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Top 10 Cheapest Online Master’s Degrees 2015

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By GVC Staff
Posted April 2015

When it comes to post-baccalaureate education, cheap online master’s degree programs are becoming increasingly popular. And traditional accredited state universities and public liberal arts colleges are beginning to offer affordable online master’s programs, giving students more options than ever. These programs are well suited for working students who need flexible schedules that fit among busy lives. Even the cheapest masters degree online programs can be highly valuable to students.

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A cheap master’s degree online delivers quality education at an affordable price, on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. You won’t be paying on student loans twenty years later when you opt to enroll in affordable online master’s programs, instead of high-priced options.

Methodology for Ranking the Top 10 Cheapest Online Master’s Degrees 2015

Below are the top 10 cheapest accredited master’s degree online programs, offered by accredited institutions. Tuition is based on graduate in-state tuition (as taken from NCES College Navigator), and the schools are ranked in no particular order.

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1 – University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

UoF Cheapest Online Masters Degree Programs
UoF Features some of the Cheapest Online Master of Business Administration Programs Available

Known for its high rate of student satisfaction and wide variety of online offerings, University of Florida in Gainesville is recognized as having one of the most affordable online graduate degree programs. In addition to the 11 undergraduate degrees offered, University of Florida also offers 2+2 degree programs, certificates, and graduate degrees. A cheap online masters degree may be earned online in a variety of studies, including engineering and pharmacy.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences Online
  • Online Master of Business Administration
  • Online Master of Public Health
  • Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Major Rankings and Honors

In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Florida number fourteen as the best popular university in the United States. Many of the university’s online graduate programs have received top-50 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, with special recognition going to the school’s medical research, audiology, and nursing departments. The Princeton Review ranked the university 1st overall in Best Career/Job Placement Services.

Tuition

$10,770 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

2 – Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays State Features Some of the Cheapest Masters Degrees Online
Fort Hays State Features Some of the Cheapest Master of Education Degrees Online

Fort Hays State University offers cheap master’s degrees online as a way to get ahead in a stiff job market. Known for its high rate of student satisfaction and forward-thinking faculty trained to motivate and encourage students, Fort Hays State University cultivates an atmosphere for success and learning. The school is accredited with the Higher Learning Commission.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Education Online
  • Master of Instructional Technology Online
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Counseling
  • Professional Studies Online Master’s

Major Rankings and Honors

U.S. News & World Report ranks Fort Hays State University #30 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs and number #74 in Best Online MBA Programs. Recent rankings combined with low in-state tuition make Fort Hays State University one of the cheapest online schools to obtain a master’s degree.

Tuition

$3,094 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

3 – University of North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota

UND Affordable Online Master's Programs
UND Features An Affordable Online MSW Program

In-state tuition discounts are what draw graduate students to the University of North Dakota, a favorite among those seeking cheap online master’s programs. Graduate degree programs and certificates are offered, with new graduate degree options offered all the time and across disciplines such as health and nutrition, nursing, or engineering. The school is popular among current and former military members because of the tuition assistance and discounts dedicated to helping veterans and military personnel.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Social Work (MSW) Online
  • Master of Space Studies Online
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Elementary Education
  • Online Master of Forensic Psychology

Major Rankings and Honors

The University of North Dakota’s online graduate program as been ranked among the best online schools. Both the online MBA program and other business degree programs, excluding the MBA, have been ranked among the top 25 in the United States.

Tuition

$6,872 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

4 – Chadron State College

Chadron, Nebraska

Chadron State University Some of the Most Affordable Online MBAs
Chadron State Features Some of the Most Affordable Online MBAs

Chadron State College offers a wide variety of online master’s degrees in the areas of arts and sciences. Chadron is a regionally accredited, not-for-profit school that demonstrates a strong commitment to providing affordable education to students who do not live in the state of Nebraska. Discounts are provided for graduate students who do not live in state.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) Online
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) Online
  • Master of Science in Organizational Management Online
  • Online Master of Arts in Education – Mathematics
  • Online Master of Education – Educational Administration

Major Rankings and Honors

Chadron College earned the number 5 place for Online Colleges and Universities in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report and in 2011 was ranked number 6 as one of the best Public Regional Colleges in the Midwest. The school was rated number 17 Best for Vets Business College in March of 2013.

