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    Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in 2020

    March 8, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Cheapest Online Bachelor's Degree
    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

    Students attending college in the U.S. pay more for tuition and fees than students in nearly every other country around the globe. OneClass gathered data from several sources and compared the cost of a college education to obtain this information.  From this information, we have compiled the Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.

    What does that mean for students in the U.S. that believe that it is necessary to attend a big-name, expensive college or university to receive a quality education?

    Top 5 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees

    RankSchoolLocation
    1Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro, Georgia
    2Ohio UniversityAthens, Ohio
    3Columbus State UniversityColumbus, Georgia
    4Fort Hays State UniversityHays, Kansas
    5CUNY School of Professional StudiesNew York City, New York

    The Quality of Education at Colleges with the Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    One Class quoted the director for education and skills at the OECD, who noted the fact that U.S. college-related expenditures have ‘virtually no relationship’ to the value that students potentially get in exchange.

    Another statement, made by E. Gordon Gee, the President of West Virginia University, stresses the importance of all individuals being able to attend college. President Gee said, ‘So if a college education is indispensable, the challenge as I see it is how to make it more accessible.’

    High school graduates recognize the value of a college education, given statistics provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS indicates that more than 66 percent of 2019 high school graduates were enrolled in college during that same year. Those students have the option of pursuing an affordable degree online, something not available to college students of past generations.

    These colleges and universities offer the cheapest online bachelor’s degree options, yet offer an education comparable to traditional programs offered on campus.

    The listed tuition for each of these cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs covers only the cost of instruction unless stated otherwise in the description of an individual school. It does not include the cost of fees, supplies, books, transportation, housing, or other expenses.

    The ever-rising costs of higher education push students to seek the most favorable ways to complete their studies without having to break the bank or end up with massive student debt. One of the best ways students can lower the cost of education is by enrolling in online studies. Students can now enjoy cheaper degree options, whether they are at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level.

    We have compiled a list of the cheapest online bachelor’s degrees that you can join to cut back on education costs while still getting great quality for your hard-earned money. Read on to find out more on why you should get an online bachelor or master’s degree, how much you can save when you get one, and the various ways you can reduce the biting costs of an online bachelor degree.

    Reasons You Should Get a Bachelor’s Degree Online

    There are several reasons people go for an online bachelor’s degree. Some of these are as discussed below.

    Benefits of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

    1. Flexible Learning Patterns

    Unlike the often rigid learning patterns of campus-based education models, an online school allows students to study at their own pace and schedule depending on other commitments they may have. Those with family or work commitments can study at the times they are available for the online program away from the pressures of their daily work and family routines.

    In an accelerated degree program students can fast-track the online degree by opting to study without breaks as much as the online degree program can allow. This way, it is possible to complete a college degree in about two to three years instead of the usual four under the campus-based model.

    2. It Saves You Time and Money

    As we have already seen above, an online bachelor can save you one or two years of learning time if you use the accelerated degree model. This is time you can dedicate to other key areas in your life. It could mean joining the workforce a lot earlier than the typical four-year graduate who waits till the end to start looking for work.

    Similarly, with an online bachelor’s degree, you can save between $30,000 and $50,000 especially when you bank on the many options available for student aid. Since you won’t be attending any physical classes, you significantly reduce transport costs that take up a huge budget if you are not living on campus. Attending an online school also means that you can earn your online bachelor’s degree by learning from the comfort of your home or workplace if you have the liberty. This cuts off the costs of on-campus accommodation.

    Despite the constantly rising college tuition costs, you will be able to reduce the overall expenditure on education by taking an appropriate online degree program.

    3. High Income

    Taking your bachelor’s or master’s degree as an online student boosts your chances of securing higher incomes. Firstly, the reduced costs of the bachelor degree will ensure that you are not heavily into student debts. As such, you will take home most of your monthly incomes as very little or none of it will go to repaying college education funding, depending on the payment modes you had.

    Secondly, you have higher chances of finding employment earlier than campus-based students. By the time they are through with their tight four-year schedule, you will have moved up the ladder from a part-time worker to take on employment full-time. You also have better chances of scaling up the corporate world and enjoying higher salaries the higher you go.

