Want low tuition? Convenience and flexibility? And a college loan debt that doesn’t keep you up at night? The College Consensus ranking of the best value online colleges is here!
This is an excellent time for people seeking affordable online colleges and degree programs, but it’s important to realize that different colleges often cater to different needs when it comes to online programs. For example, depending on where someone lives, they may want to choose one of the regional public colleges. Regional public colleges will usually have lower tuition costs for applicants who live in the region where the college is located. On the other hand, an affordable private college will offer many of the same benefits as attending a private college offline. Those benefits can include a more hands-on approach, a religious or ideological grounding, or unique and unusual degree choices.
In addition, the online college landscape also contains numerous working-adult focused colleges. These institutions typically offer programs specifically designed to work with people who have jobs, kids, or other adult responsibilities. People who want to attend online college courses have a lot affordable choices available to them, but just because a college is affordable doesn’t mean your degree will ROI. That’s why College Consensus – the authority on college rankings – has put together a definitive ranking of the most affordable online colleges.
Ranking the Most Affordable Online Colleges
The College Consensus method takes a lot of factors into consideration, but for the Most Affordable Online Colleges ranking, one factor stands above all: cost. Colleges will often try to hide their real costs from students until the bill comes due, but none of that here.
We combine official rankings from the most trusted publishers with verified student ratings from reputable review sites to form an aggregate ranking that takes into account the opinions of experts and the experience of students equally. That’s the Consensus Score.
To qualify for the Best Value Online Colleges and Universities ranking, institutions must have a Consensus Score, offer at least 3 bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s completion programs in an online or hybrid format, and be affordable. Schools are ranked according to their out-of-state tuition and fees.
Eastern Illinois UniversityCharleston, IL
University of North DakotaGrand Forks, ND
Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, MA
Westfield State UniversityWestfield, MA
University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointStevens Point, WI
University of South Florida-Main CampusTampa, FL
SUNY College at OswegoOswego, NY
California State University-East BayHayward, CA
Florida International UniversityMiami, FL
The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL
Texas Tech UniversityLubbock, TX
California State University-ChicoChico, CA
University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, AL
University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington, NC
Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC
University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL
Concordia University-Saint PaulSaint Paul, MN
Radford UniversityRadford, VA
Brescia UniversityOwensboro, KY
East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC
Central Washington UniversityEllensburg, WA
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical CampusDenver, CO
Washington State UniversityPullman, WA
University of Oklahoma-Norman CampusNorman, OK
University of UtahSalt Lake City, UT
University of Missouri-St LouisSaint Louis, MO
University of IdahoMoscow, ID
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, IL
John Brown UniversitySiloam Springs, AR
University of KansasLawrence, KS
University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical CollegeBaton Rouge, LA
University of FloridaGainesville, FL
Webster UniversitySaint Louis, MO
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleCarbondale, IL
Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsFort Collins, CO
Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR
LeTourneau UniversityLongview, TX
Rutgers University-CamdenCamden, NJ
University of IowaIowa City, IA
Rutgers University-NewarkNewark, NJ
The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleKnoxville, TN
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew Brunswick, NJ
Albertus Magnus CollegeNew Haven, CT
Lewis UniversityRomeoville, IL
Mount Mercy UniversityCedar Rapids, IA
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaColumbia, SC
Westminster College (UT)Salt Lake City, UT
Buena Vista UniversityStorm Lake, IA
Are Online Colleges Cheaper than Traditional Colleges?
These days, listings, databases, and various other resources exist to guide people towards just what they’re looking for. A search online will populate with numerous results that include updated reviews and pricing information for online colleges. If you’re paying for college yourself, it’s essential to do you homework.
When it comes to online college vs traditional college cost, people often assume online colleges always cost less than traditional colleges. In truth, just as with traditional colleges, online college costs can vary widely. Each institution will have a different pricing method based on their own criteria.
Most colleges that offer online courses will have tuition calculators or average cost breakdowns. People are often surprised to find out some universities charge the same price for their courses whether online or off. Some places charge even more for their online programs than their equivalent on-campus ones.
The online college vs traditional college cost question has no clear answer. As with all things college-related, it depends. This should drive home why seeking affordable online college is so important.
The average cost online bachelor’s degree will vary as well from place to place and student to student. For those who want to figure out the average cost online bachelor’s degree or any other degree program for themselves, a net price calculator can help.
How Do Affordable Online Colleges Save Me Money?
When seeking an affordable online college, it’s important to look at the stated dollar amounts. Finding the cheapest online college per credit hour can help once someone has already narrowed their search to the places that interest them.
However, saving money with affordable online colleges involves a few other factors as well. Places that offer cheap online degrees fast aren’t necessarily the most affordable. As previously stated, applicants must consider the net price of attending. In addition, looking for places things like cheap online colleges without application fees can help as well.
Because students aren’t attending a campus, many places will offer a lower tuition. That’s not a given, but it’s worth searching for. Speedy courses also don’t require as many ongoing fees as a longer traditional course.
The cheapest online per credit hours and the cheap online colleges without application fees can give someone the numbers they need to calculate just how much they can save. People should always look at the numbers when they want cheap online degrees fast, because those accelerated programs can often come with savings they don’t expect.
Are There Any Free Online Colleges?
Free online colleges do exist. A handful of accredited online universities offer tuition-free programs for associates, bachelor’s, and even master’s degrees. The free online colleges do offer degrees. Applicants may have to pay an application fee or other small fees.
Some other institutions offer free courses, lectures, and other learning materials. The free courses and materials can sometimes come with a certificate, but rarely with a credit.
How Do Online College Degree Programs ROI?
People invest their money and time with the hopes their degree will pay off in the future, especially when so many students take out loans to pay for college. This is a return on investment college education, and it’s important for that investment to work. To that end, it’s a good idea to think of the best ROI degrees that can make that happen.
But, what are the best ROI degrees? That all depends on where an applicant lives and which industries have the largest amount of growth.
Figuring our college ROI by major is possible, especially if the major is one that allows an applicant to advance in their career field or get a fair start in a new career. The ability to move forward, earn more, and do more with a college degree is what makes the return on investment college education worthwhile.