Online college and university degree programs are becoming increasingly popular and easy to find, and many of the cheapest online colleges offer high quality, accredited degrees in many fields of study. Though it’s not for everyone, online higher education has certain advantages over campus based classes, especially for people with families and those who are already employed.
Online colleges and universities offer courses of study leading to certificates, associate degrees, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees, although not every institution offers all degree options. Some colleges focus their online courses on particular disciplines like business or nursing. Others have a broader range of online degrees in many of the same majors that a student would find at a regular campus.
Distance learning allows students a lot of flexibility about when to study, listen to lectures, watch video course presentations, and interact with other students and professors. It can require a greater degree of self-discipline than classroom learning, and there are still schedules of examinations and assignment deadlines when taking online courses. Some colleges allow students to enter a program at any time of the year, and others bring in new students in cohort groups at scheduled times.
How To Find The Cheapest Online Colleges
Finding the best and cheapest online college involves knowing the field of study you want to pursue, finding the colleges that offer accredited programs in that major, and then investigating tuition costs, scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs that are offered at each. The cost of course materials and other administrative fees may or may not be included in tuition, so finding the cheapest involves investigation and comparison between colleges offering the degree you want.
Three of the lowest cost, accredited online colleges are:
– Belleview University, Belleview, Nebraska. This is a medium sized university with approximately 7,800 students. Belleview University received the number one ranking for online student engagement in U.S. News’ annual college rankings. Tuition is $5,445 per year for both instate and out of state, full-time students. Belleview offers accelerated online degrees in criminal justice, business, nursing, and other majors.
– Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah: A larger institution with 9,200 students, WGU has degree programs in many areas including teacher licenser degrees, information technology, business, and health professions. Tuition is $5,580 for both in and out of state students.
– Baker College, Flint, Michigan: This private, nonprofit institution has a 97 percent employment rate for graduates and offers certificates and degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and many other fields. Tuition is $6,660 for both in and out of state students.
Some of the cheapest online degree programs do offer lower tuition for instate students. For students in these states this can amount to a significant savings on tuition. For example, Fort Hays State University in Kansas has online degrees with tuition of $2,685 for Kansas residents while their tuition for out of state students is $8,435 per year.
By matching your career and educational goals carefully with the right online course, getting a good education from an accredited institution is entirely possible while attending one of the cheapest online colleges.