Online Colleges in Texas

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Many careers in Texas require a bachelor’s degree, including opportunities in business, education, healthcare, and the tech sector. Professionals with a bachelor’s degree increase their job opportunities and earning potential.

During an online bachelor’s program, students take general education, major, and elective courses. Depending on the school, online students may take asynchronous or synchronous courses. Synchronous courses feature set meeting times, appealing to students seeking structure and real-time interactions with faculty and peers. Asynchronous courses do not require set meeting times, offering more flexibility than synchronous courses.

Our list ranks the most affordable online colleges in Texas to help prospective students find a program that fits their budget. This page also examines the cost of Texas online colleges, transfer credit policies that save students time and money, and scholarships for online students in Texas.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Texas

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Accredited Online College Programs

Online Colleges in Texas 2020

Our ranking methodologies include qualitative and quantitative metrics: average in-state tuition price for first-time students, breadth of online programs available, student-teacher ratio, availability of career services, academic counseling, and average amount of student financial aid provided.

All schools on this list meet minimum requirements, including accreditation and at least three online programs. Utilize our rankings below to find the online degree in Texas that best fits your goals and budget.

  1. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    Location

    Edinburg, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A top online college in Texas, UTRGV offers one fully online bachelor's program: an RN-to-BSN. This accelerated program uses seven-week courses, and most students complete the degree in 12 months. Learners can personalize the experience by completing one of 10 optional minors. Additionally, UTRGV offers two hybrid bachelor's programs in addiction studies and health services technology.

    UTRGV's Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology professionals encourage academic and career success by offering a Blackboard quickstart guide, test-taking tips, and video tutorials. On the university's Career Center website, learners can explore internships and practice writing resumes.

    UTRGV accepts new learners at three points throughout the year, and application materials include high school transcripts or GED scores. Applicants may need to submit standardized test scores depending on the program. Texas residents save approximately 40% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Accelerated online students may qualify for a $1,000 scholarship.

  2. LeTourneau University
    Location

    Longview, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    LETU is one of the best Texas online schools for undergraduate programs that emphasize both in-demand skills and spiritual growth. Unique programs include aviation management and Christian ministry. LETU provides working professionals with flexibility by delivering all online coursework asynchronously.

    LETU provides many specialized academic and career resources to distance learners, including online tutoring, citation guides, and test-taking strategies. On the career services website, students can log in to Handshake, an online dashboard that highlights the latest job openings and best professional development resources.

    Prospective students need not submit standardized test scores, and all applicants can contact an admission counselor to learn more about required application materials. Although tuition varies by program, LETU does not charge more to out-of-state learners. Incoming undergraduates with excellent high school GPAs may qualify for up to $17,000 per year in merit-based scholarships.

  3. University of Dallas
    Location

    Irving, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Texas online college where learners receive a Christian education, UD offers one online bachelor's program in pastoral ministry. The major features two concentrations: youth ministry and young adult ministry. All students in the program complete an internship in which they spend 15 hours each week working with either children or young adults.

    Resources for online students include virtual academic and career advising sessions, writing tutors, and an extensive student handbook. At UD's Office of Personal Career Development (OPCD), learners can explore career opportunities, network with alumni, and receive a resume critique. The OPCD website also features links to top job and networking sites.

    Application materials include standardized test scores, high school transcripts or GED scores, and the Common Application. Transfer credit must reflect a minimum 2.5 GPA. UD charges the same tuition rate to all students, and incoming learners can apply for all institutional scholarships by submitting an application.

  4. Texas Woman's University
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An excellent online school for transfer students, TWU offers 13 online and hybrid bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, business, liberal arts, and healthcare. Some programs require students to attend courses on the university's Denton campus.

    Academic success at TWU begins with the university's online learning guide, which covers both best practices and troubleshooting. Distance learners can also access free tutoring resources. TWU's Career Connections website helps students review the latest career trends and attend a virtual career fair.

    Prospective learners can chat online with a representative from TWU's admissions department before applying. Undergraduate admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Applicants who do not meet all requirements can still receive conditional admission. TWU's scholarships database highlights institutional and departmental financial aid opportunities.

  5. South Texas College
    Location

    McAllen, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Prospective students considering a Texas online college should review South Texas College's numerous online degrees. Bachelor's programs include organizational leadership and technology management, and students can also earn online certificates through the college. The Virtual Campus allows learners to access all online services on one website.

