The Most Affordable Online Colleges of 2021

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Published on August 31, 2021

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The number of students pursuing their college education online continues to grow. Advances in technology offer greater collaboration, and busy schedules demand increased flexibility. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in fall 2019, 36% of all undergraduate students took at least one class online. Fifteen percent had enrolled exclusively in online courses.

In addition to increased flexibility, online college offers potential cost savings. For example, some schools do not charge additional tuition for out-of-state residents. Students can also save on on-campus fees like room and board. Online students also may find it easier to continue to work full or part time than their on-campus counterparts.

Despite these savings, the cost of college — whether online or on campus — represents a significant investment, and students should weigh the costs against their financial means and the likely return on investment. Online students may qualify for numerous grants, scholarships, and federal work-study programs that may help ease the financial burden.

How Much Is Online College?

Online vs. On-Campus Colleges

Schools vary significantly in terms of the costs for online programs. While many online and on-campus programs at a school charge similar tuition rates, some schools charge more for online programs, while others charge less.

Keep in mind that, in addition to room and board, online students often save on other expenses like commuting and relocation costs, digital versus physical textbooks, and on-campus fees.

Hidden Fees for Online Students

While online students save on some on-campus fees, most schools apply some form of distance learning fees. These fees can add up. Some schools charge on a per-credit or per-course basis. These fees may include the following:

Some colleges offer optional fee packages for local online students who want to use campus services, including access to student athletics, recreation facilities, and the health center.

Alternatively, some schools may make it mandatory for all students to pay all standard fees. These may include student activities fees — services that an online student may never use. In this case, you can try and contact the school to find out if they offer alternatives or exemptions.

Other Costs to Consider

Students should also consider several additional factors when calculating the out-of-pocket cost of affordable online colleges.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

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

Why Is Accreditation Important for Online College?

The best online colleges and universities — as well as many of the programs they offer — hold accreditation from third-party accrediting organizations.

Considered the gold standard among schools, regional accreditation means that an institution has undergone extensive evaluation and meets high educational standards. National accreditation, on the other hand, is typically associated with technical and vocational colleges. Credits earned from a nationally accredited college may not transfer to a regionally accredited institution.

Programmatic accreditation focuses on programs or schools within a college or university. For instance, a college's business school may hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Appropriate accreditation helps ensure quality education, transferable credits, financial aid eligibility, and a degree recognized by employers. The Department of Education provides a searchable index and full list of accredited schools.

What Are the Job and Salary Outlooks for Online College Graduates?

Bachelor's degree-holders tend to earn more than their peers with associate degrees or high school diplomas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2020, bachelor's degree-holders made a median salary of $1,305 per week — $367 more than associate degree-holders and $524 more than high school graduates with no postsecondary education.

A bachelor's degree may provide increased employment opportunities in numerous industries and positions. Below are the 10 highest-paying fields for bachelor's degree-holders.

Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees
Rank Major Early Career Pay Midcareer Pay
1 Petroleum Engineering $92,300 $182,000
2 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science $101,200 $152,300
3 Applied Economics and Management $60,900 $139,600
4 Operations Research $78,400 $139,600
5 Public Accounting $60,000 $138,800
6 Chemical Engineering/Materials Science & Engineering $74,500 $137,800
7 Quantitative Business Analysis $67,900 $136,200
8 Pharmacy $66,300 $133,200
9 Aeronautics and Astronautics $74,000 $133,100
10 Systems Engineering $74,000 $132,900

Source: PayScale, July 2021

How Do I Pay for Online College?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

All students seeking financial aid should complete the FAFSA. This application determines eligibility for federal aid in the form of grants, work-study funds, and federal loans. Colleges, universities, and private organizations also use this form to shape their decisions regarding scholarship and grant distribution.

Qualifying applicants for federal assistance include U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens seeking financial aid for higher education. Online students usually qualify for the same types of financial aid as their on-campus peers.

The following section describes types of financial aid available to online students. Eligibility is often based on FAFSA results, as well as academics and demographic factors.

Loans

Students usually consider college loans after exhausting all other financial aid options, such as grants and scholarships. Borrowers must repay loans — usually with interest. Federal loans typically offer lower interest rates and deferment plans, while banks and private lenders usually charge higher rates. Parents can also apply for the Department of Education's Direct PLUS loan.

