $28,220 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $13,502
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 57%
Number of Programs 25 (Online)
A Catholic university located in Joliet, Illinois, the University of St. Francis emphasizes a liberal arts education rooted in the Franciscan values of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice. With a small student body under 4,000 strong, the school boasts a low student:teacher ratio and small class sizes, fostering a focus on individual students. St. Francis is also one of the largest online education providers in Illinois, and the college first began piloting online learning programs more than 15 years ago. The school offers a small selection of online undergraduate programs, including business and nursing, along with several master’s and doctoral programs, from educational leadership to health administration. Online students have access to a range of campus resources offered through the school’s website, including library services, tutoring and test preparation, disability services, and live chat with academic advisors.
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18

Texas A&M University

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $6,476 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $4,304
Graduation Rate 80%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 71%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 5%
Number of Programs 58 (Online)
The first public institution of higher learning in Texas and one of the largest universities in the country, Texas A&M boasts world-class faculty and some of the most developed facilities in higher education. Located about 90 miles northwest of Houston in College Station, A&M serves a student body of nearly 60,000, and its enormous size translates into affordable education for its students, ranking near the top of many lists for best value colleges. A&M also ranks as one of the cheapest online schools in Texas, and offers a range of distance education programs. Though the school doesn’t offer any online undergraduate programs, graduate students can pursue a variety of master’s degrees.
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19

Peirce College

Value Score 6.55
Average Tuition $13,200
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $9,716
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate Open
Enrollment Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 69%
Number of Programs 15 (Online)
Located in Philadelphia, Peirce is a career-focused college founded with the mission of offering flexible, affordable education to working adults. The school is a strong proponent of online education, offering distance learning courses as far back as 2000. Nearly all of Peirce’s current courses are offered online, and the school receives top rankings for its online bachelor’s degrees in particular. Peirce’s online education system is unique in that many courses allow students to take classes on campus as it suits their availability, with the option to choose from campus or online classes each week. Courses also emphasize competency-based education, allowing students to earn credit by demonstrating relevant skills in a field. The college offers a small selection of undergraduate degrees with a professional focus, including general studies, business, information technology, legal studies, and healthcare. Peirce also offers graduate degrees healthcare administration and organizational leadership & management.
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20

Appalachian State University

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $3,772 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 70%
Net Price $7,671
Graduation Rate 66%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 63%
Enrollment Rate 22%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 15%
Number of Programs 15 (Online)
Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains of Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State is a comprehensive public university that serves nearly 18,000 students. The college is nationally recognized for its commitment to sustainability. The school is also dedicated to service-learning and civic engagement, with a focus on the intersection of education and community building. The school also ranks highly among regional universities for value and overall education. Appalachian State offers online bachelor’s degrees only for junior and senior transfer students, along with a selection of online graduate degrees, including library science and public administration.
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21

Ball State University

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $8,682 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $9,260
Graduation Rate 57%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Programs 38 (Online)
Consistently ranked as one of the best colleges in the Midwest, Ball State is a major public university with an enrollment of about 21,000. Located in Muncie, Indiana, about an hour northeast of Indianapolis, Ball State is recognized as a top technological innovator in Indiana, with a focus on forward-thinking practices in education. Unsurprisingly, the school also boasts a diverse selection of online education offerings, with a range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees available. Ball State’s online undergraduate degrees are widely praised, and the school’s graduate programs in education, nursing and business administration rank among the best in the country. The college also offers a range of online certifications, specialist degrees and licensure for educators. Ball State demonstrates its commitment to technological innovation through its Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Digital Complex, which houses an array of digital media and technology for student use.
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22

Oklahoma State University

Value Score 6.53
Average Tuition $4,425 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $9,630
Graduation Rate 62%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 75%
Enrollment Rate 33%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 27%
Number of Programs 27 (Online)
From its main campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma State serves nearly 25,000 students, representing learners from all 50 states and 120 countries. Ranked as one of the 120 best Western colleges and one of the best value schools in the country, OSU is also internationally renowned for its programs in veterinary medicine, agricultural sciences, architecture, mechanical engineering, and entrepreneurship. A major public research university in the state, OSU also offers a substantial selection of online bachelor’s and graduate degrees through its distance education system, including programs in dentistry, business management, and healthcare administration.
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23

