Cheapest Online Universities in USA

10 Cheapest Online Universities in USA Currently

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Online universities make higher education accessible to many students. Many of these online universities in USA provide adequate support for online learners to make them feel just as seen as those who are studying on-campus.

Sequel to this benefit, online students can get fortunate to save a decent amount on travel costs, transportation, and accommodation, if they are accepted into online programs. Albeit, the limit of what is impossible stops at the tuition fee. Many students do not go to college because they can’t afford the tuition of traditional universities and colleges; not a lot buy the idea of taking student loans and owing the government money.

So, to make this enticing for these people, more and more universities are now offering distance learning education with lower-than-usual tuition. But even at this, many online colleges provide lower tuition than others, and this article is here for just that.

Explore the benefits of online education in the USA with these 20 cheapest online universities in USA currently.

Overview of Online Education

Online education is a popular alternative to traditional classroom learning due to its flexibility, convenience, and accessibility. It is ideal for students who work full-time, have family obligations, or live in remote areas without easy access to campus-based institutions.

Are Online Colleges Affordable?

Online universities can be more affordable than traditional colleges and universities due to lower tuition and fees, as well as financial aid and scholarships. However, the cost of an online degree can vary depending on the degree level, institution, and residency status. In-state residents may be eligible for lower tuition rates at some universities, while others offer a flat tuition rate regardless of residency status.

List of the 10 Cheapest Online Universities in USA Currently

If you’re keen on enrolling in online universities and cost of tuition is of paramount importance to you, then the following online universities may be low-priced enough for you:

  • Brigham Young University — Idaho
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • The University of Florida Online 
  • The University of Arkansas Grantham
  • Florida State University at Jacksonville
  • Washtenaw Community College
  • Arkansas Northeastern College
  • Copiah-Lincoln Community College
  • Houston Community College
  • Clovis Community College.

Overview of the Cheapest Online Universities in the USA 

1. Brigham Young University—Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho is a Christian university located in the city of Rexburg, Idaho; it is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It offers a variety of online degree programs, making it one of the most affordable online colleges in the US. The cost of attendance for undergraduates is $135 per credit hour for members of the LDS church and $169 per credit hour for non-members. This affordability is due to the significant financial support provided by the LDS church through tithing.


  • Connection to the LDS church. Families who share this connection, or are members of the LDS church may find this enticing
  • A faith-based community for students 
  • A decent number of degrees are available online


  • Strict code of conduct that may not be suitable for everyone
  • Low diversity. More than 90% of its students are LDS members

2. Florida Atlantic University 

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a public institution with six campuses throughout Florida, including its main campus in Boca Raton. It is known for offering affordable online education, boasting the lowest online tuition rates in the state. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the online tuition cost per credit hour for Florida residents and non-residents was $105.07, while graduate students paid $313.71

FAU currently offers eight fully online undergraduate degrees and has earned national recognition for its diversity and student outcomes. First-generation, Black, and Hispanic students at FAU outpace the university’s overall retention and graduation rates for all students. 


  • The high number of academic programs
  • Acceptance of dual and AP programs
  • Low student debt
  • Provision of support for online students through tutoring, technical support, counseling, and learning resources 


  • High student-faculty ratio; 20:1

3. University of Florida Online 

The University of Florida Online (UF Online) is a top-ranked institution that offers affordable and high-quality online degree programs. As one of the cheapest online colleges in the USA, UF Online provides an excellent opportunity for students seeking a cost-effective education without compromising on quality. Additionally, UF Online offers financial aid programs, including grants and scholarships, to further support students in need.

The cost of tuition at UF Online is $129 per credit hour for in-state students.


  • Superior education quality
  • Same degree and class delivery as on-campus students, provide the degree you are looking for is available online
  • Flexibility
  • Elite support services


  • Limited social interaction with faculties and student colleagues
  • Like most other online colleges, you need a tremendous amount of discipline to stay put on your education goals

4. University of Arkansas Grantham

The University of Arkansas Grantham is a public university located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The tuition for online education at UArk is $242 per credit hour. Being a top school reputable for the quality of its educational services, it is safe to say that online students have it cheap here. The University of Arkansas Grantham has an impressive catalog of degrees available to online students. Some of these are:

  • Associate Degrees in business administration and management, computer science, criminal justice, paralegal studies, medical coding, billing, etc.
  • Bachelor’s Online Degrees in business administration, computer engineering technology, criminal justice, engineering management technology, financial planning, health information management, strategic communications, etc.
  • Master’s Online Degrees in business administration, project management, information management, health systems management, healthcare administration, information management technology, leadership, and performance improvement.
  • Also, certificate online programs are available in Cybersecurity concepts, advanced cybersecurity, electronic health records, human resources, programming, medical administrative assistant, medical coding and billing, and a graduate program in project management.