Grants

Unlike loans, students do not need to repay grants. Grants are often based on need and may serve specific populations, such as veterans, students from underrepresented groups, or students with disabilities. State governments and private organizations may award grants, and the federal government provides many grants through programs like the Federal Pell Grant Program.

Work-Study Programs

Federally subsidized work-study programs help students pay for college expenses by providing part-time jobs on or nearby campus. To apply, simply fill out the FAFSA. The financial aid award letter students receive from their college outlines eligibility for work-study programs, as well as scholarships, grants, and student loans.

Scholarships

College scholarships come in many forms. Like grants, this type of award does not require repayment. This type of financial aid may be awarded by schools, private companies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. Scholarships may be based on need or merit. They may target students pursuing a specific degree or those with a particular background. Some organizations may also award scholarships for adult learners and nontraditional students.

The list below describes a few of the many scholarships that online students can apply for.

Scholarships for Online Students

true $1,000 Generation Google Scholarship
Deadline March
Who is eligible? Full-time students enrolled or accepted at an accredited institution who plan to study computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field can apply.
View Scholarship
$1,000-$20,000 Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship
Deadline March
Who is eligible? U.S.-based Black and African American high school students planning to pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, or some business programs can apply.
View Scholarship
Under $1,000 AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability
Deadline March
Who is eligible? Learners with disabilities may qualify for this award. Applicants should be full-time undergraduates with sophomore or higher status or part-time or full-time graduate students. Preference is given to students majoring in a field related to health and disability.
View Scholarship
$20,000 Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Scholarship
Deadline October
Who is eligible? Graduating high school seniors planning to pursue an education at an accredited postsecondary institution can apply.
View Scholarship
$1,000 Get Educated Online College Scholarship Program
Deadline October or March
Who is eligible? U.S. citizens enrolled in an accredited online degree program with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA can apply.
View Scholarship
$500-$5,000 Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Deadline February
Who is eligible? High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students of Hispanic heritage with a minimum 3.0 GPA (for high school students) or 2.5 GPA (for college students) can apply.
View Scholarship
$4,000 Mesothelioma.com Scholarship
Deadline March
Who is eligible? Full-time college students with a minimum 3.0 GPA whose lives have been impacted by cancer can apply.
View Scholarship
Up to $2,500 The Army Women's Foundation Legacy Scholarship
Deadline January
Who is eligible? Past or present women soldiers and their lineal descendants can apply. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited institution, have completed at least 30 credits of coursework, and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
View Scholarship
$1,000-$5,000 per academic year, renewable ACS Scholars Program
Deadline March
Who is eligible? Graduating high school seniors or undergraduate students of African American, Hispanic, Native Pacific Islander, or American Indian heritage planning to major in a chemistry-related field can apply.
View Scholarship
$5,000 Out to Innovate Scholarship
Deadline June
Who is eligible? LGBTQ+ students enrolled in a STEM program who have completed at least two years at an accredited college or university can apply.
View Scholarship

How Do I Cut Online College Costs?

While the cost of even relatively affordable online colleges can seem daunting, students may be able to save money on college by using a few key strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Most Affordable Online Colleges

true Is online college more affordable?

While some on-campus and online tuition rates are comparable, other affordable online colleges offer lower per-credit tuition rates or eliminate out-of-state fees. Distance learners also can reduce or eliminate costs related to on-campus fees, room and board, and transportation. Additionally, online college students can forgo relocation costs, and many may work full or part time, reducing lost wages.

true What is the cheapest online college?

Nevada's Great Basin College offers some of the lowest online tuition fees, charging $117 per credit for in-state students and $172 for nonresident students. Additionally, Western Governors University offers flexible pacing and flat tuition rates of roughly $3,500-$4,500 per six-month term.

true What is the average cost for online college?

As with on-campus programs, tuition costs for online colleges vary significantly depending on the program and the type of college. At some schools, tuition may be as low as $2,000-$3,000 per year, although an annual cost of $10,000-$20,000 is more common.

true Is online college worth it?

