Top 10 Online Colleges with the Lowest Cost per Credit Hour

Are you looking for the lowest cost per credit hour online colleges? Are you on a tight budget but still want to pursue higher education? Look no further! We have searched and compiled a list of colleges that offer low tuition rates for online courses. With the rise of technology, online education has become a convenient and cost-effective way to earn a degree.

One of the colleges with the lowest cost per credit hour is the Georgia Southwestern State University. They offer online undergraduate courses for only $150 per credit hour, making them a budget-friendly option for those seeking a degree. Another college to consider is the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. They offer online courses for only $185 per credit hour. This is a great option for those who want to pursue a degree but don’t want to break the bank.

If you’re looking for options outside the United States, the University of the People is another affordable option. They offer undergraduate courses completely online with no tuition fee. You only pay small fees for application and exam processing, making the cost per credit hour extremely low. Another option is Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, which offers online courses for $350 per credit hour. While this may be a bit pricier than some other options, it’s still a lower cost than many traditional universities.

Lowest Cost Per Credit Hour Online Colleges

Finding affordable online colleges can be challenging, but these schools offer the lowest cost per credit hour.

Top 5 Online Colleges with the Lowest Cost Per Credit Hour

Explore these top ranked online colleges that not only offer affordable tuition but also provide quality education and flexibility.

How to Choose the Right Online College for You

Consider important factors such as accreditation, program offerings, and student services when selecting an online college that fits your needs and budget.

Top 10 Lowest Cost Per Credit Hour Online Colleges

Online education has opened up opportunities for students who are looking to complete their education without any geographic or time constraints. Pursuing a degree online has become an affordable and flexible option for many students. With colleges constantly increasing tuition fees, it is important for students to explore various options before deciding on a college. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 lowest cost per credit hour online colleges to help students make an informed decision.

1. University of the People

The University of the People is a non-profit, accredited institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration, computer science, health science, and education. It has a tuition-free model, meaning students only pay for application and assessment fees. The tuition for an associate or bachelor’s degree is $2,460 and for a master’s degree, it is $4,080. The University of the People is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council.

2. Western Governors University

Western Governors University is a private, non-profit, and online university that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching, business, nursing, healthcare, information technology, and accounting. The tuition structure is based on a six-month term, where students pay a flat-rate tuition of $3,520 per term. The flexibility of the self-paced learning model has made Western Governors University a popular choice among students. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

3. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is a public university based in Hays, Kansas. The university has been offering online courses since 1999 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in fields such as nursing, education, psychology, political science, history, sociology, and justice studies. The tuition for undergraduates is $218 per credit hour, and for graduates, it is $245 per credit hour.

4. Excelsior College

Excelsior College is a private, non-profit institution that offers online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in nursing, health sciences, liberal arts, business, and technology. The college also offers a prior learning assessment program, which allows students to earn credit for experience and knowledge gained outside the classroom. The college charges a flat-rate tuition of $510 per credit hour for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5. Peru State College Online

Peru State College is a public university in Peru, Nebraska, that has been offering distance education programs since 1999. It offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, psychology, and organizational management. The tuition for undergraduate courses is $251 per credit hour, irrespective of the location of the student. Peru State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6. Chadron State College

Chadron State College is a public university in Nebraska that provides undergraduate and graduate programs in business, education, health, technology, humanities, and social science. The tuition for undergraduate courses is $155 per credit hour for residents of Nebraska and $274 per credit hour for non-residents. For graduate courses, the tuition is $279 per credit hour for residents of Nebraska and $428 per credit hour for non-residents. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

7. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is a private, for-profit university based in Orange Beach, Alabama. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree courses in health, business, safety, and environmental management. The tuition is reasonably priced at $229 per credit hour for all programs. The university is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

8. University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville

The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville is a public college that offers associate degree programs in psychology, business, accounting, and nursing. The tuition for undergraduate courses is $123 per credit hour, regardless of location. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

9. Coastline Community College

Coastline Community College is a public community college based in Fountain Valley, California. It offers associate degree courses in business, computer science, criminal justice, and health sciences. The tuition for undergraduate courses is $46 per credit hour for California residents and $294 per credit hour for non-residents. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

10. Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University is a public university in Americus, Georgia, that offers online courses in business, education, nursing, psychology, and criminal justice. The tuition for undergraduate courses is $156 per credit hour for Georgia residents and $604 per credit hour for non-residents. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

These online colleges are some of the most affordable options for students looking to pursue their degrees online. Students should carefully consider their options based on their career goals, accreditation status, and program offerings before deciding on a college. Pursuing an online degree can be an excellent choice for students looking for flexibility, affordability, and a quality education.


