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Top 20 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Online Bachelor's DegreesCollege costs have risen over the last thirty years, a trend likely to continue with some exceptions (see recently announced “free” college plans in Tennessee and New York). But most people still feel that a bachelor’s degree is necessary to get ahead in today’s job market. This list of 20 cheap bachelor’s degrees that are available completely online can help solve that quandary. These top 20 online affordable bachelor’s degree programs are all recognized as quality providers in the field of online education services.

Featured schools

An online bachelor’s degree can be a great next step in your career and a much more feasible option than brick and mortar classes on a fixed schedule, which can be daunting with work and family obligations. The schools in this list offer multiple degree options (only a sampling are listed below) and additional services specifically tailored to the needs of online students. Online learning does require a specific skill set that is different than what traditional college classes require, so find a brief online assessment and see if this is right for you. It also requires certain technological skills, but if you were able to access this article, you could most likely handle the level of technology required for online study. Also, although it is true that each college must certify individually with each state to offer educational services in that second state, not all colleges are certified in every state at all times; therefore certification is important information to track down before you finalize your school decision. Some schools have partial authorization to offer some programs in a state, but not others.

The top 20 online bachelor’s degree programs included on this list are all nationally recognized for their online programs. All have in-state net tuition costs of less than $16,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This combination of acknowledgment of merit (10 points) and tuition value (10 points) is a niche in the market we thought you would like to know. Other factors that contributed to the list were low faculty to student ratios (5 points), the variety of online degrees available (5 points) and services available for online students (5 points).

All yearly tuition, enrollment, and faculty to student ratio numbers come from the National Center for Education Statistics, a service of the U.S. government. All per-credit-hour tuition rates quoted are self-reported rates from individual school websites.

#20 – Westfield State University

Westfield, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 21.5
Enrollment: 6,496
Tuition: $15,203 in-state, on average per year

Westfield State University participates in the Mass transfer compact, which is a Massachusetts state program to ease the process of moving from two-year to four-year schools. They are unique on this list in that their online bachelor’s program is a completion program open to those who already have a two-year degree or qualifying coursework in the field. They offer six courses of study and four minors. Their student to faculty ratio is a respectable 17:1.

Online Bachelor’s in History
Bachelor’s in Psychology Online
Online Bachelor’s in Sociology
Bachelor’s in Business Management Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Westfield State University #45 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and #38 in Top Public Schools. Westfield State University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

#19 – New Mexico State University – Main Campus

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Website

New Mexico State University top online colleges for business
New Mexico State University is among our top 10 online colleges for business degrees.

Points: 23.5
Enrollment: 15,490
Tuition: $10,501 in-state, on average per year

New Mexico State University is the Land of Enchantment’s land-grant university, and they see their mission as encompassing education, research, and public service. They offer several majors online, including harder to find fields like Women’s Studies. Their student to faculty ratio is 16:1, which is very good. Online students at New Mexico State are eligible for the same student advising and academic services as brick and mortar students.

Online Bachelor’s in Information and Communication Technology
Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies Online
Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
Bachelor’s in Sociology Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks New Mexico State University 125th among Top Public Schools and in the top quarter of all schools offering online bachelor’s degree programs.

#18 – University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Website

Points: 24
Enrollment: 12,763
Tuition: $10,282 in-state, on average per year

The University of West Florida has been serving the Panhandle of the Sunshine State for 50 years. The thing that sets them apart from other schools is their offer of an out of state tuition waiver to online students. Active duty and reserve military members located outside of Florida are eligible for a 100% out of state tuition waiver, and undergraduate students who live outside of Florida are eligible for a 75% out of state tuition waiver.

Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences
Bachelor’s in Exceptional Student Education Online
Online RN-BSN in Nursing
Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Network Systems Operation Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of West Florida in the top 15% of all schools offering online bachelor’s degrees.

#17 – Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Website

Points: 24.5
Enrollment: 20,031
Tuition: $11,872 in-state, on average per year

Sam Houston State University’s online division stresses the three core values of credibility, flexibility, and possibility. They understand the role online education can play in the lives of busy people who nonetheless want to get ahead. They offer nine majors for their online bachelor’s degree program. There is nothing wrong with their student to faculty ratio of 21:1. They have been recognized as a military friendly school. Sam Houston State University has four terms a year: fall, spring, and two four-week summer sessions.

