Most Affordable Online Elementary Education Programs

We've ranked the most affordable online elementary education programs. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your elementary education degree online.

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Published on April 4, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

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A bachelor's in elementary education prepares students to teach in elementary school classrooms and guide young learners. In the program, they learn about child development, create meaningful lessons, and manage a classroom of diverse learners. These degrees qualify graduates for teacher licensure, along with other educational roles.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7% growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2020-2030. However, despite the positive outlook, pursuing higher education has its obstacles, particularly cost. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), education costs have risen steadily since the 1960s.

Here, we highlight the most affordable online bachelor's in elementary education from the top online schools. We also show students what they can expect from the training, the application process, and potential careers.

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

When calculating education costs, students should consider all the factors that could influence price. True program cost factors in all of the fees associated with the training and any income that students lose out on because of attending school. Some associated costs may include travel and room and board.

According to NCES data, the average annual undergraduate tuition and fees cost $9,400 at public schools and $36,700 at private schools in 2019-20. While online learners pay similar tuition prices, they may save on travel costs and benefit from a more accommodating work and study schedule.

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

Earning an online bachelor's degree takes hard work and dedication. An online bachelor's in elementary education usually features 120 credits and takes about four years to complete. Students gain general education training, along with specialized teaching skills and methods for subjects, such as math, sciences, and social studies.

Additionally, learners develop classroom management, assessment, and lesson-building skills. They also get many opportunities to apply these lessons practically through supervised internships. While elementary education is its own specialization, some programs offer additional concentrations. Options include curriculum and instruction and special education.

Depending on the school, you could encounter multiple degree types, such as a BA, BS, or B.Ed. Each program prepares students for a teaching license and career, but the training included may differ. BA programs generally focus more on humanities, and a BS emphasizes science and math. B.Ed. programs focus on practical training.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Elementary 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 Elementary Education Program?

Educational Psychology and Assessment

In this course, students learn to apply psychology principles to better understand and teach young learners. They explore child development principles and the conditions and environments that children learn best in.

Methods of Teaching

Students often take teaching methods courses for several core disciplines. These courses teach them how to approach certain topics, such as math, science, and language arts. Learners study how to make engaging lessons with specific strategies. They also explore how to assess students and reflect on collected data.

Correction of Literacy Problems

This course examines methods for helping students with literacy challenges. The training looks at the most common challenges and prescriptive teaching methods. The curriculum also covers how to diagnose and assess students with literacy difficulties.

Teaching Diverse Learners

In this course, students learn how to create a collaborative and inclusive classroom for all learners. The training explores topics in lesson design, behavioral interventions, and special education.

Educational Technology

Students in this course learn how to integrate educational technology into their lessons and curricula. They may also learn how to identify potentially useful technologies and the impact of technology in classrooms.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students Your Guide to College Loans The Student's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

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

Admission requirements for an online bachelor's in elementary education vary by school and program. In general, prospective students need a high school or GED diploma. Online learners may need to meet specific technological requirements.

Below we list the most commonly included application components.

Application

Every college has its own application. Prospective students usually begin by providing their personal information and indicating the program they are interested in. According to our undergraduate application guide, most applicants submit their materials through the Common App.

Test Scores

College entrance exams, such as the SAT or ACT, give schools more information on applicants and help differentiate between similar candidates. Traditionally, schools required prospective students to submit their scores along with their applications. As a result of COVID-19, however, many schools have provided temporary waivers for these tests.

Letters of Recommendation

Many college applications require three letters of recommendation, ideally from former teachers, employers, and professors. These letters usually address the student's strengths and why the reference believes they will perform well in their desired program. Prospective students should select references from relevant fields who can provide the most insight.

Essays

College application essays can take different forms depending on the school, program, and degree type. Most undergraduate essays ask applicants to share their personal journey and why they chose their desired field. Some schools may post specific questions that the essays should answer.