Florida State University

Value Score 6.50
Average Tuition $4,640 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $12,737
Graduation Rate 75%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Admissions Rate 55%
Enrollment Rate 20%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 27%
Number of Programs 9 (Online)
The oldest continuous college in Florida, FSU is one of the best public colleges in the nation and a preeminent research university. Located in Tallahassee, the school is home to more than 41,000 students, with 16 distinct colleges focusing on all major academic disciplines. The college’s mission is based around the qualities of strength, skill, and character, with FSU student life emphasizing cultural discovery, community interaction, and public service. The school’s online bachelor’s programs are nationally ranked, and FSU’s online grad programs in business, criminal justice, and education are all nationally renowned. Distance education students have access to a wide range of campus services online, including the tutoring center, the career center, and academic advising. FSU’s campus is also home to the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the designated state art museum of Florida and one of the largest art museums in the country.
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24

Texas A&M University – Commerce

Value Score 6.49
Average Tuition $3,832 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $6,940
Graduation Rate 36%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 62%
Number of Programs 19 (Online)
Serving over 12,000 students, A&M-Commerce is the fourth oldest university in Texas and the second largest in the Texas A&M system. Located about 60 miles from Dallas, the school is comprised of five academic colleges. A&M-Commerce offers a small selection of undergraduate degrees available entirely online, including business administration, finance, and organizational leadership. The school offers a larger selection of graduate degrees in unique fields such as reading and sports studies, as well as an online doctorate in educational administration. Distance education students at A&M-Commerce also have off-campus access to resources including the bookstore, advising services, and the school’s Gee Library.
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25

Emporia State University

Value Score 6.47
Average Tuition $4,500 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $10,828
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42%
Number of Programs 22 (Online)
Located in Emporia, Kansas, ESU is a smaller public university that serves around 6,000 students. The school stresses justice, equality, tolerance, and progress, and ESU students learn adaptive leadership for success after college. Originally founded in 1863 as a teacher’s college, ESU still maintains a tradition of excellence in teacher training, and its education department is nationally renowned. The school also has a strong library science program, and ESU was the first school west of the Mississippi to offer courses in library and information management. The college’s online undergraduate offerings are small, but graduate students can earn a range of degrees, including programs in earth sciences, rehabilitation counseling, and teaching English to speakers of other languages.
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26

North Carolina Central University

Value Score 6.46
Average Tuition $3,455 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Net Price $8,678
Graduation Rate 43%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 43%
Enrollment Rate 8%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 31%
Number of Programs 13 (Online)
Founded in 1910 as the first U.S. public liberal arts institution for African-Americans, NCCU offers cheap online college degree and certificate programs. With eight undergraduate and graduate degree programs — from hospitality and criminal justice to nursing and education — along with 175 individual courses to choose from, students are afforded a wealth of opportunity. Located in Durham, North Carolina, NCCU was the first school in the University of North Carolina system to make volunteer service work a graduation requirement for on-campus students. It was also the first school in the system to offer a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies. The university also has two state-of-the-art biotechnology research facilities and a prestigious law school.
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27

Dickinson State University

Value Score 6.45
Average Tuition $4,891 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $8,233
Graduation Rate 35%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38%
Number of Programs 23 (Online)
From its humble beginnings in 1918 as a teacher’s college with 104 students, DSU now serves nearly 1,500 students between its three campuses. The main campus is in Dickinson, North Dakota, with other locations in Bismarck, the state capital, and Williston. On-campus students have access to regional events and landmarks like the Roughrider Days Fair & Expo, the Northern Plains Ethnic Festival, the Badlands, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. One of the most affordable online colleges, DSU offers online bachelor’s degrees in accounting, finance, human resource management, applied science, and university studies. Online associate programs in the arts and agriculture sales/service equine management (or training) and a certificate in human resources are also available. DSU was named a Military Friendly 2015 School and is one of the top 20% of U.S. universities for military-benefit students.
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28

