Most Affordable Colleges and Universities in the U.S. 2022

Most Affordable Colleges and Universities in the U.S. 2022

So with college costing more than ever, and taking longer than ever to complete, how can you get the best value out of your college experience? The cost of college is high and rising. In just the last 30 years, the cost of a four-year degree, from any institution, public or private, has increased from $26,902 ($52,892 adjusted for inflation) to $104,480.

What are the most affordable colleges in the U.S.? And is it possible to earn a four-year degree that is both affordable and excellent? Is there such a thing as a good “cheap” school?

These are the questions we asked before putting together the list below. Of course, we don’t like to use the phrase “cheapest colleges and universities” because we don’t want you to think of these as bargain-bin schools. In reality, we focused on colleges and universities that provide educational excellence at a reasonable cost. Think of this as a list of schools that give you the best return on your investment.

But we know that the final price tag is on your mind when you’re shopping for colleges. The cost of college is high and rising. In just the last 30 years, the cost of a four-year degree, from any institution, public or private, has increased from $26,902 ($52,892 adjusted for inflation) to $104,480. And of course, that assumes you finish college in just four years, which happened for just 52.8% of private university students and 33.3% of public school students. So with college costing more than ever, and taking longer than ever to complete, how can you get the best value out of your college experience?

The Most Affordable Colleges and Universities

Start with a look at what we consider to be the “Best Value Colleges and Universities” – schools that charged under $20,000 per year in tuition and fees while rating at the top of our Influence Ranking. Technically, we consider schools “affordable” if tuition and fees are below the national average of $16,000 for public universities. Still, this sample of the best value colleges shows that many colleges and universities with excellent academic reputations can be reasonably priced.

These schools are ranked by academic excellence and all cost less than $20,000 a year.

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/33

  2. #2

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    University of Washington’s Online Degrees

    BA Integrated Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Early Care & Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

  6. #6

    University of Minnesota

    Minneapolis , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1370/28

    University of Minnesota’s Online Degrees

    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Applied Health
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Finance
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Agricultural Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Applied Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS English
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS International Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Manufacturing Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Manufacturing Management in Quality Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Sport and Recreation Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/29

    University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Online Degrees

    BLS Applied Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resources
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Consumer Finance & Financial Planning
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Consumer Marketplace Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #13

    Purdue University

    West Lafayette , IN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/28

    Purdue University’s Online Degrees

    BS Business in Management and Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Applied Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Education in Early Childhood
    Degree Concentrations
    • Birth to Age 5 (Non-Licensure)
    • Preschool to Grade 3 (Licensure)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #16

    University of Florida

    Gainesville , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/30

    University of Florida’s Online Degrees

    BS in Advertising
    Degree Concentrations
    • Persuasive Messaging
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Communication Science and Disorders
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Digital Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Education Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Fire and Emergency Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geography
    Degree Concentrations
    • Environmental Geosciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Journalism: Sports and Media
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Microbiology and Cell Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    What is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known for?

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #19

    University of Arizona

    Tucson , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    University of Arizona’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Applied Humanities
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Fashion Studies
    • Public Health
    • Rural Leadership & Renewal
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Early Childhood
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Special Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Mild to Moderate Disabilities
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Africana Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Applied Computing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Software Development
    • Information Management
    • Network Operations
    • Applied Artificial Intelligence
    • Cloud Computing
    • DevOps
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Arts, Media and Entertainment
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Care, Health and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Cyber Operations
    Degree Concentrations
    • Engineering
    • Defense & Forensics
    • Cyber Law & Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Design Arts and Practices
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Global and Intercultural Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Media
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Government and Public Service
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Human Rights Practice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Information Science and ESociety
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Intelligence and Information Operations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Literacy, Learning and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nutritional Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Ethics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Management and Policy
    • Required Credits: 130
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Regional Commerce
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies in Science, Technology, Health and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Social Behavior and Human Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Spanish
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Sports and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sustainable Built Environments
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Wellness and Health Promotion Practice
    Degree Concentrations
    • Health Education
    • Health and Wellness
    • Aging and Population Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Medical Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Economy and Industry
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Administration of Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Africana Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Arts, Media and Entertainment
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Care, Health and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Cyber Operations
    Degree Concentrations
    • Engineering
    • Defense and Forensics
    • Cyber Law and Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Early Childhood
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Economy and Industry
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Medical Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Global and Intercultural Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Media
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Government and Public Service
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Human Rights Practice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Information Science and ESociety
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Intelligence and Information Operations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Literacy, Learning and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nutritional Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Ethics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Regional Commerce
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Science, Technology, Health and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Social Behavior and Human Understanding
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Spanish
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGS in Sports and Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #21

    University of Utah

    Salt Lake City , UT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1261/25

    University of Utah’s Online Degrees

    BS Economics
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Environmental and Sustainability Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Family, Community & Human Development
    Degree Concentrations
    • Financial Planning Emphasis
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Recreation & Tourism: Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Arizona State University’s Online Degrees