Online college is worth it if it fits your needs and expectations. The quality of education is comparable to on-campus options. At many schools, the same professors teach both online and on-campus courses. Additionally, advances in technology have allowed for increased interaction among peers and faculty.

true How can online students avoid out-of-state tuition costs?

It may take a little research, but you can find affordable and accredited online colleges that do not charge higher tuition for out-of-state distance learners. You can also find online programs that charge significantly lower nonresident fees than on-campus programs.

What Are The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree Programs?

Unsurprisingly, many students prioritize affordability when they begin their college search. And as online education gains even greater prominence, many cost-conscious students begin by looking for the cheapest online colleges in terms of tuition costs. It’s a fair place to start the search, considering how much students save by foregoing room and board, commuting costs, and textbook fees.

Critically, there is a big difference between affordable online colleges and cheap online colleges. Our list below is an attempt to separate the former from the latter. Using our new “College Affordability Score,” we have carefully calculated a list of online universities that offer robust educational opportunities and comprehensive financial aid. These colleges have a proven track record of helping online students graduate, without saddling them with punishing, long-term debt. This data can help you determine which colleges give you the best chance to earn a degree at an affordable price.

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

Indiana University - Bloomington View School Profile Bloomington, IN

One of the most affordable colleges on this ranking, IU offers online undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. Popular bachelor's degrees include applied science, health and health sciences, and mathematics. Individuals can visit each program's website to read about potential career opportunities.

Student services at IU feature nine core resources that all online learners can access. Incoming students complete an in-depth orientation, and success coaches help learners stay on track for graduation. Also, students can access IT support 24/7.

Admission requirements vary by program and may include an essay. Many graduate programs charge the same tuition rate to in-state and out-of-state students. Finally, incoming learners interested in financial aid opportunities should submit their FAFSA results.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 2 associate degrees; 25 bachelor's degrees; 36 master's degrees; 5 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (844) 445-0117
Email: iuoapply@Iu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL

UF Online offers many bachelor's degrees in areas like digital arts and sciences, environmental management, and recreation management. Graduate programs train the next generation of educators and journalists, among other professionals. Also, many active-duty service members earn their degrees online.

UF oversees specialized online resources to help distance students troubleshoot IT issues and access library materials. Also, the school's Career Resources Center boasts many virtual offerings, including career roadmaps, a job board, and online workshops.

First-time college applicants must submit high school or GED transcripts. Other application materials include ACT or SAT scores. As UF awards limited financial aid to online learners, incoming students should submit FAFSA results as soon as they can.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 24 undergraduate degrees; 79 master's degrees; 8 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (855) 994-2867
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

FIU boasts more than 60 online programs, making it an excellent choice for prospective students undecided about a major. Bachelor's degrees at this affordable university include Asian studies, criminal justice, and international relations. Many recent graduates have reported that earning an FIU degree online helped them launch a successful career.

In addition to traditional student services, FIU offers two career-preparation programs. Engineering students can join Career Engage — a service that allows learners to earn in-demand industry certifications before graduation. Additionally, students can participate in the SV Academy, which imparts in-demand skills applicable to technology careers.

All undergraduate applicants should submit standardized test scores and FAFSA results. Each merit-based scholarship uses a separate application and application deadline, and FIU provides links to popular scholarship search engines.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 39 bachelor's degrees; 26 master's degrees; 1 doctoral degree
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (855) 558-4641
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Appalachian State University View School Profile Boone, NC

App State Online offers degree and certificate programs to students living all over the world. Bachelor's degrees that can lead to a lucrative career include management and nursing. Additionally, information on each program's website allows prospective and current students to look into potential careers and employment trends.

Each program has a program contact who can direct students toward valuable resources, such as academic and career advisors. Also, this affordable online university's Career Development Center features an in-depth guide on how to find and apply to internship opportunities.

Undergraduate application requirements vary by program, but there is a 2.25 GPA cutoff for transfer credit. For most programs, in-state learners pay much less in tuition compared to out-of-state students. Additionally, aspiring teachers can apply for the State Employees' Credit Union Appalachian Partnership Scholarship.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 11 bachelor's degrees; 15 master's degrees; 1 doctoral degree
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum for transfer credit

Contact

Phone: (828) 262-3113
Email: online@appstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

Popular online bachelor's degrees at UCF include nursing, psychology, and anthropology. Undergraduates can customize their degree plan by selecting one of 35 minors. Additionally, more than 80% of recent graduates report working in a field directly related to the education they received at UCF.

