Bachelor’s Degree Online in 2021

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Earn an Affordable Bachelor’s Degree Online

A bachelor’s degree opens the door to new careers and a higher earning potential. Professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn an annual median pay of $26,000 more than those with a high school diploma.

Choosing an affordable online college makes it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree with less debt. The flexible format appeals to busy working professionals seeking career advancement. An affordable online university also makes a college degree accessible to more people.

Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Our list ranks the most affordable online colleges for 2021. Prospective students can use these rankings to identify the cheap online college programs that fit their budget and interests. This article also examines the benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree online and career outlooks for college graduates.

See Our Rankings Methodology

Top 10 Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees

FAQ


  • Is online college more affordable?

    An affordable online college helps students save on tuition, commuting and transportation costs, and other expenses. The online format makes college more affordable for many students.


  • Are online colleges accredited?

    Yes; many online colleges hold regional accreditation, considered the highest standard in higher education. Degree-seekers should always choose an accredited online college.


  • What kind of degrees can I earn online?

    Students can earn a bachelor’s degree online in the social sciences, business, the humanities, and education. Other options include the natural sciences, technology, and many other majors. Online schools also offer graduate degrees.


  • How long does it take to earn an online degree?

    Earning an online bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of full-time study. Choosing an accelerated program or applying transfer credits toward the degree can shorten that timeline.


Most Affordable Online Colleges 2021



  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1853, the University of Florida is a public land-grant institution located in Gainesville. UF administers more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs to over 50,000 learners each year, including a variety of online bachelor's degrees. Students can choose from 24 online bachelor's degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, communications, business, and technology. The 120-credit programs feature flexible, asynchronous formats that allow students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. UF accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit recent SAT or ACT scores, a resume, and an essay. Students can transfer up to 60 credits toward a bachelor's degree.

  2. Saint Louis University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Saint Louis University is a private, Roman Catholic research institution based in St. Louis, Missouri. The oldest university west of the Mississippi River, SLU was founded in 1818. The school offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including many online options. Students can choose from nine online bachelor's degrees in areas like computer information systems, emergency management, organizational behavior, security intelligence, and general studies. These programs feature accelerated, eight-week courses that use convenient learning modules. Learners can begin on one of six start dates per year. Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and submit transcripts. They must also participate in a coaching session with an academic advisor. All potential transfer credits need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

  3. Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, and founded as a land-grant institution in 1869, Purdue University offers over 200 undergraduate majors and nearly 70 graduate and professional programs. Students can choose fromonline bachelor's degreesthat span education, the arts and sciences, technology, business, economics, and computer science. Most programs comprise 120 credits that students can complete in four years of full-time study. The school delivers all course content through flexible formats that accommodate busy learners and working professionals. Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit recent SAT/ACT scores, a personal essay, and general biographical information.

  4. Houghton College
    Location

    Houghton, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established as a seminary and coeducational school in 1883, Houghton College is a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. Houghton College offers affordable, accessible learning experiences to over 1,000 degree-seekers each year. The school offers online bachelor's degrees incriminal justice,psychology,human resources,integrated marketing,leadership development, andorganizational management. The programs include general education and major-specific courses. Degree-seekers can access material any time through convenient, asynchronous platforms. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They must also provide transcripts, recent SAT/ACT scores, a personal statement, and a recommendation letter.

  5. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University is a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1891. Drexel emphasizes experiential learning through nearly 200 graduate and undergraduate programs. Drexel offers diverse online bachelor's degrees designed to help learners achieve their career goals. For instance, degree-seekers interested in health professions can pursue majors in counseling, nursing, or psychology. Students can also choose from bachelor's degrees in business, communication, technology, and cybersecurity. Expert faculty facilitate each program, delivering all course material through innovative and flexible learning tools. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, transcripts, a current resume, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must also submit recent standardized test scores and a personal essay that details their professional aspirations. Program-specific requirements may also apply.