Official Transcripts

Most applications include official transcripts, which cover the applicant's training up to that point. Transcripts highlight which prerequisites the prospective student has completed and what grades they received. When transferring from community college to university, official transcripts may lead to transfer credits.

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

Career Outlook

A bachelor's in elementary education gives graduates access to many careers with a strong outlook. The BLS projects the addition of more than 111,000 new kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2020-2030, along with over 124,000 annual openings on average. The BLS also projects 10% growth for education, training, and library occupations overall.

An online education degree's flexibility is part of what makes it one of the country's most popular college majors. Graduates can pursue administration or teaching roles, generalist or specialized positions. As part of one of the largest workforces in the nation, educators of young children may enjoy many job opportunities after graduation.

Check out what professional opportunities a bachelor's in elementary education can provide. Learn more about teaching careers.

Career Paths

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

These educators typically teach core subjects to children in kindergarten and elementary school classrooms. They help children develop learning foundations, work with students on academics or social challenges, and manage diverse classrooms. These teachers may specialize in one or more subjects or work with specific students.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Special Education Teachers

These educators work with students with disabilities. They provide student assessments and develop specialized learning plans for individuals. They also work with families and other support personnel to maintain a consistent learning approach. Special education teachers also help students set goals and make transitions between grades and subjects easier.

Median Annual Salary: $61,500

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers educate children before they reach kindergarten. They work on basic learning and communication skills and develop curricula based on child development goals. In addition, they help children identify and follow their interests. These teachers also integrate routines and physical activities while looking for behavioral and developmental difficulties.

Median Annual Salary: $31,930

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

These professionals manage preschool and childcare center staff, facilities, and activities. They develop and implement policies and curricula. They also handle the budgets and equipment needs and communicate with parents and regulatory professionals. Depending on the size of the center, directors may also work with children.

Median Annual Salary: $49,160

Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal

These professionals manage the staff, facilities, and daily activities at their schools. They oversee the curricula and academic goals of the student body and work with teachers and instructional coordinators to improve practices and outcomes. Principals may also assist with student counseling and family communications.

Median Annual Salary: $98,490

Elementary Education Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Teaching Careers Special Education Careers Child Development Careers

Continuing Education

Many graduates pursue their state teaching licensure and enter the workforce after graduation. But bachelor's in elementary education degree-holders can pursue many advanced education paths. For example, they can pursue directly related programs, such as a master's in elementary education or a more general master's in education.

They can also enter related disciplines, including a master's in early childhood education or a master's in educational psychology. Graduates who wish to enter the administrative and management side of the field can earn a master's in educational administration, master's in educational leadership, or master's in curriculum and instruction.

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

Cost

When considering cost, prospective students must compare online and on-campus program costs. These costs include all related travel or living expenses and any impact their studies might have on their work schedule. Candidates should also compare the differences in private and public schools and in-state and out-of-state program costs.

Program Format

Program format can impact a student's schedule. Prospective students should look at the differences between synchronous vs. asynchronous learning and full-time vs. part-time students. Applicants who want to graduate faster can browse top online schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees.

Location

Whether students choose online or on-campus learning, location often influences the decision process. On-campus learners need to consider travel and living arrangements. Online learners may need to complete residency requirements or want to access on-campus facilities, which could influence their location choice.

Accreditation

Accreditation is one of the most important considerations for prospective students. According to our online accreditation guide, schools require institutional accreditation to offer federal financial aid. A bachelor's in elementary education should hold the appropriate programmatic accreditation as well, such as that from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Student Support

The student services available at a school can pay big dividends for students. Programs like internships and college mentorships can foster student success. Aspiring online learners should look at the online student services available at their prospective schools and think about how these services may impact their educational experience.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Programs

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Most Affordable Online Elementary Education Programs

  1. The Baptist College of Florida
    Location

    Graceville, FL

    Tuition

    $9252

    BCF is a Christian school located in Graceville. The college offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay the same price per credit, regardless of where they live. Participants benefit from a flexible, asynchronous learning format.

