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Best Value Online Colleges & Uni­ver­si­ties for 2024 The Cheapest Online Colleges with the Highest Ratings & Reviews

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Managing Editor
B.A.
Carrie Sealey-Morris has covered bootcamps, careers, and higher education for College Consensus since 2017. Carrie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned a B.A. in American Studies. 
Founder/Senior Editor
B.A., M.Div.
Jeremy Alder has spent over a decade researching and writing about higher education to provided students with the information they need to achieve their goals. He has significant personal experience with career transitions, working as a freelance writer and editor, non-profit director, community organizer, preacher, teacher, retail manager, and carpenter prior to founding College Consensus. Homeschooled from the second grade, Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A., Philosophy) and Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.). He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, five kids, and a Labradoodle named Hank.
Best ValueOnlineColleges

Want low tuition? Convenience and flexibility? A college loan debt that doesn’t keep you up at night? The College Consensus ranking of the best value online colleges can help. There are many affordable choices among online colleges, but just because a college is affordable doesn’t mean your degree will give you a good return on investment. That’s why College Consensus – the authority on college rankings – has put together a definitive ranking of the best value online colleges. These are the online colleges with the cheapest tuition and the highest ratings and reviews. See also our ranking of the Best Value Colleges & Universities for affordable brick-and-mortar options and Best Online Colleges & Universities for our top overall online schools regardless of cost.

Ranking the Best Affordable Online Colleges 

College Consensus rankings combine the results of the most respected college rankings with the averaged ratings of thousands of real student reviews from around the web. That’s how we create a unique college meta-ranking with comprehensive and holistic perspective missing from other college rankings. Visit our about page to see which rankings and review sites were included in this year’s consensus rankings.

Our ranking of Best Value Online Colleges & Universities features schools with above-average Consensus Scores, at least three fully-online bachelor’s degree programs, and the lowest full-time, out-of-state tuition rates.

How it works…
85
  • U.S. News
  • Washington Monthly
  • Forbes
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Wallet Hub
Publisher Consensus
A school’s average rating score from the most respected college rankings publishers.
75
  • Unigo
  • My Plan
  • Niche
  • Grad Reports
  • U.S. News Reviews
Student Consensus
A school’s average student review score from around the web.
80
  • Unigo
  • U.S. News
  • My Plan
  • Washington Monthly
  • Niche
  • Forbes
  • Grad Reports
  • Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. News Reviews
  • Wallet Hub
College Consensus
The combined average of a school’s Publisher Consensus and Student Consensus scores.

Summary of Top 10 Best Affordable Online Colleges for 2024

RankSchoolTypeOut-of-state Tuition & FeesConsensus Score
1.Brigham Young University-IdahoPrivate$4,53674.6
2.Western Illinois UniversityPublic$14,40665.5
3.University of South FloridaPublic$17,32468.6
4.Florida Atlantic UniversityPublic$17,32459.2
5.University of Houston-DowntownPublic$17,52459.3
6.Florida A&M UniversityPublic$17,72557.6
7.SUNY at OswegoPublic$18,67963.3
8.Sam Houston State UniversityPublic$18,75255.9
9.Florida International UniversityPublic$18,96373.3
10.SUNY Polytechnic UniversityPublic$19,33863.3
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (January 2024)
74.6
College Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
69.4
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Brigham Young University-Idaho stands out as a remarkable value for an online degree due to its commitment to providing a high-quality education with a strong emphasis on affordability and accessibility. Renowned for its innovative online programs, BYU-Idaho ensures that students receive rigorous academic content delivered through a flexible and user-friendly digital platform. The institution’s competitive tuition rates, combined with a variety of financial aid options, make obtaining a degree more attainable for a diverse range of students. Additionally, BYU-Idaho’s focus on individualized mentorship and support services, even in the online format, creates a personalized learning experience that contributes to student success. The university’s dedication to instilling values, ethics, and a sense of community further enhances the overall value proposition, making BYU-Idaho an excellent choice for those seeking a cost-effective and enriching online education.