Student support at UCF starts with the university's online coaches — highly trained professionals who connect prospective and current students with academic and career resources. Besides working with learners over the phone, coaches publish tips on how to succeed as an online learner at this affordable university.

Applicants who do not possess at least 30 transferable credits must submit standardized test scores. Florida residents save considerably on tuition. However, out-of-state students with academic merit may qualify for significant scholarship opportunities.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 28 bachelor's degrees; 32 master's degrees; 3 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester; accelerated options available

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (855) 903-8576
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Florida Atlantic University View School Profile Boca Raton, FL

Online undergraduate programs at FAU award bachelor's degrees and minors. The university's six colleges offer majors in over a dozen areas, including public management and RN-to-BSN. Additionally, over 95% of nursing graduates pass the NCLEX exam on their first try. The school also has dozens of online master's programs.

Career advising tools at this affordable online university include online workshops and an extensive career guide. Students can explore career opportunities and trends for each online major. Also, online learners can access Canvas support 24/7.

Prospective first-time college students must possess a high school diploma that meets prerequisite course requirements. Some programs ask applicants to submit additional materials. FAU scholarship opportunities award up to $10,000 to eligible incoming students.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 12 bachelor's degrees; 27 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (855) 903-8575
Email: admissions@fau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities View School Profile Minneapolis, MN

UMN Online offers fully online and hybrid programs for distance education students. Some fully online bachelor's degrees include applied science, tribal administration and governance, and sport and recreation management. Additionally, students who are not seeking a full degree can enhance their salary potential by earning an education, CPA, or family education license.

Student resources at this affordable university include training courses, digital collections at the university library, and general online learning tips. These and other services help make each graduate's career success story possible.

Each program uses a separate application process, and prospective first-time college students can submit the Common Application. Some programs use a GPA cutoff for transfer credit. UMN offers numerous scholarship opportunities that students can explore by visiting the Undergraduate Scholarship Search website.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 17 bachelor's degree; 16 master's degrees; 9 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 991-8636
Email: online@umn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Illinois at Springfield View School Profile Springfield, IL

UIS's over 50 online programs include more than two dozen undergraduate and graduate degrees. Popular bachelor's programs include information systems security, mathematical sciences, and teacher education. Additionally, over 90% of graduates find employment or enter another academic program within 12 months of graduation.

Before starting classes, all incoming learners at this affordable university complete an online learning orientation. Also, the UIS Career Development Center provides all services to online students.

Prospective undergraduates submit transcripts and standardized test scores; some programs may have additional application requirements. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency. UIS awards more than 300 institutional scholarships each year.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 14 bachelor's degrees; 12 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (217) 206-6600
Email: admissions@uis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Oklahoma State University View School Profile Stillwater, OK

An affordable online university — especially for in-state students — OSU designed its online programs with working adults in mind. Bachelor's degrees that can lead to lucrative careers include computer science, business administration, and nursing. Additionally, nearly 90% of recent OSU graduates have reported finding a full-time job.

OSU provides learners with access to multiple success tools, including video tutorials detailing the Canvas learning management system. When students need help, they can turn to the school's math learning success center, writing center, and career services.

Applicants receive assured admission if they possess an excellent high school GPA or outstanding standardized test scores. Prospective students with GED scores can also receive conditional admission based on other factors. Incoming first-year students can apply for all institutional scholarships by submitting one application.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 15 bachelor's degrees; 31 master's degrees; 2 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (405) 744-1000
Email: brenda.dawes@okstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Missouri State University View School Profile Springfield, MO

At MSU, students can earn several different online bachelor's degrees. Additionally, they can pursue one of 12 entirely online minors, ensuring that their educational experience aligns with their academic interests and career goals. MSU closely tracks graduates' career outcomes, which can provide important insight for prospective students.

Student support services at this affordable online university include IT support, career counseling, and advisors who work exclusively with veterans. Also, students who need academic help can make a virtual tutoring appointment.