    The 124-credit program comprises general, biblical foundation, and professional coursework, preparing students to teach kids from kindergarten through sixth grade. Covered topics include psychology of teaching and learning, teaching diverse populations, classroom management, and survey of special education. Students must also complete a reading practicum and an educational internship.

    Applicants must submit official transcripts, a pastor recommendation, a personal reference, and SAT or ACT test scores. BCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $9455

    ULM offers more than 30 online programs, including an affordable elementary education degree. Online students all pay the same tuition rate, and participants complete most program requirements remotely. The 120-125-credit program typically takes four years to complete.

    The curriculum of this bachelor's program includes coursework in educational psychology, assessment principles and practices for all learners, and balanced literacy. Students must also complete a residency, which requires supervised time teaching or co-teaching in a classroom.

    Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended schools. ULM holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This elementary education program holds accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  3. University of North Carolina at Wilmington
    Location

    Wilmington, NC

    Tuition

    $17771

    UNCW offers several online degree programs, including a bachelor of arts in elementary education. The program prepares students for licensure. Coursework can be completed remotely, although some classes may use a synchronous format requiring students to attend live online sessions.

    The curriculum develops the skills students need to lead classrooms from kindergarten through sixth grade. Coursework includes the teaching of science, reading foundations, and instructional design and evaluation. Students engage in field experiences that provide hands-on learning opportunities throughout the program.

    To qualify, candidates must possess a high school diploma with a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA or a GED certificate. They must also pass the Praxis exam and submit official transcripts.

  4. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $13746

    ECU is a public university located in Greenville, North Carolina. The university offers more than 120 online degree and certificate programs, including a bachelor of science in elementary education. ECU offers this program through a part-time cohort model that caters to students transferring credits from a North Carolina community college. Prospective students should reach out to an advisor to determine their eligibility.

    Online learning at ECU typically uses an asynchronous format, but professors may require some live chat sessions. The program includes coursework in technology in education, foundations of American education, and teaching students with exceptionalities in elementary classrooms. Students must also complete a semester-long internship to graduate.

  5. University of South Carolina
    Location

    Columbia, SC

    Tuition

    $20181

    UofSC offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay lower tuition rates than on-campus students, and more than 90% of learners benefit from financial aid. Full-time students typically finish this degree completion program within three years.

    This program caters to students who have completed at least 45 college credits. The remaining curriculum includes classes like issues and trends in teaching and learning, schools in communities, and culturally sustaining pedagogy for the elementary classrooms. Students must also complete a year-long internship during the final year of the program.

    Qualifying candidates must possess a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in previous college coursework, and applicants should submit official transcripts from previously attended schools. UofSC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. Kansas State University
    Location

    Manhattan, KS

    Tuition

    $18002

    K-State is located in Manhattan and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework remotely at any time of day.

    The 120-credit program includes coursework in public speaking, core teaching skills, foundations of education, and educational psychology. The curriculum includes an internship requirement and prepares students to apply for initial teaching licensure.

    First-year applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit official transcripts along with SAT or ACT test scores. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live.

  7. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $6670

    WGU is an online university offering a self-paced bachelor of arts in elementary education. Students who demonstrate competency in a subject can pass through courses at a quicker pace than traditional programs. About 60% of students complete the program within 36 months.

    The curriculum includes 40 courses and covers essential topics like elementary reading methods and intervention, managing engaging learning environments, and the school as a community of care. Students may complete all coursework online, but the program also includes an internship that requires supervised classroom hours.

    WGU's affordable elementary education degree costs a flat rate per term, and this program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Students must pass a criminal background check and a state-specific skills test for teaching. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and complete a phone interview.

  8. Wichita State University
    Location

    Wichita, KS

    Tuition

    $14256

    WSU offers an affordable online bachelor's degree in early childhood unified/elementary education. Online students pay the same per-credit tuition, regardless of where they live. The program caters to current para educators looking to advance their careers and become licensed teachers.

