Cheapest Online Colleges and Universities

Get detailed information about cheapest online colleges and their tuition, accreditation, career prospects, scholarships, admission details and much more

Graduating from college without debt is possible! Yes, you read that right. The US has more 40 million students in debt, hence, finding the best cheapest online colleges which also caters to your educational needs is the need of the hour. Online Education requires lesser tuition as compared to on-campus education, but still not that cheap.

Keeping this in mind, we’ve listed the most affordable online colleges you can find and compare keeping in mind several factors such as fees, graduation rates, debt, financial aid and more, for different degree levels. The rankings are given to 3000+ schools and the top 10 among them are given below.

Following are the Top 10 Affordable Online Colleges and Universities

1. The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is a public university established in 1831. It makes education cheaper for students by providing one of the most affordable rates of tuition. This is one of the main reasons why 38,000 students enroll every year in this university. Both on-campus & online courses are available here. The students can choose majors in any of the 12 schools i.e., School of Law, Capstone College of Nursing, Graduate school, etc. It offers close to 200-degree programs.

The average cost per credit for online Undergraduate & Graduate programs are $375 & $420 respectively. This is also the average cost per credit for In-state students, whereas for Out-state students the cost per credit is between $1025 - $1,186.

The university provides Financial Aid to students through Federal Grants, State Grants, Federal & Student Loans, & Scholarships. It allocates in excess of $500 million on Financial Aid for students.

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2. University of Virginia-Main Campus

University of Virginia-Main Campus started back in 1819 and has been providing affordable higher education to its students. This public university has many highly ranked schools & programs under its wings.

This university has 12 colleges under it which provide various programs. Some of these are Darden School of Business, College of Arts & Science, School of Architecture, etc. These colleges and schools provide both online and on-campus programs in Business, Science, Architecture and many more areas.

The average annual tuition for the students is $10,484. The university offers nearly 230 on-campus programs, & 40 online programs with 3 specializations.

The students are given Financial Aid in the form of Scholarships, Federal Grants, & State Grants. The university allocates 13.1% of its budget towards Financial Aid as it aims to limit student debt.

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3. Jackson State University

Jackson State University is a public institution which established its present campus in 1882. It is known to provide affordable learning by providing college education at cheaper tuition rates. Online programs are available for both Bachelors & Masters degrees. Many colleges under this university include College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Public Service, & School of Public Health.

The average In-state tuition for the students is $7501, while average Out-state tuition is $18,314.

JSU provides a total of 96 degrees on-campus at Undergraduate, Graduate & Doctoral level. It also presents 15 Online degree options for students looking to for Distance Education. Cost per credit for In-state & Out-state Undergraduate students is $345 & $845 respectively. For Graduates, cost per credit is $460 for In-state students & $960 for Out-state students.

The university assists students with Federal, State, Institutional & Private Financial Aid. Students looking for Financial Aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

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4. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is an affordable public institution, started in 1899. The university includes many colleges under it providing both on-campus and online programs from which students can major. The colleges that form a part of this university are School of Art, School of Music, Department of History, & Philosophy Department. Around 150+ programs are available on-campus including Undergraduate & Graduate Programs.

Average tuition for on-campus programs is between $25,000-$29,000 for resident or In-state students, while non-resident students or Out-state students’ average cost is between $39,000-$43,000. The average tuition per credit for online students is $470.
The overall average annual tuition is around $9000.

Financial assistance is offered to students via Scholarships, Grants, Student Loans, & an Innovative Student employment program where students are given part-time employment to meet educational expenses.

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5. Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University is a research-oriented public university making it affordable for most students. The colleges & departments under this university are Architecture, Art & Design College, Art & Science, Business, & Engineering College. The university extends to students in excess of 175 classroom programs for Undergraduate, Graduate & Doctoral degree. There are also more than 10 degrees available online.

The average annual cost of tuition is about $7,500. Average In-state costs are between $9,500-$14,500 per year, & the average cost for Out-state students is in the range of $16,000-$20,000 per year. Undergraduate degree online costs $392 per credit, & the Graduate degree costs $514 per credit.

Financial Aid is offered to eligible students through Student loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, & Grad PLUS loan. The interested students must fill out the free FAFSA application for Federal Aid.

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6. The University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a very affordable state-supported, public, coeducational, research university with on-campus as well as various online programs being offered. Started in the year 1949 with only 173 students enrolled, it has reached about 9,700 students at present pursuing different careers in different streams or programs.

The university delivers its programs with various departments some of which are College for Education, College of Engineering, College of Nursing, Department of Kinesiology, School of Business, School of Music, etc.

This university offers 2 Certificates, 5 Bachelors, 17 Masters and 6 Doctors programs entirely online. The programs include Business, Education, Engineering, Interdisciplinary, Nursing and Professional & Continuing Studies.

More than 2/3rd of the students get financial assistance from this university. The various student financial services available are Federal financial aid, Scholarships, Loans, Grants, etc. with Federal work-study also available. Scholarships are given to Freshmen, Transfer/ International students or Veterans.

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7. University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of the most affordable online public research university with its main campus located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The university was founded in the year 1910 and has two campuses with the other one located in Gulf Park. It offers on-campus as well as online programs to its students.

It delivers its programs through its schools which are College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Economic Development, College of Education and Human Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The University of Southern Mississippi offers 15 Bachelors, 26 Masters and 7 Graduate Certificates; all of which are 100% online. The programs include Technology, Business, Construction Management, Liberal Studies, Nursing, Sociology, Child and Family Sciences, etc.

