If you have not heard of the Affordable College Foundation, it’s time to become familiar with that program. It’s designed to help students looking to further their academic career find the right college for the right price, and they’re not just looking at local schools. This is a place that will tell you where to get college education for how much, using these funds and everything in between. You can get a degree at one of the country’s best schools for less than you might think you can get an education, and that’s just one of the many benefits of using this site. With so many people going back to school later in life and/or working as often as possible so that they can get an education and pay for their current lifestyle, online colleges are more popular than ever (hey, I got most of my education online) and they’re some of the best solutions for those who need to work and learn at the same time. So if you are in the market for online college courses but you need a place that will not charge you an arm and a leg, we’ve used the Affordable College Foundation to find out which online colleges are the most affordable per credit hour. You might be very, very surprised to see some of the schools on the list – we were.
Each of these schools ranks high on the nation’s list of best online degree programs, but not all of them offer the kind of online degree that students are looking for. Some schools are still a bit selective when it comes to the online degrees they offer, which means you might not be able to get the degree you want at the school of your dreams. Before making the decision to enroll in any particular course, it’s important to understand what is required of you to take an online course to obtain a bachelor’s degree at the school of your choice. It’s also important to understand that you should have done some research into schools near you to ensure that you are paying the best possible price for you.
Each of the schools on this list is organized by most expensive to least, in terms of the schools ranked by the Affordable College Foundation as of 2015. These school prices do vary in terms of degree being pursued, credit hours in which you are enrolled and several other factors. Additionally, some of the schools on the list are also ranked as some of the best schools in the nation. The price is factored by credit hour, and not by class. This means if the class is worth three credit hours, you will take the price listed and multiply that by three to see what a class will cost you to attend college. Furthermore, these are not prices that include extras such as books and other classroom materials. Fortunately, you can help to lower the cost of your own college tuition by renting books when possible to help balance out the cost of a college education.
Utah State University – $256
Western Washington University – $250
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – $241
Florida State University – $216
Texas Tech University – $198
Brigham Young University – $156
University of North Carolina at Wilmington – $149
Appalachian State University – $145
University of Wyoming – $133
University of Florida – $129
Each of these schools offers a comprehensive list of online degree programs that encompass just about every aspect of the career field. Some of these schools are top schools in the nation, others are top schools in sports, and all of them are good schools as far as academics are concerned. As a lifelong Florida resident who grew up near Gainesville (go Gators) I can assure you that this is one of the best online degree programs in the country. It’s the most affordable, and the school is one with a great academic record. More than 87 percent of students enrolled at UF go onto graduate and enter the workforce in careers that impress them and make them happy.
Something to consider when choosing school to enroll for online classes is location. Not all schools allow out-of-state students to pay the same price as in-state students. It is always cheaper to pay in-state prices than it is to pay out-of-state prices, and that’s just how it goes. Additionally, the price per school is not the only reason you should choose the school. It’s sometimes better to choose a more expensive education from a more upstanding school than a cheaper one from a school with a low graduation rate and very little to offer students. And you must always have a location in which you can take your proctored exams since most colleges require you do this for your final exams and other issues.
The best way to look at the cost of your education is by semester. For example, if you plan to take 4 classes per semester at the price listed above, you will pay a very different price at each school. At the University of Florida, for example, at $129 per credit hour, we’ve figured that if you take four classes worth three credit hours each, you will pay $1548 per semester just for classes and that does not include the cost of books. That’s just shy of $3100 if you plan on attending classes full time for fall and spring classes. If you go to the number 10 school on the list, Utah State, and pay $256 per credit hour for the same amount of classes, you’re looking at $3072 per semester and just under $6300 per year to go to school here. The price is significantly different, but you might find that you can attend another school closer to home for even less than that, which will further reduce the amount you pay to attend college and graduate with a degree. You might also find out if your degree choice is one that will pay off.
Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images