    South Texas College's career services office provides students with access to an alumni network, a job board, internship opportunities, and online workshops. Popular workshops include Interview for Success, Reinventing Your Resume, and Learn and Earn.

    Prospective learners can talk to a recruiter over the phone or online. The college accepts GED scores and FAFSA results. Incoming distance learners may qualify for one of 11 institutional scholarships that award up to $500.

  6. Houston Baptist University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An excellent Christian online college in Texas, HBU offers 10 bachelor's programs in areas like biblical studies, management, and theological studies. HBU's psychology degree offers three concentrations: general, Christian counseling, and marriage and family studies. Some of the university's distance learning programs completely eliminate in-person requirements, while others require students to take classes on HBU's campus.

    HBU's Office of Career and Calling facilitates success and spiritual growth by offering resume templates, a unique graduation roadmap for each major, and career counselors. Other resources include a career library that provides salary negotiation guides and industry search tools.

    Application requirements for undergraduate online programs include high school transcripts or GED scores. HBU maintains a generous credit transfer policy. Besides the RN-to-BSN program -- which charges slightly more -- all students pay the same per-credit tuition rate no matter where they live and what they study. Institutional scholarships and grants do not require an additional application.

  7. University of North Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Dallas, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UNT Dallas, like many Texas online schools, ensures the quality of its distance learning offerings by providing its professors with intensive training in online teaching. Online students earn a degree through the UNT System, which offers six bachelor's degrees in areas like integrative studies and criminal justice.

    On UNT's career services website, students use Handshake to set up counseling appointments and discover essential resources, such as career assessments and resume guidance. The website also features links to networking sites and graduate school application best practices.

    Prospective students submit GED scores or high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. Out-of-state students pay approximately double the in-state tuition rate. UNT Dallas offers scholarships to both first-time and transfer students.

  8. University of Houston-Clear Lake
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An excellent Texas online college, UHCL offers three bachelor's programs: anthropology, general business, and public service leadership. Each degree allows students to graduate in two years. Learners who do not already have an associate degree or transfer credit can complete all general education courses entirely online through UHCL.

    Valuable resources on UHCL's career services website include Jobs4Hawks, a private job board available to students attending any University of Houston institution. UHCL also maintains a calendar of upcoming on-campus events, such as career fairs.

    As of March 2020, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. residents may not apply. Applicants submit high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. UHCL accepts up to 90 transfer credits.

  9. University of Houston-Downtown
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UHD boasts 15 online bachelor's programs in four colleges, making it an excellent online college in Texas for prospective students researching degree completion programs. UHD's Marilyn Davis College of Business offers several online degrees, including finance, insurance and risk management, and marketing. Most incoming transfer students can earn an online bachelor's from UHD within two years.

    All new distance learners complete an in-depth online student orientation before registering for courses. The UHD Career Development Center offers additional success tools, including a job and internship database, interest assessments, and a graduate school application guide.

    Application requirements include at least 15 transferable credits, and prospective students can determine transfer equivalency on the UHD website. In-state students save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Incoming students with a minimum 3.5 undergraduate GPA may qualify for a Transfer Student Scholarship that awards up to $2,000 per semester.

  10. Texas A & M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    In-state registered nurses researching Texas online schools for an RN-to-BSN program should consider TAMIU. The 32-credit program emphasizes health assessment, nursing research, and community nursing. The university also offers a variety of general education courses. Full-time students can often earn a degree within a year.

    TAMIU's career services office provides nursing students with the tools necessary to turn a bachelor's into career advancement, including planning tools, a job board, and resume critiques. TAMIU also offers free exam preparation guides for graduates planning to enter a master's in nursing program.

    Application requirements include a valid Texas nursing license and a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. As the program accepts only Texas residents, all students pay the same per-credit tuition rate. All incoming students can apply for a College of Nursing and Health Sciences Scholarship.

Best Online Colleges in Texas (2-Year Schools)

Rank School Location
1 Western Texas College Snyder, TX
2 Odessa College Odessa, TX
3 Panola College Carthage, TX
4 Tyler Junior College Tyler, TX
5 Central Texas College Killeen, TX
6 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX
7 Grayson College Denison, TX
8 Weatherford College Weatherford, TX
9 Collin County Community College District McKinney, TX
10 North Central Texas College Gainesville, TX
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.

Accredited Online College Programs

Texas online colleges let students earn a bachelor’s degree in a flexible format. During an online bachelor’s degree, undergraduates access coursework through a learning management system, such as Canvas or Blackboard. Depending on the program, students may watch streamed or recorded lectures. Many programs incorporate discussion forums where students interact with peers and instructors.

