Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

Many affordable colleges in Texas offer flexible, online programs. See who stands out in our ranking of the best online colleges in the Lone Star State.
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Not only does Texas host many of the top online schools, but the state is home to some of the most affordable online colleges as well. By searching the best online colleges by state, prospective students can find colleges in Texas that offer low-cost training for residents, along with several schools that feature discounted or in-state tuition rates for out-of-state students.

Online colleges in Texas also offer access to specialized training within the state's fastest-growing industries. Here, we explore the schools with the most affordable online bachelor's programs in Texas, along with online associate and graduate programs. We also look at the state's job outlook and most in-demand careers. For more information about going to college in the Lone Star State, check out our Resources for Students in Texas page.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top Online Degree Programs in Texas

Texas Employment Outlook

The Texas workforce enjoyed considerable job growth and recovery in 2021, adding more than 694,000 jobs between December 2020 and December 2021, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This 5.6% job growth put Texas in the top 10 states with the highest job growth rate for that year. According to the BLS, the annual mean wage in Texas was $52,400 in May 2020.

In its 2020 Report on Texas Growth Occupations, the Texas Workforce Commission projected the addition of 1.7 million new jobs between 2018 and 2028. The state's fastest-growing and highest-demand industries include: healthcare, finance and insurance, education, and professional and technical services.


Featured Online Programs

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


5 Texas Jobs in Demand

Market Research Analysts and Specialists

  • Annual Average Salary: $76,840
  • 2018-2028 Job Outlook: 33%

Market research analysts help organizations better understand their markets and consumers. These professionals study and analyze consumer purchasing habits, product and service demand, and pricing appetites. Their analysis and input can influence an organization's marketing strategies, production, operations, and decision-making.

Financial Managers

  • Annual Average Salary: $148,860
  • 2018-2028 Job Outlook: 31%

These professionals manage the financial activities and strategies within an organization. They oversee all legal obligations regarding finances, supervise financial staff, and study financial operations to identify cost-saving and money-making opportunities. They provide management and stakeholders with input on financial decisions and issues involving finances.

Registered Nurses

  • Annual Average Salary: $76,800
  • 2018-2028 Job Outlook: 17%

Registered nurses assess, observe, and provide care to patients. These administer medications and treatments based on consultations with physicians and other healthcare professionals. Registered nurses may specialize and work with specific patient groups, including neonatal, critical care, rehabilitation, and cardiovascular patients.

Software Developers

  • Annual Average Salary: $109,574
  • 2018-2028 Job Outlook: 31%

Software developers design, create, and test software and applications based on the needs of clients and users. They ensure all components of the software work together and that it is compatible with their respective computer systems. These professionals may work as applications developers, web developers, and systems software developers.

Secondary School Teachers

  • Annual Average Salary: $58,035
  • 2018-2028 Job Outlook: 11%

Secondary school teachers educate high school students in their field of expertise. They develop lesson plans in accordance with curriculum guidelines, provide student assessments, and manage classrooms of learners. These teachers also provide guidance to students to help prepare them for life after high school.

Popular Career Paths in Texas

Most Affordable Accredited Online Colleges in Texas

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

#1 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Edinburg, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $318-$667
Undergrad, out of state | $726-$1,075
Graduate, in state | $479-$724
Graduate, out of state | $887-$1,132

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ranks as one of the most affordable colleges in Texas. Located in Edinburg, UTRGV offers a mix of online bachelor's, graduate, and certificate programs, many of which students can complete as an accelerated option. Popular undergraduate degrees include addiction studies, health services technology, and hospitality and tourism management.

UTRGV considers high school class rank, leadership experience, community involvement, and academic performance when evaluating first-year college applicants. ACT and SAT scores are currently optional.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,664
Out-of-state
$16,792
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
29,113
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

Texas A&M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $315
Undergrad, out of state | $796
Graduate, in state | $382
Graduate, out of state | $872

Texas A&M International University is a Laredo-based institution that ranks among the most affordable colleges in Texas. As part of the Texas A&M university system, this school has an enrollment of over 8,000 students. The majority of its online offerings focus on graduate-level coursework. Popular academic areas for online learners include business, criminal justice, and nursing.

TAMIU's online programs utilize a 100% online, asynchronous delivery format. Graduate-level applicants should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Admission requirements vary between programs, and some students may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,818
Out-of-state
$13,946
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
8,305
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $420
Undergrad, out of state | $540
Graduate, in state | $490-$782
Graduate, out of state | $575-$782

The University of Texas at El Paso is a sizeable public research institution that offers a variety of online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. This west Texas school is recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution, and it has an enrollment of over 25,000 students. Popular online bachelor's programs include media advertising, Chicano studies, and an RN-to-BSN completion option.

Those applying to UTEP's online programs must submit an online application through the ApplyTexas portal and pay requisite fees. UTEP considers learners with 12 or more transferable credits as transfer students. Students transferring to UTEP must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,193
Out-of-state
$22,556
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
25,177
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas Best Value

University of Houston-Downtown

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $246
Undergrad, out of state | $654
Graduate, in state | $414
Graduate, out of state | $772

The University of Houston-Downtown has an enrollment of over 13,000 students, making it the second-largest school in the city. Founded in 1978, UHD offers various online bachelor's and master's programs. It is also one of the most affordable colleges in Texas. Popular online degrees include public service, business, humanities, and social sciences.