B.A. or B.S. in Criminal Justice Online
Online Bachelor’s in History
B.A. or B.S. in Sociology Online
Online Bachelor’s in Psychology

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Sam Houston State University 54th nationally in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#16 – Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Website

lamar university online colleges for business degrees
Lamar University offers an online BBA in general business with an affordable tuition.

Points: 25
Enrollment: 14,965
Tuition: $12,157 in-state, on average per year

Lamar University has been educating east Texas and western Louisiana for more than 90 years. They offer 16 areas of study for their online bachelor’s program. They have a nice student to faculty ratio of 19:1. Lamar University provides tutoring services specifically for online students as well as separate services for veterans and those with disabilities. They also have people available for career counseling.

Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration with Three Concentrations
Bachelor’s in Communication Online
Online Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering
RN to BSN Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Lamar University 68th for Best Online Bachelor’s Program. SR Education Group’s annual ONLINEU poll ranks Lamar the 12th Most Affordable Online College in the U.S. for 2017.

#15 – University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

The University of Southern Mississippi online colleges for business
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an affordable online business degree program.

Points: 25.5
Enrollment: 14,551
Tuition: $12,055 in-state, on average per year

The University of Southern Mississippi has been educating people from all over the country for more than 100 years, so their extension into the online arena was a natural one. They offer bachelor’s degrees in eleven fields that can be completed online. They have been recognized for the military friendliness of their programs. They offer a price break, in that you can take up to 18 credit hour of classes for the same price as 12 hours of classes.

Online Bachelor’s in Construction Engineering Technology
Bachelor’s in Child and Family Studies Online
Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
Bachelor’s in Library and Information Studies Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Southern Mississippi 125th in Top Public Schools and 220th in National Universities. They placed into the top 10% of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

#14 – Arkansas State University – Main Campus

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Points: 26
Enrollment: 13,410
Tuition: $11,896 in-state, on average per year

Arkansas State University had its beginnings as an agricultural school in the Natural State. In the century since its founding, it has developed into a cutting-edge research institution. One facet of that is online instruction. Arkansas State University’s online bachelor’s program boasts nearly a dozen degree possibilities. Their in-state and out-of-state tuition rates are very competitive, and they keep class size down with a student to faculty ratio of only 17:1.

Online RN to BSN
Bachelor’s of Criminology Online
Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Bachelor’s in Strategic Communication with Social Media Management Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Arkansas State University #20 in Top Public Schools and #59 in Regional Universities – South. Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association.

#13 – University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Website

university of central florida online BS in sociology best colleges
The University of Central Florida is the largest university by undergraduate enrollment and has an affordable online sociology degree program.

Points: 26.5
Enrollment: 62,953
Tuition: $14,366 in-state, on average per year

The University of Central Florida offers 21 majors in their online bachelor’s program and 31 minors, which is extensive. They also offer five additional certificate possibilities with the degree. The University of Central Florida waives some campus-based fees for online-only students, though this does limit access to on-campus services. First-time-in-college students are not eligible to enroll full time with UCFOnline. They may take some online courses in concert with on-campus courses.

Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology
Bachelor’s in English Online
Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report had a lot of good things to say about the University of Central Florida. They placed at 36 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and at 93 in Top Public Schools. Additionally, they were placed at 176 in National Universities.

#12 – Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Website

Southeast Missouri State University RN to BSN Online
Southeast Missouri State University RN to BSN Online

Points: 27
Enrollment: 11,987
Tuition: $11,566 in-state, on average per year

Southeast Missouri State University also adopts the newest trend in online education, A new tuition pricing tier for online-only students, regardless of residency. Starting in December 2016, online undergraduate students at Southeast Missouri State University will pay $265 per credit hour. They also offer a demo course to allow prospective students to experience the learning management system for course delivery, Moodle. They also have an advising staff just for online students and 24/7 technical support available.

Online RN to BSN
Bachelor’s in Technology Management Online
Online Bachelor’s in Social Science
Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Southeast Missouri State University 28th in Best Online Bachelor’s Program and 29th in Top Public Schools. The same list put them at number 103 of Regional Universities – Midwest.

#11 – North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Website
North Carolina Central - 10 Online Degrees Raleigh
Points: 27.5
Enrollment: 8,011
Tuition: $9,793 in-state, on average per year

North Carolina Central University prides itself on being a community-engaged enterprise. And that can result in real-world career networking on your behalf. NCCU offers a tutoring service specifically for online students as well as special services for veterans, those with disabilities and career services to get you on your way when you are finished with school.

Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Online
Online Bachelor’s in Tourism and Hospitality Administration
RN to BSN in Nursing

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report has a lot to say about North Carolina Central University. They rank 24th in Top Public Schools and 13th in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They place at 72 on the list of Regional Universities – South and in the top 25% of the more than 1200 schools offering online bachelor’s degrees.

#10 – Great Basin College

Elko, Nevada

Website
Great Basin College
Points: 28
Enrollment: 3,149
Tuition: $10,221 in-state, on average per year

Great Basin College covers, through satellite campuses, a region that touches Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California and Arizona, from its home in Nevada. So branching out into online learning was a natural next step for them. Great Basin College’s per hour tuition rate for online students must be seen to be believed, and they do not charge out of state tuition to online students during the summer session, a perk we have seen nowhere else. They offer seven online bachelor’s degree options and the standard range of services for online students.

Online Bachelor’s in Land Surveying/Geomatics Emphasis
Bachelor’s in Graphic Communications Online
Online Bachelor’s in English
RN to BSN Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
SR Education Group’s annual ONLINEU poll ranked Great Basin College the 11th Most Affordable Online College in the U.S. for 2017. Great Basin College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#9 – Clayton State University

Morrow, Georgia

Website

clayton state university nontraditional students best online degrees
Clayton State University offers eCore, an online degree program that adult students can utilize to complete the first half of their baccalaureate career without having to step foot on a campus.

Points: 29
Enrollment: 7,012
Tuition: $10,862 in-state, on average per year

As an online student of Clayton State University, you are eligible for all the student services available to traditional students, plus a live tutoring service that is available when the on-campus tutoring center is closed. They have a center for veterans’ services. They offer 14 different bachelor’s degree programs and run both 8-week and 16-week courses. Their student to faculty ratio is very good at 18:1.

Online Bachelor’s in English
Bachelor’s in Technology Management Online
Online Bachelor’s in History
Bachelor’s in Administrative Management Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report recognizes Clayton State University’s online graduate program for excellence. SR Education Group’s annual ONLINEU poll ranked them the 18th Most Affordable Online College in the U.S. for 2017. Clayton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8 – Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Website

Points: 29.5
Enrollment: 9,179
Tuition: $9,290 in-state, on average per year

Northwestern State University of Louisiana does not charge out-of-state tuition fees to its online-only students. Undergraduate online students pay $375 per credit hour for the first 12 hours and $100 per credit hour for every hour above 12. This makes them very competitive. They offer an excellent selection of majors at the bachelor’s level. They also offer the opportunity for college credit for life experience through Prior Learning Assessments.

Online Bachelor’s in Social Work
Bachelor’s in Accounting Online
Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems
Bachelor’s in Business Administration Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report recognizes Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s online graduate program for excellence. NSULA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7 – South Texas College

McAllen, Texas

Website

South Texas College offers the No. 1 most affordable online degree program in the health care management field.

Points: 30
Enrollment: 34,371
Tuition: $1,306 in-state, on average per year

South Texas College’s in-district tuition per credit hour is $70 in 2017-2018. This unbelievable rate applies to four online bachelor’s degree options, and their website says they plan to add more degree options in the future. South Texas College has a solid student to faculty ratio of 24:1. Services available to online students include advising, financial aid, career counseling and the bursar’s office. They also have services for veterans and the disabled.

Online Bachelor’s in Computer and Information Technologies
Bachelor’s in Medical and Health Services Management Online
Online Bachelor’s in Technology Management
Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
SR Education Group’s annual ONLINEU poll ranked South Texas College the 25th Most Affordable Online College in the U.S. for 2017. South Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#6 – Minot State University

Minot, North Dakota

Website

Minot State University's affordable online RN to BSN
Minot State University’s affordable online RN to BSN is the only in North Dakota to make this ranking

Points: 30.5
Enrollment: 3,354
Tuition: $10,756 in-state, on average per year

In addition to being a top destination for Canadian students, Minot State University is a vital part of the state public education system that is a big source of pride in the Roughrider State. Nationally recognized for quality and value, Minot State University offers seven online bachelor’s degree options and a separate BSN completion option for those with existing college credit. They have jumped on the flat rate bandwagon of tuition for online students, regardless of residency, and their rate per credit hour is under $300 as of this writing.