Many online programs feature in-person requirements, like internships or practicums. Online students can often meet these requirements at an approved site in their community. Distance learners often gain access to the same resources and support services as on-campus students, such as tutoring, career services, and academic advising.

Distance learning offers many benefits, such as flexibility and affordability. The flexibility of an online format allows students to balance their studies with personal and professional responsibilities. Additionally, many programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they live. Online students also save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs.

Why Choose Texas for Online Higher Education?

Online programs in Texas offer many professional and personal benefits. The following list outlines several advantages of attending an online program.

Flexibility

Online learning formats give students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Convenience

Working professionals and busy students benefit from the convenience of an online format, which lets students arrange coursework around other responsibilities.

Affordability

Online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, like housing and commuting costs. Additionally, many programs offer in-state tuition discounts to all online students regardless of where they live.

Online Resources

Most online colleges in Texas support online learners with resources like writing centers, academic advising, and career centers. These resources help students thrive in college and transition into the workforce.

  • Scholarships Texas students enrolled at an accredited online school can apply for many scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities to lower the cost of a college degree.

Cost of Attending an Online College in Texas

Choosing an online learning format can save students money. Many schools offer low tuition rates for online students, and online learners save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, like housing and transportation. This section provides an in-depth look at the cost of online colleges in Texas.

What to Expect from Tuition and Fees

Tuition costs vary widely by school and program. For example, Texas A&M University charges $280 per credit for in-state nursing students, while LeTourneau University charges $355 per credit for general education courses. Houston Baptist University charges $415 per credit for all online courses.

When researching the cost of an online bachelor’s degree, prospective students should consider fees beyond tuition, such as distance learning fees, books, and graduation fees. At Houston Baptist University, for instance, learners pay a $250 online student fee each semester in addition to tuition.

Despite potential distance learning fees, earning an online degree can save students money over an on-campus degree. For example, many schools charge lower tuition rates for online learners, and online students save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, like housing and transportation.

In-state tuition
$8,091 – public, four-year institution
$2,017 – public, two-year institution

Out-of-state tuition:
$21,677 – public, four-year institution
$5,502 – public, two-year institution

Source: National Center for Education Statistics Explore Online Degree Programs in TexasSearch Program

On-campus college programs split their tuition into two tiers: resident and nonresident. Many online degrees in Texas adhere to this model, while others charge a flat cost per credit regardless of residency. Tuition costs vary by school, but the examples listed below provide a representative look at prospective prices.

  • Public, 4-Year University:Sam Houston State University, $345 per undergraduate credit (resident), $760 per undergraduate credit (nonresident)
  • Private, 4-Year University:LeTourneau University, $355-$475 per undergraduate credit, depending on major
  • 2-Year College:Western Texas College, $118-$157 per credit (resident), $187-$200 per credit (nonresident)

Accreditation for an Online College in Texas

Prospective students considering Texas online schools should always research a school’s accreditation status before applying. To earn accreditation, schools must undergo a rigorous review process from an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates the school’s student learning outcomes, academic mission, and faculty qualifications. Accredited institutions must repeat the review process regularly to maintain their status.

Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Accreditation benefits students in important ways. For example, only students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Candidates for professional licensure or certification may also need an accredited degree.

Certain programs within a school may also receive accreditation, such as business, social work, and nursing programs. The Department of Education maintains a searchable database of accredited schools and programs.

Common Online Bachelor’s Courses

  • Business

    Business classes introduce undergraduates to topics like strategic planning, organizational leadership, and management. Learners study areas such as finance, marketing, and accounting. Many Texas online colleges offer bachelor’s programs in business administration, management, and related fields.

  • Education

    Education courses explore classroom management techniques, how to create lessons that meet curriculum standards, and assessment strategies. Education students may specialize in particular areas, such as elementary or secondary education, preparing for specific teaching careers after graduation.

  • Nursing

    Online nursing courses examine nursing theory and practice, covering topics such as evidence-based care, health assessment, and nursing leadership. Nursing students combine classroom learning with clinical training at local sites. Many Texas online schools allow students to complete clinical training at approved local sites.

  • Liberal Arts

    Liberal arts courses strengthen skills like critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communication, examining topics in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Many colleges include liberal arts courses in their general education requirements, and some offer interdisciplinary liberal arts degrees for students seeking a personalized course of study.

