Quality college education is hardly cheap. However, there are colleges that offer programs at affordable rates with acceptable quality. With tenacious research and comparisons, it is possible to find online colleges that provide quality education at affordable prices. The online colleges described below are some of the best when it comes to price-to-quality ratio. These are reputable academic institutions that offer programs, which adhere to high standards.
10. Ashford University
With tuition pegged at $402 per credit, Ashford University offers affordable online education for various degree offerings. The university offers programs in the liberal arts, human services and science, business, and education. This private university provides over 50 degree programs online and through traditional campus-based instruction. An overwhelming majority of Ashford University students are enrolled in online courses, demonstrating the kind of reputation Ashford holds when it comes to online education. Nevertheless, the campus-based student population has also seen good growth in recent years. Ashford University was granted approval to offer its master’s degree online in 2003.
9. University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts or UMass public university system is one of the leading names in online education. Its online program offerings are priced at the $350 to $400 range per credit. UMass is one of the biggest universities to offer relatively affordable online academic programs. It runs the UMassOnline service to provide accredited online degree and certificate programs to students in different locations, not just in its five campuses. The extensive range of programs offered include accounting and finance, applied linguistics, business management, communications, graphic design, linguistics, liberal arts, management information systems, political science, sociology, geosciences, and environmental studies.
8. Liberty University
With more than 60,000 online students, Liberty University is one of the biggest providers of online college education. It is also one of the most affordable, offering programs at around $325 per credit for full time students and a slightly higher $365 for part time students. The university offers over 140 residential and on line undergraduate degrees including programs in the theological seminary, philosophy of religion, aeronautics, engineering and computational sciences, criminal justice, education, and nursing. The university’s online education is collectively known as LU Online, providing programs, which are run unilaterally with the university’s campus-based semestral programs.
7. Capella University
Capella University offers online programs at $350 for every upper division credit and $290 per lower division credit, making it one of the most affordable providers of online degree programs. The university provides a wide variety of degree options including information technology, public safety, business, and psychology. Capella University first launched its online program in 1996 when it was still known as The Graduate School of America. The university’s online academic environment is organized into course rooms developed on the Blackboard Learning System software. Some graduate programs may require at east a one-year residency.
6. Colorado Technical University
This private for-profit academic institution is based in Colorado Springs. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is recognized as one of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. Colorado Technical University offers programs in business and management, engineering and computer science, information systems and technology, health sciences, and security studies. The university also provides interdepartmental degree programs. Tuition is estimated at $305 per credit, making the university one of the most affordable options for quality online learning.
5. Southern New Hampshire University
This private non-profit university in Manchester is not only recognized for the quality of its academic services. It also joins the likes of Apple and Google in being hailed as one of the most innovative organizations in the world. It is accredited by various academic organizations and certifying bodies. Southern New Hampshire University offers programs in communications and media arts, humanities and fine arts, mathematics, psychology, science, accounting and taxation, community economic development, culinary arts, and education. It also offers a custom-designed three-year honors program that allows academically outstanding to earn a degree within three years. The university offers affordable programs at $320 per credit.
4. American Intercontinental University
American Intercontinental University is one of the cheaper options for online college education. It is a for-profit academic institution owned by Career Education Corporation. It adopts an open admissions policy and has associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university tuition is estimated at $302 per credit. Over 80% of students in AIU are enrolled in its online programs, the AIU Online. The AIU Online is now considered the main campus of American Intercontinental University.
3. Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College is a public institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It is based in Trenton, New Jersey and is affiliated with several academic organizations and institutions including the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the National Institute on the Assessment of Audit Learning. It offers flexible online credits designed to be completed within a 12-week semester. The college allows 100% transfer credits, which means students can transfer a whole degree into the college. The college charges $5,322 per year for in-state students and $7,837 for those out of state.
2. Walden University
With programs at $280 per quarter credit hour, Walden University offers some of the more affordable online education programs around. The university is a major private for-profit academic institution based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programs as well as MBA, MPA, and Master of Public Health programs. Walden University operates under a network of for-profit universities belonging to Laureate Education Inc. Walden University offered the first fully online master’s program in the United States in 1995.
1. Western Governors University
A nonprofit online American academic institution, Western Governors University was established by governors of 19 states. It serves students from the United States and parts of Canada. The university does not require a minimum high school grade point average for admission but students need to pass the admissions exam administered by the university. Cost of attending Western Governors is $2,890 for a six-month term. This flat rate does not change in relation to the number of courses taken. Western Governors University was cited several times for best practices in distance learning by the US Distance Learning Association.