  • It offers military discounts for active duty and veteran students; $250/hour


  • Fewer online degree options compared to some other schools on this list 

5. Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville is a public state college located in Jacksonville, Florida. The college offers several fully online associate and bachelor’s degree programs in fields such as business administration, nursing, and computer information technology. The tuition for online courses at the Florida State University at Jacksonville is $218.55 per credit hour.


  • Affordable tuition


  • Low retention rate (the number of students dropping out of this school could trigger a warning, which may not always be to the credit of the school)

6. Washtenaw Community College

Washtenaw Community College is one of the most well-known community colleges in Michigan. WCC’s online program is designed to give students maximum flexibility while maintaining academic rigor. Whether you’re taking just one course or pursuing a degree, you’ll have access to all the resources you need like digital textbooks, online tutoring, and virtual office hours with instructors.


  • Has partnerships with many other four-year colleges. Transfer students will love this


  • Few degrees available online 

7. Arkansas Northeastern College

Arkansas Northeastern College, located in Blytheville, Arkansas, offers several fully online associate degree programs in fields such as business, criminal justice, and education. The cost of tuition for online programs is as low as $72 per credit hour for in-district students. For international students, the tuition fee remains an affordable $132 per credit hour. It is one of the cheapest online universities in USA currently, as it was named the Most Affordable Online College in 2018, 2019, and 2020 by Affordable Colleges. It is also widely regarded for its associate degrees.

Arkansas Northeastern College also has transfer agreements and partnerships with other schools, but its smaller size could limit opportunities in certain fields.

8. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Copiah-Lincoln Community College is a public community college located in Wesson, Mississippi. The college offers several fully online associate degree programs in fields such as business, criminal justice, and education. Copiah-Lincoln Community College would cost you as low as $2,600 for the whole academic year (tuition only) for international students. Local resident students only pay $1,600 at the same time.


  • Boasts high graduation rate


  • Complaints of lack of support for online students 

9. Houston Community College

Located in Houston, Texas, Houston Community College offers several fully online associate degree programs in fields such as business administration, healthcare management, and computer science. Depending on your student status, HCCS costs between $33 – $151 per credit hour for any of its online courses.


  • It is one of the largest community colleges in the country
  • A wide variety of majors is available 


  • Limited support services for online students 

10. Clovis Community College

Clovis Community College is a public community college located in Clovis, New Mexico. The college offers several fully online associate degree programs in fields such as business administration, criminal justice, and early childhood education. For tuition only, Clovis’ cost of attendance for international students is $1,334 per year.

Finally, Clovis Community College provides affordable education but may not offer as many opportunities for networking or internships.

The following are some popular questions about online universities and their affordability that we have gathered from the internet.

Are online degrees cheaper than traditional degrees?

Generally, yes. Online degrees often cost less than traditional degrees because they don’t require students to pay for housing, transportation, or other expenses associated with attending a physical campus.

Can I get financial aid for online courses?

Yes. Most online universities offer financial aid for eligible students, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Be sure to check with the institution’s financial aid office for more information.

How do I know if an online university is accredited?

Accreditation is an important factor to consider when choosing an online university. You can check the institution’s accreditation status on the U.S. Department of Education’s website or by contacting the institution directly.

Can I transfer credits earned at an online university to another institution?

It depends on the institution’s transfer policies. Be sure to check with the institution you plan to transfer to before enrolling in any online courses to ensure that your credits will be accepted.

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Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, pursuing higher education online is an excellent way to further your career without breaking the bank. These 10 cheapest online universities in the USA offer quality education at an affordable price, making it easier for students to achieve their academic and career goals. When you are choosing an online university, it is important to consider factors such as accreditation, transfer policies, and financial aid options to ensure that you’re making an informed decision. Indeed, with the right institution and program, you can take your education to the next level without sacrificing your budget.