The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the median weekly earnings of people with a Master’s degree is almost eighteen percent higher than those with a bachelors degree; that averages out to twelve thousand dollars annually. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder people are enrolling in master’s programs to further their careers. However, few people have the time or financial resources to go back to school full time. Luckily, accredited, online master’s programs offer a flexible, affordable option for the working student. Whether you are a working single mother, or just a young professional looking to advance in your career, you no longer have to compromise between a quality education and your life. Features like asynchronous learning and low flat-rate tuition costs allow for individuals enrolled in online programs to juggle their jobs, families, and hobbies while avoiding mountains of debt.
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Oklahoma State University
Average Net Price: $3,967
Oklahoma State University’s online master’s programs offer students an affordable and flexible option to attain their graduate degree. This land-grant university offers their online graduate programs at just $230.45 per credit hour for resident students and $360 for non-resident students. With 24 different master’s programs online, including Agricultural Education, Entrepreneurship, Human Development, and Nutritional Sciences, there’s no shortage of options for students looking to get the education they need to advance in their careers.
OSU Online was also recently named to US World and News Reports’ 2018 Best Online MBA programs and Online Grad programs for Veterans.
University of the Cumberlands
Average Net Price: $5,713
Established in 1889, University of the Cumberlands has been bringing quality education to students for over a century. Students can earn their online masters degrees in over 15 different programs including Addiction Counseling, Christian Studies, Education, and Information Technology. Aside from the affordable cost of their online master’s programs, one of the features that draw many students to the university is their flexible delivery. Allowing students to complete their graduate degrees at their own pace.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Average Net Price: $5,753
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers three affordable online master’s degrees for those students interested in engineering and engineering management. At $610 per credit hour, the university estimates it only costs about $20,000 for a student to complete their degree. Offered in a flexible format, students can take their programs entirely online or take some classes at the campus. Several classes are also live streamed and recorded so students can experience the class from the comfort of their own homes.
Western Governors University
Average Net Price: $6,349
Western Governors University’s unique tuition program treats all students like full-time students. For their flat rate fee, ranging between $3,000 and $4,000, students may take as many credits as they like over a 6-month term. Making this an affordable option for an online master’s degree, especially for students highly driven to take multiple classes per term. Programs are offered from four different online colleges: the Teachers College, the College of Business, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Information Technology, combining for a total of 38 different online master’s degrees.
Average Net Price: $6,988
Wilmington University offers 23 affordable online master’s degrees, with numerous concentrations, that are delivered 100% online. Business Administration, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security, and Nursing Leadership are just some of the many quality programs available. WilmU also provides special tuition discounts for active duty military enrolled in their graduate programs, making it an even more affordable option. Students enrolling at WilmU can also transfer up to 90 previously earned credits so students do not have to lose any progress they’ve already made towards their degree.
Wayne State College
Average Net Price: $7,021
Wayne State University offers affordable online master’s degrees designed and taught entirely by faculty from their on-campus programs. There are 6 options to choose from when considering an online master’s, including programs for library science, theater and dance, and education. Along with all their online course materials, students also have access to computers and research resources at the university’s five campus libraries and six off-site extension centers. All courses at WSU are managed through the Blackboard learning system and students can perform coursework at any time.
University of South Dakota
Average Net Price: $8,217
Offering 22 master’s degrees and concentrations, South Dakota’s oldest university, the University of South Dakota has an affordable online program for everyone. Programs range from music to educational administration to public health to social work. One feature that makes USD such an affordable option for students is that tuition costs remain the same for all students regardless of state residency status. The university also offers a two hundred dollar per credit hour discount to enlisted men and women who are active duty.
Henderson State University
Average Net Price: $8,274
Offering master’s programs specializing in business and education, Henderson State University’s online master degrees are an affordable option for students looking to further their careers. Programs are tailored with the career-focused in mind, offering flexible schedules and 100 percent online programs. Students can choose from six education leadership, two teacher education, one family services, or two business specializations for their degrees. Founded 125 years ago, Henderson prides itself on the lasting connection they form with their students and community.