    Ways in Which Online Degree Programs Make College Accessible to More People

    The high costs of traditional education systems lock out many students from college since they cannot sufficiently fund any given degree on their own. Where such students find no financial aid, they end up missing out on one of life’s most important lifetime investments – higher education.

    Online degree programs come to the rescue of such students so they can take up and complete their bachelor’s degree or masters in their favorite areas such as business administration or criminal justice. 

    One of the main ways in which online programs make college accessible to more students is by reducing the cost of higher education to amounts that many students can afford with or without financial aid.

    Since online degrees do not require students to attend school physically, most of them can easily learn from home and avoid transport and accommodation costs. This motivates students into opting to earn their bachelor’s degree online.

    The flexible nature of a good online program allows students to take up part-time employment to be able to pay off part of the tuition and cater for other direct or indirect costs. This motivates students who out of the pressure to make a decent living, would have opted to skip college and focus on income-generating activities like work or business. Online programs come as a solution for them with the ability to earn as they learn.

    Incorporating new methods of teaching allows schools to draw in a lot of students who have keen interests in finding new ways to learn and use knowledge. The modern-day student is tech-savvy and wants teaching methods that use technology to make the learning process easier. By using technology such as video conferencing and online tutorials and tests with a heavy emphasis on video, schools attract more students in their fold to undertake online bachelor’s degrees. 

    24 Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    1

    Georgia Southern University

    • Statesboro, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 46%
    Georgia Southern University

    Students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern University choose from four online programs. The program options include RN to BSN, criminal justice and criminology, information technology, and interdisciplinary studies.

    Online students have an outstanding variety of resources and services available to them, including tips for successful online learning, academic support services, the virtual library and internet connectivity resources.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $182.13 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 78%
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB, ABET, CCNE
    Visit School Website
    2

    Ohio University

    • Athens, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 62%

    Students that pursue a bachelor’s degree online at Ohio University choose from 11 programs.  The programs include common degree offerings, along with a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture, customer service leadership program, or technical operations management degree. Ohio University boasts that 93 percent of students completing a bachelor’s degree at the school are either employed or enrolled in a graduate degree program within a year.

    The tuition rate for online programs is the same with two exceptions. Tuition for the Bachelor of Science in Technical Operations Management is $356 per credit hour. Tuition for the Correctional Leadership program is $343 per credit hour.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $243 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 82%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, Council for Interior Design Accreditation, American Association of Family and Consumer Science (AAFCS), American Academy of Forensic Sciences Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission, ACEN, CCNE
    Visit School Website
    3

    Columbus State University

    • Columbus, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 29%

    Columbus State University offers seven online bachelor’s degree programs. The school offers continuous support to online students. Prepare for your future in business, nursing, communications, information technology, or other careers. Some students complete an online master’s degree program at the school after earning their bachelor’s degree.

    Students enrolled in online bachelor degree programs pay the same tuition rate as in-state students. The exception is the online RN to BSN program, which charges a slightly greater tuition rate of $199.00 per credit hour tuition.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $182.13 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 72%
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, CCNE, AACSB, GAPSC
    Visit School Website
    4

    Fort Hays State University

    • Hays, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 71%

    Students that want to earn a bachelor’s degree at Fort Hays State University have their choice of 60 affordable programs. Consider a degree in several areas of business, a degree in criminal justice, education, history, nursing, healthcare, or political science. Students also have the option of enrolling in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in modern languages, pre-law, social work, or several concentrations in the information networking and telecommunications program.

    The school invites you to take charge of your future. Some students continue their education after earning their bachelor’s degree online, and pursue an affordable master’s degree or doctorate degree at Fort Hays State University.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $226.88 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 74%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CCNE, Council on Social Work Education, NCATE, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Security Administration
    Visit School Website
    5

    CUNY School of Professional Studies

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 22%

    One option to complete an online bachelor’s degree through the City University of New York is to choose the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Adults looking to expand their education or to expand their career have 14 bachelor degree program options. Select from programs that include disability studies, psychology, sociology, communications and media, or information systems. Some students enroll in the health services administration program, or several nursing programs options.

