Most Affordable Online Education Programs

We've ranked the most affordable online bachelor's in education programs. Compare schools and decide where to earn your bachelor's in education online.

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Published on March 29, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

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An online bachelor's in education program prepares graduates for careers in public and private schools, educational administration, the nonprofit sector, and corporate training. Some programs prepare graduates to pursue state-issued teaching licenses, while others take a broader approach.

These programs prepare graduates for in-demand careers, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for education, training, and library occupations between 2020 and 2030. That rate eclipses the BLS's average projected growth rate for all careers (8%) during that period.

Graduates who pursue teaching careers in high-need subjects like mathematics in high-need areas often experience the highest demand.

Like many bachelor's programs, an online bachelor's in education usually takes four years of full-time study to complete and requires approximately 120 credits.

Read on to learn more about these programs, including typical costs, coursework, financial aid, and admission requirements.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Education Cost?

A typical online bachelor's degree costs approximately $38,500-$60,600, which translates to around $320 per credit on the low end and $505 per credit on the high end.

Beyond tuition, prospective students should factor in fees for activities, textbooks, and room and board to calculate the true cost of a program. Fortunately, online students can avoid some fees.

However, many online programs charge distance learners a flat or per-credit online learning fee. Students in online bachelor's in education programs should also factor in transportation costs, as many programs require in-person student teaching or practicum experiences in local schools.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Empathetic, patient, and hard-working students are often the best fit for both bachelor's in education programs and teaching careers. The best programs help students develop the hard skills they need to succeed as teachers, including curriculum development, classroom management, and differentiated instruction.

A typical online bachelor's in education curriculum consists of 120 credits. Most full-time students graduate in approximately four years, or eight semesters. Some programs allow students to complete concentrations in age groups (elementary, middle, high school) or content areas (math, science, English language arts, social studies).

Most online programs include student teaching and practicum experiences that distance learners can complete in person at local schools. All programs that lead to state teaching licensure must include these programs since student teaching hours are a prerequisite for licensure.

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Popular Online Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Differentiated Instruction

Creating a classroom environment that works for each student is among a teacher's most difficult tasks. This course delves into learning styles and instructional methods based on current educational research.

Technology in the Classroom

The best teachers consistently update their classroom and curricula with the latest educational technologies. This course covers recent developments in the field, including online quizzes and multimedia platforms, to help future educators engage their students.

Reading and Writing in the Content Areas

This course helps future educators select age-appropriate reading materials for science, social studies, and math courses. Students discuss best strategies for developing reading comprehension through these texts.

Educational Data and Assessment

Modern education, especially in public schools, relies on data to assess students and teachers. Covered topics in this course include pre-assessments and standardized testing to help monitor and evaluate student learning.

Practicum or Student Teaching

Prospective teachers must complete a set number of supervised student teaching hours to qualify for state licensure. Many bachelor's in education programs help students complete these hours by maintaining relationships with local schools.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Online bachelor's in education programs usually maintain the same admission requirements as their on-campus counterparts. In rare cases, some programs may ask prospective students to complete a phone or Zoom interview with a member of the admissions department. In most cases, schools stick to the requirements listed below.

Application

All bachelor's programs require prospective students to submit an application. These forms collect basic information like names and addresses. Prospective learners can apply to multiple schools at once through application systems like the Common App and Coalition App.

Test Scores

While this requirement is becoming less prevalent, many bachelor's programs still require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. Some schools also maintain test-optional policies that allow prospective students to only submit standardized test scores if they strengthen their applications.

Letters of Recommendation

Most bachelor's programs require prospective learners to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. First-time college applicants should ask teachers with whom they have good relationships to write these letters. Make sure to ask your recommenders months in advance so that they have enough time to write strong letters.

Essays

Students who apply to online bachelor's in education programs through the Common App or Coalition App can submit a single main essay to multiple schools at once. Most programs require supplemental essays, often asking students why they want to become teachers or requesting a statement of educational philosophy.

Official Transcripts

All accredited colleges require applicants to submit official transcripts from all prior schools they have attended. First-time applicants should send in high school transcripts. If you have completed previous college coursework, such as an associate degree from a community college, you should submit college transcripts so that you can potentially earn transfer credit.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Education Degree?

Career Outlook

Most students choose to enroll in online bachelor's in education programs because they want to become classroom teachers at the elementary, middle, or high school levels. However, they can also pursue careers as training and development managers. And — with additional education and experience — they may seek jobs as instructional coordinators, administrators, and principals.

Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 10% job growth for education, training, and library occupations, which exceeds the 8% growth that the BLS projects for all occupations during that period. As such, education is among the 10 most popular college majors, offering a desirable blend of high demand, reasonable wages, and meaningful work.

See where a bachelor's in education can take you. Learn more about education careers.

