Cheapest Online Colleges for Master’s Degrees 2014

Cheap online master’s degrees are not hard to find, but many do not provide a comprehensive education. An affordable master’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 masters degrees we took into consideration quality, accreditation, reputation, as well as cost. While these may not be the cheapest master’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 masters degree programs to choose from.

#1. Western Governors University


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Western Governors University is an affordable option for students seeking an online master’s degree. The name of the school pays tribute to the governors who created the institution. These online degree programs reward students who demonstrate their abilities instead of using the traditional system of credits. This opens up the possibility of earning a college degree for adults and others looking to reduce expenses by earning their college degree while maintaining current employment status.

Online Master’s Programs
Students can choose from more than 25 online degrees, and there are multiple options for financial aid assistance. These online degree programs are available at an affordable price because the school qualifies for Title IV federal student aid. Some of the most popular online degrees include information technology, business, teaching and health care. The tuition ranges from $2,890 to $4,250 for each term.

Regional Accreditation
Western Governors University provides high-quality online education to students from all over the country. This institution obtained accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU).

#2. Sullivan University


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Sullivan University is a private academic institution that maintains on-campus locations throughout the state of Kentucky. The online division of the university has offices in Louisville, Kentucky that allow students to enroll in courses and pay tuition in person if desired. Long-distance students are able to complete registration and payment procedures online. The affordability of the accredited master’s degree programs available through Sullivan University make the school an ideal choice for working professionals who would like to avoid student debt.

Online Master’s Programs
Sullivan University offers unique opportunities for students to earn a master’s degree program by completing online coursework. Degree programs that can be completed online include business administration, conflict management, public safety and education management.

Sullivan University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#4. Fort Hays State University


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Fort Hays State University is a public university in Hays, Kansas. Founded in 1902, the university is currently the fastest growing institution governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. The university hosts 28 academic departments and awards associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

Online Master’s Programs
Thirteen master’s degree programs and specialty tracks are offered through the university’s Virtual College. Areas of study include business administration, counseling and psychology, education, nursing, and more. The counseling, school psychology, and family nurse practitioner track programs require time on campus or the completion of a supervised clinical. All courses offered by the Virtual College are fully accredited. Students are charged $241.35 per credit hour in tuition. The Master of Business Administration program is $400.00 per credit hour.

Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#5. Baker College Online

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Baker College Online is a private college that is part of Michigan-based Baker College. The academic institution is focused on providing students with a career-based education. Baker College Online has one of the most affordable online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the United States.

Online Master’s Programs
Baker College Online offers convenient master’s degree options that allow students to complete all of their coursework online. Degrees offered by the college include business administration, information sciences, organizational psychology and occupational therapy. The affordable online master’s degree programs are available with a tuition cost of $390 per credit hour. Employees who are offered tuition reimbursement benefits by an employer can typically claim courses taken through Baker College Online.

Baker College Online is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The MBA program is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, and the occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

#6. Walden University

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Walden University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through online coursework. Walden was originally established to help working adults obtain doctoral degrees. The school would eventually offer the first completely online master’s in education program. Based in Minnesota, the university is part of a network of onsite and online universities connected by Laureate Education, Inc.

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Online Master’s Programs
The university offers a wide selection of master’s degree programs. Some of the programs include business administration, education, counseling, psychology, criminal justice, information technology, and more. Tuition and fees are assessed for each individual program, so potential students should examine the costs associated with the individual program of interest. Technology fees and other costs may apply.

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Some of the schools and degree programs are individually accredited.

#7. Kaplan University

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Kaplan University predominantly offers degrees through online learning, but campus-based programs are available. Control of the university falls under Kaplan, Inc., a corporation that offers test preparation materials, training programs, and services related to higher education. The institution was acquired when Kaplan, Inc. purchased Quest Education Corporation, and the institution’s name was changed to Kaplan College.

Online Master’s Programs
Kaplan University offers a wide variety of online learning opportunities. Master’s programs are available in business administration, education, public health, psychology, nursing, and more. While many degrees can be completed online, some programs do require onsite or local experience. Tuition varies for each program, but typical costs are $368, $385, $420, or $441 per quarter credit hour. Additional fees may apply.

Kaplan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The institution is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#8. Colorado State University-Global Campus

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Colorado State University-Global Campus is an online university that is affiliated with Colorado State University. There are currently over 7,000 students enrolled in a degree program with the public academic institution. The online university was founded in 2007 to reach out to adult learners in the state of Colorado. Colorado State University-Global Campus is ranked as one of the top 100 colleges for online business degrees at the graduate level.

Online Master’s Programs
Colorado State University-Global Campus offers all of its degree programs in an online format. The master’s degree programs that are available through the university include management, organizational leadership, teaching, criminal justice, finance and healthcare administration. Tuition is set at an affordable rate of $500 per credit hour for graduate students, and students who are enrolled in a program will not be affected by any increases in tuition.

Colorado State University-Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9. Liberty University Online

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Liberty University Online is a non-profit, private institution of higher learning with a Christian-based foundation. Established in 1985, the school boasts over 15,000 graduates. Liberty University Online specializes in catering to non-traditional students, military families and working adults.

Online Master’s Programs
Liberty University Online offers over 25 master’s degree programs, including courses in accounting, business administration, human services, education and nursing. It also allows students to specialize in certain areas within each degree program. Online classes are eight weeks long. Tuition for master’s-level courses starts at $465 and goes up to $505 per credit hour with additional fees for distance learning classes.

Liberty University Online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with a level VI rating (for schools that have over four doctoral programs). It also holds accreditation from the American Bar Association, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Aviation Accreditation Board International and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, among several others.

#10. Saint Leo University Online

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Saint Leo University Online is a Catholic-based, non-profit school established in Saint Leo, Florida. Founded in 1889, the university is a leader in the field of distance learning. It is also the oldest Catholic university in the state of Florida and enrolls over 15,000 students from all over the world.

Online Master’s Programs
Saint Leo University Online offers several master’s degrees through distance learning, including the M.B.A., M.Ed., M.S., M.A., and Master of Social Work. Tuition ranges between $422 and $674 per credit, depending on the type of degree. Most of the master’s programs require 36 credits, and graduate certificates are generally 15 to 18 credits. Some students may be eligible for grants, military aid, scholarships or corporate sponsorships.

The online university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.

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