  6. Indiana University
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Bloomington and founded in 1820, Indiana University maintains a strong commitment to diversity, academic freedom, and professional development. The school enrolls nearly 45,000 learners each year through a variety of graduate and undergraduate programs. Students can choose from 25 online bachelor's degrees in fields like business, communications, health science, mathematics, and the liberal arts. Each program comprises 120 credits of general education, elective, and major courses. Degree-seekers learn through accommodating learning modules that combine self-directed study with interactive experiences. Prospective learners need a high school or GED diploma. They must also submit academic transcripts, recent SAT/ACT scores, and a brief essay. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

  7. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Virginia is a public research institution founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. UVA provides comprehensive educational experiences through over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs across eight schools and colleges. UVA offers online bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and health management. Each program features fully only courses and a mostly synchronous format, requiring set virtual meeting times. Graduates can pursue employment in their field or graduate study. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and submit unofficial transcripts, two personal essays, and a letter of recommendation.

  8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in 1817, the University of Michigan serves nearly 50,000 students through undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, business, and technology. U-M offers a 36-credit online bachelor of science in dental hygiene that caters to working professionals. The degree-completion program features fully online coursework, but it requires a two-day on-campus orientation. Applicants need an active dental hygiene license. They must also hold credentials from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation with a minimum 3.4 GPA.

  9. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Chartered in 1861, the University of Washington cultivates a challenging learning environment informed by innovative scholarship and research. The sea-grant institution located in Seattle, Washington, boasts an expansive, urban campus and a robust online division. UW offers online bachelor's degree-completion programs in early care and education and integrated social sciences. These programs require 180 quarter credits and welcome both part-time and full-time learners. Learners can access the material at their convenience, typically graduating in 2-3 years. Applicants need at least 70 transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution. They must also submit transcripts, a current resume, and a brief personal statement that outlines their fit within the school.

  10. Bethel University
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Mishawaka, Indiana, a South Bend suburb, Bethel University offers high-quality education, training, and career preparation programs. A private, nonprofit institution founded in 1947, Bethel retains affiliation with the evangelical Christian Missionary Church. Bethel confers online bachelor's degrees in business, marketing, leadership, behavioral science, cybersecurity, organizational management, and interdisciplinary studies. Each program prepares degree-seekers for successful careers in their field and advanced study. Most programs comprise 120 credits. Prospective learners must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. They must also submit transcripts and recent SAT/ACT scores.

Why Study Online?

Earning a bachelor’s degree online offers several benefits. First, the online learning format prioritizes flexibility. Students can schedule their coursework around other responsibilities, including work or family.

Second, online programs increase accessibility. Instead of relocating for a top program, online degree-seekers can receive a top-tier education from their home community. Learners can also choose specialized programs not offered locally.

Finally, online degrees provide numerous financial benefits. Many online schools offer tuition discounts for fully online learners, including in-state tuition rates for out-of-state students. Distance learners also save on transportation and cost of living expenses. Online students who work while earning a degree can more easily budget for tuition and expenses because they still earn an income.

By choosing an affordable online college, degree-seekers benefit from a flexible format while taking on less debt.

Career and Salary Outlook



Many entry-level careers require a bachelor’s degree, including positions in business, education, technology, and government.

Earning a bachelor’s degree yields higher salaries and lower unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared to workers with a high school diploma, professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn a median pay of over $26,000 more per year. They also benefit from a lower 2.2% unemployment rate compared with a 3.7% unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma.

Over the course of a career, earning a bachelor’s degree increases median lifetime earnings by $900,000 for men and $630,000 for women.

Several jobs at the bachelor’s level rank among the highest wage occupations. For example, chief executives, computer and information systems managers, petroleum engineers, and marketing managers all earn a median wage in the six figures.

Accreditation

Regionally accredited schools meet high standards for educating students and granting degrees. Independent, nonprofit accrediting agencies grant accreditation to colleges and universities who demonstrate strong student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and graduation requirements.

Accredited degrees fulfill the requirements for more licenses and certifications. Credits earned at a regionally accredited school will more likely transfer to other schools. Only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid. As a result, prospective students should always choose an accredited school to earn their degree. Learn more about why accreditation matters in our accreditation guide.

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