  • Criminal Justice

    In criminal justice classes, students learn about the different parts of the criminal justice system and how they work together. While studying law enforcement, the courts, and the correctional system, students examine the role of crime in society, the causes of criminal behavior, and criminological profiling. The course prepares graduates for careers in criminal justice.

FAQ Texas Online Schools

Do online credits cost more or less in Texas?

Choosing an online learning format can save students money. At LeTourneau University, on-campus students may pay more than $1,000 per credit, while the university’s online general education courses cost just $355 per credit.

Some Texas online schools offer tuition guarantees. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, for example, guarantees the tuition rate for students over the course of a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to the guarantee, tuition does not increase while students complete their degree. ​

Which Texas schools accept the most transfer credits?

Online schools often let students apply previously earned college credits toward their bachelor’s degree. Some schools also accept credit by exam or credit for work, military, or volunteer experience. However, schools typically limit the number of transfer credits students can apply to a bachelor’s degree. For example, LeTourneau University requires students to complete at least 25% of their credits at the school, limiting the total transfer credits to 90 credits.

Because transfer credit policies vary, prospective students should research the policies at all potential schools. Many online Texas colleges let students submit transcripts for a free transfer credit evaluation.

Will any online colleges in Texas accept a GED?

Online colleges in Texas typically require a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission. A GED meets the requirement for a high school diploma at nearly every college in the country. As the GED Testing Service reports, 98% of colleges and universities accept the GED.

Freshman applicants must typically provide proof of a high school or GED diploma. However, many schools waive this requirement for transfer students. Instead, transfer students submit college transcripts. Applicants with more than 15-24 college credits usually qualify as transfer students.

How many academic terms per year do online colleges in Texas offer?

The number of academic terms offered each year varies depending on the school. Some online colleges in Texas operate on the semester system, where students enroll in classes during 16-week fall and spring semesters. Other universities offer accelerated terms for online students. For example, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers accelerated seven-week terms.

Similarly, the University of North Texas at Dallas offers online courses in an eight-week format. Many Texas online schools operate year-round with multiple start dates. For example, Texas A&M International University offers six start dates each year for its online programs.

Which online colleges will accept FAFSA in Texas?

Many students rely on federal financial aid to cover the cost of a bachelor’s degree, which they can receive by submitting the FAFSA. However, not all schools meet the requirements to offer federal financial aid. To qualify for federal financial aid, students must attend an accredited institution. Our list of affordable online colleges in Texas only includes regionally accredited institutions.

Are there any free online classes I can take from Texas colleges?

Some Texas online colleges offer free classes for students. For example, the University of Texas at Austin offers online courses through edX for free. These Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, provide lectures and course material from UT Austin professors. However, free classes usually do not count toward a college degree.

How can I find the online program options at Texas colleges?

Prospective students can find online program options at Texas schools by visiting their websites. For example, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley lists its online programs on its site, as does the University of North Texas at Dallas.

Our list ranks the most affordable Texas online colleges to help prospective students identify schools that fit their budget. After reading the list, prospective students can visit the colleges’ websites for more information. Explore Online Degree Programs in TexasSearch Program

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.

Explore Online Degree Programs in Texas

Texas Scholarships and Grants

Online students attending Texas colleges may qualify for many scholarship and grant opportunities. In addition to the following opportunities, prospective students can research scholarships based on their school or field of study.

  1. The Community Foundation of West Texas Scholarships This foundation offers over 100 scholarships to South Plains-area students. The eligibility requirements and awards vary depending on the scholarship. Scholarship Amount: Varies

Amarillo Area Foundation Scholarship

This foundation offers multiple scholarships to Texas students based on their county and college. Applicants must submit transcripts and two letters of recommendation.

Scholarship Amount: Varies

AVM Austin Scholarship

This scholarship supports women pursuing a degree in media or a closely related field in the Austin area. Applicants need a minimum 3.25 GPA.

Scholarship Amount: $5,000

United Daughters of the Confederacy Scholarships

Undergraduates who demonstrate direct descendance from a Confederate soldier qualify. Several scholarships, including the Eloise Campbell, Jan Gwatney, and Gertrude Botts Saucier scholarships, give preference to Texas applicants.

Scholarship Amount: Varies

Distinguished Young Bobcat Award

Seniors attending a Texas high school who plan to attend Texas State University qualify for the award. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Scholarship Amount: $1,000

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