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Best Value Online Colleges & Universities
Top 50 Most Affordable Consensus Ranked Online Schools 2020

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Best Value Online Colleges Universities

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 5 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. 

1

Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC

WCU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.6
College Consensus
61.9
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$7,926
Online Bachelor's offered
7

2

Dickinson State University
Dickinson, ND

dickinson state
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.8
College Consensus
54.9
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$9,546
Online Bachelor's offered
22

3

National Louis University
Chicago, IL

auditorium benches chairs 207691
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.4
College Consensus
52.2
Publisher Consensus
68.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$10,710
Online Bachelor's offered
12

4

Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI

Ferris State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
45.2
College Consensus
22.7
Publisher Consensus
67.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$11,788
Online Bachelor's offered
10

5

University of Minnesota-Crookston
Crookston, MN

University of Minnesota Crookston
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62
College Consensus
50.1
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$11,822
Online Bachelor's offered
14

6

Valley City State University
Valley City, ND

valley city
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.9
College Consensus
53.4
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$17,166
Online Bachelor's offered
12

7

California State University-East Bay
Hayward, CA

nicole honeywill dGxOgeXAXm8 unsplash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.3
College Consensus
48.8
Publisher Consensus
61.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$18,863
Online Bachelor's offered
5

8

Florida International University
Miami, FL

FIU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
53.8
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$18,954
Online Bachelor's offered
34

9

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
49.6
College Consensus
22
Publisher Consensus
77.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,040
Online Bachelor's offered
9

10

The University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL

University West Florida
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.9
College Consensus
54.6
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,241
Online Bachelor's offered
8

11

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

UAB
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
50.7
College Consensus
26.6
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,704
Online Bachelor's offered
7

12

University of Illinois at Springfield
Springfield, IL

University of Illinois at Springfield
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.7
College Consensus
69.3
Publisher Consensus
74.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$21,338
Online Bachelor's offered
12

13

Southwestern Adventist University
Keene, TX

Southwestern Adventist University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.8
College Consensus
50.6
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$21,564
Online Bachelor's offered
8

14

Madonna University
Livonia, MI

nathan dumlao ewGMqs2tmJI unsplash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
50.4
College Consensus
37.7
Publisher Consensus
63.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$21,900
Online Bachelor's offered
10

15

Appalachian State University
Boone, NC

App state
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.1
College Consensus
44.6
Publisher Consensus
77.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,171
Online Bachelor's offered
7

16

Concordia University-Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN

backpacks college college students 1454360
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.7
College Consensus
43.4
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,275
Online Bachelor's offered
17

17

Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ

rowan
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
52
College Consensus
38.2
Publisher Consensus
65.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,339
Online Bachelor's offered
5

18

University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

University Central Florida
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.4
College Consensus
47.7
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,467
Online Bachelor's offered
19

19

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Stillwater, OK

ok state
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.8
College Consensus
30.7
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$24,539
Online Bachelor's offered
8

20

University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR

University Arkansas
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
48.4
College Consensus
21.8
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$25,168
Online Bachelor's offered
5

21

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Denver, CO

University of Colorado DenverAnschutz Medical Campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.9
College Consensus
39.4
Publisher Consensus
72.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$25,771
Online Bachelor's offered
12

22

Washington State University
Pullman, WA

Washington State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.5
College Consensus
47.3
Publisher Consensus
73.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$25,820
Online Bachelor's offered
16

23

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
Norman, OK

ou
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.9
College Consensus
43.7
Publisher Consensus
76.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$26,919
Online Bachelor's offered
5

24

University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO

University of Missouri Columbia
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
49
Publisher Consensus
76.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,042
Online Bachelor's offered
10

25

Geneva College
Beaver Falls, PA

geneva college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
51.4
College Consensus
31.2
Publisher Consensus
71.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,230
Online Bachelor's offered
6

26

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

Louisville
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.5
College Consensus
44.4
Publisher Consensus
68.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,278
Online Bachelor's offered
8

27

University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.7
College Consensus
33.9
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,358
Online Bachelor's offered
8

28

Webster University
Saint Louis, MO

Webster University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.1
College Consensus
51.7
Publisher Consensus
72.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,900
Online Bachelor's offered
20

29

Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

Wayne State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
39.3
College Consensus
12.4
Publisher Consensus
66.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$27,991
Online Bachelor's offered
8

30

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

UF
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
82
College Consensus
87.4
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$28,659
Online Bachelor's offered
14

31

Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

Temple University 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54
College Consensus
39.3
Publisher Consensus
68.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$29,066
Online Bachelor's offered
6

32

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Carbondale, IL

Southern Illinois University Carbondale
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
44.3
College Consensus
18.4
Publisher Consensus
70.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$29,160
Online Bachelor's offered
17

33

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

University of utah
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.2
College Consensus
56.4
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$29,215
Online Bachelor's offered
6

34

The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

alabama
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
53.5
College Consensus
27.9
Publisher Consensus
79.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$29,230
Online Bachelor's offered
10

35

Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University Fort Collins
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.6
College Consensus
37.7
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$29,608
Online Bachelor's offered
9

36

Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

OSU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
49.3
College Consensus
24.6
Publisher Consensus
74.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$30,141
Online Bachelor's offered
19

37

LeTourneau University
Longview, TX

Letourneau University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.2
College Consensus
60.3
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$30,210
Online Bachelor's offered
16

38

Rutgers University-Camden
Camden, NJ

Rutgers University Camden
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
55.9
College Consensus
45.8
Publisher Consensus
66
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$30,613
Online Bachelor's offered
8

39

Rutgers University-Newark
Newark, NJ

rutgers newark
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
54.2
Publisher Consensus
71.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$30,717
Online Bachelor's offered
6

40

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

University Iowa
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.9
College Consensus
61.3
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$31,233
Online Bachelor's offered
10

41

Rutgers University-New Brunswick
New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University New Brunswick
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.3
College Consensus
73.8
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$31,282
Online Bachelor's offered
12

42

Lewis University
Romeoville, IL

lewis u
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.4
College Consensus
48.2
Publisher Consensus
64.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$32,450
Online Bachelor's offered
8

43

Fresno Pacific University
Fresno, CA

Fresno Pacific University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.1
College Consensus
57.2
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$32,458
Online Bachelor's offered
5

44

Houghton College
Houghton, NY

Houghton college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.8
College Consensus
45
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$32,488
Online Bachelor's offered
5

45

Eastern University
Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University e1521941961300
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
54.4
College Consensus
39.6
Publisher Consensus
69.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$32,947
Online Bachelor's offered
5

46

Bay Path University
Longmeadow, MA

bookcase books bookshelves 1850021
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.7
College Consensus
48.5
Publisher Consensus
67
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$34,225
Online Bachelor's offered
11

47

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.3
College Consensus
62.4
Publisher Consensus
74.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$34,570
Online Bachelor's offered
9

48

George Mason University
Fairfax, VA

George Mason University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.3
College Consensus
59.1
Publisher Consensus
69.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$35,922
Online Bachelor's offered
5

49

University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

U Arizona
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63
College Consensus
52.3
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$36,366
Online Bachelor's offered
22

50

Regis University
Denver, CO

Regis University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
43.7
College Consensus
15.8
Publisher Consensus
71.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020
Total out-of-state tuition & fees
$36,810
Online Bachelor's offered
27

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.

Related: 

Best Scholarships for Online Students
50 Online Colleges with the Best ROI
Top 25 Best Online Degrees Most Likely to Get You A Job
25 Highest Paying Online Bachelors Degrees