University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Average Net Price: $8,482
Part of the University of Texas system, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin hosts 10 online masters degrees. Programs are offered in Education, English, Business, Public Administration, Accountancy, and Kinesiology. Tuition for these graduate programs comes in under $12,000 making it an affordable option for online learners. To accommodate busy schedules, programs are taught in an accelerated format with course terms lasting just eight weeks; helping students complete their degrees much faster than the traditional 15 week semester.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Average Net Price: $8,881
The University of Louisiana at Monroe has a well-established history in online education, offering 24 unique master’s degrees for professionals looking to advance in their careers. Programs range in topic from gerontology to exercise science to curriculum instruction. ULM is an affordable option for many students because tuition is $500 per credit hour, and while this may seem high, unlike many other online schools this covers all materials and university fees. Master’s degrees can usually be finished with 30-39 credit hours.
American Public University
Average Net Price: $8,999
American Public University is a private, accredited, for-profit university that operates entirely online. Students who enroll at APU have 36 different online graduate degrees to choose from. Popular degree programs include Logistics Management, Criminal Justice and History. APU also offers several master’s programs geared towards military personnel like National Security Studies and Intelligence Studies. Military-affiliated students also receive a tuition credit hour discount. All programs are capped off with a final project to synthesize students’ learning, which can range from a practicum to a thesis to an internship.
University of South Carolina
Average Net Price: $9,032
Founded in 1801 The University of South Carolina has been educating students for over two centuries. Now many of the university’s campus-based graduate programs are also offered fully online, providing students with a flexible and affordable option from a well established academic institution. Online graduate students at USC are also eligible to receive financial aid through the university. With approximately 25 graduate degrees to choose from there’s no shortage of options; however, individuals working in the sciences should be particularly interested in USC for their robust offerings, including 12 master’s in engineering with both MS and ME degrees offered.
The University of Alabama
Average Net Price: $9,109
The University of Alabama’s online education arm, Bama by Distance, has been helping working professionals earn their master’s degrees online for more than a decade. With over 30 affordable graduate degree programs, Bama provides online students with the same educational excellence people have come to expect of their campus program. The online college has a focus in education and human environmental services, with 23 different master’s between the two programs. They also offer several blended learning programs for subjects like nursing that need some hands-on education, which is completed in weekend immersion sessions at the campus.
University of Illinois in Springfield
Average Net Price: $9,109
University of Illinois – Springfield, prides themselves in having their campus professors teach their distance programs, ensuring that students enrolling online have the same academic quality as their peers. Online students at UIS are eligible for the same financial aid as on-campus students including grants and scholarships. Students also have the benefit of a flat rate e-tuition for all graduate programs, with only fees varying slightly by program. UIS offers 13 affordable master’s programs and numerous more graduate certificates. Popular subjects include public health, environmental science, legal studies, and computer science.
University of Maryland University College
Average Net Price: $9,115
University of Maryland – University College was founded over 70 years ago to help aid military members and working adults further their education and careers. Now through their global campus, UMUC is the largest public online university in the nation and offers over 40 online master’s degrees to those looking for an affordable and flexible option. Popular programs include Information Technology, Management, and Healthcare Administration. The university also offers multiple start dates so students can start their educational journey at the best time for them.
Concordia University Wisconsin
Average Net Price: $9,608
One of Concordia University’s many campuses, Concordia University – Wisconsin, is an affordable option for students looking to pursue their graduate degree online. The private, Christian university provides several scholarships exclusively for their online students and has dedicated admissions officers on hand to help walk students through the process of applying for aid. CUW offers over 35 master’s degrees 100% online and a handful more in hybrid learning formats. The university boasts a particularly robust MBA program with 17 different concentrations.