    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Communication
    • Corporate Accounting
    • Food Industry Management
    • Global Leadership
    • Global Logistics Management
    • Retail Management
    • Sports Business
    • Sustainability
    • Tourism
    • Financial Planning
    • Information Security
    • Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Concurrent Enrollment
    • Required Credits: 39-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Psychology
    Degree Concentrations
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSE in Mechanical Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    Degree Concentrations
    • Policing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Political Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Early Childhood Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Economics
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business
    • Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Organizational Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in African and African American Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSE in Electrical Engineering
    Degree Concentrations
    • Electric Power and Energy Systems
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Applied Biological Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Preveterinary Medicine
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Applied Leadership
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BFA in Art– Digital Photography
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Art
    Degree Concentrations
    • Museum Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Art History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Biochemistry
    Degree Concentrations
    • Chemistry
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Biological Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Biology and Society
    • Conservation Biology and Ecology
    • Genetics
    • Cell and Developmental Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Data Analytics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Chemistry
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Community Advocacy and Social Policy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Community Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Counseling and Applied Psychological Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Data Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Digital Audiences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Digital Culture
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Digital Media Literacy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Education in Educational Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Early Childhood Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSE in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in English
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Family and Human Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Film and Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BAS in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Forensic Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Geographic Information Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Geography
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BGM in Global Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSD in Graphic Design
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Graphic Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Graphic Information Technology
    Degree Concentrations
    • User Experience
    • Full-Stack Web Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Compliance and Regulations
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Coordination
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Education and Health Promotion
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS or BAS in Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Healthy Lifestyles and Fitness Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Systems Engineering
    Degree Concentrations
    • User Experience
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Innovation in Society
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Integrative Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BIPH in International Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in International Trade
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Internet and Web Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Mass Communication and Media Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Neuroscience
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Operations Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Project Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Morality
    • Politics and Law
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Physics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Project Management
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Service and Public Policy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Religious Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Religion
    • Culture and Public Life
    • Religion
    • Politics and Global Affairs
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Social Justice and Human Rights
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Spanish
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Speech and Hearing Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA or BS in Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sustainable Food Systems
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Technical Communication Degree
    Degree Concentrations
    • User Experience
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Technological Entrepreneurship and Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Technological Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Tourism and Recreation Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Women and Gender Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSP in Urban Planning
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Applied Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Project Management
    • Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business
    Degree Concentrations
    • Communication
    • Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Educational Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business
    • Community Health
    • Family and Human Development
    • Global Studies
    • Health Innovations
    • Personal Health
    • Political Science
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Applied Science
    Degree Concentrations
    • Applied Leadership
    • Graphic Information Technology
    • Health Sciences
    • Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • nternet and Web Development
    • Operations Management
    • Project Management
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Administration
    • Communication
    • Food Industry Management
    • Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Community Advocacy and Social Policy
    Degree Concentrations
    • Social Problems and Interventions
    • Diversity and Oppressed Populations
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Community Health
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Global Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • International Business
    • Language and Culture
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Graphic Information Technology
    Degree Concentrations
    • User Experience
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Coordination
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Healthy Lifestyles and Fitness Science
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology
    Degree Concentrations
    • Networking
    • Information Systems
    • Security
    • Required Credits: 111-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Integrative Health
    Degree Concentrations
    • Nursing & Gen Health Interest
    • Pre Health Grad School Track
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in International Trade
    • Required Credits: 115-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Project Management
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Psychology
    Degree Concentrations
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sustainable Food Systems
    Degree Concentrations
    • Procurement
    • Ecosystem Science
    • Business & Innovation
    • Educational Leadership
    • Global Engagement
    • Policy & Governance
    • Public Health & Nutrition
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 113-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Technical Communication
    Degree Concentrations
    • User Experience
    • Required Credits: 117-120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

For another way of looking at gettng the best return on your investment, check out our groundbreaking new ranking of the schools with the Best Academic Stewardship. Here, we ask how effectively schools manage their financial and human resources to gain the influence that makes them academically excellent. Schools that are exemplary in Academic Stewardship are doing everything in their power to help students and faculty achieve their full potential. In other words, these schools are affordable considering what you’re getting in exchange.

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The Most Affordable Colleges and Universities By State

One of the best ways to save money on your college investment without sacrificing quality is to attend a school in your home state, or in your region. Public and state schools generally offer lower tuition rates for in-state applicants, while attending a private school in-state can provide you with savings on travel and housing. That’s why we’ve cataloged the most affordable colleges and universities by state.