Online Bachelor’s in General Studies
Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems Online
Online Bachelor’s in International Business
Bachelor’s in Marketing Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Minot State University in the top 20% of the more than 1200 schools offering online bachelor’s degrees. Minot State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5 – West Texas A&M University

Canyon, Texas

Website

West Texas A&M University online business degree ranking online colleges
West Texas A&M University’s online college has been recognized and highly ranked by multiple sources.

Points: 31
Enrollment: 9,489
Tuition: $12,232 in-state, on average per year

West Texas A&M University has a novel approach to keeping college costs down. In addition to offering in-state tuition to counties bordering Texas, they offer a plan to lock in your current year’s tuition rate for your whole term of study at the institution, which can be a help in planning expenses. Their online bachelor’s degree program has received special recognition for its veteran friendliness. West Texas A&M University offers four paths to a bachelor’s degree and a further three options to those with previous college credit.

Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration with four possible concentrations
Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration Online
Online Bachelor’s in General Studies
Bachelor’s in Health Science Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks West Texas A&M University 6th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 35th in Top Public Schools. They also made the list at 91st for Regional Universities – West.

#4 – University of Alaska – Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

Points: 31.5
Enrollment: 8,638
Tuition: $8,741 in-state, on average per year

The University of Alaska – Fairbanks is partaking of the trend where schools charge in-state tuition to their online-only students. Their per credit hour rate varies depending on the level of the class you are taking, but all their undergraduate fees are under $300 an hour. They also have dedicated staff to support the unique needs of online students. They have received additional recognition for their military support programs and services.

Online Bachelor’s in Psychology
Bachelor’s in Business Administration Online
Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Bachelor’s in Justice Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Alaska – Fairbanks at 110 in Top Public Schools and 202nd in National Universities. They rank in the top 10% of their Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

#3 – Murray State University

Murray, Kentucky

Website

Points: 32
Enrollment: 10,998
Tuition: $10,034 in-state, on average per year

Murray State University offers a tiered tuition system. There are the standard in-state and out-of-state rates, and they innovate by offering a middle tier for residents of Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee. Murray State University offers six different online bachelor’s degrees. They have the highest rankings collectively of any school on this list, and their tuition is quite competitive. They also boast a student to faculty ratio of only 15:1.

Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration
Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems Online
Online Bachelor’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
RN to BSN Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report is full of good things to say about Murray State University. They are #12 in Top Public Schools and #35 in Regional Universities – South. And they have the best ranking on this list in the category of Best Online Bachelor’s with their rank of #6.

#2 – Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University great online colleges
Students at Fort Hays State University can earn an online BS in hospitality, as well as certificates in subjects like tourism and hospitality marketing.

Points: 32.5
Enrollment: 14,210
Tuition: $11,890 in-state, on average per year

Fort Hays State University offers 22 different courses of study in their online bachelor’s program, some with multiple concentration options. If that is not enough for you, they also have a very flexible Bachelor of General Studies that you can work with an advisor to customize to your career needs. Fort Hays State University maintains a separate tuition schedule for its Virtual College students and their rate is $207.24 per credit hour for online instruction, regardless of residency, which is highly competitive.

Online BSN to RN
Bachelor’s in Computer Science Online
Online Bachelor’s in Marketing
Bachelor’s in Philosophy Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Fort Hays State University quite highly at #15 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Fort Hays State University’s Virtual College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#1 – Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Website

troy university online schools best colleges for psychology
Troy University offers one of our top 10 most affordable online psychology degree programs.

Points: 33
Enrollment: 17,765
Tuition: $9,350 in-state, on average per year

Troy University distinguishes itself from the pack, first with a whopping 31 majors available in their online bachelor’s program. The second distinction is their Troy Military and Family scholarship that pays all tuition costs above $250 a credit hour for any currently serving member of the United States military, National Guard, and Reserve. Spouses and dependents are eligible for between 25 and 50 percent off of tuition. Their tuition for non-military students is competitive at $338 per credit hour. Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science
Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management Online
Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Bachelor’s in Resource and Technology Management Online

MAJOR RANKINGS AND HONORS
U.S. News and World Report ranks Troy University highly at #23 in Top Public Schools and #69 in Regional Universities – South. They were in the top 20% of schools surveyed for Best Online Bachelor’s Program.

This concludes our list of the Top 20 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Degrees.

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