    The school features Zero Textbook Cost online courses, and an online bookstore and marketplace.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $295 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 84%
    Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CCNE, CAHIIM
    Visit School Website

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    6

    Oregon State University

    • Corvallis, Oregon
    • Graduation Rate: 63%

    Oregon State University offers more than 30 online bachelor’s degree programs in an online format. Earn your degree in agricultural sciences, digital communication arts, fisheries and wildlife sciences, human development and family sciences. There are other online bachelor’s degree options, including environmental sciences, social sciences program options, and several business programs, and languages options.

    The school points to the fact that according to the BLS, individuals with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 64 percent more per week, when compared to individuals with only a high school diploma.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $318 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 85%
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Visit School Website
    7

    Missouri State University

    • Springfield, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 54%

    Maximize your investment of time and money and earn your online bachelor’s degree at Missouri State University with fully accredited programs. Courses are developed and taught by full-time faculty who deliver the same curriculum online as they do on campus. Student services fees are not assessed for online programs.

    Missouri State University offers more than a dozen bachelor’s degree programs. The program options include concentrations in health services, nursing, criminal justice, business, information technology, hospitality leadership, and professional writing.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $299 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 78%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, ABET, Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Management, CCNE
    Visit School Website
    8

    Georgia Southwestern State University

    • Americus, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 31%

    The online bachelor’s degree programs at Georgia Southwestern State University offers students the flexibility often needed for students with outside responsibilities that keeps them from attending classes on campus. The university notes its diversity and history of providing ‘an elevated educational experience’ to students across the U.S. and across the world.

    Complete your bachelor’s degree program in business, education, information technology, or criminal justice.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $169.33 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 68%
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, CCNE, CAEP
    Visit School Website
    9

    Chadron State College

    • Chadron, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program at Chadron State College benefit from flat-rate tuition. This means that there are no additional fees for non-residents, or any other add-on fees.

    The college offers online courses in an 8-week accelerated format. Students pursue a bachelor’s degree in one of eight programs, ranging from education to business, interdisciplinary studies, geosciences, or psychological sciences.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $299 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 71%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ACBSP, CAEP, NCATE
    Visit School Website
    10

    William Woods University

    • Fulton, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 51%

    Williams Woods University makes a commitment to students, including online students, that tuition will not increase as long as the student remains continuously enrolled at the school. Students receive continuous support from engaging faculty and administration.

    The university offers several online programs for students. Perhaps you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in traditional degree options such as business administration, psychology, nursing or management and leadership. The school also offers online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity, deaf human services, or paralegal studies. Some students earn a graduate degree at the school after successfully completing their online bachelor’s degree.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $235 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 72%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ACBSP, member – American Association for Paralegal Educators
    Visit School Website
    11

    Valdosta State College

    • Valdosta, Georgia
    • Graduation Rate: 36%

    Valdosta State College offers several online bachelor’s degree programs. The school offers online language degrees, a bachelor’s degree in Office Administration and Technology, Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree or other options.

    The flexibility of scheduling and the ability to complete coursework from anywhere possibly helps students decide that Valdosta State College is an ideal choice for earning an online bachelor’s degree. Some students continue their education by earning a master’s degree, or a post-graduate certificate online.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $182.13 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 70%
    Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Georgia professional Standards Commission, AACSB
    Visit School Website
    12

    Slippery Rock University

    • Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    The history of Slippery Rock University dates back to 1889, and originally served as a school that trained teachers. Today, the Pennsylvania school welcomes students to complete their bachelor’s degree from anywhere.

    The university offers the opportunity for students to complete a bachelor’s degree program in accounting, health care administration and management, nursing, leadership studies, management, liberal arts, or philanthropy and non-profit management. The school offers members of the U.S. Military and their spouses a generous 15 percent tuition discount. 

    School Overview

    Tuition: $328 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 83%
    Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Learning, ACBSP, CCNE
    Visit School Website
    13

    Western Governors University

    • Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Graduation Rate: 21%

    Earn your online bachelor’s degree at Western Governors University, a school that offers more than 60 online degree programs. Students receive personalized, one-on-one support from faculty, and other benefits that help students along their path to success. Gain the skills and knowledge that you need to be successful by earning your bachelor’s degree in a completely online format.