MSU accepts the Common Application, and individuals with GED certificates can apply. Out-of-state students may need to pay considerably higher tuition rates. However, all learners can apply for competitive institutional scholarships, some of which award up to $15,000 per year.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 11 bachelor's degrees; 16 master's degrees; 2 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (877) 678-2005
Email: adultstudentservices@missouristate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Colorado State University View School Profile Fort Collins, CO

CSU's online programs feature a diverse selection of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Bachelor's programs include agricultural business, fire and emergency services administration, and horticulture. Additionally, this affordable university offers digital badges and short skill-building programs for students who do not want to pursue a full degree.

Learners in need can turn to academic and career advisors. The university hosts many other resources online, including peer tutoring.

Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. All distance students pay the same per-credit tuition rate — a boon for out-of-state learners. Learners must take at least six credits per semester to qualify for institutional financial aid programs.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 12 bachelor's degrees; 38 master's degrees; 3 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (877) 491-4336
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Arizona State University View School Profile Tempe, AZ

ASU Online boasts dozens of online programs, including degrees and professional certificates. Fully online bachelor's programs at this affordable university include art history, community health, and global studies. Each degree website features information concerning potential careers, projected job growth, and median salaries.

Outside of class, students can turn to one of many vital student services, such as the Career and Professional Development Service and online tutoring. With the Pitch messaging app, learners can access these and other resources from their phones.

First-time college applicants must meet certain high school prerequisites and submit standardized test scores. Prospective students who do not meet these or other requirements can still gain admission through ASU's Earned Admission Track. Incoming students can search for scholarship opportunities by accessing the ASU Scholarship Portal.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 89 bachelor's degrees; 78 master's degrees; 3 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester; accelerated options available

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (866) 277-6589
Email: asuonline@asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Thomas Edison State University View School Profile Trenton, NJ

Online bachelor's programs at TESU help prepare the next generation of computer, electrical, and nuclear scientists. Graduate degrees at this affordable online university include master's and doctoral programs in nursing. Additionally, over 95% of nursing graduates pass the NCLEX exam on their first try, and the university enjoys a 91% alumni satisfaction rating.

Online learners at TESU can access all student services through a single online portal. These services include academic advising from professionals who possess years of experience working with adult learners.

Prospective students can test drive a course before applying. In addition to accepting transfer credit, the university awards credit based on portfolios and challenge exams. TESU oversees multiple scholarship application windows each year.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 13 associate degrees; 33 bachelor's degrees; 15 master's degrees; 2 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Contact

Phone: (609) 777-5680
Email: admissions@tesu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Colorado Denver View School Profile Denver, CO

At CU Denver, students can choose from a dozen online bachelor's programs, including nursing and criminal justice tracks. Master's programs at this affordable online university train future educators and public administrators. Programs were created to emphasize the knowledge and skills demanded by employers.

Learners can access all academic and career success resources entirely online. The school's writing center offers 50-minute virtual sessions, and students can receive librarian support 24/7.

Transfer applicants need not submit standardized test scores, but all applicants should provide FAFSA results. Some programs may have additional application requirements. CU Denver uses a scholarship portal that allows incoming students to apply for financial aid opportunities.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 12 bachelor's degrees; 21 master's degrees; 4 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (303) 315-3000
Email: cuonline@ucdenver.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Missouri View School Profile Columbia, MO

Mizzou offers more than 125 online degrees and certificates, many of which feature self-paced courses. Fully online bachelor's programs include information technology, psychology, and nursing. Over 90% of graduates report successful career outcomes, making Mizzou a solid investment for students.

Student resources include over two dozen guides related to topics such as how to enroll in a course, IT assistance, and NetTutor software. The university recommends that all incoming distance education learners read Tips for Success — an in-depth guide that covers study habits and other topics.

Application requirements at this affordable online university vary by program. However, all first-time college applicants must submit standardized test scores. Incoming learners may qualify for automatic or endowed scholarship opportunities.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 17 bachelor's degrees; 54 master's degrees; 11 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester; some self-paced programs are also available

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (573) 882-2491
Email: mizzouonline@missouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Washington State University View School Profile Pullman, WA

WSU's online programs include bachelor's degrees in biology, criminal justice, and data analytics. Non-degree programs include a special education endorsement track for practicing Washington educators. Many of the school's programs boast an employment rate near 90% for recent graduates.

