The most affordable online colleges attract applicants with a high school or GED diploma. Prospective students without either can enroll in GED-preparation classes or professional development classes. Undergrad degree-seekers take a mix of major, general education, and elective classes.
Career options for graduates vary by degree. Some students apply to bachelor's-completion or graduate programs. Others pursue professional certification.
The following sections answer questions about affordable online colleges. Read on to learn about tuition and to see some of the most popular online college programs. Learners should visit their prospective schools' websites for more information.
Questions About Online College
Q. How much does online college usually cost?
The answer depends on the school and program, and a learners' enrollment status. Students who qualify for in-district or in-state status pay the most affordable tuition.
Q. Can I do all of college online?
Yes. Many programs run fully online with no in-person components. Hybrid programs require students to attend some campus classes or in-person internships.
Q. Is it cheaper to take college courses online?
Cheap online colleges often appeal to learners on a budget. An online format means students can save on commuting and parking costs. Some colleges charge online students the same tuition, regardless of residency.
Why Get an Online Degree?
Affordable online colleges help students increase their salary potential. Workers with a bachelor's earn about $27,250 more annually than high school graduates. Degree-holders also experience unemployment less often than high school graduates and college dropouts.
Online programs allow learners to continue working or raising children. Many programs feature flexible, asynchronous curriculum. Enrollees do not log in at scheduled times. Instead, they view lectures and complete assignments when convenient. Students can also attend cheap online colleges anywhere. They do not need to limit their search to local schools.
How Much Does an Online Degree Cost?
An online bachelor's degree costs an average of $51,091, according to EducationData.org. Learners attending public in-state schools pay the most affordable tuition. These learners spend an average of $38,496 earning a bachelor's. Out-of-state students spend $54,183 on average. Online enrollees save money by not paying for campus housing or meal plans.
Additional Online Student Fees
Just like on-campus learners, online enrollees must buy class materials and books. Students can save money by buying used or digital books. Some programs charge technology and graduation fees. A school's student handbook explains these fees. However, keep in mind that fees may change without notice.
Students in hybrid programs should budget for commuting costs to campus or internship sites. Online learning also requires reliable technology. Degree-seekers may need to buy a new laptop or upgrade their internet. Students may also need to earn certification depending on their career path. Certification exams feature additional fees.
Available Online College Degrees
Affordable online colleges help learners develop research, writing, and communication skills. Associate and bachelor's degree-seekers can select from many online majors. Some majors offer one or more career-aligned concentrations. Students can also choose a minor or double major in a topic. Master's and doctoral programs offer less academic flexibility, as learners master knowledge of a specific field.
See below for common online bachelor's degrees. Please note that not all online colleges offer these programs. Learners should check with prospective schools on program offerings.
Aspiring educators, pharmacists, and physician assistants often pursue this degree. Learners study topics such as general biochemistry and biophysical chemistry. Online learners sometimes complete labs at home. Students need a minimum "C" grade in all major classes to remain in good academic standing.
This 120-credit program includes classes in leading organizations and comparative politics. Another course is international political economy. Students develop the skills to lead multinational businesses or organizations. Graduates may work as general managers, human resources managers, or employee training managers.
Business — Global Leadership
Many business intelligence analysts and computer systems analysts hold a bachelor's in computer information systems. The specialized curriculum includes classes in business information system development and web technologies. Degree-seekers can customize their education by selecting business and computer science electives.
Computer Information Systems
This program explores how children five and younger develop. Core classes cover cognition and general knowledge. Degree-seekers also learn how to support dual-language learners. A typical early childhood studies degree does not qualify graduates for teacher licensure. Graduates may work as childcare workers or preschool teachers.
Early Childhood Studies
Degree-seekers study topics such as global history to 1500 and European history. Learners can customize their degree through upper-division electives. The degree helps students develop transferable skills relevant to many careers. Graduates may work as intelligence officers, lawyers, or editors.
Most Affordable Online Colleges 2022
University of Florida
The University of Florida offers a variety of distance learning opportunities across numerous programs.
A leader in online education, the school offers 21 online bachelor's programs. Distance learners connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Students benefit from a well-rounded education, completing foundational and advanced classes. Degree-seekers can benefit from learning resources, academic advising, and career services throughout their studies.
Interested applicants can meet with an admissions officer to discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility. To defray the costs of education, students can speak with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. Approximately 90% of all enrollees receive financial aid awards.
Louisiana Tech University
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Distance learners seeking a flexible online education should consider Louisiana Tech University. The institution supports 1,908 distance learners across numerous learning tracks.
Of these online programs, three are bachelor's programs and eight are master's programs. Students connect with faculty, peers, and staff through a virtual learning environment, where they receive support and guidance. Enrollees complete foundational and advanced classes relevant to their field of interest, and can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to deepen their knowledge. Students can use academic advising, career services, and other resources to receive guidance throughout their studies.
Prospective students can discuss admission requirements and degree eligibility with an admissions officer. Based on eligibility, students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. According to the college, 98% of all incoming students receive financial aid awards.
New Mexico State University
|Location||Las Cruces, New Mexico|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider New Mexico State University. The public school provides learning opportunities to 6,244 distance learners through 40 online degree programs.
Undergraduates can enroll in one of 12 bachelor's degree programs, with graduate students benefiting from 16 online master's degree programs. Students receive support throughout their studies, learning alongside peers in a virtual classroom environment. Through coursework and experiential learning opportunities, students gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their industry of choice. Enrollees can also access institutional resources such as career services and academic advising, to receive academic and career guidance.
Students seeking to apply should connect with the financial aid office or their program of interest to learn about degree requirements, necessary application materials, and other information. The university makes internal and external funding opportunities available to students, with 99% of all enrollees receiving aid.
Louisiana State University and A&M College
|Location||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Students seeking a premier distance learning education should consider Louisiana State University and A&M College. To date, the institution delivers 20 online degree programs, reaching 8,775 remote learners.
The school educates online undergraduates and graduate students, supporting three online bachelor's programs and 10 online master's programs. Upon enrolling, students connect with faculty, colleagues, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Students benefit from a well-rounded education, completing foundational and advanced classes. The college can connect enrollees with academic advising, career services, and other learning resources.
Students seeking to apply should connect with the financial aid office or their program of interest to learn about degree requirements, application materials, and other information. The college makes internal and external funding opportunities available to students and reports that 96% of the student body receives financial aid.
Florida State University
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Florida State University, a public institution, supports flexible online learning opportunities for students worldwide. The school provides learning opportunities to 19,802 distance learners across 17 online degree programs.
A leader in online education, the college offers 13 online master's programs. Students connect with faculty and staff through a virtual classroom environment, while learning alongside classmates and attending remote lectures. Students benefit from a well-rounded education, completing foundational and advanced classes. Students can also receive personal and professional development by connecting with academic advising, career services, and other institutional resources.
Prospective students can schedule an appointment with the admissions office to inquire about degree requirements and application materials. Based on eligibility, students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. According to the university, 97% of all incoming students receive financial aid awards.
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