    Choose your ideal degree from the Western Governors University College of Business, the Teachers College, the College of Information Technology, or the College of Health Professions Online. Perhaps you want to further your education after graduation and enroll in a graduate degree program at the school.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $268.75 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 73%
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), CAEP, CCNE, CAHIIM, ACBSP
    Visit School Website
    14

    University of the Cumberlands

    • Williamsburg, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 78%

    The University of the Cumberlands was founded in 1888. The school serves students around the world today, and remains true to its founding principle, ‘to provide first-class education at affordable rates.’ 

    Students have more than two-dozen online program options. Consider an affordable bachelor’s degree in programs such as the RN to BSN program, a Bachelor of Applied Science – Accounting degree, a Bachelor of Applied Science – Psychology option, the Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice degree, or the Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $199 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 69%
    Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), CCNE, IACBE
    Visit School Website
    15

    Eastern Oregon University

    • La Grande, Oregon
    • Graduation Rate: 29%

    Enjoy flexibility and personal attention when you pursue an online bachelor’s degree at Eastern Oregon University. Students have the benefit of potentially completing their bachelor’s degree in two to three years, rather than the traditional four years. The school explains that their online programs help students to ‘connect to a wider world.’

    Choose from more than 20 bachelor degree programs such as a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology, or several bachelor’s degree options in the business. Eastern Oregon University offers an online computer science degree, a communications degree, and a bachelor’s degree in public administration. Some unique programs include a bachelor’s degree in fire services administration or a bachelor’s degree in emergency medical services administration.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $265 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 72%
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, IACBE
    Visit School Website
    16

    Drury University

    • Springfield, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 70%

    Drury University offers five online bachelor’s degree programs in the Health and Behavioral Science Pathway, and three bachelor’s degree options in the Business, Leadership and Communication Pathway. The school also offers two online bachelor’s degree options in the Education Pathway, five programs in the Public Service and Safety Pathway, and an online bachelor’s degree in general studies. The university also offers graduate degrees for students that wish to continue their education after earning a bachelor’s degree.

    The school receives consistently high scores in national rankings.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $320 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 78%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, CAEP
    Visit School Website
    17

    Troy University

    • Troy, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 25%

    Troy University has awarded approximately 22,000 degrees to online students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The school takes pride that the number of awarded degrees continues to grow. Troy University has a noted reputation for serving the educational needs of active duty members of the U.S. military that serve around the world.

    Students choose from seven online global business concentrations, computer science options, several hospitality degree concentrations, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social sciences, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Would you like to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in a unique career field? Perhaps the Bachelor of Science in Interpreter Training, or the Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Sciences is the right choice.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $338 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 75%
    Accreditation: SACSCC, AACSB, ACEN, Council on Social Work Education, Network of International Business Schools, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
    Visit School Website
    18

    Lynn University

    • Boca Raton, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 45%

    Lynn University offers the flexibility of online bachelor’s degree programs, and explains that, ‘We’re not for profit. We’re for people.’ The school was recently included among the ‘Most Innovative Schools’ in the U.S. 

    Prospective students have the opportunity to pursue some programs that are not offered at every college or university. Consider choosing from one of four aviation programs, including a Bachelor of Science Air Traffic Control degree. Select your ideal bachelor’s degree program from business, communications, media, and management options.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $300 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 71%
    Accreditation: SACSCC, FAA, IACBE, Florida Department of Education
    Visit School Website
    19

    West Virginia University

    • Morgantown, West Virginia
    • Graduation Rate: 56%

    West Virginia University offers eight online bachelor’s degree programs. The university offers the RN to BSN program, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration option, or the online Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies. Perhaps your preferred option is a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing, or an online Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies degree.

    The tuition rate for West Virginia University includes the cost of fees.

    School Overview

    Tuition: Est. $514 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 79%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, NCATE
    Visit School Website
    20

    University of Louisiana

    • Lafayette, Louisiana
    • Graduation Rate: 44%

    The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers affordable tuition, and the possibility of completing an online bachelor’s degree in 8-week accelerated sessions. The school provides students with support ‘from application to graduation.’ 

