Online Associate Degrees 2021

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Affordable Online Associate’s Degree

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Associate degree programs’ admission requirements typically include a high school or GED diploma. Some specialized programs may impose additional requirements, including a criminal background check or drug screen.

Professionals with an associate degree can pursue diverse jobs depending on their major, such as HVAC installer, mechanical engineering technician, and computer programmer. Other individuals use the degree to transfer to a bachelor’s degree-completion program.

Professionals with an associate degree make significantly more than their peers with only a high school diploma. A college education often makes professionals eligible for promotion, as many companies restrict management-level positions to employees with a college degree.

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Top 10 Affordable Online Associates Degrees

FAQ


  • How many years does it take to get an associate degree?

    The average associate degree takes two years of full-time study to complete.


  • What job can you get with an associate degree?

    Graduates with an associate degree can pursue entry-level roles in fields like accounting, criminal justice, computer science, and early childhood education.


  • Can I get an associate degree online?

    Many colleges and universities offer fully online associate degrees, while others may offer partially online associate degrees.


  • How much is an online associate degree?

    Tuition varies by school. Students interested in affordable associate degrees should research in-state public colleges and universities.


Affordable Online Associate Degrees 2021



  1. Southwestern Community College
    Location

    Sylva, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1964, Southwestern Community College offers degree programs in the arts and sciences, career technologies, and health sciences. The school offers many of its programs online, including nine online associate degrees. Students can pursue online associate degrees in areas such as cybercrime technology, medical office administration, and business administration.

    While program requirements vary, most online associate degrees feature eight-week classes and require around 60-70 credits. Some online programs include on-campus requirements. Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and submit SAT or ACT scores.

  2. Frontier Community College
    Location

    Fairfield, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1976, Frontier Community College is part of the Illinois Eastern Community College system. The school offers eight online associate degrees in areas such as certified medical assistant, sport management, and general studies. The school designed some of these programs as standalone degrees and some as transfer degrees to help graduates transition to a bachelor's program.

    The programs typically comprise around 60-71 credits and feature fully online coursework, though some programs may require on-campus visits. Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and submit SAT or ACT scores.

  3. Richmond Community College
    Location

    Hamlet, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A member of the Carolina Community College System, Richmond Community College combines curriculum community college programs with workforce development programs. RCC has increased its online program offerings by more than 75% since 2010. The school offers eight fully online associate degrees in areas including healthcare management technology, cybersecurity, and accounting and finance. Students can also access a variety of online courses and hybrid programs.

    At RCC, online courses run throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Most of the online associate degrees require around 60-70 credits. Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA to receive credit for prior academic work.

  4. James Sprunt Community College
    Location

    Kenansville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1960 as a member of the North Carolina Community College System, James Sprunt Community College offers three online associate degrees: an associate of arts, associate of science, and associate of general education.

    Most online classes run asynchronously, though some programs may require synchronous components. The online associate degrees comprise around 60-65 credits and offer courses in the fall, spring, and summer. The school features an open-door policy that admits all interested students.

  5. Niagara County Community College
    Location

    Sanborn, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1962, Niagara County Community College enrolls more than 5,000 students through over 60 programs, including several online associate degrees. Students can pursue online associate degrees in areas including health studies, psychology, and human services. Programs typically begin in the fall or spring. Many of the programs are designed to help students seamlessly transfer into bachelor's programs.

    The programs comprise around 60-70 credits and take about two years of full-time study to complete. Online classes feature a flexible, asynchronous format. Some programs may require campus visits. Applicants need a high school or a GED diploma. Some applicants must submit SAT or ACT scores.

  6. Copiah-Lincoln Community College
    Location

    Wesson, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1928, Copiah-Lincoln Community College enrolls more than 3,000 students each year. Students can choose from over 30 online associate programs in the arts and humanities, social sciences, health sciences, education, and business.

    Online programs run during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Fall and spring classes may feature eight-week or 16-week sessions. In the summer, classes span four or eight weeks. Online courses typically run asynchronously, but some courses may set scheduled meeting times. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They may also need to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students can transfer up to 45 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA toward an associate degree.