The In-State tuition per year is $8,786 and for Out-State students, the tuition per year is $10,786. The tuition per 3-hour credit for Undergraduate degree is $1,078.77 and for Graduate degree it is $1,437.36. There are Scholarships and Federal Aid available for students who need financial services.

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8. Arizona State University - Tempe

Arizona State University - Tempe is an affordable public metropolitan research university with five campuses. The main campus is Downtown Phoenix, which is the largest out of the five. Polytechnic, Tempe, and West are three physical campuses with Online making up the fourth.

Some of the colleges and schools under this university are W.P. Carey School of Business, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, etc.

The university offers 82 Bachelors, 31 Minors, 79 Masters and 28 Graduate Certificate online programs. The programs include Arts & Design, Business, Criminal Justice & Law, Engineering, Health & Nutrition, Language, Social Work & Behavioral Health, Technology, etc.

The tuition fees per credit hour for Undergraduate students is between $530 - $728, for Graduates it is $532 - $1,397 and for Graduate Certification it is between $595 - $1,153. The university conducts the same programs on-campus and online with no out-of-state tuition costs.

The Financial Aid provided by the university are in the form of Scholarships, Federal Student Loans and Federal Direct Parent Loans.

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9. Murray State University

Murray State University is a public university that offers affordable education to its students. Its main campus is located in Kentucky while the other five are located in Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Paducah and Fort Campbell.

Some of the colleges, schools and departments under this university are Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Hutson School of Agriculture, School of Nursing and Health Professions, Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, etc.

The university provides 15 Bachelors, 17 Masters, 3 Doctors, 8 Graduate Certificate and 2 Education Certificate and Endorsements online programs to its students. The programs include Agriculture, Computer Information Systems, Human Services, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Public and Community Health, Music, English Pedagogy, etc.

The tuition per credit for Undergraduate student is $382, for Graduate students, it is $544, and for Doctors, it is $544. All online courses have an additional $50 per credit hour online course fee.

The university provides Financial Aid to needy and deserving students in the form of Grants, Loans, Part-time employment, and state KEES scholarships.

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10. University Of Illinois At Springfield

The University of Illinois at Springfield is a public university that provides affordable education to its students. It was established in 1969 as Sangamon State University by the Illinois General Assembly and became a part of the University of Illinois system on July 1, 1995. There are currently 5,000+ students studying in this university under different programs and courses.

The university provides various programs through colleges and departments under it such as College of Business Management, College of Education and Human Services, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Accountancy, Social Work, African-American Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, etc.

The university provides 14 Bachelors, 5 Undergraduate Minors, 12 Masters, 15 Graduate Certificates and 9 Certification and Licensure programs online. The majors include Business Administration, Psychology, Healthcare Informatics, Mathematical Sciences, Teacher Education, Environmental Studies, Epidemiology, etc.

The tuition per credit for Undergraduate and Minors is $359, for Graduates, it is $369, and for Graduate Certificate it is $362.

The university provides Financial Aid in the form of Scholarships and Federal Direct Loans.

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National Park College (NPC)

Hot Springs, Arkansas


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 10


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 14

Texas A & M University-System

College Station, Texas


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 6

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 50

Berkshire Community College

Pittsfield, Massachusetts


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 26

Modesto Junior College (MJC)

Modesto, California


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 28

University of the People

Pasadena, California


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 34

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 68

South Carolina State University

Orangeburg, South Carolina


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 45

Springfield College

Springfield, Massachusetts


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 49


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 29

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 210

SUNY Canton

Canton, New York


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 58

Naugatuck Valley Community College

Waterbury, Connecticut


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 66


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 66

Touro University Nevada

Henderson, Nevada


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 56

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 71

AMES Christian University

Fort Myers, Florida


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 66

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 99

Mississippi University for Women

Columbus, Mississippi


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 55

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 380

Penn Foster College

Scottsdale, Arizona


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 79

Colorado Theological Seminary

Lake Helen, Florida


Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 45

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 131

Southern States University

San Diego, California


University Type: Private For-Profit

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 84


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 59

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 143

Ashworth College

Norcross, Georgia


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 87

Indiana University Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 89


University Type: Public

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 91

Christian Leadership University

Cheektowaga, New York


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 100

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 100

Grambling State University

Grambling, Louisiana


University Type: Public

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 102

Pensacola state college (PSC)

Pensacola, Florida


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 104


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 105


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 106

Colorado Mesa University (CMU)

Grand Junction, Colorado


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 108


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 110

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 120


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 115

Purdue University Northwest

Hammond, Indiana


University Type: Public

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 116

Stevens-Henager College

West Haven, Utah


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 92

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 260

CNI College

Orange, California


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 117

Gulf Coast State College (GCSC)

Panama City, Florida


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 118

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 106

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 363

Denver College of Nursing

Denver, Colorado


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 77

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 270

Life University

Marietta, Georgia


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 62

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 255

Santa Fe College

Gainesville, Florida


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 126

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee, Florida


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 129

Miami Dade College (MDC)

Miami, Florida


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 130


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 136

Georgia Military College (GMC)

Milledgeville, Georgia


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 136

Dalton State College

Dalton, Georgia


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 136

Barry University

Miami Shores, Florida


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 138

Francis Marion University (FMU)

Florence, South Carolina


University Type: Public

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 147


University Type: Private For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 150

Hiram College

Hiram, Ohio


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 150

Tennessee State University (TSU)

Nashville, Tennessee


University Type: Public

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 123

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 216


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 148

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 325

Grace University

Omaha, Nebraska


University Type: Private Not-For-Profit

Bachelors: Avg cost per credit $ 167

Masters: Avg cost per credit $ 150