Top 10 Most Affordable Online Undergraduate Degree Programs

Affordable Online DegreesSince the advent of the Internet, getting a degree has never been easier. Many students choose to get their degree online due to busy schedules and rising tuition costs. Online degree programs provide students with flexibility in scheduling and lesser costs compared to campus programs. Weather you are a student just out of high school, or a working parent looking to secure a better future, online undergraduate degree programs are a great option

Finding An Affordable College Degree

With so many options at your fingertips, it could be a bit overwhelming to find the right school. There are a number of things to consider. While price of tuition is often one of the biggest deciding factors, quality of the program is another thing to consider. In many cases, price directly affects the quality of the program. Many of today’s institutions have put a lot of money and resources into their online programs to help students succeed and get the most out of their education.

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To help you find the best affordable degree program, we will be looking at more than just the price of tuition. The programs on this list have full regional accreditation and academic counseling. These schools strive to provide their students with a great learning experience and continued support throughout their education. These schools also offer job placement services upon graduation. In addition to tuition, these schools will be ranked based on their retention rate, program availability, and financial aid services. Student experience, faculty, and overall resources will also be considered.

1. Western Governor’s University

Western Governors University round logoWestern Governor’s University operates fully online. There is no campus, leaving the nonprofit university to put all of their resources towards their students’ success. They are based in Salt Lake City, Utah, but have attracted students from all over the world. The university is fully accredited and offers a number of different undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Faculty and Platform
Unlike traditional universities that have a single teacher, classes at Western Governor’s University are personalized with multiple mentors and guides. There isn’t the tradition group schedules and pacing. Students are lead by student mentors, course mentors, program faculty and evaluators. There are over 1,100 full time faculty members and an additional 200 part-time members to personally guide each student throughout their education.

Student mentors are the primary support members for students. They help provide advice, coaching, and support to students throughout their education. All mentors already have a degree, with most having a graduate degree, allowing them to guide students in the right direction. They are actively involved in helping students, directly speaking to them on a regular basis.

The platform is easy to understand and use. Students will use the platform on a regular basis to access the course material. It’s also the place to submit assessments and projects. Students can also use the platform to communicate with student mentors, course mentors, program faculty, and evaluators. This constant communication with faculty members and advisors will help students succeed in their program.

Programs
The university offers a number of different undergraduate and graduate programs separated into the following colleges:

  • Teacher’s College
  • College of Business
  • College of Information Technology
  • College of Health Professions

Tuition
Western Governor’s University only offers full time enrollment. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 12 credit hours (or competency units as the university calls them) each term.

The price of tuition is based on the degree program chosen. However, most undergraduate programs are less than $3000 per term, with the most expensive program costing just over $4000 per term. As of 2015, the price of tuition is as follows:

  • B.S. Nursing – $4250
  • Business Programs -$2890
  • Information Technology Programs – $2890
  • Teaching Programs – $2890

In addition to the cost of tuition, students may have to pay additional fees based on their program. All students will have to pay a resource fee. Individual programs may require additional resources, such as a lab fee.

Financial Aid
Western Governor’s University has a fully staffed financial aid department to help students find ways to pay for their education. The university is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal financial aid. Many students quality for federal aid, weather it is a grant or federal loan. Due to their low tuition costs, most students graduate with low student debt. The school also offers a number of scholarships to cover tuition costs.

Retention and Enrollment
The university has a fairly high retention rate of 89%. They have a student population of over 40,000 students, with over 30,000 of those being undergraduate students.

2. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University square logoFort Hays State University is a public school that is known for its online forays. The university has a physical campus, but also has a virtual college with students from around the world. The main campus is located in Hays, Kansas. The virtual college is also based in Hays. The university is comprised of four separate colleges with over 40 affordable degree programs that are all accredited.

Faculty and Platform
Professional staff is there to help students throughout their education. Advisors can help to guide and direct students. Remote professors and advisors will have continual contact with students through telephone, e-mail, and Skype calls. Students have a number of resources available to them through the online platform. The platform provides students with an intuitive learning environment and various course materials.