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Value Score 6.42
Average Tuition $10,366 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $8,770
Graduation Rate 66%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 24%
Number of Programs 19 (Online)
Between its three campuses (Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin) and its Health Science Center at Memphis, the University of Tennessee is home to nearly 28,000 students and more than 300 degree programs within 11 colleges. Using the Vols Online system, UTK students can complete a limited number of affordable online degrees, including an RN to BSN undergraduate program. Master’s degrees in mathematics, social work, information sciences, education, engineering, and agriculture — along with some doctorate and post-doctorate degrees — are also available.
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29

Texas Tech University

Value Score 6.42
Average Tuition $5,110 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $9,733
Graduation Rate 62%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Programs 26 (Online)
Home of the Red Raiders, TTU is the only Texas campus with a major university, law school, and medical school. Located in Lubbock, TTU has 10 colleges and nearly 36,000 students. The university was founded in 1923 and became one of the first innovators in promoting distance learning. In 1966, four TTU professors became known as the “Flying Professors,” traveling to various regions of the state to teach 78 students. The university later harnessed closed circuit television technology and videotape to instruct students off-campus. Today, TTU’s “Worldwide eLearning” technology provides more than 60 online-only degree programs and certificates, from bachelor of science degrees in plant and soil sciences, to master of engineering and doctor of education degrees. Notably, 10 TTU faculty members were awarded Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Grants in 2013 — the highest number of any U.S. research university.
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30

Harvard University

Value Score 6.42
Average Tuition $40,418 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Net Price $2,473
Graduation Rate 97%
Student to Faculty Ratio 8:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 8%
Number of Programs 39 (Online)
Widely recognized as America’s premier university, Harvard University in Cambridge has graduated 47 Nobel Laureates, 32 Heads of State (including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, to name a few), and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners. It is the oldest higher education institution in the country, having been founded in 1636 by the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Harvard has the largest academic library in the world, 20,000 degree candidates, and more than 360,000 alumni. It is dedicated to advancing affordable learning opportunities for all, and is unique in its online learning platform, which has many “open and free” courses available in addition to fee-based courses. While some do not have credit or degree options, several cheap online college degree programs are available, including a master’s degree in epidemiology.
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31

Eastern New Mexico University

Value Score 6.40
Average Tuition $3,065 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Net Price $8,028
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60%
Number of Programs 17 (Online)
With more than 30 online college degrees, from agricultural business administration and marketing, to nursing and sports and recreation management, ENMU in Portales, New Mexico is one of the cheapest online colleges in the country. Tutoring and counseling services, along with technology support, are provided to online students. Founded in 1934, EMNU is New Mexico’s oldest regional university and is federally-designated as a Hispanic-serving Institution (HSI). It is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and its alumni include former CNN anchor Kysa Daniels and former U.S. Treasurer Katherine D. Ortega. ENMU is in the top 10% of lowest tuition rates out of 81 public Southwestern educational institutions.
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32

Clemson University

Value Score 6.37
Average Tuition $12,606 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $11,581
Graduation Rate 82%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 18%
Number of Programs 35 (Online)
Clemson University in South Carolina was established as a male military school in 1882 with 446 students. The entire 1917 senior class enlisted in World War I, and the school remained all-military until 1955. Today it serves more than 17,000 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students. The school’s notable alumni include the longest-serving (and controversial) U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond and popular “Entertainment Tonight” Host Nancy O’Dell. Clemson is an affordable alternative for online colleges, and Clemson Online delivers entirely online degree programs and certificates, including a master of public administration, master of human resource development, and PhD in healthcare genetics, among others.
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33