Career counselors, academic advisors, and online tutors help students at this affordable university achieve their educational and career goals. The library's digital collections contain millions of items, and students can access 24/7 technical support.

Prospective students can apply to begin taking classes in the spring, summer, or fall semester. All applicants should submit FAFSA results, and online learners can apply for exclusive merit-based scholarships by filling out a separate application. These scholarships award $1,000, and students can still apply for additional institutional scholarship opportunities.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 20 bachelor's degrees; 12 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 222-4978
Email: online@wsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Houston - Downtown View School Profile Houston, TX

UHD's online bachelor's completion programs make this affordable university an excellent choice for prospective students who already possess an associate degree. Popular degrees include finance, international business, and interdisciplinary studies.

Academic advisors specialize in one of UHD's five colleges, meaning they can provide expert assistance to degree-seekers. The school's academic advising center also gives customized aid to first-year, continuing, and transfer students.

Transfer requirements vary depending on where applicants earned their associate degree. In-state learners at UHD save over 60% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Incoming transfer students who possess a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA can apply for special scholarships that award $2,000 per year.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 15 bachelor's completion degrees; 3 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (713) 221-8000
Email: uhdinfo@uhd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Arizona View School Profile Tucson, AZ

UA's online degrees and certificates give students the chance to master in-demand knowledge and skills without having to pause their careers. Technology-related bachelor's programs at this affordable university include cyberoperations, electrical and computer engineering, and graphic information systems technology. The university boasts a 92% alumni satisfaction rate.

Distance education students can access expert advisors, success coaches, and tutors — among other support professionals — entirely online. Also, like many excellent institutions on this ranking, learners can receive IT support at any time.

Undergraduate applicants submit high school or college transcripts and FAFSA results. In-state, first-year college students who possess an excellent high school GPA can receive up to $15,000 per year in automatic merit scholarships.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 33 bachelor's degrees; 31 master's degrees; 8 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer credit

Contact

Phone: (520) 621-0898
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR

Thousands of students from around the world pursue online degrees and certificates from Oregon State. Bachelor's programs that can lead to in-demand careers include economics, environmental science, and sustainability. Departments post career outcomes by major on their websites — a valuable tool for prospective students.

Learners at this affordable online university use MyOSU, Canvas, and G Suite software to access course materials and student support services. Success coaches and tutors provide additional assistance, and learners nearing graduation can contact the school's career development center to network and prepare for interviews.

Prospective first-time college students should submit high school transcripts or GED scores, and the university uses a 2.25 GPA cutoff for transfer credit. Graduate programs have additional application requirements. Like many of the affordable online colleges on this ranking, Oregon State uses a single application for all institutional scholarships.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 29 bachelor's degrees; 18 master's degrees; 5 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Quarter

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 667-1465
Email: ecampus@oregonstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA

Prospective students who want to pursue an accelerated education should consider the online programs offered through ULM Online. Most undergraduate courses last eight weeks. Bachelor's degrees include modern languages, history, and general studies.

Prospective and current students can review an online learning tutorial that includes links to helpful outside resources. Also, once learners select a major, they receive an academic advisor who specializes in that subject.

First-time college applicants need not submit standardized test scores, and ULM uses a minimum "C" cutoff for transfer credit. Online learners do not qualify for institutional aid at this time. However, due to the university's dedicated financial aid counselors, ULM students leave school with less debt than the average U.S. college graduate.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 1 associate degree; 14 bachelor's degrees; 25 master's degrees; 2 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semster; accelerated options available

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: "C" minimum for transfer credit

Contact

Phone: (318) 342-3145
Email: onlinedegrees@ulm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Nebraska at Kearney View School Profile Kearney, NE

UNK's eCampus features 10 entirely online bachelor's programs and dozens of graduate programs. Popular undergraduate majors include business administration, early childhood education, and sociology. Many programs at this affordable online university boast a 100% job placement rate.

Online student resources at UNK include a Canvas tutorial guide, academic citation guides, and a course on computer literacy. Also, the university library provides special services to distance education learners.