Career Paths

Preschool or Childcare Center Director

These professionals handle budgets, create programming, and manage staff at preschools and childcare centers. A bachelor's in early childhood education provides many of the skills and qualifications that graduates need to thrive in childcare settings. Director positions typically require a few years of experience.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $49,160

Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers work with students in grades K-6. They plan lessons, manage the classroom, and create an environment that supports each student's learning. Bachelor's in education degree-holders who want to work in public schools must earn a state-issued teaching license.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $60,660

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers often work with students in grades 6-8. They prepare lessons and assessments, grade papers, and evaluate student learning. They need a relevant bachelor's degree, and public school teachers also need a state-issued teaching license.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $60,810

High School Teacher

High school teachers generally work with students in grades 9-12. In addition to creating lessons, curricula, and evaluations, they write letters of recommendation for students and often provide informal mentorship. Like elementary and middle school teachers, high school teachers who want to work in public schools need a state-issued license.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $62,870

Adult Education Teacher

Adult education teachers help adult learners develop fundamental reading and writing skills. In some cases, these educators prepare their students to pass the GED exam. They often work for community colleges and nonprofit organizations and usually need a relevant bachelor's degree.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $55,350

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Continuing Education

The most common continuing education path for graduates with a bachelor's in education is to earn a master's degree in education (M.Ed.) or teaching. Public school districts usually use salary schedules to award wages. These tables generally pay teachers with master's degrees higher wages than bachelor's degree-holders with the same amount of experience.

Furthermore, all licensed teachers must complete a certain number of professional development hours per year to renew their licenses. They can complete these hours through conferences and online courses, among other avenues.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Cost

The cost of a typical online bachelor's degree ranges from approximately $38,500-$60,600, as of 2020. However, costs can vary widely by program, and online learners save on fees like on-campus room and board and transportation. To spend the least amount of money, consider attending an in-state public university as opposed to an out-of-state private school.

Program Format

Online learners should consider whether they want to take synchronous or asynchronous courses. Synchronous programs provide structure through live, scheduled online courses, while asynchronous programs provide additional flexibility by allowing learners to complete assignments around their schedules. Prospective students can also choose between full-time, part-time, and accelerated programs.

Location

Even if you choose to enroll in an online program, you may want to pick a school that is close to you. Many online bachelor's in education programs include in-person student teaching requirements, and it may be easier to find an approved school if you live close to campus. Your school may also maintain relationships with schools in the area.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a third-party evaluation process, a seal of approval for the quality of a school's programs and services. You should only enroll at accredited schools. Otherwise, you cannot receive federal financial aid. You can also keep an eye out for programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which focuses exclusively on education programs.

Student Support

When choosing between programs, research the type of student services that each school provides, especially for online students. Possible support includes career services, tutoring, internship placements, networking, and mentorship opportunities.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Education?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

To apply for federal financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many schools also use the FAFSA to determine what types of work-study jobs, grants, and scholarships they should award to incoming students.

Loans

College loans should serve as a student's last resort after exhausting all possible grant and scholarship opportunities. Graduates who meet certain requirements as a teacher can qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs specifically for educators.

Grants

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in education should apply for Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants. In exchange for committing to teach a high-need subject for four years after graduating, students receive money toward their education.

Work-Study Programs

Federal work-study jobs allow students to work jobs and receive money toward their education while enrolled in school. Eligible students must meet certain low-income qualifications, and approximately 3,400 schools offer these jobs.

Scholarships

Scholarships are the best form of financial aid for college students, as they do not require repayment. Schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses award scholarships on the basis of both need and merit. Qualifications vary by scholarship.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Education Programs

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Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Education Programs

  1. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $10491

    Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University has earned a reputation for providing quality on-campus and online degrees at an affordable cost. Appalchian's growing online catalog includes an online bachelor's in education that primarily serves working educators pursuing licensure in North Carolina.

    Distance learners at Appalachian can choose from several 120-credit bachelor's in education degrees. Students take synchronous courses in a hybrid format and study educational psychology and educational assessment policies and practices. Each track culminates with a clinical internship that requires learners to intern at a North Carolina site.

    Appalachian holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    One of the largest schools in the country, Miami-based Florida International University remains a preeminent provider of distance education programs. Many of the school's 54,000 students enroll in fully online degrees, such as FIU's online bachelor's in education.

    The 120-credit curriculum typically takes four years to complete and serves learners who wish to teach children from birth to age eight. Courses include special needs of children and their families, language and literacy development, and ESOL principles and practices. The degree track does not lead to certification by itself and primarily serves learners unable to relocate for a clinical internship in Florida.

    FIU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. University of Nebraska Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $17315

    University of Nebraska Lincoln has become a leader in online education in recent years. UNL now offers an online bachelor's in education focused on issues relating to children from very mobile families.

    The 120-credit program prepares graduates to work with children from military, immigrant, or homeless families. Graduates leave the program prepared to work in non-licensed positions in childcare centers and homes, Head Start programs, and similar settings. Courses include adapting for developmental differences, technology and young children, and working with families.

    UNL holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Baptist College of Florida
    Location

    Graceville, FL

    Tuition

    $9252

    Originally a school for training Baptist ministers, the Baptist College of Florida now provides several different on-campus and online liberal arts degrees, including an online bachelor's in education.

    Prospective online education majors can choose from a bachelor's in science education that does not lead to licensure or a bachelor's in elementary education or secondary education in English or social studies that leads to Florida licensure. All four online programs consist of 124 credits and typically take four years to complete. Courses in all tracks include teaching diverse populations, disciplinary literacy, and classroom management.