Tuition

$3,199 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

5 – Eastern New Mexico University

Portales, New Mexico

nm eastern cheapest online master of elementary education degrees
Some of the Cheapest Online Master of Elementary Education Degrees are Offered at Eastern NM

Affordable options for online graduate degrees are found at Eastern New Mexico University. Both in and out-of-state tuitions are reasonably priced and the variety of graduate online programs is vast. Ranked in U.S. News & World Report among the most affordable online master’s programs, the school maintains a high ranking because of its usability and dedication to the value of its online learning option.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Online Master of Business Administration
  • Online Master of Elementary Education
  • Online Master of Nursing (emphasis in nursing education)
  • Online Master of Reading and Literacy
  • Online Master of Secondary Education

Major Rankings and Honors

U.S. News & World Report ranks Eastern New Mexico University as among the Best Regional Universities in the West for affordability and retention rate. When it comes to the most affordable online graduate degree options, Eastern New Mexico University is ranked in the top tier.

Tuition

$3,519 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

6 – Southern Arkansas University

Magnolia, Arkansas

Southern Arkansas University Cheap Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Programs
Southern Arkansas University Offers Cheap Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Programs

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association Education Commission and offering over 350 online courses every year, Southern Arkansas University’s online program is considered affordable and worth the value. Graduates have a high rate of satisfaction, especially those students who pursue degrees while balancing home and career life. The master’s degree programs are nationally ranked as some of the best in the nation.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Online Master of Science in Agriculture
  • Online Master of Science in Computer and Information Science
  • Master of Business Administration Online
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology – Coaching

Major Rankings and Honors

In recent years, U.S. News & World Report ranked Southern Arkansas University’s online program among the best. The school is routinely listed in the top 200 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

Tuition

$4,716 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

7 – Western New Mexico University

Silver City, New Mexico

nm western
Western MN Offers Affordable Online Master’s Programs in Educational Leadership

Western New Mexico University prides itself in offering affordable online master’s degree programs in a wide variety of categories. The most popular online graduate degree program is the MBA program that emphasizes case methods and analyses. Classes are delivered online and in a flexible manner to meet the unique needs of working students.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Online Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Occupational Therapy Online
  • Master of Social (MSW) Work Online

Major Rankings and Honors

From student satisfaction to academic life, Western New Mexico University is ranked among the top 200 best grad schools in the nation. The school’s Occupational Therapy online master’s program was ranked 127th by U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition

$2,882 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

8 – Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Cheap Online Master's Programs Are Available at Henderson State University
Cheap Online Master’s Programs Are Available at Henderson State University

Known for its job placement and career counseling among graduates, Henderson State University offers online master’s degree programs in a variety of categories. The school is routinely ranked among the top three universities offering online master’s programs for affordability. The number of degree options combined with low cost make Henderson State University one of the most valuable online master’s degree programs.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Science in Education – Educational Leadership Online
  • Master of Science in Education – Technology Leadership Online
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Educational Specialist (M.Ed.)
  • Online Master of School Counseling

Major Rankings and Honors

The four-year public liberal arts university is Arkansas’s only member of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. It is consistently ranked among the top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition

$4,428 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

9 – Texas A&M University

Commerce, Texas

texas a & m university affordable online masters degree programs
Texas A&M Offers Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs

Texas A&M University offers approximately thirty online master’s degree programs among their distance education offerings, poised for flexibility and affordability. The accredited university offers cheap in-state tuition and convenient schedules for the working student. Admission requirements include the possession of an earned bachelor’s degree.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Education in Bilingual Education Online
  • Master in Human Resource Development Online
  • Online Master of Agriculture
  • Online Master in Engineering Systems Management
  • Online Master in Marketing

Major Rankings and Honors

U.S. News & World Report ranks Texas A&M as the 68th Best Online Graduate Education Program among 1,200 programs surveyed in the United States. It is consistently ranked in the top 25 for Top Public Schools and 31st for Best Value Schools.

Tuition

$3,630 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

10 – North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

nc state affordable online masters degree
NS State Features Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs

North Carolina State University’s distance education program serves graduate students who are busy balancing life and family, and many are recognizing the value in their cheap online master’s programs. The school is dedicated to presenting affordable degree programs in a variety of fields of study, from teaching and education to engineering. Career counseling and job placement services are available to all students enrolled in an online program at NC State.

Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Animal Science Online
  • Master of Business Administration Online
  • Master of Engineering Online
  • Online Master of Education
  • Online Master of School Administration

Major Rankings and Honors

Poets & Quants and Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranks North Carolina State University’s online MBA program among the top 20 nationwide for affordability and flexible management education programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university’s Engineering Online program as 9th among online graduate engineering programs.

Tuition

$7,623 per year, on average for in-state tuition.

Sources

• Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
• Princeton Review, College Rankings
• U.S. News & World Report, Best Colleges Rankings and Lists

This concludes our ranking of the cheapest online master’s degree programs for 2015.

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