Programs
The virtual college offers over 40 different degree programs. Undergraduate programs range from nursing, to political science, to marketing and science. The school even offers a unique Bachelors of General Studies to students who want more flexibility in their education. This program is fully customizable to the needs of the student. Advisors can help create a curriculum that will lead to success. It is a great option for students who have prior education or those who want to explore multiple areas of study.

Tuition
Fort Hays University Virtual College is incredibly flexible when it comes to enrollment and tuition. Students can either be full time, taking a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, or work at their own pace by being a part time student. Tuition is charged based on how many credit hours a student takes. They charge $186.50 per credit hour for an undergraduate program.

Tuition covers the cost of education through the online platform. It doesn’t cover textbooks, so students will have to take this into consideration as well. There may also be additional fees based on the particular program a student is enrolled in.

Financial Aid
The university has a Financial Assistance department that will help campus and online students. The department helps student find ways to pay for college, whether it is with financial aid or loans. They can help students figure out if they qualify for federal loans, grants, or scholarships. The school provides a number of different scholarships for qualified students. They also offer veteran benefits.

Retention and Enrollment
The university, as a whole, has a student population of over 13,000 students. This is a fairly small number compared to its faculty size, allowing students to have more personalized interaction with faculty advisors and instructors. Of this number, over 6,000 students work online. The university has virtual students from over 20 different countries. They have a retention rate of 68%.

Unlike other online programs, Fort Hays University does have admission standards. Upon application, a potential student’s educational merits will be reviewed prior to acceptance. The school has a fairly high acceptance rate, at around 81% of applications being accepted into the university.

3. University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming square logoThe University of Wyoming is another traditional public school that provides many online programs. Currently, the school offers over 30 programs, with 9 of those being undergraduate bachelor programs. These programs are taught through a variety of methods, allowing students to get their education at their own pace, the way they want.

Faculty and Platform
Qualified professionals teach students in their field of study. Professors and advisors are in constant communication with students, whether it is through e-mail or phone. The unique thing about the University of Wyoming is the school’s course delivery methods. The Outreach platform is accessible virtually anywhere. There is a mobile application that allows students and instructors to communicate and get work done.

In addition to the traditional online platform, students can take advantage of video and audio conferencing to speak with instructors and classmates. For ultimate flexibility, students can work completely independent of other classmates. The Semester Based Independent Learning Method allows students to work on an agreed schedule, completing all of the course work on their own throughout the semester. The school even offers hybrid learning methods. Online students can go to a campus for intensive days of hands-on learning.

Programs
The school offers numerous online degree and certificate programs. The nine available undergraduate programs are as follows:

  • Accelerated BSN (nursing)
  • Applied Science
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Elementary Education
  • Professional Child Development
  • Psychology
  • RN/BSN Completion
  • Social Sciences

Tuition
Tuition at the University of Wyoming is based on credit hours. Students can choose to be full, or part time students. While the cost of tuition fluctuates, as of 2015, the price of tuition is $227 per credit hour for non-Wyoming residents. Wyoming residents are only charged $113 per credit hour.

Students will also have to pay fees for their chosen delivery method. Students have to pay an additional $25 per credit hour to get video or audio conferencing. There are also administrative fees and additional costs for intensive learning methods.

Financial Aid
The University of Wyoming Outreach program offers many forms of financial aid. Advisors can help students determine federal grant and loan eligibility. Upon application for federal aid, advisors can also help to determine if students are eligible for one of their many scholarships. Approximately 73% of the school’s current student population is receiving some form of financial aid.

Retention and Enrollment
The school has over 12,000 students currently enrolled, many of which partake in the Outreach online program at some point during their education. They have a retention rate of about 76%.

To get into the University of Wyoming, potential students must meet certain requirements. Currently, the school requires a high school GPA of at 3.0 and an ACT score of 21 or combined SAT score of 980. Despite the requirement, the university has an incredibly high acceptance rate of 95.5%.

4. Columbia College

Columbia College square rings logoColumbia College, established in 1851, has a growing virtual school that offers 29 degree programs. The school is accredited with the Higher Learning Commission. The school has a main campus located in Columbia, MO. There are also a number of satellite campuses located in 13 states and Cuba. The school has a unique educational approach, teaching students in 8-week sessions rather than the traditional semester.