More info: BYU-Idaho online degrees

School type
Private not-for-profit
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$4,536
65.5
College Consensus
66.6
Student Consensus
64.3
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Western Illinois University stands out as a stellar value for an online degree, offering a winning combination of affordability, academic excellence, and student support. With a commitment to providing accessible and high-quality education, WIU’s online programs are competitively priced, making higher education more attainable for a diverse range of students. The university’s faculty, comprised of seasoned professionals and experts in their fields, ensures a rigorous and engaging learning experience. Additionally, Western Illinois University prioritizes student success by offering robust online support services, including dedicated advisors and technical assistance, creating an environment that fosters academic achievement and personal growth. This commitment to both affordability and student support makes Western Illinois University a top choice for those seeking a high-value online degree.

More info: WIU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$14,406
68.6
College Consensus
81.8
Student Consensus
55.5
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of South Florida (USF) stands out as an excellent value for an online degree due to its commitment to providing a high-quality education that is both accessible and affordable. Renowned for its diverse range of online programs, USF ensures that students receive a rigorous and engaging curriculum delivered by experienced faculty members. The university’s competitive tuition rates, coupled with various financial aid options and scholarship opportunities, make pursuing an online degree at USF an economically sound choice. Moreover, USF’s dedication to leveraging cutting-edge technology for online learning, coupled with robust student support services, creates a dynamic virtual environment that fosters success. With a reputation for academic excellence and a focus on affordability, the University of South Florida is a compelling option for individuals seeking value in their pursuit of an online degree.

More info: USF online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$17,324
59.2
College Consensus
79.5
Student Consensus
38.8
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) stands out as an exceptional value for an online degree, offering a combination of academic excellence, affordability, and a commitment to student success. Renowned for its robust online programs, FAU provides students with the flexibility to pursue their degrees on a schedule that suits their individual needs. The university’s online courses are taught by experienced faculty members, ensuring a high-quality education that mirrors the standards of their on-campus counterparts. Additionally, FAU is committed to affordability, offering competitive tuition rates and various financial aid options to make higher education accessible. The university’s dedication to fostering an engaging online learning environment, coupled with a strong support system, positions FAU as an excellent choice for those seeking value and quality in an online degree.

More info: FAU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$17,324
59.3
College Consensus
67.4
Student Consensus
51.2
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of Houston Downtown (UHD) stands out as an excellent value for an online degree due to its commitment to providing affordable and accessible education without compromising quality. Renowned for its diverse range of online programs, UHD offers a cost-effective alternative for students seeking flexibility and convenience in their academic pursuits. The university’s competitive tuition rates, coupled with a myriad of financial aid options, make higher education attainable for a broad spectrum of individuals. Moreover, UHD’s online courses are designed and delivered by experienced faculty, ensuring that students receive a high-quality education in a virtual setting. With a focus on innovation and student success, the University of Houston Downtown emerges as a compelling choice for those seeking a valuable and affordable online degree experience.

More info: UHD online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$17,524
57.6
College Consensus
80.9
Student Consensus
34.4
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Florida A&M University (FAMU) stands as a top choice for affordable online degree programs due to its unwavering commitment to making quality education accessible to a diverse student population. Renowned for its competitive tuition rates and a comprehensive array of financial aid options, FAMU prioritizes affordability without compromising academic excellence. The university’s online degree programs are designed to provide flexibility for students with various commitments, enabling them to pursue higher education without sacrificing work or personal responsibilities. FAMU’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity is reflected in its affordable online offerings, fostering an environment that values accessibility and opportunity. The institution’s reputation for academic rigor, combined with its affordable pricing structure, makes FAMU a standout choice for individuals seeking a high-value, budget-friendly online education.

More info: FAMU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$17,725
63.3
College Consensus
65.8
Student Consensus
60.7
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

SUNY Oswego distinguishes itself as an excellent choice for affordable online degree programs through its unwavering commitment to providing accessible and high-quality education. Renowned for its competitive tuition rates, SUNY Oswego makes pursuing an online degree financially feasible for a diverse student population. The university is dedicated to offering a wide range of online programs that cater to various academic and professional interests, ensuring students have ample options to align with their career goals. With a faculty known for their expertise and commitment to student success, SUNY Oswego maintains rigorous academic standards while delivering the flexibility of online learning. Additionally, the institution’s robust support services, including financial aid resources and academic advising, contribute to a positive and cost-effective educational experience. For those seeking affordability without compromising on academic excellence and support, SUNY Oswego stands out as a compelling choice for pursuing online degree programs.

