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About Affordable Colleges Online


Inflation Cost Increase:


College Costs Increase:




In 2000:

$12, 922

In 2015:







Why Are We Here?

Affordable Colleges Online (AC Online) began in 2012 with two primary goals:

  • To Make College More Affordable

    Although we can’t pay for tuition bills or offer financial aid directly, we can help students and parents identify colleges, degree programs and scholarship opportunities that fit their academic and financial wants and needs. Finding higher educational opportunities that are affordable and high quality should be easy for all students.

  • To Spread the Importance of Accreditation

    Whether learning on campus or online, accreditation is a vital component of making sure a student receives a quality education that employers (and other colleges) will accept. We help students easily find accredited programs by removing all non-accredited institutions and degree programs from our rankings and search tools.

What Do We Do?

Our free, in-depth resources include comprehensive guidebooks, student interviews, user-friendly search tools, federal datasets, college rankings and other materials created and vetted by experts in education.

Our guidebooks help students from all backgrounds make tough decisions, like choosing an online college, selecting the right financial aid or picking a major. We also help students make the most of the college experience by providing resources on topics like college safety, mental health and staying fit on campus.

Our easy-to-use search tools help students narrow down their school options by degree level, location and types of programs.

And our up-to-date college rankings help students choose a school in their state or further afield that best matches their budget, career goals and lifestyle.

More than 1,300 colleges and government entities have shared our content with readers worldwide.

Who Are We?

Our extended team has decades of combined experience in higher education and includes former teachers, subject-matter specialists, veterans’ education experts and more.

The AC Online Team

Doug Jones


Doug has been in high tech for his entire career. Since he attended Carnegie Mellon University, tuition costs have doubled, and he’s become acutely aware of the social challenge that rising college fees pose on students and families across the country. Doug launched Affordable Colleges Online to provide sound information to prospective students shopping for a school and to help current students achieve academic success. With a wife and two sons, Doug keeps busy with family when he is not working.

Teresa Mullins

Content Marketing Director

Teresa has been in digital marketing for 7 years. She started her marketing career at Quinstreet, where she ran the social media marketing efforts for financial services. In 2013, she moved to Affordable Colleges Online, making a very small hop from financial services to college affordability. Teresa believes in education accessibility and affordability for all, and will happily brag about graduating (debt-free!) from the University of Nevada, Reno. Teresa knows what it takes to commit academically and earn enough scholarships to keep tuition costs down, and she’s glad to be in a career helping others do the same.

Shelby Brown

Senior Associate, Content

Shelby studied digital journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno where she developed her skills in strategic communication. Her background working with students and various college prep programs made her a firm believer in college affordability and accessibility. In her role at ABUV Media, she can continue advocating for students and stressing the importance of higher education. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, attending concerts, and playing with her pug, Murphy.

Ryan Kelly

Senior Manager, Communications

Ryan is a Bay Area native who moved to Reno to pursue an education from the University of Nevada, where he graduated with a degree from the Reynolds School of Journalism. Ryan has worked in various roles that developed his skills in social media, public relations, and marketing. In his role at ABUV Media, Ryan helps develop strategies and tactics to build awareness about the higher education content and expert advice published on Affordable Colleges Online. In his free time Ryan enjoys skiing, playing golf and hiking with his dog.

Roy Rojas

Manager, Communications

Roy is a Northern Nevada native and earned his marketing degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. He’s held sales positions in home automation, logistics, and advertising. As part of ABUV Media, Roy works on spreading the reach of the higher education content produced by the editors of Affordable Colleges Online. Outside of work, you can find him on the slopes, on the greens, or on the beach at Lake Tahoe.

Megan Filbin

Project Manager

Megan is a native Nevadan and a graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she received her degrees in economics and marketing. She helps keep Affordable Colleges Online’s website up to date with the best content by working with the web development team. In her spare time, Megan likes to explore the Reno and Lake Tahoe area and obsess over her planner.

Sai Yallapragada

Director of Software Engineering

Sai brings more than two decades of experience in technology and business to ABUV Media, where he works on the technology that keeps Affordable Colleges Online serving its readership. He has worked for startups and big companies, mostly in web development and data analytics. Sai has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Springfield and an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno. Sai enjoys playing racquetball and golf and spending time with his wife, son, and Zach – the Rottweiler.