Faculty and Platform
The school prides itself on its small class size. In fact, there is one faculty member for every 11 students enrolled. This is beneficial for both students and faculty. Students get the chance to have more personalized help with professors, ensuring that they get the most out of their education.

Most of the professors at Columbia College are experts in their field. 80% of them have the highest degree in their field of study. Students will learn from the best. In addition to renowned professors, students will be in direct contact with advisors and counselors to help them succeed.

The online platform is pretty straightforward. It is not as flashy and interactive as other platforms, but it is easy to use and understand. Students get their materials and assessments from a course page. They’ll also be able to participate in class discussions and contact professors as well.

Programs
The school offers 29 degree programs that can be completed online. Majority of those programs are undergraduate, with a number of graduate and associate offerings as well. They provide students with an affordable college degree in the following departments:

  • Business Administration
  • Computer and Mathematical Science
  • Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services
  • History, Philosophy, and Political Science
  • Human Services
  • General Studies
  • Humanities
  • Nursing
  • Psychology and Sociology

Tuition
Columbia College charges $260 per credit hour for undergraduate online degrees. Because classes are taught in 8-week sessions, students are only permitted to take two classes at a time. This equates to 6 credit hours per 8-week session. The school also charges fees for the application and graduation.

Financial Aid
The school provides prospective and current students with a straightforward financial aid process. Students can complete everything online. They have access to the application and can even apply for loans and grants. If they need more help, the school has a financial aid department with advisors as well. The school also offers a number of scholarships catered toward online students specifically.

Retention and Enrollment
There are over 16,000 students spread throughout the school’s many physical campuses and online platform. Online students account for over 6,000 of the student population.

The school doesn’t have open enrollment, instead requiring applicants to take the ACT or SAT. To get into the school, students must score in the upper 50th percentile on whichever test they choose to take. Furthermore, students must have a high school GPA of at least 2.5.

5. Walden University

Walden University square logoWalden University is a college that works completely online. It is accredited and offers a number of different affordable degree programs. The school caters to working adults, allowing them to get a degree on their own time. Walden University is a popular choice among military personnel as well.

Faculty and Platform
The school has a teaching staff comprised of professionals with numerous merits and awards. Many members of the staff are professionals with published material, awards, and grants. In terms of administrative staff, the school boasts a large list of professionals with doctorates and experience working in their field.

The learning platform of Walden University is incredibly intuitive. Not only do students get to interact with professors, but the platform allows them to collaborate with other students as well. Because the university operates online only, the school has put a lot of resources into creating an effective learning platform. Students can access their materials on the platform or mobile devices.

Programs
The school offers 18 undergraduate degree programs and even more graduate programs. They even offer license programs and certificates. Walden University offers everything from nursing, to accounting, to psychology.

Tuition
Tuition costs vary from program to program. On average, students can expect to pay around $280 per credit hour. There are also technology fees that must be paid each term. Prices for tuition are the same for every student, regardless of location.

Financial Aid
The university has a number of financial aid resources available. There is a fully staffed financial aid department available to students. Advisors will help find the right type of aid for each student based on their financial situation. Over two thirds of the student population are on some type of aid. The school also offers scholarships, military benefits, and a payment plan.

Retention and Enrollment
The university has a population of over 50,000 online students. Majority of those students are graduate students. Only 9,000 or so students are working towards their undergraduate degree. There is a retention rate of 80%.

Getting accepted into the university is fairly easy. However, the school is catered towards adults. To get into the university as a new student, you must be at least 24 years old. The school does not accept students younger than 21. If you are at least 21, but less than 24 years old, you must have at least 12 transferable credit hours.

6. American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University vector logoFounded in 1970, American Intercontinental University offers many affordable undergraduate degree programs. The online program started in 2001, and has since become the university’s mainstay. While they do have campuses, 80% of the school’s student population works solely online. The school provides multiple accredited degree programs over 7 departments.

Faculty and Platform
Classes are taught by highly seasoned professionals in various fields. Many of the school’s faculty have decades of experience. Students will have a chance to interact with professors and advisors regularly to ensure that they understand the material and succeed.

