The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Education Programs

Online education degrees prepare graduates for a career in teaching.

Regardless of whether you want to pursue a theoretically-based program like educational studies or a more traditional elementary or secondary education program, you’ll find a variety of opportunities online.

For many students, finding an affordable online education degree is critical to their decision-making process. Distance programs are often less expensive than traditional campus-based degrees, and you’ll be able to find a rigorous program at an affordable price. While it’s tempting to look for the cheapest online teaching degrees available, in the long run, it’s more important to invest in an affordable online teaching degree that delivers value and doesn’t compromise on academic quality.

Below, we’ve ranked the 25 most affordable online bachelor’s of education programs in the country. Using our College Affordability Score — a holistic metric that weighs academic quality, affordability, future earning potential, and other factors — we’ve identified the education programs that offer the most bang for your buck. If you’re looking to obtain an online teaching degree, be sure to start your research by taking a look at these top programs.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Receiving Loans Location Description

Hobe Sound Bible College

80.801/558%Hobe Sound, FL


The online teaching degree at Hobe Sound Bible College prepares students for both the classroom and a Christian service mission. As part of the program, distance learners must complete 33 hours of Bible and Christian service classes.

Students can specialize in elementary or secondary education and focus on a variety of subject areas, including English, social studies, bio science, physical science, or the Bible. The school is committed to making college affordable, and offers scholarships that cover up to 25% of tuition costs. HSBC also accepts most transfer credits.

The online teaching degree programs at HSBC are approved by the Florida State Department of Education to offer education programs for the preparation of teachers in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Non-residents should independently verify certification requirements within their state.

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The Baptist College of Florida

75.112/544%Graceville, FL


The Baptist College of Florida offers three different affordable, online undergraduate education programs, including options in elementary education, English secondary education, and history and social studies secondary education. Each of these degrees require 18 hours of Biblical studies courses, classes that prepare students to teach from a Christian perspective. As part of their degree requirements, students must complete a student-teaching component at a school near their home. The department is focused on preparing students for both private and public schools, and faculty members work with students to ensure that their supervised teaching experience prepares them for their first job.

In addition to offering one of the lowest tuition rates of any school on our list, BCF also provides a range of competitive grants and scholarships for students in good academic standing.

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Bellevue University

74.433/551%Bellevue, NE


Students looking for a specialized teaching degree can find an innovative program at Bellevue University. The school’s online adult education program prepares graduates to work with adult learners in a variety of settings, including community or technical colleges. The major is comprised of 40 credits and allows students to complete a further 42 credits in elective topics to further augment their area of expertise.

Bellevue is a renowned private university with a proud tradition of providing robust online programs. The school has been recognized by a range of organizations — including many military groups — for academic excellence and for offering discounted tuition to servicemembers.

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University of Missouri – Columbia

73.413/562%Columbia, MO


Missouri offers two paths for students looking to complete an online teaching degree. The school offers an educational studies program that prepares graduates for a range of education positions, ranging from teaching at a community college to providing training as part of a human resources team. Meanwhile, its human environmental science program offers a concentration in early childhood education for students aspiring to work with young learners. This completion degree is well-suited to those who already hold an associate degree, or students with some college experience.

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University of North Carolina at Wilmington

70.343/543%Wilmington, NC


The online elementary education program at UNC Wilmington is four-year degree intended for students looking to teach elementary school, middle school, or special education students upon graduation. In addition to core coursework, students also complete an academic concentration in a particular subject. Popular options include math, social studies, English, and technology.

North Carolina residents benefit from in-state tuition, but other students can attend UNCW affordably, as the school provides a relatively low out-of-state tuition package. Need- and merit-based scholarships are also open to distance learners.

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Western Governors University

69.092/5N/ASalt Lake City, UT

Operating as an entirely online institution, WGU offers eight different bachelor’s degrees, ranging from interdisciplinary studies and special education to several science-focused programs. The school is experienced in delivering online education, and faculty members work closely with enrollees to find suitable student teaching programs in their area. WGU is committed to accepting as many credits as possible, and is also focused on keeping costs below. Approximately 76% of students qualify for some form of student aid, and many leave with little to no student debt, thanks to the low tuition rates.

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Mayville State University

68.983/576%Mayville, ND

Mayville State’s bachelor’s in elementary education features a well-rounded curriculum. In addition to core coursework for the major, all students are required to minor in a complementary topic, such as library media and information science or special needs generalist. Courses are taken in a cohort fashion, so students work closely with their peers as they proceed through the program. In addition to providing a low tuition rate for all students, MSU also offers honor, leader, and non-resident merit scholarships, foundation scholarships, and a range of other financial aid services.

