The Most Affordable Accredited Online Colleges and Schools in the Nation identifies cheap online schools by taking into account monetary factors such as tuition, school supplies like textbooks, and other fees that you might incur during your time as a student.

Just because an online college has been deemed “cheap,” doesn’t mean that the school offers the lowest tuition on the market. Nor does “cheap” mean that they offer inexpensive services at the cost of your education. The listed online programs on our site simply save you money while maintaining an excellent standard of higher education.


The “Cheapest Online Degree Programs” Aren’t Necessarily More Affordable

There’s a misconception that online education is always more affordable than alternative degree programs. A 2008 study by the Babson Survey Research Group discovered that online students pay roughly the same amount in tuition and fees as their on-campus counterparts. While many online institutions of higher learning offer relatively low tuition, that doesn’t mean they’re the drastically cheaper option. Students interested in an online education should be prepared to navigate radically different payment structures depending on the school they choose, from standard credit hour charges to lump sum payments. They can also face a variety of fees for things they may never use or are left vaguely undefined like “activities,” “technology,” and “materials.” You can check resources such as the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator feature to verify if the cheap online college degree program you found actually offers the best price for you

Understand the Importance of Accreditation

Although the online colleges we feature represent the most affordable of the online schools, they still offer a competitive education. All online colleges on this site have been vetted by a certified accrediting agency, guaranteeing a minimum level of quality for each school and its degree programs.

Accreditation is the process by which panels of higher education professionals evaluate a college and determine whether or not it meets a certain standard. Entire colleges may be accredited by an agency, and individual academic programs within a college may be accredited separately by a special agency (for instance there’s an accrediting agency for psychology programs, business programs, and so on).

Learn more about accreditation agencies by browsing the U.S. Department of Education’s comprehensive list of certified accrediting agencies throughout the country. If a school isn’t accredited by one of these agencies, you have no way of knowing whether or not they can deliver on any promises they make, from the caliber of their faculty to the strength of their degree programs.

Use this Directory to find the Right Online Degree

Let the directory guide your search for the online education that suits your academic, professional, and financial goals. With our site you’ll be able to choose from a wealth of programs across the country that offer online degrees in disciplines like nursing, business, and accounting. Moreover, our site will connect you with academic programs at every degree level, from associate’s to doctoral degrees.

Use these criteria to find the best cheap online college for you:

  • Cost of tuition: Most colleges will list their tuition two ways: cost per credit hour and an estimated total cost for earning the degree. While the cost per credit hour figure is helpful in estimating your tuition, you should check the total cost of tuition first simply because this is the minimum amount of money you can expect to spend at the college should you enroll. Make sure you take into account any loans, grants, or scholarships you might qualify for that could offset the cost of your tuition.
  • Quality of faculty and individual courses: Online colleges will often give you a brief overview of the coursework and the faculty that you will work with should you enroll. Take the time to browse through the course descriptions to make sure they match up with your academic interests, and look up the faculty’s credentials online to verify that they have the necessary qualifications to teach.
  • Length of degree program: Most online colleges will estimate the length of a degree program either in months, years, or credit hours. Check the estimated length of a program you’re interested in to make sure that you can commit to the time required. Many online colleges can accommodate their students’ flexible schedules, you may be able to extend or shorten the estimated length of your degree program. If you have any questions about how long it may take you to earn a degree, contact the department of the online college offering the program.
  • Accreditation: We only list accredited schools, but it still doesn’t hurt to cross-reference a school’s accreditation just to be safe. Accreditation is one of the easiest ways to measure an online college’s reputation.
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Find Schools

Showing 1-20 of 3,846 Schools
# Institution In State Out of State Type More
1 The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX $4,920 $14,220 Hybrid More
2 Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Hudson, NC $1,808 $7,952 Campus More
3 Nevada State College Henderson, NV $3,398 $13,216 Campus More
4 Colorado State University-Pueblo Pueblo, CO $4,068 $14,141 Campus More
5 Saint Joseph's College-New York Brooklyn, NY $17,000 $17,000 Hybrid More
6 Jackson State University Jackson, MS $5,050 $5,050 Campus More
7 University of Florida Gainesville, FL $3,530 $24,746 Hybrid More
8 American Baptist College Nashville, TN $5,760 $5,760 Campus More
9 Cambria-Rowe Business College-Johnstown Johnstown, PA $9,750 $9,750 Campus More
10 Chattahoochee Valley Community College Phenix City, AL $2,700 $5,400 Campus More
11 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX $9,960 $9,960 Campus More
12 Fortis College-Miami Miami, FL $11,500 $11,500 Campus More
13 Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, CA $820 $4,400 Hybrid More
14 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA $3,763 $14,155 Hybrid More
15 Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN $4,824 $17,352 Hybrid More
16 Pueblo Community College Pueblo, CO $2,311 $9,926 Hybrid More
17 Philander Smith College Little Rock, AR $9,050 $9,050 Campus More
18 Trinity Baptist College Jacksonville, FL $7,250 $7,250 Campus More
19 University of Montana-Helena College of Technology Helena, MT $2,358 $7,572 Hybrid More
20 Argosy University-Atlanta Atlanta, GA $12,960 $12,960 Hybrid More