American Intercontinental University has a few unique ways to approach your education. The virtual campus provides students with everything they need, from course materials to addition resources. Furthermore, students can choose how they want to work. Intellipath allows students to skip over what they already know and focus on areas where they need work. M.U.S.E. is another custom learning system where students can choose how they want to approach their studies.

Programs
American Intercontinental University focuses mainly on undergraduate degrees, though they do offer a few graduate and associate degree programs. The university offers multiple undergraduate degrees in these areas of study:

  • Business
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Design
  • Accounting

Tuition
American Intercontinental University charges $302 per credit hour for undergraduate programs regardless of location or program. They also have administrative and graduation fees that need to be paid. The university provides a detailed chart about tuition costs based on each program. The chart helps to better determine how much students will be paying for their degree program.

Financial Aid
The school has a financial aid department to help students go through their options. They’ll also help students throughout the federal aid application. The school provides students across all programs with many grants and scholarships as well.

Retention and Enrollment
The university has a retention rate of around 37%. The school currently has a student population of over 14,000. Over 12,000 of those students are undergraduate.

To get into the university, students must prove their proficiency with English and mathematics. Students who do not speak English as their first language must take a proficiency test. Additionally, students will have to take an academic test that allows advisors to better understand where they are in their education. Other than that, the school has no minimum GPA requirements.

7. Capella University

Capella University vector logoOne of the most popular online universities, Capella University boasts a large student population and over 1600 courses. The school offers a number of different affordable degree programs covering different areas of study.

Faculty and Platform
Capella University uses competency-based curriculum to ensure that students learn efficiently. Students are taught by highly skilled professionals in their field of study. In fact, 86% of Capella University faculty earned a doctorate degree. In addition to experienced professors, students have a number of different resources at their fingertips. They can speak to different advisors throughout their education for guidance.

The learning platform of Capella University is intuitive and asynchronous. Students can also work at their own pace with a Flexpath program. The platform uses different forms of media to introduce concepts and assess competency. The university uses interactive modules to provide a hands-on feel to learning.

Programs
Capella University offers a number of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. If you have trouble finding out what program is right for you, an advisor can help guide you in the right direction based on your needs and expectations. For undergraduate studies, Capella University offers multiple degrees the following categories:

  • Business
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Public Safety

Tuition
Depending on the program, students can expect to pay anywhere between $315-371 per credit hour for an undergraduate degree. This is for all students, regardless of location. If a student chooses to go with a program that offers the FlexPath option, students will pay $2000 per quarter.

There are also other fees to consider. If you’ve gone to school before, you will have to pay for an assessment prior to enrollment. Additionally, textbooks and administrative fees need to be considered.

Financial Aid
Capella University has a very in-depth financial aid policy. Counselors can work with students to find ways to pay for college and how to plan accordingly. They’ll even help to determine how much a student needs, including learning materials and Internet access.

Retention and Enrollment
Currently, Capella University has over 35,000 students enrolled. Of that 35,000 students, over 8,000 are seeking an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, Capella University has a low retention rate, at 20%

Admission standards have increased over the last few years. At one time, Capella University had open enrollment. However, they now require a minimum GPA that varies based on the department. They also require an assessment of competency prior to enrollment.

8. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University round logoColorado Technical University is a flexible learning option that is catered towards adults. The school has two physical campuses, located in Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their online degree programs are a popular choice among students, due to their flexibility. They offer 38 undergraduate degree programs and numerous graduate and certificate programs.

Faculty and Platform
The university has a staff of highly educated and experienced faculty. They focus on delivering current information on the particular industry of study. Faculty members work to provide students with “real-world” education that can easily be applied to a job after graduation. Students will have the opportunity to communicate with faculty on a regular basis to ensure that they understand the material.

Colorado Technical University utilizes Intellipath technology. The online platform is incredibly intuitive and personalized. Students will be able to learn at their own pace, the way they want. The platform provides students with complete control of their education, ultimately letting them succeed.

Programs
The school has a number of different degree options. Students can work with advisors to find a suitable program. They offer 38 undergraduate programs in the following areas of study:

  • Business and Management
  • Security Studies
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare

Tuition
The price of tuition varies depending on the program. On average, students can expect to pay around $325 per credit hour. Fortunately, students have the opportunity to save up to 30% on their tuition. They can take a self-assessment, called Fast Track, to determine where they are in their education. Ultimately, students can save money and graduate faster.