    Students choose from five bachelor degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management, Bachelor of Kinesiology Health Promotion & Wellness, or a Bachelor of General Studies degree. Students also have the option of choosing a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration or an RN to BSN degree.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $380 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 76%
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, AACSB, CAATE, CCNE
    Visit School Website
    21

    Northern Arizona University

    • Flagstaff, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 53%

    Benefit from 24-hour tech support when you pursue an online bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University. There are 11 art and humanities bachelor’s program concentrations, 16 business and administration concentrations, five computing and technology program specializations, and three options in the education and counseling program. There are also 11 concentrations in health professions, and 10 social science and criminal justice concentrations.

    There are two formats for online students. Choose the traditional online path and select a semester-based schedule, meet assignment deadlines, and pay tuition based on credit hours. Select the competency-based path, and choose your own start date, and set your own schedule. Pay $3,000 tuition based on a six-month subscription rate rather than a per credit hour rate.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $435 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 78%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAEP, CCNE, ARC-PA, CSWE, AACSB, ACPHA
    Visit School Website
    22

    Lamar University

    • Beaumont, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 32%

    Lamar University is part of the Texas State University System, and named for the founder of public education in the State of Texas. The school offers some of the cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs in business, communications, nursing, and criminal justice.

    Some students continue their education after earning their bachelor’s degree at Lamar University, and go on to earn a master’s degree in business, education, nursing, political science, liberal arts, or criminal justice.

    Tuition rates for online students include the distance learning fee.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $273 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 66%
    Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, AACSB
    Visit School Website
    23

    Minot State University

    • Minot, North Dakota
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    Minot State University invites students to ‘complete your entire degree without setting foot on campus.’ The school offers bachelor’s degree programs in several areas, including criminal justice, marketing, business administration, international business, sign language, nursing and human services.

    Students that complete their online bachelor’s degree through the Minot, North Dakota school have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree online.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $328.98 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 72%
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, IACBE, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, ACEN
    Visit School Website
    24

    Midway University

    • Midway, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Midway, Kentucky is home to Midway University, where students have the option of pursuing their choice of more than two dozen online bachelor’s degrees. The university also offers graduate degrees online.

    The liberal arts school offers its online degrees in an accelerated 8-week format, and has five start dates each year. Students pursuing their degree online enjoy a significant reduction in tuition costs, compared to the tuition rate for students attending classes on campus.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $395 per Credit Hour
    Retention Rate: 69%
    Accreditation: SACSCC, ACEN, Kentucky Educational and Professional Standards Board (EPSB)
    Visit School Website

    Methodology

    We work diligently to develop lists of the best schools and most affordable colleges and universities based on factors that are most relevant to prospective students. We ranked each of these cheapest online bachelor’s degree programs by assigning a score based on the cost of tuition and the retention rate. When there was a tie, the school with the lower tuition received a higher ranking.

    We always do our best to rank each school on our list fairly and accurately. We do not allow any school to pay us for a better placement in our rankings. Any sponsored school is kept separate from our ranked schools, and clearly labeled as SPONSORED.

    How to Reduce the Cost of Your Online Bachelor’s Degree

    There are a number of viable ways you can considerably reduce the cost of your online bachelor’s degree. But let’s first see how much you would pay for one.

    Typical Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

    Based on data from U.S. News, the cost of an online bachelor’s degree is between $38,496 and $60,593. In-state students pay about $38,496 for an online degree option. Out-of-state students pay around $54,183 for the same online degree. The average total tuition cost at private institutions is $60,593.

    From this data, it is evident that the cost of online learning depends on both the type of institution and the location. Students should therefore consider studying in a public university if they are on a tight budget. If it is possible, it is best to choose an in-state university.

    Factors That Can Drive Up the Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

    1. Cuts in State Funding

    Massive reductions in state funding for education notoriously push up the cost of online learning. Every other university is left with no option but to pass on the inconvenience to students by raising the costs for both on-campus and online learners. The extra costs usually go into funding developmental construction and administrative costs such as hiring new university staff.

    2. Rising Cost of Living

    General struggles in the overall national economy may push up the cost of living in crucial life aspects like housing, energy, and healthcare. These extra costs directly or indirectly find their way to the student’s tuition fees requirements. One might have to dig deeper into their purse to pay for the house they are studying from especially if it is a rental. Rises in energy costs bring about general increments in the cost of production across all sectors, including higher education. These extra costs are passed on by the university to the students enrolled in their on-campus or online education programs.

