Most Affordable Online Education Programs of 2022

Do you want to jumpstart an education career? Check out these flexible, standout online education degree programs.

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Published on March 29, 2022 · Updated on June 3, 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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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.

2022 Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Education Programs

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#1 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $408
Out of State | $498

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The University of Missouri, Columbia, offers a bachelor's in education that degree-seekers can complete online, with in-person observation hours required. Throughout this bachelor's in early childhood education program, students complete at least 51 credits of major coursework. Required courses include administration in early childhood settings, diversity in the lives of young children and families, and technology and young children.

First-year applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate, and transfer applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. This program is currently test-optional for prospective students through 2023.

#2 Online College in California

Biola University

School Information
Location La Mirada, California
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $604
Out of State | $604

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Biola University is a private, Christian institution in California that offers a 100% online bachelor's in early childhood education. Core classes include an introduction to teaching, early childhood curriculum, and psychology of marriage and family. Biola also takes a biblical approach, requiring classes like spiritual formation for young children and spiritual formation for Christian educators.

Prospective students must submit their applications with academic transcripts and short essay questions. Biola waives application fees and covers the cost of submitting official transcripts.

#3 Online College in Wisconsin

Maranatha Baptist University

School Information
Location Watertown, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $430
Out of State | $430

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Established in 1968, Maranatha Baptist University is a Wisconsin-based, private Christian institution. Unlike other bachelor's in education programs, Maranatha's BS in educational studies does not lead to state licensure. Instead, this program prepares students for alternative certification for teaching careers at Christian schools.

Essential courses for this online program cover foundations of education, developmental psychology, and technology for teaching and learning. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and document their development of biblical traits in a personal essay.

#4 Online College in Kansas

Kansas State University

School Information
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $375
Out of State | $375

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Kansas State University offers a bachelor's in education program that prepares graduates for education careers beyond the traditional licensure-to-classroom pathway. This education studies degree includes classes such as educational psychology, introduction to adult education, and educational technology for teaching and learning.

Prospective students can apply online and must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. High-performing high school students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are exempt from submitting ACT/SAT scores.

#5 Online College in Massachusetts

Bay Path University

School Information
Location Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $410
Out of State | $410

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Massachusetts and established in 1897, Bay Path University's American Women's College offers an online bachelor's in education studies aimed at adult women. This non-licensure track includes major requirements such as introduction to early childhood education, curriculum development, children's literature, and reading and literacy.

Prospective students can submit a free online application and must send in official transcripts from all previous institutions. Applicants must also complete an admissions phone interview.

#6 Online College in Arizona

Prescott College

School Information
Location Prescott, Arizona
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $512
Out of State | $512

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Arizona's Prescott College offers an online bachelor's in education that can lead to teaching licensure. Throughout this 120-credit online program, students tackle core courses such as positive child guidance, survey of the exceptional learner, and curriculum design and evaluation. Additionally, students can pursue academic concentrations in environmental and social justice education.

Prospective education students must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Transfer students and first-time applicants can apply through the Common Application. Prescott College's online application waives any application fees.

#7 Online College in Delaware

Wilmington University

School Information
Location New Castle, Delaware
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $399
Out of State | $399

Credits to Graduate
121

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Delaware's Wilmington University is a private institution that offers an online bachelor's in education that does not lead to licensure. In this 121-credit program, 57 credits cover required education coursework. Core education classes include professional issues in early childhood education, educating preschoolers with special needs, and developmentally appropriate practice.

Students interested in this online program must submit an online application with official transcripts. Wilmington University does not require ACT/SAT scores or an admissions essay when evaluating applications.

#8 Online College in South Carolina

North Greenville University

School Information
Location Tigerville, South Carolina
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $450
Out of State | $450

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in South Carolina, North Greenville University is home to a bachelor's program in elementary education that degree-seekers can complete entirely online. Alongside standard general education requirements, students complete core classes such as intro to education, historical perspectives of education, and intro to early childhood education.

First-year applicants to this online bachelor's in education must submit an online application with associated fees. Additionally, prospective students submit official high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores.

#9 Online College in Virginia

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $390
Out of State | $390

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Lynchburg, Virginia's Christian Liberty University offers a 100% online bachelor's in early childhood education that many students complete in fewer than four years. Throughout this non-licensure education program, Liberty students complete core classes such as early childhood education fundamentals, wellness in the early childhood setting, and developmental psychology.

Applicants to this online education program must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Prospective students can apply online or over the phone.

#10 Online College in New Hampshire

Franklin Pierce University

School Information
Location Rindge, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $400
Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate
122

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Franklin Pierce University is a New Hampshire-based private institution that offers various undergraduate education programs, including a bachelor's in education studies that students can complete entirely online. In addition to general education classes, degree-seekers complete core requirements such as learning theory for professional education settings, community education, and educational psychology.

Prospective students must hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Applicants also submit official high school or college transcripts.

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.

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