10 Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges for a Quality Education

Looking for affordable options to get an online degree? With the rising cost of tuition fees and other expenses, more and more students are searching for ways to get a quality education without breaking the bank. Thankfully, there are cheapest accredited online colleges that offer affordable programs without sacrificing the quality of learning.

The good news is that online learning has become more popular in recent years, and many colleges and universities now offer online degree programs to meet the growing demand. These schools offer a wide range of programs, from business and accounting to healthcare and education, so you can explore different fields without worrying about the cost. In this article, we’ll be featuring some of the most affordable online colleges that are also accredited by the relevant agencies.

10 Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges for a Quality Education
10 Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges for a Quality Education

The Benefits of Attending Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges

Online colleges are less expensive than traditional colleges, and accredited colleges offer high-quality education.

Top Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges to Consider

Some of the cheapest accredited online colleges include the University of Florida, Georgia Southwestern State University, and Lamar University.

The Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges

Online education has become more popular in recent years, enabling students to pursue higher education from the comfort of their homes. Accredited online colleges offer a great alternative to traditional colleges and universities, but the tuition fees often deter many students from enrolling. However, there are affordable online colleges that provide quality education at a lower cost. Here, we have compiled a list of the cheapest accredited online colleges in the United States.

Ashworth College

Ashworth College offers over 125 accredited online programs that cater to both undergraduate and graduate students. The college specializes in career-focused courses that prepare students for the workforce. Ashworth College is known for its low tuition fees, where students pay around $3,000 per program. The flexible payment options make it an ideal choice for students who need to balance work and school.

Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College has been providing distance learning courses for over 125 years. The college offers undergraduate degrees in fields such as healthcare, business, education, and technology. Tuition fees at Penn Foster College range from $79-$106 per credit, making it one of the most affordable online colleges in the United States. Students can also take advantage of scholarships and payment plans to reduce the financial burden.

University of the People

University of the People was established in 2009 with the mission of making higher education accessible to everyone. The institution relies on donations to offer tuition-free academic programs to students from all over the world. All courses are offered online, and students pay a small application fee and assessment fees per course, which range from $60-$100. The University offers degrees in business administration, computer science, and health science, among others.

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is an accredited online university that offers degrees in fields such as business, criminal justice, and education. The institution has a unique self-paced learning model that allows students to complete their coursework at their own pace. Tuition fees at Columbia Southern University are around $225 per credit, making it one of the most affordable options for online education.

Liberty University

Liberty University is one of the largest Christian universities in the world, offering over 550 programs online. The institution provides affordable online courses with tuition fees ranging from $390-$455 per credit hour. Liberty University offers students the opportunity to learn from industry experts and access state-of-the-art resources.


Online education has made it possible for students to pursue higher education from anywhere in the world. The above-mentioned institutions offer quality education at a lower cost, making it accessible to students from all walks of life. In choosing a college, it is essential to consider factors such as program offerings, accreditation, and affordability. By enrolling in one of the cheapest accredited online colleges, students can get the education they need without breaking the bank.


1) What are the cheapest accredited online colleges?

There are several online colleges that offer affordable tuition rates, but to determine the cheapest, you need to consider a number of factors. Some online colleges have lower prices than others because they are public universities, colleges that specialize in online education or for-profit institutions. Among these options, some popular and reputable online colleges that offer low tuition rates are Western Governors University, Southern New Hampshire University, Ashworth College, and Penn Foster Career School. These institutions offer degree programs in a wide range of fields and are all accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

2) Are accredited online colleges as good as traditional colleges?

Yes, accredited online colleges are just as good as traditional colleges. In fact, many employers and graduate schools view online degrees favorably because they recognize the flexibility and self-discipline that online learning requires. One of the benefits of online learning is that it allows you to work at your own pace and often offers opportunities to practice skills through interactive activities and simulations. In addition, online colleges that are accredited by reputable organizations like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and the Higher Learning Commission are held to the same high standards as traditional colleges and universities regarding quality of education, faculty expertise and student outcomes.

3) How can I find out if an online college is accredited?