    3. Studying From Another State

    It often happens that an online student fails to find a suitable online program in their state and opts to join one from a different state. This drives up the cost of the online degree program since universities in different states have varying tuition costs for their bachelor’s degree programs. There are programs that ask for different rates from out-of-state students as they offer more priority and advantage to in-state students.

    Ways Students Can Reduce the Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

    Getting financial aid is a major way to cut back on the costs of online learning. Online learners can enjoy financial assistance from different sources such as the state, federal government, university, and private sector.

    Students can also get scholarships and grants to fund their studies. These are free gifts that require no repayment unless you drop out of university or violate some of the regulations governing the qualification for assistance.

    Some of the federal grants available include:

    • Pell Grants
    • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

    Scholarships are often merit-based free aid and are offered to students by universities and private and nonprofit organizations. They may also be based on need, talent, or a given field of study or research.

    How to Apply for Grants and Scholarships

    1. Students interested in online higher education should fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early enough to secure aid since it is usually competitive because so many students are seeking it at any one time.

    2. The U.S Department of Labor allows students to look up private scholarships and grants using their free scholarship finder portal.

    3. Consider the offer letters from the universities you have interests in as they have a list of financial aid options like work-as-you-study, scholarships, loans, and grants.

    Other Ways to Reduce the Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree

    • Taking all available free scholarships and grants instead of loans
    • Getting into work-study programs
    • Financial aid from your state
    • Seeking out affordable, low-interest student loans with a good grace period and no hidden charges.

    Benefits of Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree in Less Than Four Years

    Normally, brick and mortar degrees from campus-based learning take a solid four years to complete if the student does not defer or withdraw temporarily at any time. Students who do not want to go that route can considerably reduce the time they take to complete their bachelor or associate’s degree by taking it up in an online program.

    Other than joining the fastest bachelor’s degree program, you can reduce the time you take to finish your bachelor’s degree in the following ways.

    How to Finish a Bachelor’s Degree Quickly By Earning it Online

    1. Transferring Old Credits From Another College

    If you had started your bachelor earlier on but had to drop out, most online degree programs will allow you to transfer your old credits to complete a new bachelor’s degree. If you have already completed an associate’s degree or two years of study at the very least, you can find a university that will accept these past achievements to enroll you in a suitable program.

    2. Fast-tracking Or Acceleration

    Most online programs will allow you to fast-track your bachelor’s degree by halving the time it would take to study from four years to two or three. Some fast-tracked online degree programs take only 18 months to complete. The coursework is compressed and will be taken in eight weeks for a 16-week course if you don’t take any breaks and can put in the required extra time and effort.

    Advantages of Finishing Your Bachelor’s Degree in Under Four Years

    1. Joining the Labor Market Earlier

    Students who complete their bachelor’s degree program in less than four years are able to get into the labor market earlier than those in campus-based four-year systems. This raises the chances of finding work and scaling up the corporate ladder onto higher positions and better salaries.

    2. Easy Shift Between Careers

    Consider a scenario where you are changing from one career to another. It would normally take you at least four years to study the bachelor for the new career. When you enroll in a suitable online bachelor, you will easily accelerate the time of study so it is less tasking to change into the new career line. For financial security, you can still hold onto your work in the old career as you study for the new one.

    3. Saves You Time and Money

    It is a given that you will save time when you complete your online bachelor in under four years. You can spend this extra time furthering your studies to a master’s degree. You can also find places to volunteer as you wait to find paid work with the government, a suitable company, or an organization.

    Ways to Save Money By Completing an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Under Four Years

    1. Taking Loans With a Long Grace Period

    Loans are an excellent way to access higher education when you can’t find suitable grants or scholarships. Although they are not the best option, you can still take out loans for your degree program. It is important to take up loans that have a long grace period after graduation and maturation, low interest rates, and little to zero hidden charges.

    Once you have completed your degree in under four years and found good work, be sure to repay the loan in lump sum amounts to clear it faster and more cheaply. Lumpsum repayments help reduce the cost of interest so you end up paying less for the entire loan.

    2. Enlist Financial Aid

    You can save money off your bachelor by taking up all the financial aid you can get from various sources. Most sources do not discriminate against students getting assistance elsewhere. This allows you to enjoy help from various sources at the same time so you don’t stop studying at any time due to lack of funds.

    Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    When it comes to finding the most affordable online bachelor programs, it is important to consider what you should look for in such programs as well as know how to compare them to enable you to come up with the best that suits your and your needs. Before moving on to explore the best programs, let’s first discuss these two major considerations.

    What to Look for in an Online Bachelor’s Program

    1. Flexibility

    A good online bachelor’s degree should offer you the flexibility to fast-track it so that you can complete it in the shortest time possible by spreading the total coursework content over about half of the usual duration.

    If you want to make a few extra bucks as you study, the program should allow you to do so by helping you strike a good balance between the time you are at work and that which you are in an online class.

    2. University Support

    The kind and amount of support your select university offers should inform your decision on an online program. If you are taking a more practical course like computer science or an accounting program, a good student support system from the faculty will come in handy. You want an undergraduate degree with a lot of one-on-one attention to students to help you make the best of it where you get stranded.

    Most online universities have robust student support systems to ensure their online students enjoy a smooth, stress-free study model for their bachelor or graduate program.

    3. Location

    An affordable bachelor or graduate program would be the one closest to you so that if you need to attend a given matter physically at the university, you won’t have to incur outrageous transport costs. Plus you will also save time if such a case ever comes up.

    As seen earlier on, the state in which your university of choice is located becomes a factor to look into keenly. Choosing to take up a course in a college outside your state may raise your bachelor or graduate tuition since each program is highly competitive and most universities give first priority to online students within the state.

    4. Affordability

    It goes without saying that you should check the affordability of online college to see whether your financial level can allow you to study there for your online bachelor or graduate degree. Go for the one that offers high-quality education at a reasonable cost that you can comfortably pay throughout the learning period. Graduate students seeking a master’s degree should weigh their options to settle for the most affordable degree program seeing that most of them have recently been in school and spent a lot of money on it.

    How Students Should Compare Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    Once you know the different aspects to look for in each online degree program, you can compare several of them to find the one that best suits your needs and financial capability.

    To do this, you need to come up with a simple table with columns and rows showing different variations. The columns can list the various aspects to consider as discussed above. You can also add other factors like the employability of graduates, student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate, and any other factor you identify.

    The rows can indicate the various institutions, with each affordable online college taking a separate row.

    The purpose of this table system is to provide an easy-to-process visual picture at a glance. From the table, you can easily see how each institution stacks up against the others. It then becomes easy to strike some out and leave the ones that tie in most of the aspects. This gives you a shortlist that you can work on and narrow down further until you have one left.

    If several of the online bachelor’s degree programs tie with one another, you can expand the criteria to include other factors such as the acceptance of student loans.

    The comparison should also consider other factors that are beyond the program and which are central to you. Such factors include your personal preferences, availability of finances, ease of learning, and levels of self-discipline. You will want to join an online college that harnesses the strengths of its online students and makes them the best versions of themselves in a holistic manner.

    Does the program help each student to maximize their potential not only in the degree program but also in other key areas of life such as talents and spirituality? Does the program support its students to achieve their best in life after class? What mechanisms are in place to ensure students receive support when looking for work? Does it teach online students how to easily find and apply for employment opportunities?

    These are important questions to answer against each institution or program before you can finally settle on one that most fits in all the aspects you have outlined.

    Least Expensive and Most Respected Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

    You must have been wondering when we will ever list some of the least expensive and most respected programs where you can earn your online bachelor’s degree. Here we are. Be sure to find a favorite from the ones discussed below.

    Students can take up degrees in criminal justice, healthcare, business, history, political science, education, among others.

    It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    It has a graduation rate of 78%.

    Students choose from over 20 online programs in accounting, psychology, information technology, criminal justice, among others.

    There are four programs for online students including information technology and criminal justice and criminology.

    The university has a graduation rate of 83%.

    It is a public institution and currently ranks as the best for online bachelor programs across the country.

    The school has over 15 online degrees in areas like urban studies and sociology.

    It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    There are 39 online bachelor’s degree options in areas like information technology, crime science, and early childhood development.

    It has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Some of the programs include family sciences, nursing, human resources, and supply chain management.

    The institution offers over 10 online bachelor’s degrees in areas such as economics, nursing, communication studies, criminal justice, and finance.

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