More info: SUNY Oswego online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$18,679
55.9
College Consensus
80.6
Student Consensus
31.2
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is an excellent value for an online degree program, distinguished by its commitment to academic excellence, affordability, and student support. Known for its robust online offerings, SHSU ensures that students receive a high-quality education through innovative digital platforms that facilitate interactive and engaging learning experiences. The university’s competitive tuition rates, coupled with various financial aid options, make pursuing an online degree at SHSU accessible and cost-effective. Moreover, SHSU places a strong emphasis on providing comprehensive support services for online learners, including academic advising, technical assistance, and access to library resources. The university’s reputable faculty, with expertise in their respective fields, contributes to the overall quality of education delivered in the online format. With a focus on student success, affordability, and academic rigor, SHSU emerges as a compelling choice for those seeking a high-value online degree program.

More info: SHSU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$18,752
73.3
College Consensus
81.2
Student Consensus
65.3
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Florida International University (FIU) stands out as a best-value school for online degree programs through its commitment to academic excellence, affordability, and student support. Known for its diverse and comprehensive online offerings, FIU provides a quality education accessible to a wide range of learners. The university’s competitive tuition rates and various financial aid options make pursuing an online degree financially feasible for students seeking an excellent education without breaking the bank. FIU’s faculty, comprised of industry professionals and experts in their fields, ensures that online learners receive a top-notch education with real-world relevance. Moreover, FIU places a strong emphasis on student success by offering robust support services, including academic advising, career counseling, and a responsive online learning environment, fostering a sense of community and engagement among online students. This holistic approach to education, combined with its affordability, positions Florida International University as a best-value school for those seeking a rewarding online degree program.

More info: FIU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$18,963
63.3
College Consensus
62.7
Student Consensus
63.9
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Suny Polytechnic University stands as a best value school for online degree programs by virtue of its exceptional blend of academic excellence, affordability, and technological innovation. Renowned for its commitment to cutting-edge research and education, Suny Polytechnic University extends its prowess to online learning environments. The institution’s online degree programs are designed to provide students with rigorous coursework and industry-relevant skills, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for their respective fields. Suny Polytechnic University’s dedication to affordability is evident through competitive tuition rates and a range of financial aid options, making quality education more accessible. Moreover, the university leverages state-of-the-art technology to deliver engaging and interactive online courses, fostering a dynamic virtual learning experience. With a focus on practical application of knowledge and a commitment to student success, Suny Polytechnic University emerges as a standout choice for those seeking a high-value online education that combines academic rigor, affordability, and technological advancement.

More info: SUNY Poly online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,338
60.1
College Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
44.6
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) stands out as a great value for online degree programs, offering a combination of academic excellence and affordability. Known for its commitment to providing accessible education, CSUSB ensures that online students benefit from a high-quality learning experience at a reasonable cost. The university’s competitive tuition rates, coupled with various financial aid options and scholarships, make pursuing an online degree financially feasible for a diverse student body. CSUSB’s online programs are designed with flexibility in mind, catering to the needs of working professionals and non-traditional students. Moreover, the institution’s dedicated faculty and robust support services contribute to a positive and enriching online learning environment. With a reputation for academic rigor and a focus on affordability, CSUSB emerges as an excellent choice for those seeking a high-value online education from a reputable institution.

More info: CSUSB online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,366
67.9
College Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
60.9
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) stands out as an exceptional value for an online degree due to its commitment to providing a high-quality and accessible education at an affordable cost. Renowned for its innovative online programs, CSUSM ensures that students receive rigorous academic content delivered through a flexible and user-friendly digital platform. The university’s reasonable tuition rates, coupled with various financial aid options, make obtaining a degree more accessible for a diverse range of students. CSUSM’s dedication to fostering a supportive online learning environment, with personalized academic advising and robust student services, adds considerable value to the educational experience. The institution’s focus on staying at the forefront of technology and pedagogical advancements ensures that students receive a relevant and engaging online education, making CSUSM a top choice for those seeking an affordable and enriching online degree.

