Cheapest Online Colleges per Credit Hour: Affordable Education at Your Fingertips

Education is one of the most important investments that anyone can make in their lifetime. However, college tuition fees can be a major burden, especially for someone who is already struggling financially. Fortunately, there are now online colleges that offer courses at a much lower price, allowing students to earn a degree or certificate at a more affordable rate. This article will discuss the cheapest online colleges per credit hour and provide information on how students can take advantage of this opportunity.

First on the list is Rio Salado College, which offers courses for as low as $86 per credit hour. The college is located in Tempe, Arizona, and has been offering online courses since 1996. With over 600 courses available, students can choose from a variety of programs, including business, education, healthcare, and social sciences. The college is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, ensuring that students receive quality education.


Online education is becoming increasingly popular due to its flexibility and affordability. In this article, we will highlight the cheapest online colleges per credit hour to help you save money on education expenses.


Section 1: Cheapest Online Colleges Per Credit Hour

There are several online colleges that offer affordable tuition rates per credit hour, such as Western Governors University, University of the People, and Georgia Southwestern State University.


Section 2: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cheap Online College

When choosing a cheap online college, it’s important to consider factors such as accreditation, program availability, and student support services to ensure that you’re getting a quality education.


Cheapest Online College per Credit Hour: Top 5 List

Online learning has never been more accessible and affordable with college education becoming more expensive as years go by. Many students seek low tuition rates for education that is excellent in quality and relevance. In this article, we’ll explore the cheapest online colleges per credit hour.

The list compiled here includes top-tier colleges that offer a range of programs and varied courses to give students the education they need at an affordable cost. We hope this list helps you make the right choice for your academic future.

1. Rio Salado College

Rio Salado College, located in Tempe, Arizona, is one of the most affordable online colleges per credit hour. It offers over 600 online courses with a credit rate of $86 per credit hour for out-of-state students and $84 per credit hour for Arizona residents. Rio Salado College also offers several certificate programs, degrees, and transfer options to other universities.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and provides high-quality education to its students at a reasonable cost. Rio Salado College was founded in 1967 and has since become a leader in online education, providing flexible schedules and outstanding academic support to its students.

2. Western Governors University (WGU)

Western Governors University (WGU) is another low-cost option for online education. It’s a private, non-profit university that offers over 60 online degrees and programs. WGU has a unique pay-per-term model where students pay a flat rate of $3,895 per term and can take as many courses as they want.

WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has been recognized as a top online university for several years. WGU has an excellent reputation for providing quality education to its students at an affordable price point.

3. Brigham Young University – Idaho

Brigham Young University – Idaho is a private, non-profit university that delivers online programs to students worldwide. The university offers over 15 bachelor’s degrees and several associate degrees in various fields.

Per credit hour rate is $188 for online courses. However, the institute also provides an affordable tuition/trimester-rate-based payment for students. Brigham Young University – Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The university offers a self-paced learning option, allowing students to complete their coursework according to their schedules. The university also provides a wide range of resources, including online libraries, academic advising, and tutoring services to all students.

4. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is located in Hays, Kansas, and has been providing quality education since 1902. The university offers over 200 online courses and several online degree programs. The online credit hour rate is $212 for all students, making it one of the most affordable colleges per credit hour.

Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been recognized for its excellent online education programs. The university also provides military tuition rates for those on active duty or in the reserves, as well as their families.

5. Southern Arkansas University Tech

Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden, Arkansas, has been providing affordable education since 1968. The university offers several online courses and associate degree programs, including nursing, business management, and criminal justice.

Southern Arkansas University Tech has one of the most affordable online credit hour rates at $93 per credit hour, making it a top choice for students on a budget. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers various financial aid options to its students.


Getting an online education could be the perfect choice for you if you are working or have other commitments that don’t allow you to attend traditional college classes. The colleges listed above are some of the cheapest options available for online education, making them an excellent choice for students on a tight budget.

Although the tuition rates are low, all of these colleges have accreditation, high-quality programs, and a reputation for excellence in online education. These colleges’ affordable options open up access to education to more students, providing a chance for students to earn a degree without incurring too much debt. Select an online college that aligns well with your career goals and start on your journey to academic and financial success.


Question 1: What does “per credit hour” mean?

Per credit hour refers to the cost for each credit taken in a particular course. This means that a three-credit course will cost three times the per credit hour fee. It is important to consider the per credit hour cost when comparing online colleges, as it can add up quickly and become a significant expense.

Question 2: What is the cheapest online college per credit hour?

The cheapest online college per credit hour varies based on several factors, including the program, location, and level of education. Some colleges that are often considered affordable include StraighterLine, Rio Salado College, and Western Governors University. However, it is important to do your own research to find the best option for your personal situation.

Question 3: Is a cheaper per credit hour rate always the best option?

Not necessarily. While a lower per credit hour rate may seem more affordable, it is important to consider additional costs such as textbooks, online course fees, and technology requirements. Additionally, the quality of education and accreditation of the college should be a primary consideration in order to ensure that you receive a valuable education.

Question 4: Are online colleges cheaper than traditional colleges?

Online colleges can often be more affordable than traditional colleges due to lower overhead costs and the ability to offer courses in a more flexible format. However, it is important to consider the individual programs and compare costs to get an accurate idea of the affordability of a particular college.

Question 5: What financial aid options are available for online college students?

Online college students are generally eligible for the same financial aid options as traditional students, including federal and state grants, loans, and scholarships. It is important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for federal aid, and to check with the individual college for additional financial aid options.

Question 6: Can I transfer credits from an online college to a traditional college?

Yes, many online colleges are accredited and have transfer agreements with traditional colleges. It is important to research and confirm that the credits earned at the online college will be accepted by the desired traditional college before enrolling in courses.

Question 7: What technology requirements do I need for an online college?

The technology requirements for an online college vary based on the individual program. Generally, students will need access to a reliable computer with internet access, a webcam and microphone for virtual meetings, and basic software programs such as Microsoft Office.

Question 8: Can I work while attending an online college?

Yes, many online colleges offer flexible schedules that allow students to work while attending classes. It is important to carefully consider your time management and ensure that you are able to balance work and school responsibilities.

Question 9: How long does it take to complete a degree from an online college?

The time it takes to complete a degree from an online college varies based on the program and course load. Some students may take longer than traditional students due to working part-time or balancing other responsibilities. It is important to discuss expected program length with an academic advisor at the college to ensure that you are able to complete the program within your desired timeframe.

Question 10: What type of accreditation should I look for in an online college?

It is important to look for a college that is regionally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This will ensure that the college has met certain standards for quality education and that the credits earned will be recognized by other colleges and employers.

Leave a Comment