    BCF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  5. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $17833

    The University of Missouri serves 30,000 students with an array of on-campus and online degrees. Online offerings that cater to both established professionals and traditional students include Mizzou's innovative online bachelor's in education.

    The 120-credit program usually takes four years to earn and prepares graduates for educational leadership and technology positions. Cores include information management and the successful scholar, introduction to digital media, and introduction to project management. The school also gives learners the option to complete a 21-credit concentration in either education games and simulations or educational leadership.

    Mizzou holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  6. University of North Carolina Wilmington
    Location

    Wilmington, NC

    Tuition

    $17771

    University of North Carolina Wilmington's growing catalog of affordable programs includes online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. In-state students seeking teaching licensure should consider UNCW's online bachelor's in education.

    Students can earn a 124-credit bachelor of arts in elementary or middle school education on either a North Carolina teaching licensure or non-licensure track. The curriculum also allows students to earn the degree in several concentrations, including behavioral studies, early childhood, and language arts. Many learners transfer to the bachelor's program after earning their associate at Coastal Carolina Community College, which maintains a close articulation relationship with UNCW.

    UNCW holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $9091

    Founded in 1963 in Pensacola, the University of West Florida consistently ranks highly among four-year schools statewide for its affordable online programs. UWF's online catalog now includes a flexible, fully online bachelor's in education.

    The 132-credit program prepares students to work with special needs learners. Graduates from this program leave with eligibility for Professional Florida Educator's Certificate in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) and K-6 Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages. The program culminates in two 100-hour supervised field experiences, the second of which heavily focuses on teaching English language-learners.

    UWF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  8. University of Nebraska Kearney
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    Tuition

    $15975

    Serving a student body of around 6,000, University of Nebraska Kearney provides rigorous distance education programs to southern and western Nebraska and beyond. UNK's online offerings have grown to include an online bachelor's in education for early childhood educators.

    The 120-credit program caters to in-service teachers, assistants in preschools, and other working professionals unable to relocate or attend on-campus classes. The certification that graduates earn prepares them to work with children from birth to age five in special education and children in conventional settings from birth to age eight. Learners choose between a specialization in birth through kindergarten or age three through third grade.

    UNK holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $13642

    Founded in 1918 in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University now operates two additional Indiana campuses and an online college. The school's online bachelor's in education deserves consideration from early childhood educators with some college credit.

    The 120-credit program caters to working professionals who hold an early childhood education associate degree. Graduates leave the program prepared to work in Head Start and pre-K education settings that require advanced degrees without also needing state licensure. Courses include promoting pro-social behavior in learners, early emergent literacy, and assessment of young children with exceptional needs.

    The early childhood education program holds national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Ball State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $9455

    The University of Louisiana at Monroe maintains a strong commitment to distance education. ULM currently offers 35 majors in a fully online format, including an online bachelor's in education for early childhood professionals.

    The 120-credit program typically takes four years to complete and primarily serves working professionals. The program accepts learners with no previous college degree. Courses include assessment principles and practices; foundations for diverse learning environments; and classroom, behavior, and instructional management. Online students access mostly asynchronous coursework through Moodle.

    The bachelor's in elementary education holds national accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. ULM holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Education Programs

Is a bachelor's in education worth it? true

While the value of any degree is subjective, a bachelor's in education often provides a high return on investment. Teachers work in a demanding field, but they often find their work rewarding.

Furthermore, educators can earn competitive salaries with a bachelor's degree, and the demand for teachers should be significant in the near future. For example, the BLS projects 8% job growth for high school teachers between 2020 and 2030. Keep in mind that demand varies by school district and individual school.

What can I do with a bachelor's in education? true

Most students enroll in bachelor's in education programs because they want to become teachers. Degree-holders must also gain state licensure if they want to work in public schools. Graduates can work in elementary, middle, and high schools and teach courses in their specific content area.

A bachelor's degree in education can also prepare graduates for master's and doctoral programs in the field. These advanced degrees can lead to careers as principals, professors, instructional coordinators, and academic researchers.

Are education majors in demand? true

Yes. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 10% job growth for education, training, and library occupations, which is slightly higher than the 8% job growth the BLS projects for all jobs during that decade.

Many public school districts are experiencing teacher shortages, so graduates who earn state licensure should be able to find work. However, demand still varies by school, and understaffed school districts may still be slow to respond to job applications, no matter how pronounced their need.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in education?

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, kindergarten and elementary teachers earned a median annual salary of $60,660, while high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,870.

Salary potential varies widely by school district, level of education, and years of experience. Public school teachers with master's degrees earn higher salaries than bachelor's degree-holders with the same amount of experience. You can find out exactly how much money you will make as a teacher by checking your school district's salary schedule.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in education?

Teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels often earn the same wages based on school district salary schedules. Nevertheless, according to the BLS, high school teachers earned the highest median annual wage at $62,870, as of May 2020.

Keep in mind that this calculation likely includes teachers who have master's degrees and many years of experience. The more years you teach and the more advanced your education, the higher the salary you can make as a classroom teacher.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

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