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Fort Hays State University

66.363/572%Hays, KS

With a robust offering of online degrees, students applying to FHSU can choose from three different distance learning programs in education. The BS in education with an early childhood unified concentration prepares students for teaching special education, while the BS in elementary education provides instruction on teaching students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Finally, the BS in Elementary Education with a Special Education minor is similar to the first program but is more grade-specific. Students from 49 states are welcome to apply; distance learners from Kentucky are currently ineligible.

FHSU offers students a range of scholarships and grants, including need-based aid. Military veterans may also qualify for a tuition reduction.

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Wilmington University

65.913/520%New Castle, DE

WU offers four different online degrees in education for undergraduate students, including: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Level, and Skilled and Technical Sciences.

Students should be aware that these programs do not qualify them for licensure and/or certification. Instead, these credits will be transferred into a licensure/certificate program upon graduation. Online courses cost $354 per credit hour, although active duty military members pay a discounted rate of $250. The school is transfer-friendly, and students can transfer up to 75 credits to WU.

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University of Louisiana at Monroe

65.452/556%Monroe, LA

Louisiana-Monroe offers an online degree in elementary education. As part of the degree, students have the option of pursuing an early childhood certification, which would prepare them to teach students ages 3-6. The degree requires students to complete a student-teaching module prior to graduation.

Aside from offering highly competitive tuition rates designed to help students graduate with as little debt as possible, the school also offers an impressive range of foundation scholarships. Scholarships are available for distance learners and out-of-state students; need-based aid is available as well.

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Asbury University

64.774/593%Wilmore, KY

Whether you want to approach the field as a teacher or an administrator, Asbury has you covered. The BS in instructional design prepares graduates to create curriculums for both educational and professional settings; the elementary education is suitable training for teachers in grades K-6. Prospective students should note that the student teaching component of this program must be done in an elementary school in Kentucky.

Asbury works with students who need financial aid, and a large percent of their students receive either scholarships or grants. The Presidential Scholarship provides between 15% and 30% tuition discounts for students with exceptional GPAs and ACT/SAT scores, and there are a variety of other institutional awards available as well.

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East Carolina University

63.183/550%Greenville, NC

The distance education department at ECU offers two bachelor’s in education, one in birth-kindergarten education and another in family & consumer sciences education. Both are degree completion programs, meaning that most accepted students will have already completed an associate degree or have some college experience. ECU works with students to make that school doesn’t break the bank. The Office of Student Financial Aid works with online students to identify relevant institutional and external scholarships, along with suitable grants.

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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

60.803/598%Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

SMWC offers six online teaching degrees. They are; English Education: Grades 5-12, Kindergarten-Grade 6, Kindergarten-Grade 6/Mild Intervention, Preschool-Grade 3 Education/Mild Intervention, Social Studies Education: Grades 5-12, and Special Education (Mild Intervention).

These programs are all four-year degrees, and the school works with transfer students who have existing credits. These programs prepare students for licensure in Indiana, and students must follow the Indiana teacher licensing structure.

The school treats its online students with the same amount of care and attention as those studying on campus. SMWC also offers a range of scholarships exclusively developed for distance learners, including options for both freshman and transfer students.

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University of Alaska Southeast

58.862/548%Juneau, AK

UAS offers bachelor’s degrees in special education and elementary education. The school admits both freshman and transfer students, and provides a range of online tutoring services to help students from all backgrounds. Each program also requires a nine-month student teaching experience, which allows students to adapt to the field prior to graduation. Upon graduation, students are prepared for initial licensure.

UAS students enjoy highly competitive tuition rates averaging $8,509 per academic year. There are also a number of scholarships and scholars’ programs through the University of Alaska system, many of which are open to online students.

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Park University

58.752/580%Parkville, MO

Park’s BSE in education studies allows students to pursue one of four different concentrations, including young child, youth, early childhood education and leadership, or teaching young children. Prospective students should be aware that this program does not lead directly to a teaching certification. The majority of applicants already hold an associate degree, but Park also welcomes incoming freshman.

A year of school costs just $9,326, making Park University one of the more affordable schools on our list. In addition to standard financial aid offerings, the school also provides a range of scholarship options for students, including need- and merit-based awards.

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Bemidji State University


Bemidji State’s elementary education degree is offered through a three-year program known as Distributed Learning in Teacher Education (DLiTE). Once completed, graduates are qualified to seek licensure in K-8 teaching. Students should already have an associate degree before they apply.

BSU’s commitment to preparing educators online spans nearly a decade. Distance learners are eligible for the same types of financial aid as students studying on campus, including a range of institutional scholarships.