More info: CSUSM online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,613
71.8
College Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
69.8
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

San Jose State University (SJSU) stands out as an exceptional value for online degrees due to its combination of academic excellence, technological innovation, and affordability. Recognized for its commitment to providing a high-quality education, SJSU’s online programs maintain the same rigorous standards as its on-campus counterparts. The university leverages cutting-edge technology to deliver engaging and interactive online courses, ensuring that students receive a dynamic learning experience. SJSU’s competitive tuition rates and various financial aid options make pursuing an online degree financially feasible for a broad range of students. Furthermore, the university’s emphasis on practical, career-oriented programs enhances the overall value proposition, preparing graduates for success in the evolving job market. With a commitment to accessibility, quality education, and affordable pricing, San Jose State University proves to be an outstanding choice for individuals seeking exceptional value in online degree programs.

More info: SJSU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,779
78.1
College Consensus
79.2
Student Consensus
76.9
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

California State University, Chico (CSU Chico) emerges as an excellent choice for an affordable online degree due to its dedication to providing accessible and high-quality education. Known for its reasonable tuition rates and commitment to keeping education costs manageable, CSU Chico ensures that students have an affordable pathway to earning a degree. The university’s online programs maintain the same academic rigor as their on-campus counterparts, offering a diverse range of courses and degrees to cater to various career aspirations. With a focus on fostering a supportive online learning environment, CSU Chico provides robust student services, including online advising and academic resources, contributing to the overall value of the educational experience. Choosing CSU Chico for an online degree means accessing a quality education without breaking the bank, making it a smart and cost-effective option for individuals seeking affordability and excellence in their academic pursuits.

More info: CSU Chico online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$19,852
70.3
College Consensus
80.4
Student Consensus
60.2
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

San Diego State University (SDSU) emerges as a compelling choice for an affordable online degree due to its commitment to providing a high-quality education with reasonable costs. Renowned for its diverse and comprehensive range of online programs, SDSU ensures accessibility to academic excellence without compromising financial feasibility. The university’s competitive tuition rates, combined with a commitment to offering various financial aid options and scholarships, make obtaining an online degree from SDSU an attainable goal for a broad spectrum of students. SDSU’s online programs maintain the same academic rigor as their on-campus counterparts, providing students with a valuable and cost-effective educational experience. With a reputation for excellence, SDSU stands out as an institution that not only prioritizes affordability but also delivers a quality online education experience for those seeking a flexible and budget-conscious path to degree attainment.

More info: SDSU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$20,054
49.8
College Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
23.7
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) stands as a top choice for affordable online degrees due to its commitment to delivering quality education at a reasonable cost. UAB is renowned for its competitive tuition rates and a range of financial aid options, ensuring that online education remains accessible to a diverse student population. The university’s online programs are designed to provide flexibility without compromising academic excellence, accommodating the needs of working professionals and students with various schedules. With a focus on maintaining affordability, UAB extends its commitment to student success through dedicated online support services, ensuring that learners receive the necessary resources and guidance throughout their online educational journey. UAB’s reputation for academic rigor, combined with its cost-effective approach, positions it as a compelling choice for individuals seeking an affordable and high-quality online degree from a reputable institution.

More info: UAB online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$21,216
52.9
College Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
30.7
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) stands out as a top choice for affordable online degrees due to its unwavering commitment to providing a high-quality education at an accessible cost. Known for its competitive tuition rates, UNC Charlotte ensures that online learners receive excellent value for their investment. The university offers a diverse range of online degree programs designed to accommodate the varied needs of students, including working professionals and non-traditional learners. With a focus on affordability, UNC Charlotte provides financial aid options, scholarships, and grants to support students in their pursuit of higher education. The institution’s reputation for academic excellence, coupled with its commitment to making education accessible, solidifies UNC Charlotte as an outstanding choice for individuals seeking affordable online degrees from a reputable and well-respected university.