Question 1: What are the cheapest online colleges offering lowest cost per credit hour?

Many online colleges offer courses at relatively low prices, even compared to brick-and-mortar institutions. Some of the cheapest universities for online courses include the University of the People, Western Governors University, and Southern New Hampshire University. These online colleges specialize in delivering high-quality education at an affordable price, providing opportunities for people who might not have the funds or the time to attend traditional universities.

Question 2: What are the advantages of attending an online college with the lowest cost per credit hour?

Attending an online college with the lowest cost per credit hour can help students save significant amounts of money over time. In addition, online courses are generally more flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace and around their work or family commitments. Since online college programs don’t always require commute time, student living expenses, boarding, and other expenses that come with attending a physical college. Additionally, some online colleges don’t have a strict dress code, allowing for more comfortable study from your favorite lounge chair or sofa.

Question 3: Do these online colleges offer financial aid?

Yes, most of the top-ranked online colleges offer financial aid to qualifying students. This can include scholarships, grants, and student loans, which can help to offset the cost of tuition and other fees. Students who are interested in attending an online college should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will help the school to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Question 4: What is the accreditation status of these cheap online colleges?

The vast majority of low-cost online colleges are accredited by recognized bodies such as regional accrediting agencies or specialized accrediting organizations, this assures that the degree has the same value and reputation as traditional programs. Students should make sure that the college they attend is accredited before enrolling in any program. This is important because unaccredited colleges often offer programs of questionable value and may not be recognized by employers or professional associations.

Question 5: What kind of technology is required for online courses?

Most online courses require a reliable internet connection, a computer, and necessary software like Microsoft Word, or other productivity software. Additional materials, such as textbooks or other course materials, are often provided through the school’s online learning platform. However, educational technology changes quickly, and schools may require different tools. Students should familiarize themselves with the online college’s requirements and make sure their system meets the minimum requirements.

Question 6: How can students stay motivated while attending online college courses?

The key to success in online education is self-motivation and time-management. It’s important to create a schedule and designate a specific time and place for studying. This approach can help students stay focused and avoid procrastination. Additionally, students should find ways to stay accountable, like joining study groups, or working with a tutor or peer mentor. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance, staying active, and seeking support when necessary can also help students stay motivated throughout their academic journey.

Question 7: Are online courses easier or harder than traditional on-campus courses?

Online courses have a unique set of challenges and advantages compared to the traditional on-campus courses. They are easier in the sense that students can access study materials from anywhere and study at their own pace. However, online courses require self-discipline and time-management skills since there are no instructors to motivate the students. The coursework can be challenging and rigorous with the added complexity of technology and the responsibility of taking on more independence in learning.

Question 8: Do employers recognize online degrees from these low-cost colleges?

Yes, employers generally recognize and respect degrees earned from accredited online colleges. In many cases, hiring managers and recruiters find online education as a positive factor because of the new-age of remote jobs. Many reputable colleges, that offer online programs, offer the same curriculum to their remote students as their in-person students. Thus, making the online degree from the accredited college as valid as the traditional degree obtained by attending the classes physically.

Question 9: Are online colleges a good fit for working adults?

Yes, online colleges can be an excellent option for working adults. They offer the flexibility to schedule coursework around work hours, family, or other obligations. Additionally, they offer access to quality education that may be out of reach because of accessibility or commuting. Considering the hands-off nature of the mode of learning, online courses are particularly beneficial for working adults who can plan and make progress in their education without compromising their working schedule or family life.

Question 10: How can students ensure they get the most out of online education while paying the lowest cost per credit hour?

Students should start by researching the online college program, looking for user reviews, and checking the accreditation status. They should ensure that the online college they choose offers support through study groups, chat rooms, tutors, and peer mentors. Students should also take advantage of the flexibility offered by online education by developing a clear study plan and setting aside specific times dedicated solely for learning. Most importantly, they should remember that online education can offer the same quality education as traditional programs and that their success is determined by the investment they put into learning.

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