The Most Affordable Online Degree Programs

Pursue your educational goals online, for less

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

There are many aspiring students who wish to pursue a degree without attending a traditional brick-and-mortar campus. Maybe you’re a teenager who’s fresh out of high school and looking at your college options. Or maybe you’re an older student with a career who is looking to pursue a Bachelor’s for the first time. A college degree can open up possibilities for advancement or career changes, no matter your stage in life. But if you’re concerned about the rising costs of higher education, can’t relocate to a campus, or simply don’t have time to be a “full-time student” in the traditional sense, then an online degree program may be a good option.

From programs in accounting and marketing to ​healthcare management and criminal justice, online programs allow you to complete a degree from a reputable institution without commuting to a lecture hall for every class. Read on for our list of some of the best and most affordable online degree options for 2021.

Computer Science Degree From Florida State University

Florida State University

Courtesy of Florida State University

Florida State University’s computer science degree comes in at an affordable in-state rate of $180 per credit hour. Florida State University is a public university and a member of the State University System of Florida​ and offers both a BA and a BS in Computer Science. The BS degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Computer Science graduates can pursue any number of computer-related careers including web developer/programmer, software engineer, computer network administrators, and computer security specialists just to name a few. With a BA or BS in Computer Science, you can go on to more advanced degrees such as an MS in Computer Science or a Computer Science Doctorate degree. Core courses include software engineering, programming languages, database management, and applied statistics.

Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree From The University of Alabama

University of Alabama

Courtesy of University of Alabama

The Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama is a bargain for state residents at only $375 per credit hour. Business Administration degrees can be applied to nearly every type of industry, and they open the door to careers in management for all kinds of businesses and non-profits, jobs in human resources, finance, and management. The online Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and program applications are accepting year-round. The degree program is 120 hours and can be completed entirely online.

Accounting Degree From American Public University System (APUS)

American Public University System

Courtesy of American Public University System

The accounting degree program through APUS is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and comes in at an ​affordable $285 per credit hour. Many of the degree students at APUS are in or have served in the military and apply their GI benefits toward paying for their college degree. An accounting degree can be used in any number of business/finance occupations, from bookkeeping all the way up to chief financial officers. Career opportunities include auditing positions, accountant, financial examiner and other financial related positions for public, private or non-profit organizations. The degree program is 120 hours, and requirements include arts and humanities (six semester hours), civics, political science or social science (six semester hours), communication (eight semester hours), history (three semester hours), mathematics (three semester hours), natural sciences (four semester hours), and 42 hours in the major including two accounting classes, financial management, trigonometry and calculus classes. 

Health Care Management Degree From Oregon Institute of Technology Online


Courtesy of OIT

Oregon Institute of Technology Online is a smaller school but highly reputable and very affordable at only $270 per credit hour for both Oregon residents and residents of other states. The healthcare management degree program helps students already employed in the healthcare industry achieve management/supervisory roles. There are two options: the clinical option and the radiologic science option (for students employed in the radiology science field). Eligibility requirements include a current state or national registry license or certificate in an approved field. Radiologic students must provide a current RRT credential through ARRT.

The program requirements include 21 communications semester hours, nine hours in humanities, 34 hours in math/science/social science, and 74 hours in healthcare management for the clinical degree option or 89 hours in radiologic science for the radiologic science degree option. Oregon Institute of Technology is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

Marketing Degree From Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University

Courtesy of Georgia Southwestern State University

Georgia Southwestern State University is a non-profit school that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on College (SACS COC). The cost per credit hour for the Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing eMajor is an affordable $199.

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing eMajor puts graduates in a place to help organizations grow business partnerships with a focus on consumer and business behavior. There are all kinds of career options for marketing degree graduates, including marketing management, careers in retail/merchandising, marketing research, social media marketing, public relations, and sales manager positions. The curriculum includes nine hours in English/math, 12 hours in political science, history or social science, nine elective hours, 18 hours in accounting, business or economics, four hours in physical education, 24 hours in business core courses, and 27 hours in the marketing major courses which includes personal selling, consumer behavior, marketing communication, marketing channels, marketing management, and marketing research. 

B.A.S. (Applied Science) Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Courtesy of University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The tuition for the B.A.S. (Applied Science) Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is $280 per credit hour. This makes this degree a very affordable option. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “doctoral/research intensive” campus. The Bachelor of Applied Science degree is designed for the working adult who wants to further his or her education or career goals. To be eligible for this degree, you must have completed an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) from an accredited college or university, or have 40 hours of military credits.

The program is 120 credit hours and credit hour requirements include fine arts (three hours), communication (three to six hours), humanities (three hours), social sciences (three hours), history (six hours), 14 hours of core courses in science or mathematics along with three elective hours, 18 hours of management courses, and 18 additional hours of professional elective courses.

Criminal Justice Degree from Pennsylvania State University

Penn State

Courtesy of Penn State

You can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Pennsylvania State University completely online. The tuition is $576 per credit hour and $617 per credit if you have 60 or more credits. The degree program is four years (120 credit hours). The criminal justice degree from Penn State is certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). It has been recognized in a survey by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top schools in recruiter rankings and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

A degree in criminal justice prepares you for a career as a community development worker, police officer, prison/probation officer, social worker, state trooper, detective, customs agent, crime victims service coordinator, homeland security worker, forensic careers, and other law enforcement careers. You will complete classes in criminology, psychology, criminal justice ethics, law and corrections in America, sociology, ethics in criminal justice, and more. There are special discounts available for military students.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Hunt, Janet. "The Most Affordable Online Degree Programs." ThoughtCo, Mar. 11, 2021, Hunt, Janet. (2021, March 11). The Most Affordable Online Degree Programs. Retrieved from Hunt, Janet. "The Most Affordable Online Degree Programs." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 13, 2021).