Cheapest Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees 2014

Cheap online bachelor’s degrees are not hard to find, but many of them do not provide a comprehensive education. An affordable bachelor’s degree program is a good thing, but not if it is of poor quality or lacks accreditation and respect in the marketplace.

For our list of the cheapest online colleges for bachelor’s degrees we took into consideration quality, accreditation, reputation, as well as cost. While these may not be the cheapest bachelor’s program online, we do think they are among the most affordable in the long run when you take into account the quality of the education you will receive and the respect your degree will bring among employers. All of the schools on the list are regionally accredited and offer a broad array of bachelor’s degree programs to choose from.

#1 Colorado Technical University


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Colorado Technical University is a for-profit academic institution that focuses on providing students with an education in business and technical subjects. Many students who attend the university are active or retired military personnel. The university offers students the benefit of reaching technical support at any time in case online coursework cannot be accessed. One unique feature of the university is that online coursework is specifically designed with the learning style of the individual student in mind. This feature is intended to give students a better chance of succeeding academically.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Colorado Technical University offers online bachelor’s degree programs that are fully accredited. Students have the opportunity to pursue a degree in business, management, health sciences, information technology and security studies. Undergraduate tuition rates are set at an affordable $325 per credit hour. A four-year degree completed through the online division of Colorado Technical University will cost approximately $58,500.

Colorado Technical University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#2. Fort Hays State University

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Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas is a co-ed public university. It was founded in the early 1900s by Emporia State University, which was called the Western Branch of Kansas State Normal School at the time. While many universities have high tuition rates for online programs, FHSU is known for affordable tuition and quality programs. The vision of the school is to promote forward thinking and intellectually prepare students to face the world.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
FHSU features more than 20 online bachelor’s degree options, which mostly target students interested in entering the fields of education, medical care and computer technology. The tuition rate for FHSU’s undergraduate Virtual College courses is $178.30 per credit hour regardless of residency status. Depending on programs and individual circumstances, students are allowed to take up to 18 credits per semester.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission has given full accreditation to FHSU’s Virtual College.

#3. Baker College Online

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Baker College offers a variety of educational opportunities to students all over the country. The campus is based in Michigan, but they provide access to higher educational for students who require online instruction at an affordable tuition rate. The online campus provides access to library resources, job fairs and employment listings.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Students can expect a quality education when attending Baker’s online degree programs. Online degrees are available in a variety of fields, including accounting, human resource management, computer science, health services and more.
The cost per credit hour at Baker College online is $215 per credit for undergraduate degrees. This is significantly lower than many other online degree programs. In addition, the institution qualifies for federal and state aid programs. A variety of scholarship and grant programs are available through the institution’s financial aid department. A tuition reimbursement plan provides assistance for certain employed students.

This institution has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#4. Western Governors University

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Western Governors University was founded in 1997 by 19 senators. The university maintains locations in five states in additional to its online branch. Western Governors University was rated among the best online schools by several online publications in 2012. Degree programs available through the university have also been praised for their affordability.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Western Governors University offers a wide range of online bachelor’s degree programs in subjects including business administration, information technology and health professions. The university also provides students with the opportunity to pursue a teacher certification. A unique tuition option available through Western Governors University allows students to pay a flat rate of $2,890 every six months. This affordable rate does not take credit hours into consideration, so students can pursue a full-time degree at a tuition rate that may be as low as half the rate of comparable colleges.

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#5. Columbia College


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Columbia College, established in 1851, is a private higher education institution. Originally established as a women’s college, the college became coeducational in 1970. With 34 nationwide campuses and an active online campus, Columbia College meets the educational needs of thousands of students across the country. The online degree programs are intended to help working adults and military students obtain a degree. The college was recognized as one of the best and most affordable online colleges by the Student Guide to America’s 100 Best College Scholarships

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Columbia College offers 11 online bachelor’s degree programs. Programs include business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice administration, general studies, history, psychology, sociology, and more. Most online students are currently charged $240 per credit.

Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The college is also a member of the North Central Association.

#6. Oregon State University Ecampus

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Oregon State University Ecampus operates as an extension of OSU and is one of the top online education providers in the country. The same instructors who create campus classes also develop and teach online programs, leading to the same quality of education whichever method a student uses.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
The OSU Ecampus offers bachelor’s degrees in 16 different disciplines, including some not often seen in distance programs. Degrees in Horticulture and Natural Resources join additional study areas in environmental sciences, social sciences, liberal studies and more. Course requirements for online programs are equivalent to on-campus programs. Transcripts don’t differentiate between online and on-campus coursework. Tuition for online courses is set at $185/credit plus a $75/credit distance education fee, which equals $260/credit. Prices are the same for all students, no matter their place of residence.

OSU Ecampus holds accreditation regionally from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Additionally, the university is authorized to provide baccalaureate degrees by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

#7. Walden University

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Walden University is a for-profit academic institution that was founded in 1970 to help adults pursue a graduate degree while working full time. On-campus courses are available at the Minneapolis location of the university. Walden University was one of the first colleges to start offering online courses in the mid-1990s. The academic institution maintains affiliations with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Walden University offers 17 different online bachelor’s degree programs. Some of the majors available through the university include accounting, communication, forensic psychology, human services and public health. The exact cost of a degree program at Walden University depends on the major. Students can expect to pay approximately $13,000 per year for an online bachelor’s degree program.

Walden University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Business degrees available through the university are also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

#8. Capella University

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An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs. Speak with an enrollment counselor at 1.866.679.9687.

#9. Herzing University

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Herzing University is a higher education institution that offers undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and diplomas. The university was founded in 1965 to offer computer programming courses. In addition to the online college, the institution has traditional campuses in eight states and three Canadian provinces. The university’s EdFlex option allows students to take some courses online while taking other courses on a traditional campus.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
Herzing University offers more than 50 online degrees. Online bachelor’s programs include information technology, graphic design, human resource development, accounting, business management, international business, healthcare management, nursing, medical assisting services, criminal justice, and more. The tuition for each individual program may vary, but students can expect to pay at least $450 per credit hour for most programs.

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413,, (800) 621-7400

#10. American InterContinental University

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American InterContinental University is an international university that has on-campus locations in the states of Georgia, Texas and Florida. The university was founded by Americans living in Switzerland in 1970. The online branch of American InterContinental University was founded in 2002 to better serve the international student population. Offices for the online branch are located outside of Chicago, Illinois. There are currently more than 15,000 students across the world who are enrolled in a degree program through the university.

Online Bachelor’s Programs
American InterContinental University offers a wide range of online bachelor’s degree programs in major areas including business administration, criminal justice and information technology. The affordable tuition rate set by the university is $302 per credit hour. It will cost students an estimated $54,360 to complete an online bachelor’s degree program through American InterContinental University.

American InterContinental University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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