More info: UNC Charlotte online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$21,338
67.5
College Consensus
81.2
Student Consensus
53.7
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of Central Florida (UCF) stands as a top choice for affordable online degrees, combining academic excellence with accessibility. UCF’s commitment to providing quality education at a reasonable cost makes it a compelling option for budget-conscious individuals seeking online degrees. The university offers competitive tuition rates, and its commitment to financial aid and scholarships ensures that a diverse range of students can access higher education without excessive financial burden. UCF’s online programs are designed with flexibility in mind, accommodating the needs of working professionals and those with various commitments. The institution’s renowned faculty, cutting-edge technology, and comprehensive support services contribute to a dynamic and engaging online learning experience. With a strong emphasis on affordability and a track record of academic quality, UCF stands out as a top-value choice for individuals pursuing online degrees.

More info: UCF online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,467
54.7
College Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
35
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) distinguishes itself as a standout choice for affordable online degrees through a combination of accessible programs and a commitment to providing quality education at an economical cost. UNCG’s online degree offerings feature competitive tuition rates, ensuring that students can pursue higher education without undue financial burden. The institution further enhances affordability through various financial aid options, making education accessible to a diverse range of learners. UNCG’s commitment to maintaining academic excellence in its online programs, supported by a dedicated faculty and robust student resources, solidifies its reputation as a premier choice for those seeking a cost-effective yet high-quality online education. The university’s emphasis on accessibility, coupled with a commitment to student success, positions UNCG as a leader in providing affordable online degrees for a broad spectrum of students.

More info: UNCG online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$22,657
56.1
College Consensus
80.6
Student Consensus
31.5
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

East Carolina University (ECU) distinguishes itself as a standout choice for affordable online degrees through its unwavering commitment to providing accessible and high-quality education. Renowned for its competitive tuition rates, ECU ensures that online learners receive excellent value for their investment. The university’s dedication to affordability is further exemplified by various financial aid options and scholarships tailored to support diverse student needs. ECU’s online degree programs are designed with flexibility, allowing students to balance academic pursuits with work and other responsibilities. The institution’s emphasis on fostering a supportive and engaging virtual learning environment, combined with experienced faculty and robust student resources, enhances the overall value proposition. ECU’s reputation for academic excellence, coupled with its commitment to affordability, positions it as an exceptional choice for individuals seeking a cost-effective and reputable online education.

More info: ECU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$23,602
52.8
College Consensus
82.7
Student Consensus
22.9
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Texas Tech University distinguishes itself as a quality and affordable option for online degree programs through a combination of academic excellence, competitive pricing, and a commitment to accessibility. Renowned for its rigorous academic standards, Texas Tech ensures that online learners receive a high-quality education from distinguished faculty members. What sets the university apart is its dedication to affordability, featuring reasonable tuition rates and various financial aid options to make education accessible to a broad demographic. Texas Tech’s online degree programs prioritize flexibility, catering to the diverse needs of working professionals and students with busy schedules. With a strong emphasis on student support services and a reputation for delivering top-notch education, Texas Tech University emerges as a compelling choice for individuals seeking a quality and affordable online degree from a respected institution.

More info: TTU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$24,122
54.1
College Consensus
80.4
Student Consensus
27.8
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

Oklahoma State University (OSU) stands out as a quality and affordable option for online degree programs, offering a compelling combination of academic excellence and accessible education. Known for its commitment to providing high-quality learning experiences, OSU ensures that online students receive the same rigorous education as their on-campus counterparts. The university’s competitive tuition rates, coupled with various financial aid opportunities, make pursuing an online degree at OSU financially feasible for a diverse range of students. Furthermore, OSU’s online programs are designed to offer flexibility, catering to the needs of working professionals and individuals with busy schedules. With a faculty dedicated to online teaching and a commitment to student success, OSU provides a valuable and cost-effective option for those seeking a reputable and affordable online education.

More info: OSU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$25,754
61.7
College Consensus
82.2
Student Consensus
41.3
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of Oklahoma (OU) stands out as an excellent choice for an affordable online degree program, combining academic excellence with cost-effectiveness. OU is committed to providing accessible education, and its competitive tuition rates make pursuing an online degree financially viable for a diverse range of students. The university’s online programs are designed to deliver a high-quality educational experience while offering flexibility for individuals balancing work and other commitments. Additionally, OU provides various financial aid options and scholarships, further enhancing affordability. The institution’s renowned faculty, robust support services, and commitment to student success contribute to a well-rounded and valuable online learning experience. With a reputation for academic rigor and a focus on affordability, the University of Oklahoma emerges as a compelling option for those seeking a cost-effective and reputable online degree program.