You can find out if an online college is accredited by checking the institution’s website, looking for accreditation logos on the site, or searching accrediting organization databases. The U.S. Department of Education also provides a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs on its website. The important thing to remember is to make sure the accrediting organization is recognized by the Department of Education, as this ensures that the school meets certain quality standards. Additionally, you can check if the online college is regionally accredited, which is the highest form of accreditation and widely recognized by employers, by checking with accrediting organizations like the Higher Learning Commission or Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

4) Can I get financial aid for online college?

Yes, you can receive financial aid for online college just as you would for traditional on-campus programs. Financial aid options for online college students include grants, loans, and scholarships. To become eligible for federal financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online. Private lenders and organizations also offer funding options for online students, and some online colleges offer their own scholarships and grants to help offset costs. Furthermore, veterans and military service members may be eligible for additional financial aid through military education benefits or programs like the GI Bill.

5) How long does it take to earn a degree online?

The time it takes to earn a degree online depends on several factors, including the type of degree, the credit hours required, and how many courses you take each semester. It also depends on whether you enroll full-time or part-time. Most online degrees are designed to be flexible and allow students to work at their own pace, which can speed up or slow down the time it takes to complete the degree. On average, a bachelor’s degree takes around four years to complete if you study full-time. An associate degree typically takes two years to complete, while a master’s degree takes one to three years and a doctoral degree can take three to six years.

6) What are the benefits of attending an online college?

Online college offers many benefits that traditional colleges do not. One of the most significant benefits of attending online college is flexibility. Online courses allow students to complete assignments on their own schedule, which can be especially beneficial for those with work or family obligations. Additionally, online classes can be taken from anywhere in the world, which means you can attend a college without relocating. Online classes can also be more affordable than traditional in-person classes, as tuition is often lower and there are no commuting or housing costs. Finally, online programs often offer a wider range of degrees and courses to choose from, which means you have more options for pursuing your career goals and interests.

7) Are online degrees respected by employers?

Employers generally consider accredited online degrees to be as reputable as those from traditional colleges and universities. However, it is important to research a potential employer’s expectations and requirements before choosing an online degree program. Some employers may place more value on certain degrees or degrees from specific colleges, regardless of whether they were earned online or in-person. If you are concerned about how your online degree will be perceived by potential employers, you can research the job market in your field, network with other professionals in the industry, or reach out to the college’s career services office for advice and support.

8) Can I transfer credits from an online college to a traditional college?

Yes, you can transfer credits from an online college to a traditional college as long as both colleges are accredited. However, the process of transferring credits can vary depending on the policies of the receiving institution. Some colleges may accept transfer credits for specific courses and majors, while others may have limits on the number of credits you can transfer or require a certain grade-point average for credits to transfer. Additionally, some online colleges have partnerships with traditional colleges and universities to make the transfer process smoother. Before you enroll in an online degree program with the intention of transferring credits to a traditional college, it is important to research the transfer requirements and credit policies of the colleges you are considering.

9) Can I earn a degree faster in an online college than in a traditional college?

Yes, it is often possible to earn a degree faster in an online college than in a traditional college, primarily due to the flexibility that online programs offer. Online colleges generally offer courses year-round, including during the summer and winter breaks, which means you can complete your degree faster by taking more classes each semester. Additionally, online courses often allow you to work at your own pace, which means you can complete assignments faster than you might in a traditional classroom setting. However, it is important to note that accelerated degree programs can be more intensive and may require you to take on a heavy course load, which could affect your ability to balance other commitments, such as work or family obligations.

10) Will employers be able to tell whether my degree was earned online?

While employers can certainly tell if a degree was earned online if the information is provided on your resume or job application, as accredited online degrees are now widely recognized as being equivalent to traditional degrees, it should not negatively affect their view of your qualifications. The reputation of online colleges has grown significantly over the past decade, and many employers now recognize the benefits of online education, including the flexibility and self-discipline required to complete this type of education. When it comes to job applications and interviews, it is important to highlight the skills and knowledge you have gained from your education, regardless of whether it was earned online or in-person, to demonstrate that you are a qualified and competent candidate for the position.

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