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Value Score 6.37
Average Tuition $4,934 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $10,083
Graduation Rate 36%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 67%
Number of Programs 44 (Online)
Natchitoches, Louisiana is home to NSU, which was founded in 1884 as a two-year teaching school. Today, it offers 38 cheap online college degree programs via eNSU, Louisiana’s first and largest eCampus. Degree programs range from allied health and addiction studies to criminal justice. NSU is also one of the cheapest online colleges for out-of-state online students, who are not required to pay any out-of-state fees. The school’s mission is to find the best financial aid package for every student, and it administers federal, state, institutional, and third-party aid through grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.
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34

Lincoln Christian University

Value Score 6.36
Average Tuition $15,810 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $15,055
Graduation Rate 45%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 66%
Number of Programs 16 (Online)
With more than 1,000 students, LCU‘s mission has been “To nurture and equip Christians with a Biblical worldview to serve and lead in the church and the world” since 1944. In addition to its campus in Lincoln, Illinois, LCU offers affordable “Biblical and Christ-centered” online degrees in business administration, ministry, psychology, and more. The China Institute places Chinese students at LCU, all of whom are welcomed and integrated with the student body. LCU offers a variety of scholarships and grants, and students can use the school’s Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of out-of-pocket expenses while enrolled.
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35

University of Georgia

Value Score 6.35
Average Tuition $8,590 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $8,558
Graduation Rate 81%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 56%
Enrollment Rate 25%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 4%
Number of Programs 7 (Online)
Established in 1785, UGA was Georgia’s first state-chartered university. It has 17 schools and colleges, from pharmacy to engineering, and has produced 23 Rhodes Scholars. Its library holds one of the country’s largest map collections. UGA has more than 36,000 students, and alumni include host and producer Ryan Seacrest and golf champion Bubba Watson. A military-friendly school with a Student Veterans Resource Center, all degree programs and majors at UGA are approved by the U.S. Veterans Administration as “education benefit-eligible.” UGA Online is an affordable online college, with two undergraduate programs, a bachelor of business administration and a bachelor of science in special education. However, UGA Online provides a more extensive menu of online master’s degree programs, including music education and avian health and medicine. Online certificate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available.
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36

Valley City State University

Value Score 6.35
Average Tuition $5,027 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Net Price $9,158
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 90%
Enrollment Rate 51%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72%
Number of Programs 8 (Online)
Since its establishment in 1890, VCSU in Valley City, North Dakota has been a teacher’s college. Its students prepare to become educators, school psychologists, librarians, and administrators. VCSU is home to approximately 1,400 students and is one of the most affordable online schools, with nine major undergraduate and master’s degree programs available, including business education, music, and professional communication. Current teachers can also obtain their continuing education credits through VCSU’s online program.
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37

Dakota State University

Value Score 6.35
Average Tuition $3,993 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $11,029
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 84%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50%
Number of Programs 24 (Online)
DSU is located in Madison, South Dakota. Established as a teacher’s college in 1881, the school continues to educate future teachers but also provides degrees in other disciplines to more than 3,000 students. DSU offers 35 majors, from biology for information systems to computer game design. The school’s online curriculum is delivered through the “Desire2Learn” online course management system. The university takes an innovative approach to online education, as faculty members collaborate on projects with both online and on-campus students. DSU’s last graduating class had a 95% job placement rate.
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38

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Value Score 6.35
Average Tuition $5,235 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $12,119
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 84%
Enrollment Rate 37%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46%
Number of Programs 15 (Online)
Established as a “Normal School” for teacher preparation in 1903, UNK still prides itself on its teacher education. Today, it boasts more than 5,500 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students among its four colleges: Business and Technology, Education, Fine Arts and Humanities, and Natural and Social Sciences. Its campus in Kearney, Nebraska offers more than 175 student organizations and houses the Museum of Nebraska Art, the state’s official art collection with over 5,000 works. In addition, UNK’s online education opportunities are among the most affordable in the nation. With more than 40 online programs and 400 online courses, students can enjoy one-on-one interactions with faculty. Notably, nearly 43% of school superintendents and 30% of all principals in Nebraska are UNK graduates.
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39