Financial Aid
The school provides prospective students with a number of resources to pay for their education. They have a Department of Education’s Funding that helps students find programs, scholarships, discounts, and more

Retention and Enrollment
Colorado Technical University has a very small student population of around 2,500. Over half of these students are working towards an undergraduate degree. The school has a retention rate of 47%.

Getting into the school is not that difficult. While there are no specific requirements, students must be interviewed by an admissions representation prior to enrollment so that the school can determine if they are a good fit.

9. Bellevue University

Bellevue University large logoBellevue University is a private university that has a very renowned online program. They have a physical campus located in Bellevue Nebraska. However, the online programs have earned them numerous awards. They ranked on U.S. News 2014 Top Online Education Programs list and multiple other lists. They offer over 50 affordable degree programs for students located all over the world.

Faculty and Platform
The university has award-winning faculty that students can regularly communicate with. They’ll also have correspondence with advisors and support staff on a regular basis. In addition, students have the opportunity to work with other online students through discussion boards.

The online platform, called Cyber-Active, is very similar to other online classrooms. It is a Blackboard system, making it familiar to anyone who has taken an online class in the past. The platform provides students with their materials, assessments, and all of the interactive lessons they’ll need to learn the material.

Programs
Bellevue offers a number of different undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Many of their campus programs are also available online. They have undergraduate programs in the following areas of study:

  • Business
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Psychology
  • Marketing

Students can also choose to go with Flexxive programs. These programs are more flexible than traditional programs. They are reserved for students who have more than 60 hours completed.

Tuition
For online students, Bellevue University charges $385 per credit hour. They charge different prices for tuition based on the type of program that is studies. For example, a Flexxive program costs $250 per credit hour for less than 12 hours, or $3000 a semester for over 12 hours.

Financial Aid
The university has a number of different financial aid options available. In addition to federal and private student loans, the financial aid department can help determine financing options and payment plans. Advisors will work with students to make their education more affordable and manageable.

The university also uses a special scholarship program to help students find more aid. The student simply puts in their information into the program. The program then finds scholarships that they qualify for, making it easier to find and use scholarships.

Retention and Enrollment
Bellevue University has a pretty low student population count, at less than 10,000. This provides students with more chances to get personalized help and guidance. Over half of the student population is undergraduate students. The school has a relatively low retention rate at 17%.

10. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University round logoAppalachian State University is an established school with a unique online program. Their online undergraduate degree programs are designed for returning or transfer students. They are upper-division only, meaning that college juniors and seniors only can attend. Online students often choose to transfer to Appalachian State University to take advantage of their resources.

Faculty and Platform
Appalachian State University is known for its expert staff and professors. Online students work closely with professors in addition to support staff and advisors. The university puts a lot of resources into their online platform, ensuring that students have full support in their education.

Virtual students work on a unique platform, called AppOnline. Students can access their course materials, view audio and visual components, contact professors, and submit course work on this platform.

Programs
Appalachian State University has a very structured online program, with requirements on certain degree programs. Some programs require distant and on-campus learning. Others require full time enrollment. If you are looking for online-only programs, the university offers 6 undergraduate degrees:

  • Business Education
  • Communications – advertising
  • Communication Studies
  • Health Promotion
  • Management
  • Nursing

Tuition
Tuition is based on credit hours and specific programs. For an undergraduate program, out of state students can expect to pay over $500 per credit hour. In state residents save a lot more money, paying only $127 per credit hour. There are also addition technology fees added to every credit hour.

Financial Aid
Online students are offered the same opportunities for financial aid as on-campus students. Advisors will work with online students to find federal and private aid. The school also offers military benefits to active duty students and their dependents.

Retention and Enrollment
Appalachian State University has a high retention rate of 78% with over 25,000 students. There are fairly strict requirements to get into the online program. Because it is an upper-division program, students are at the discretion of the admissions board. Students must have a certain number of credits completed prior to enrollment. There is an acceptance rate of about 60%.

Check out our Top Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2015

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