  7. Laramie County Community College
    Location

    Cheyenne, WY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1968, Laramie County Community College offers more than 85 associate degrees, including several online associate degrees. Online students can earn associate degrees in areas like small business management, early childhood education, and health information technology management. LCCC offers certification tracks in some disciplines.

    Online associate programs typically comprise 60-70 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. Most online courses feature an asynchronous format, though some classes may require scheduled sessions. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED score.

  8. Lenoir Community College
    Location

    Kinston, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1960, Lenoir Community College hosts more than 16,000 students through diverse on-campus and online programs. The school offers 20 online associate degrees in areas like aviation management, emergency management, and network management.

    The programs typically require 60-70 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. Classes run through the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED score. They may also need to submit SAT or GED scores or complete a placement examination. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  9. Stanly Community College
    Location

    Albemarle, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Since 1971, Stanly Community College has helped students gain professional training and credentials. The school offers 10 online associate degree programs in areas like human services technology, criminal justice technology, and early childhood education. Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer.

    The associate degrees typically require 60-70 credits, and students can study part time or full time. Online courses may span four, eight, 12, or 16 weeks. Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and complete a placement test. SCC holds transfer agreements with several four-year universities, allowing associate degree graduates to seamlessly transfer to a bachelor's program.

  10. Western Piedmont Community College
    Location

    Morganton, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A member of the North Carolina Community College System since 1864, Western Piedmont Community College enrolls more than 7,000 students, nearly 60% of whom take online classes. The school offers online associate degrees in business administration, information technology, and paralegal technology. All three programs include core, major, and concentration courses.

    Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer, and classes typically span eight weeks. Associate degrees require 65-67 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Transfer applicants may receive credit for courses with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

What Are the Goals of an Associate Degree?

Some students earn an associate degree before transferring to a bachelor’s degree-completion program at a four-year college or university. Other learners immediately enter the workforce after earning an associate degree.

Some associate programs allow students to specialize in a certain area, preparing them for a specific career path. Degree-seekers unsure about their career goals can pursue a major like general or interdisciplinary studies to explore various fields.

Why Get an Associate Degree?



An online associate degree benefits graduates in many ways. The following list outlines several benefits of earning an online associate degree.

Lower Tuition
Online students often pay less in tuition than their on-campus peers. Online learners may also save money by not paying for on-campus housing, a meal plan, and certain fees.
Flexible Education
Online learning often gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.
Employability
Employers typically prefer college graduates over high school graduates, since a degree indicates that candidates possess transferable skills and job-specific knowledge.
Salary
College graduates often earn more than their peers with only a high school diploma, making an online associate degree a worthwhile investment.
Transfer
Graduates with an associate degree can often seamlessly transfer to a bachelor’s program.

What Are the Requirements for an Associate Degree?

Admission requirements vary by school. However, prospective students typically need a high school or GED diploma. Transfer degree-seekers should submit official college transcripts for evaluation, as transfer credit often reduces the time needed to graduate. Associate degree programs may also require SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER scores. College counselors use these results to place degree-seekers in appropriate first-year courses.

Graduation requirements differ by program, but they may include a minimum GPA and certain general education and major courses. Some programs require degree-seekers to take a capstone course, an experience wherein students create an academic portfolio or complete a similar summative assignment.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Scholarships for Associate Degree Students

Even affordable associate degrees require a financial investment. Students can take advantage of scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost of the degree. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for online associate degree students.

American Association for Women in Community Colleges Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Women enrolled in an associate program can apply for this competitive award. Application requirements include a 250-word essay, a brief statement describing financial need, and a short biography.
Amount: $500

Horatio Alger Association Career and Technical Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Horatio Alger Endowment Fund provides funding to degree-seekers enrolled in a career or technical program at a two-year community or junior college. Applicants must possess U.S. citizenship, hold a high school or GED diploma, and demonstrate financial need by submitting FAFSA results.
Amount: Up to $2,500

Hites Transfer Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Associate degree students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university can apply to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Hites Transfer Scholarship. Applicants need PTK membership and a minimum 3.5 undergraduate GPA. Recipients can apply the scholarship toward tuition at their four-year school.
Amount: Varies

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