Messenger College

Value Score 6.33
Average Tuition $7,500
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Net Price $15,700
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 4:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
In 1987, Messenger College was founded in Joplin, Missouri as the national collegiate institution of the Pentecostal Church of God. However, the tornado that famously devastated Joplin in 2011 changed the future of the school. It was purchased by Mercy Health Systems to replace the hospital that was destroyed, and Messenger College moved to Euless, Texas. The school is “committed to developing world-changing Pentecostal leaders for the 21st century.” To that end, it provides degrees and training for future Pentecostal ministers, missionaries, and teachers. Affordable online programs include associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and certificates in Christian ministries. A bachelor of arts degree in counseling is also available online.
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40

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Value Score 6.32
Average Tuition $12,060 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $8,650
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 18%
Number of Programs 40 (Online)
Established in 1851, UMN‘s flagship campus is located in the Twin Cities. Four additional campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester were created after 1947. Home to 30,500 undergraduates from all 50 states and 42 countries, UMN is known as Minnesota’s premier research university. Among their many achievements, UMN researchers have developed 26 apple varieties. The school is one of the most affordable online colleges, with a variety of degree and professional development programs available. From a bachelor of arts in tribal administration and governance to its doctor of nursing practice programs, online students share the same instructors and curriculum as on-campus students.
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41

Murray State University

Value Score 6.31
Average Tuition $6,360 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Net Price $6,787
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Programs 16 (Online)
MSU was founded in 1922. With nearly 11,000 enrolled students and six colleges and schools, G.I. Jobs designated MSU as a “Military Friendly School” from 2011 to 2016. MSU delivers incredibly affordable online education programs. Online undergraduate degrees include telecommunication systems management, business administration, nursing, and more. Online graduate degrees include library media, MBA, agriculture, and non-profit leadership, among others.
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42

Minot State University

Value Score 6.31
Average Tuition $4,941 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91%
Net Price $8,034
Graduation Rate 33%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 58%
Enrollment Rate 44%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47%
Number of Programs 12 (Online)
Originally founded as a teacher’s college in 1913 in Minot, North Dakota, MSU now delivers a variety of degree programs. Its continuing education school, MSU Online, is one of the most affordable online colleges in the nation. In addition to its several bachelor degree programs, MSU Online offers three primary master of science degree programs in management, information systems, and special education (with five different concentrations available). Its student body and faculty proudly include members of several Native American tribes.
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43

University of Wyoming

Value Score 6.30
Average Tuition $3,390 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $7,886
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 98%
Enrollment Rate 37%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Programs 10 (Online)
Located in Laramie, UW was founded in 1886 when Wyoming was still a U.S. territory. Today, it is a nationally-recognized research institution with 13,800 students from all 50 states and 94 countries. Through UW Outreach Credit Programs, online students can access affordable online degrees. A sampling of these include online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, nursing, and social work; master’s degrees in education and business administration; doctorate degrees in educational administration and nursing practice; and certificates in land surveying and play therapy. Students can receive public, institutional, and private funds through the Office of Student Financial Aid. The school’s WyoRefunds also allows students to receive all of their student refunds quickly and securely by depositing the funds directly into their banking accounts.
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44

McNeese State University

Value Score 6.29
Average Tuition $4,679 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $7,293
Graduation Rate 38%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47%
Number of Programs 18 (Online)
McNeese State University is one of nine universities in the University of Louisiana System. Located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, it was founded in 1939. It has more than 8,000 students and 75 degree programs within five undergraduate colleges and its School of Graduate Studies. McNeese also has an affordable online college, with undergraduate programs ranging from criminal justice and library science to nursing. Online master’s degrees include instructional technology and education. McNeese offers an “Innovation” minor with each major, and its unique Autism Program provides university-based services to local families of children with developmental delays and disabilities.
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45