Prospective students must submit applications through the ApplyTexas portal and provide official transcripts. UHD does not require standardized test scores for undergraduate admission.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,460
Out-of-state
$15,408
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
14,640
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

Midwestern State University

  • Wichita Falls, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $326
Undergrad, out of state | $734
Graduate, in state | $383
Graduate, out of state | $791

Located in Wichita Falls, Midwestern State University was founded in 1922. The school has an enrollment of over 6,000 students. MSU offers online bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. Popular academic areas include radiologic sciences, criminal justice, and business administration.

In addition to its reputation as one of the most affordable colleges in Texas, this public liberal arts school provides online learners with various student support services, including a career management center, counseling, and tutoring.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,567
Out-of-state
$7,516
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
5,969
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#6 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

LeTourneau University

  • Longview, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $380-410
Graduate | $625

Established in 1946, LeTourneau University is a Christian institution based in Longview. Popular online degrees include computer information systems, cybersecurity, and aviation management. LETU also offers online associate degrees in criminal justice and aviation security.

Prospective students applying to LETU must submit an online application. Applicants without at least 12 credits of college coursework must submit high school transcripts.

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,520
Out-of-state
$30,520
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
3,150
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#7 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

Parker University

  • Dallas, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $660
Graduate | $740

Located in Dallas and established in 1982, Parker University is a private institution that focuses primarily on healthcare-related degree programs. With a modest enrollment of around 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Parker offers online programs in areas such as functional nutrition, public health, and health information management.

Admission requirements vary depending on whether applicants pursue an associate, bachelor's, or graduate-level degree. Parker also offers an array of healthcare-related continuing education courses for licensed practitioners.

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,128
Out-of-state
$25,128
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,536
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas Best Value

Sam Houston State University

  • Huntsville, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $244
Undergrad, out of state | $652
Graduate, in state | $320
Graduate, out of state | $728

Established in 1879, Sam Houston State University is one of the oldest public colleges in Texas. SHSU serves more than 20,000 students annually and is home to more than 20 online graduate and undergraduate programs. Popular online programs include business, criminal justice, and health science.

First-time college applicants with a high school GPA greater than 3.0 receive automatic admission to SHSU. Those not meeting this GPA requirement must submit standardized test scores.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,856
Out-of-state
$15,984
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
21,558
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

West Texas A&M University

  • Canyon, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $322
Undergrad, out of state | $379
Graduate, in state | $431
Graduate, out of state | $858

West Texas A&M University is a public institution that ranks among the most affordable colleges in Texas. Established in 1910, WTAMU offers various online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Popular offerings cover disciplines like economics, management, and nursing.

Prospective students must have a top 30% high school class ranking, a minimum 3.0 GPA, or minimum ACT or SAT scores of 21 or 1060. WTAMU is recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,554
Out-of-state
$6,960
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
9,970
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#10 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas

Texas A&M University-Commerce

  • Commerce, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $334-$384
Undergrad, out of state | $742-$792
Graduate, in state | $430-$480
Graduate, out of state | $838-$888

Established in 1889, Texas A&M University-Commerce is one of the largest schools in the Texas A&M University System. Located on the outer reaches of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, TAMUC offers an extensive roster of online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the school's most popular academic areas include criminal justice, psychology, business, and liberal arts.

Undergraduate applicants to TAMUC must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and complete an online application. Besides paying application fees, prospective students must submit official high school transcripts. TAMUC is a test-optional institution and does not require applicants to submit SAT/ACT scores.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,790
Out-of-state
$17,460
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
12,109
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Texas

How many online colleges are in Texas?

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Texas had 244 degree-granting institutions in 2019-20, including 109 public schools. By 2018-19, nearly all public schools and half of all private schools in the country offered some online learning options, as per the NCES. If state numbers are comparable with the national averages, most postsecondary institutions in Texas offer online programs.

As in other states, online colleges in Texas vary in what they offer. Programs may feature asynchronous, self-paced courses or they may include mostly synchronous courses. Furthermore, online programs may run 100% online or students may need to complete some on-campus requirements.

Does Texas have good online colleges?

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Yes. Texas has very good online colleges, including options for many types of students. The state features several of the nation's largest and most reputable schools. Online learners can find full-time, part-time, self-paced, and accelerated programs, along with asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid classes.

Prospective students can search through the colleges in Texas with the NCES College Navigator.

How much does it cost to go to college online in Texas?

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According to NCES, four-year public colleges in Texas in 2019-20 cost an average of $8,598 in tuition and fees, while private colleges charged $36,014. At two-year public colleges, tuition and fees cost $2,380 that year. For out-of-state students, public four-year schools charged $24,889 and two-year public schools charged $6,373.

At some of the cheapest online colleges in Texas, out-of-state students can access in-state tuition rates. For the most accurate cost calculation, prospective students should evaluate the true program cost. In addition to all fees, this considers what income learners lose out on during their studies.

What is the cheapest online college in Texas?

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Online learners enjoy access to many affordable online colleges in Texas, including multiple schools on the list of colleges with the lowest out-of-state tuition. One of the most affordable is South Texas College, which only charges online students $200 per credit hour. This works out to just over $8,100 for a 60-credit associate degree.

Who qualifies for free college in Texas?

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Residents may qualify for free college in Texas through several programs. The Dallas County Promise program provides free tuition and tuition assistance to graduating seniors from 57 Dallas County high schools. Texas Tech University and the University of Houston both run free tuition programs for Texas residents with family incomes less than $65,000.

Texas A&M University offers the Aggie Assurance and the University of Texas at Austin offers the Texas Advance Commitment, programs that provide free tuition to Texas residents with family incomes less than $60,000. The Tuition Promise from the University of Texas at Dallas provides free tuition to Texas residents with a family income under $25,000.

Feature Image: Pgiam / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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