UNK accepts applicants with GED certificates, and first-time college students must submit ACT or SAT scores. Individuals who do not meet all application requirements can still receive conditional admission. Over 75% of incoming students receive an institutional scholarship or grant.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 11 bachelor's degrees; 41 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (308) 865-8441
Email: ecampus@unk.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Texas Tech University View School Profile Lubbock, TX

TTU's online offerings include bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. This affordable university oversees many bachelor's programs that can help graduates find careers in in-demand fields, such as early childhood education, political science, and plant and soil science.

The online student support portal at TTU contains informative guides that can help distance education students locate and use university resources, including IT support, student accounts, and records. The university also provides free online tutoring in over a dozen subjects.

The application process varies somewhat by program, and prospective students should speak to an advisor before submitting transcripts or test scores. Transfer students interested in scholarships should apply by the January 31 or July 4 deadline.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 16 bachelor's degrees; 39 master's degrees; 11 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (806) 742-7227
Email: elearning@ttu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater View School Profile Whitewater, WI

Online degrees at UWW include bachelor's programs in management, political science, and early childhood education. Graduate degrees train the next generation of education and business professionals. Also, 98% of recent graduates report a positive career outcome — one of the highest rates among the affordable online colleges listed on this ranking.

All incoming learners complete TechQuest — an orientation to UWW's extensive campus technology services. Also, the university's library provides multiple resources and boasts extensive digital collections.

Prospective first-time college students can apply to begin classes in the fall or spring, and UWW charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all distance learners. Finally, institutional scholarships award up to $2,250 per year, and UWW financial aid advisors work closely with learners to help them find private scholarship opportunities.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 10 bachelor's degrees; 6 master's degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (262) 472-3157
Email: facilities@uww.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

National University View School Profile La Jolla, CA

Unlike some of the online universities on this ranking, NU offers nearly all of its academic programs entirely online. Undergraduates can choose a major from eight areas of study, including criminal justice and law, teaching and education, and arts and sciences. Each program's website features learning outcomes — a valuable tool for prospective students researching career paths.

Learners can contact Student Concierge Services to learn more about career counseling, academic policies, and tutoring. Also, the school's Student Academic Success Center helps learners explore ways they can achieve educational and career goals.

Undergraduate admission requirements include a high school diploma, and incoming students without college experience take the ACCUPLACER test to determine their initial English and math courses. NU awards over a dozen merit-based scholarships, some of which require a separate application.


School Overview

School Status: Private
Number of Online Programs: 5 associate degrees; 87 bachelor's degrees; 61 master's degrees; 1 doctoral degree
Schedule: Quarter

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (855) 355-6288
Email: advisor@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

East Carolina University View School Profile Greenville, NC

Prospective students who have an associate degree may be interested in ECU's many online bachelor's completion programs. Nearly all bachelor's degrees feature multiple concentration options, allowing students to create a truly personalized educational experience.

Learners can access more than a dozen academic resources, including Blackboard support, writing assistance, and the Pirate Academic Success Center. In addition to one-on-one counseling, students can access informational tutorials related to taking notes and time management, among other topics.

ECU accepts transfer applicants ages 21 and over, and transfer credit should meet the school's 2.5 minimum GPA requirement. Students can apply to all institutional scholarship opportunities by filling out a single financial aid application. Additionally, aspiring medical professionals leave school with 33% less debt — on average — than the typical medical student.


School Overview

School Status: Public
Number of Online Programs: 24 bachelor's completion degrees; 53 master's degrees; 6 doctoral degrees
Schedule: Semester

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer credit
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (252) 328-9206
Email: admissions@ecu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Facebook

Save time and money by planning ahead for your college transfer. Learn more with our College Transfer Guide. Some college majors are more popular than others due to their high earning potential and strong job prospects. Learn what the top 10 majors are in this guide. Returning to college to complete a degree can be a tough decision. Learn the pros and cons, how to get started, and how to succeed. Adult students face unique challenges in college. We've listed the best online colleges for working adults that offer supportive services for their needs. Find information on the most affordable online community colleges. Learn more about what these schools offer and how students can save money on their education. Find the top-ranked online colleges in 2021 from BestColleges. See our picks for the 25 best online schools and find the right match for you.

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