Georgia Southern University

Value Score 6.28
Average Tuition $4,078 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $13,714
Graduation Rate 50%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 27%
Number of Programs 24 (Online)
Through its “Georgia On My Line” program, Georgia Southern University provides around 200 affordable online degree programs and certificates in information technology, education, nursing, and business, among others. The university was founded in 1908 as an agricultural production and homemaking skill school for rural children, and later became a teacher’s college. Georgia Southern created the first undergraduate manufacturing engineering program in the state. The school’s Office of Financial Aid provides a variety of funding packages to all students in the form of loans, grants, and work opportunities.
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46

Arkansas State University

Value Score 6.28
Average Tuition $5,760 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $10,398
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 72%
Enrollment Rate 33%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 49%
Number of Programs 20 (Online)
“A-State Online” is ASU‘s affordable online college, and it offers more than 25 degree and certificate programs. It is one of the oldest online programs in Arkansas. ASU is located in Jonesboro and was founded in 1909 as an agricultural training school. Its innovative Beck PRIDE Center delivers rehabilitation, workforce training, and civilian life transition skills to veterans. Students at ASU receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, waivers, work-study, and on-campus student employment.
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47

University of Virginia

Value Score 6.28
Average Tuition $10,484 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 58%
Net Price $9,615
Graduation Rate 93%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 4%
Number of Programs 20 (Online)
UVA is located in Charlottesville. Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, its alumni include Robert F. Kennedy, Edgar Allan Poe, Tina Fey, and Katie Couric. UVA has nearly 16,000 undergraduate and more than 6,000 graduate students between its 11 schools and its College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers affordable undergraduate and graduate online courses and degree programs, as do its Schools of Education, Nursing, and Engineering. The school is obligated to sustaining academic excellence while keeping college education affordable for students from all financial backgrounds. Through its Affordable Excellence program, the net cost of a UVA education is reduced for 70% of Virginia households.
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48

Kennesaw State University

Value Score 6.27
Average Tuition $4,078 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Net Price $13,686
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 21:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Programs 33 (Online)
Located north of Atlanta, KSU offers an affordable online school. It has more than 70 fully online degree programs, certificates, and over 400 online/hybrid courses, from business and logistics to computing and social sciences. KSU has a 50-year history of excellence in education and is the third-largest university in Georgia. It has approximately 33,000 enrolled students and hundreds of student clubs and organizations. Some of KSU’s research centers include the Alternative Energy Innovation Center, Georgia Pavement and Traffic Research, and the Center for Statistics and Analytical Services.
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49

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Value Score 6.26
Average Tuition $4,029 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $4,514
Graduation Rate 37%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 87%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 73%
Number of Programs 14 (Online)
Part of the University of Texas System, UTPB is located in Odessa and has more than 5,000 students. One of the cheapest online colleges, it offers eight online undergraduate degree programs — including communication and psychology — online MA degree programs, and certificates. Some of the bachelor’s degree programs offer flexible options like accelerated formats. Additionally, high school students have the opportunity to take dual-credit online courses with UTPB to advance their high school graduation date while also earning college credit. e “Falcons” NCAA Division II sports teams also offer entertainment opportunities.
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50

University of Idaho

Value Score 6.25
Average Tuition $4,784 (In State)
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Net Price $10,655
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26%
Number of Programs 23 (Online)
Established in 1889, the University of Idaho‘s main campus is in Moscow, with four other locations around the state. Idaho offers affordable online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs in education, engineering, Earth and environmental studies, and science. Dual-credit online courses can be taken by high school students, and online independent study opportunities are available. On-campus students can use the Climbing Center (rock climbing) and participate in sports clubs, the wellness program, and the Outdoor Program, which organizes hiking, biking, canoeing trips, and other activities. Some of Idaho’s “Signature Events” include a Jazz Festival, Hemingway Festival, Innovation Showcase, and Summer Design Week. Idaho’s “Vandals” Athletics are part of the Big Sky Conference.
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