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University of Wisconsin-Superior

56.023/524%Superior, WI

Offered as both a BA and a BS, the online teacher education – elementary at UWS provides maximum flexibility for students hoping to specialize their degree in a specific area. Depending on the grade level graduates plan to teach, the program prepares graduates for certification in Pre-K through 6th grade or 1st grade through 8th grade. In addition to the core coursework, students are also required to minor in a subject focused on future teaching areas, such as health, English, or social studies.

The education program at UWS has been in operation for more than 100 years and is well-respected in the teaching community. In addition to offering a competitive tuition rate, the school also has special scholarships exclusively offered to online students.

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Drexel University

54.665/593%Philadelphia, PA

If you are looking for a part-time program catered to students who already have some existing college credits, Drexel may be the right school for you. Drexel’s BS in education is an online program designed for students who want to teach Pre-K to 4th grade; the degree leads to teacher certification. In order to qualify for certification, students are required to complete 12 consecutive weeks of student teaching in addition to 190 hours of pre-student teaching activities.

Online students receive a 40% discount on the normal cost of tuition. The school also provides discounted rates for partners, active military members, and alumni. Drexel encourages prospective students to check whether they are eligible for an employer reimbursement tuition deferment plan.

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SUNY Empire State College


The online teaching program in educational studies program at SUNY - ESC is available as either a BA or BS depending on your future goals. There are also a number of concentrations available within each degree offering, providing students the chance to specialize in certain subject areas. You can also create your own interdisciplinary concentration. The college dues not offer a registered teacher certification program, so graduates will need to seek a different path to certification after finishing coursework. As part of the SUNY network of colleges, Empire State College has a significant endowment and is able to offer a range of scholarships and grants to students seeking financial aid.

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Chaminade University of Honolulu

53.303/5100%Honolulu, HI

Chaminade offers several education programs, ranging from ECE (with or without a montessori credential) to programs in both elementary and secondary education. Rather than providing a concentration within the degree path, students focus all their energy on learning all they can about childhood development, learning theories, and best practices in teaching.

Credits are competitively priced at $370 per hour, although active members of the military receive a discounted rate of $260. Online students also pay a technology fee of $93 per class and a one-time fee of $133 for Live Text (required of all education majors). Scholarships run the gamut, with awards for merit, religion, transfer students, and Native Hawaiians.

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Midway University

51.933/596%Midway, KY

Enrollees at Midway can choose from 12 different online education degrees, including eight which lead to certification. The remaining four, all focused on education studies, require a separate path to certification. Aside from standard offerings like elementary and secondary education, the school also has a learning and behavior disorders program.

Prospective students looking to compare costs can use the net price calculator for online programs to get a sense of how much an education at Midway will cost. Online students are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by the school, provided they meet all general requirements. These include scholarships specifically intended for distance learners.

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Gardner-Webb University

50.914/596%Boiling Springs, NC

The elementary education program at Gardner-Webb University is perfect for students who have completed substantial college credit or an associate degree. This online teaching degree completion program includes three semesters of courses and fieldwork and a final semester devoted exclusively to student teaching. Upon completion, students are eligible to apply for a teaching license for kindergarten through 6th grade.

A private school, GWU charges $468 per credit hour and an additional online technology fee of $35 per class. The school provides a scholarship calculator to help interested students learn how much they could receive from scholarships for which they are eligible.

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Regis University

50.804/595%Denver, CO

The BA in elementary education at Regis University includes initial licensure for teachers looking to complete the certification process as part of their coursework. Although this online education degree is offered as a full 128-credit-hour program, students can transfer up to 90 hours upon enrollment. Students at Regis are invited to apply for scholarships designed to meet the needs and interests of a variety of students.

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Western New Mexico University

49.893/526%Silver City, NM

WNMU’s BS in elementary education qualifies graduates to work as certified teachers in the state of New Mexico and provides a rigorous and thorough curriculum along the way. The culminating experience for all learners in this online education degree is a student teaching experience. For students outside New Mexico, special permission must be obtained to work in a school outside of approved locations.

The school offers a tuition guarantee for students who keep their GPA at 3.0 or above and take at least 30 credits per academic year. There is also a competitive scholarship for students who meet a range of merit-based requirements; the awards allows them to pay in-state tuition regardless of their location.

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Southwestern College

46.704/51%Chula Vista, CA

Southwestern offers online degrees in elementary education and secondary education. Intended as degree completion programs, applicants must have earned at least six college credits prior to applying; once in the program, students must obtain at least a C in each class, and maintain a 2.75 GPA in core classes. In both the elementary and secondary education curriculum, students are required to complete 124 credits to graduate, including a student teaching capstone.

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