More info: OU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$25,880
49.1
College Consensus
81.2
Student Consensus
17.1
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) emerges as a compelling choice for an affordable online degree program, combining academic excellence with accessibility. Ole Miss is recognized for its competitive tuition rates and commitment to providing a high-value education that doesn’t compromise quality. The university’s online degree programs are designed to accommodate the diverse needs of students, offering flexibility for those balancing work, family, and other commitments. Ole Miss stands out for its range of financial aid options, scholarships, and a dedication to helping students manage the costs of their education. With a reputation for academic rigor, a commitment to affordability, and a supportive online learning environment, the University of Mississippi offers a compelling option for individuals seeking a cost-effective yet top-notch online education.

More info: Ole Miss online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$26,440
51
College Consensus
81
Student Consensus
20.9
Publisher Consensus
Last Accessed: February, 2024

West Virginia University (WVU) stands out as an excellent value for affordable online degrees, blending academic excellence with accessibility. Known for its commitment to providing quality education at a reasonable cost, WVU offers competitive tuition rates and a variety of financial aid options to ensure that online learning is financially accessible for a diverse student body. The university’s online programs are designed with flexibility in mind, catering to the needs of working professionals and individuals with busy schedules. WVU’s emphasis on providing a supportive online learning environment, coupled with personalized attention from dedicated faculty, contributes to a high-value educational experience. Additionally, the university’s commitment to innovation and technology enhances the overall online learning experience, making WVU a compelling choice for those seeking an affordable and reputable online degree.

More info: WVU online degrees

School type
Public
Out-of-state tuition & fees
$26,568

Are Online Colleges a Better Value 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 numerous results, including updated reviews and pricing information for online colleges. If you’re paying for college, doing your homework is essential.

This is an excellent time for people seeking value in online colleges and degrees, 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.

When it comes to online college vs traditional college costs, 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.

InstitutionOnline CostIn-Person Cost
Private$60,593$185,252
Public$54,183$85,348
Data: Education Data Initiative – 4-Year Degree

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 researching the value of an online college is so important.

The average cost of an online bachelor’s degree will also vary from place to place and student to student. For those who want to figure out the average cost of an online bachelor’s degree or any other degree program for themselves, a net price calculator can help.

How Do Online Colleges Provide Value?

When seeking a best value 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 involves a few other factors as well. Places that offer low tuition and fast degrees aren’t necessarily the best value in the long run. As previously stated, applicants must consider the net price of attending.

Because students aren’t attending a campus, many places will offer 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.

Is Financial Aid Available to Help with the Cost of Online College?

Financial aid is often available for students attending online colleges, just as it is for traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Many online colleges and universities participate in federal and state financial aid programs, making it possible for eligible students to receive assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study opportunities.

Here are some common types of financial aid available for online college students:

  1. Federal Financial Aid: Online students are eligible to apply for federal financial aid programs, such as Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. To be considered for federal aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. State Financial Aid: Some states offer financial aid programs specifically for residents pursuing education, and these may extend to online programs. Eligibility criteria and the application process vary by state.
  3. Institutional Aid: Many online colleges and universities provide their own institutional financial aid, including scholarships and grants. These may be based on academic achievement, financial need, or specific criteria related to the program of study.
  4. Private Scholarships: Online students can also explore private scholarships offered by organizations, foundations, and businesses. Numerous scholarships are available based on factors such as academic achievement, leadership, and field of study.
  5. Employer Tuition Assistance: Some employers offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs for employees pursuing further education. Online students should check with their employers to see if such benefits are available.
  6. Military and Veterans Benefits: Active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their dependents may be eligible for various educational benefits, including the GI Bill. Online colleges often participate in these programs.
  7. Online College-Specific Aid: Certain online colleges have specific financial aid programs or discounts for online students. It’s essential to inquire with the admissions or financial aid office of the institution to explore available options.

To access financial aid, students typically need to complete the FAFSA, which is the gateway to federal aid programs and is often used by states and institutions to determine eligibility for their financial aid programs. Additionally, staying informed about application deadlines and meeting any specific requirements of the chosen online college is crucial in securing financial assistance.

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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?