East Tennessee State University
Average Net Price: $9,638
East Tennessee State University offers students seeking a graduate degree with several affordable options. Students can choose from 15 programs offered entirely online and 7 hybrids that require a few campus visits during the program. With all online courses taught by campus faculty, ETSU also offers students to take their courses both synchronously, tuning into a live stream of the course, or asynchronously to fit their busy schedules. The university offers a flat tuition rate for the graduate courses online and students are also eligible for financial aid and scholarships through the university.
Average Net Price: $9,727
Lamar University, located in Beaufort, Texas, focuses on helping non-traditional students continue their education with quality, affordable online graduate programs. Through their online portal, LU Online, students can enroll in 24 different master’s programs in topics ranging from Business to Arts and Sciences to Counseling to Education. Online students have access to the university’s financial advisors to help them find funding for their education. They also offer a flexible payment plan for students who don’t qualify for aid.
Average Net Price: $9,777
Amberton University, a private, non-profit, Christian University out of Garland Texas, prides themselves in being a university built for working adults. Focused on helping adults achieve their career goals, Amberton offers 15 affordable fully online master’s degrees. Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, Master of Business Administration in Management, Master of Science in Family Studies are some of the most popular programs. To help students finance their education, Amberton offers payment plans, veterans benefits, and deferred payment.
Arkansas State University
Average Net Price: $9,783
With over 4,500 students enrolled online, Arkansas State University is a well-established option for those looking for an affordable graduate degree online. A-State online features flat-rate tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students for all of their online master’s programs. Students have 15 online graduate programs to choose from, including several unique graduate degree options like Media Management, Educational Theory and Practice, and Reading. A-State also offers many graduate-level certificates and endorsements.
Average Net Price: $9,987
Lehigh University offers nine online masters degrees offered through two learning platforms: Classroom Online and Classroom Live. Through Classroom Online students can take their courses at times that are convenient to them, whereas in Classroom Live students participate real-time with classes happening on Lehigh’s campus. Lehigh Online specializes in Engineering Masters with programs in Biological Chemical, Mechanical, Management Science, Chemical Energy, and Polymer Science Engineering. Students enrolled online qualify for the same graduate financial aid as their on-campus peers.
Wayland Baptist University
Average Net Price: $10,427
Wayland Baptist University, a private, Christian University provides a Christian framework for their online master’s degrees. WBU offers eleven graduate programs online including, Master of Divinity, Master of Christian Ministry, and Master of Arts in Humanities. All programs are run through Blackboard, an online learning management system that allows students to easily connect with professors and peers. Tuition is based on a flat rate per credit hour system with discounts offered to military members. WBU also operates on 21 different military installments so active duty service members can easily access resources for their education.
University of Central Arkansas
Average Net Price: $10,681
University of Central Arkansas has one of the lowest online flat-rate tuitions in the nation – at just $325 per credit hour for all graduate students. UCA offers fifteen online master’s programs in subjects such as sports management, nursing, teaching, and business. Online courses are offered asynchronously so students can work on their studies at times that fit their busy lives. UCA also connects their students with program coordinators who can help them navigate the online learning process.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
Average Net Price: $10,943
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s online program is an affordable option for students seeking a graduate degree in the aerospace and science industries. The university offers 20 different master’s programs including Master of Business Administration in Aviation, Master of Aviation Maintenance, Master of Science in Aeronautics, and Master of Science in Leadership. Students pay tuition by the credit hour with a flat rate fee. ERAU also gives tuition discounts to active duty and reserve military members, as well as their spouses and dependents under 26.
North Carolina State University
Average Net Price: $11,219
A public research university out of Raleigh, North Carolina State University, has been educating students for over a 130 years. Now in the era of online education, it’s become one of the most affordable options for a quality online master’s degree. Students can choose from 38 fully online programs and 11 hybrid programs that require up to 25% of the course hours spent on campus. Some of NC State’s most popular online degrees are Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sports Management, Master of Computer Science, and Master of Arts in Teaching.