Contributing Experts

Dr. Chester Goad

Administrator & Disability Advocate

Dr. Chester Goad is a university administrator and graduate instructor, former K-12 principal and teacher, former US congressional staffer, author and blogger. He is coauthor of Tennessee’s Dyslexia Is Real law and has presented on disability and leadership-related topics everywhere from Appalachia to Africa. He sits on the editorial review board of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability and on the board of directors for the Association on Higher Education and Disability. A leader in education, nonprofit advocacy, parenting issues, access and policy, Goad has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post and Forbes Leadership. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Edutopia. You can learn more about Goad and his Amazon best-seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.com.

Read advice from Dr. Chester:

Craig Leets, Jr.

Queer Resource Center Coordinator

Craig Leets, Jr. is the Coordinator of the Queer Resource Center at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Craig earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership and Organizational Studies at Chapman University in Orange, California before completing his M.A. in Counseling and Personnel Services with a focus in College Student Personnel at the University of Maryland, College Park. While working on his master’s, Craig was employed by UMD as a Resident Director, where he worked on gender-inclusive housing, an inclusive language campaign, and a coming out support group for students. Prior to coming to PSU in October 2013 to lead the QRC, Craig worked at Penn State University as the Assistant Director for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally (LGBTA) Student Resource Center.

Read advice from Craig:

Deborah Fox

College Funding Expert

Deborah Fox has been a financial advisor in San Diego, CA for over 25 years and is known as one of the leading college funding experts in the country. She founded Fox College Funding LLC to help guide families through the complexities of college funding strategies and applying for college financial aid. Her company provides comprehensive college funding planning services nationwide. Fox also provides advanced college planning continuing education to financial advisors and tax professionals through Fox College Funding Academy.

Read advice from Deborah:

Echo Lynch

Financial Aid Program Officer

Echo Lynch is a Program Officer in the Financial Aid Office at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. She has 18 years of experience in student services and financial aid and is dedicated to helping first generation, low-income and minority families.

Read advice from Echo:

Katie Schellenberg

Founder, Learning Lab LA & Beyond Tutoring

Katie Schellenberg is the CEO and Founder of the educational blog BeyondTutoring and Learning Lab LA, a concierge and academic advocacy firm focused on creating and cultivating lifelong success through learning. After graduating magna cum laude from the USC, Katie went on to attend UCLA’s School of Law and USC’s Rossier School of Education, where she received a master’s degree in teaching. She is passionate about learning and education, and her background reflects extensive experience in working with students with a wide range of disabilities and teaching a wide swath of subjects. Katie continued to successfully and comprehensively advocate for students at all levels of education.

Read advice from Katie:

Ron Kness

Veterans Expert

Ron retired with 36 years of military service. His assignment as Supervisor of Military Personnel Services (including the Education Benefits Section) provided him with a wealth of knowledge, training and experience with the GI Bills and post-secondary education in general. His last assignment was the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division Command Sergeant Major/E-9.

Read advice from Ron:

Contributing Writers

Abby Herman

Abby Herman is a writer and journalist with years of experience covering topics in higher education and workforce development. A former classroom teacher and corporate-world professional, Abby also has first-hand knowledge of continuing education and its benefit to both employees and employers. From required teacher recertification to voluntary communication classes, Abby has experienced professional development from multiple perspectives.

Read articles by Abby:

Jana Cary-Alvarez

Jana was educated in the Pacific Northwest and recently replanted to the Sonoran Desert. Her hobbies include birding, aquarium-keeping, drawing, and of course, writing. In addition to her work with ABUV Media, Jana is also a communications assistant for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Read articles by Jana:

Jeff Benson

Jeff Benson has contributed articles to Via, Sunset Magazine and Inspired Bali. In his spare time, he writes and edits curricula for African schools. He’s currently trying to finish his first novel. Find his work at jeffbensonwrites.com.

Read articles by Jeff:

Jennifer Koebele

Jennifer Koebele has more than ten years of experience researching and writing on topics related to higher education and online learning. She often collaborates with college and career experts to produce in-depth, value-driven guidebooks for current and future college students and young professionals. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in education.

Read articles by Jennifer:

Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman, JD, is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara College of Law. As a freelance writer, Hoffman specializes in research and writing higher education content, from online learning to financial aid, and everything in between.

Read articles by Michael:

Rob Sabo

Rob Sabo is a veteran writer based in Reno, Nev. who specializes in journalism, marketing communications and web content development. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, and when not at his desk he often can found exploring the rugged beauty of northern Nevada on a dirt bike or mountain bike.

Read advice from Rob:


Affordable Colleges Online


Affordable Colleges Online

P.O. Box# 77022
San Francisco, CA 94107


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