    The 120-credit program prepares students to obtain the elementary teaching and early child unified teaching licenses. The curriculum includes classes like introduction to the education profession; linguistics for elementary teachers; and the philosophy, history, and ethics of education. Students must also complete an internship.

    Qualifying candidates must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants also need to submit official school transcripts and SAT or ACT test scores. Nontraditional learners and transfer students with at least 24 college credits do not need to submit test scores.

  9. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $12420

    FHSU offers over 200 degree programs, including an affordable online bachelor's degree in elementary education. Online students pay the same price per credit, regardless of their home state. The program uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments remotely at any time of day.

    The 127-credit program prepares students to apply for a teaching license in Kansas. Nonresident students should check their state's licensing requirements to ensure this program prepares them for licensure. The curriculum explores areas like elementary art methods, curriculum and assessment, literacy methods, and classroom management. To graduate, students must also complete an internship.

    Qualifying candidates must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA or a GED certificate. Applicants should also submit official transcripts from previously attended schools and ACT or SAT test scores.

  10. Old Dominion University
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    $15917

    ODU — based in Norfolk, Virginia — offers a variety of online degree programs, including a bachelor of science in elementary education. Many courses in this program use an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete course requirements at their convenience. However, some classes may use a synchronous approach that requires students to log in at specific times for live class sessions.

    The program comprises 120 credits and includes a teaching practicum. Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits through ODU. The curriculum includes coursework in instructional technology, assessment of learning, elementary statistics, and sociocultural perspectives in education.

    Qualifying candidates must pass a criminal background check prior to enrolling in this program. Applicants also need to submit transcripts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Elementary Education Programs

Is a bachelor's in elementary education worth it? true

Yes. A bachelor's in elementary education offers many benefits to students. Many people find elementary education a rewarding field to work in as it impacts young children's development and the future of our society. The training also offers access to many postgraduate education-related paths, many of which the BLS projects a positive job growth outlook.

In an online bachelor's in elementary education, students get the added value of an online degree. The more flexible scheduling and reduced travel requirements can make online learning a more accessible study option.

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

With a bachelor's in elementary education, graduates can pursue teacher licensure, administrative positions, or more advanced training. As teachers, graduates can take on generalist elementary educator roles or a more specialized position. This may include working in specific disciplines or leading a certain type of classroom, such as special education.

Graduates may also decide to continue their training and earn a master's in elementary education. They can also pursue a related master's degree, such as child development or a general education degree. They may also enroll in an education administration or leadership master's program.

Are elementary education majors in demand? true

Yes. The BLS projects 7% growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2020-2030, about as fast as the average projected rate for all occupations. Increasing student enrollments and the need for more specialized training programs for young students should drive growth in this field.

According to the BLS, there are nearly four million preschool, elementary, middle, secondary, and special education teachers, making them one of the largest employment groups nationwide. The turnover alone between 2020-2030 creates nearly 125,000 job openings each year on average for kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

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

The wages available to graduates with a bachelor's in elementary education can vary between candidates, schools, and locations. According to the BLS, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned a median annual wage of $60,660 in May 2020.

The bottom 10% of elementary school teachers made under $40,030, while the highest 10% made over $100,480 in May 2020. Private elementary school teachers made median annual wages of $50,050, and public elementary school teachers made $62,050 in the same year. Meanwhile, kindergarten teachers made $59,300 in public schools and $47,250 in private schools.

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

The highest-paying job for graduates with a bachelor's in elementary education depends on many factors. Special education teachers with this degree may make the most money each year. As per the BLS, these teachers made median annual wages of $61,500 in May 2020. The top 10% of earners in this field made more than $100,570.

According to the BLS, principals in private elementary and secondary schools made median annual wages of $89,350 in May 2020. The top 10% of these principals earned over $150,000 annually. However, many principal positions require a master's degree.

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