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Affordable Online Degrees

A large number of fully accredited colleges and universities offer excellent online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and grad levels. This can be a great way to save money on your higher education by reducing costs such as housing, transportation, and certain campus fees:

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Top Community Colleges

Community College is another excellent way to save money on the way to a degree. In most cases, your community college will offer a two-year degree at a more affordable rate than the rate offered by the average four-year public college or university. This is a great way to reduce your student loan debt burden even if you plan to ultimately transfer into a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

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Key Affordability Resources

How much should you spend on your college education? The answer is different for everybody. The best way to calculate the right budget for your degree is to gain a better understanding of the higher education economy. Take a look at our exhaustive, fact-based resources on everything from admission rates and tuition costs to scholarships and financial aid.

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Tips for Lowering Your Cost of College

There are steps that you can take beginning as early as high school, and strategies that you enact throughout your college education, to minimize your costs and maximize the value of your degree.

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Interviews On Admissions and Affordability

For deeper insights into the admissions process, the factors causing high tuition rates, and the best strategies for lowering the cost of your college education, check out our interviews with top experts in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions About College Affordability

College is expensive because of overlapping factors like the steady increase in the number of college applicants over the last several decades, significant cuts in public funding for state colleges, and increased costs for amenities, infrastructure, and administration. These factors have all contributed to a decades-long spike in the cost of college. Back to Top

Four years in college costs, on average, between $40,000 and $200,000. In 2020, the average yearly cost of tuition and fees for in-state public colleges was just over $10,000 while the average cost of tuition for a year in private school was $36,801. But costs can go up significantly from there, with more than 120 ranked private colleges charging an annual tuition and fees of at least $50,000. And this is only the sticker price. The net price includes an array of additional expenses, which would likely provide a more accurate picture of what you’ll spend on 4 years in college. Back to Top

The difference between the sticker price and net price of college is that the stricker price does not factor in all incidental costs (housing, fees, books, etc.) or credits (financial aid, scholarships, need-based grants, etc.) whereas the net price more accurately reflects what you’ll be paying for college. The “sticker price” does not account for an array of necessary incidentals including housing, college fees, text books, meal plans, and general living expenses. You’ll need to add these expenses to the sticker price to determine your net price. The good news is, you can also factor in your financial aid and any grants or scholarships you’ve been awarded, which will bring your net price down. For more on the difference between the sticker price and the net price, visit our general Guide to Paying for College Back to Top

The cost of college can vary widely depending on what you’re looking for in your higher education. A range of variables will determine your cost including whether you attend a public or private school, whether you take online or in-person classes, and whether or not you attend a school in-state or out-of-state. These factors will help to determine your base sticker price. After that, you’ll need to factor in major expenses including college fees and housing expenses. According to the Century Foundation, college housing prices “increased by just under 80 percent, inflation-adjusted” between 1975 and 2015. After that, you’ll need to factor in your financial aid–which may or may not be subsidized–as well as any need-based grants or scholarships. For more on how to make these calculations, check out How Much Should College Cost? Back to Top

If college is too expensive, consider a variety of more affordable options including community college and online education. The rankings and resources included here place an emphasis on affordability. But there are ways to cut your costs even further. For instance, many students will choose to begin their higher education in a community college. Earning your associate degree at one of these two-year institutions can save you a lot of money on tuition before you ultimately transfer into a four-year degree program. Most associate degree programs also offer online options, which means you can save on housing costs by completing your courses from your family’s home. Once you’ve completed your program, you’ll not only have the credentials to transfer into a four-year program, but you may also qualify for entry-level work in your field, which is a great way to gain experience and fund your education. For an affordable way to get started, check out the 50 Best Community Colleges. Back to Top

You can make college more affordable by starting at a community college or by looking for a public, in-state four-year school. Public and state universities are frequently more affordable than private colleges. If you’re receptive to a big-school experience, you can save a lot of money up front. You can save even more if you choose to go to a public college near home, because most state schools offer deep tuition discounts for in-state residents. You may also be able to offset some expenses by attending college, or at least completing some courses, online. While tuition for online college is generally in line with tuition for the traditional college experience, you may be able to save on college fees, housing, and transportation. Back to Top

You can cut your college costs by applying for financial aid, getting scholarships, and attending a public university in your state. And in some cases, the most expensive schools, including Ivy League colleges, are likely to be the most generous when it comes to both need-based grants and merit scholarships. Financial aid and scholarships are both important resources as you look for ways to cut your costs. There are also ways to save on additional expenses. Text books, for instance, can be quite expensive. Try shopping for used books online instead of going straight to your campus bookstore for the newest copy. Back to Top

Whether it’s worth going to an expensive college or not will depend on your financial situation, your professional goals and the kind of experience you want out of your university. Before you commit to an elite university or a school with fancy amenities, remember that you will likely be paying loans for these experiences well after graduation. Make sure you really need a degree from that expensive college to take the next step in your career. For some, only an elite college will do. This experience may place you in contact with the instructors, classmates, and credentials you need to pursue your selected career. But if you can achieve your personal, educational, and career goals at a well-regarded but affordable public university, it may be worth saving the money. Still not sure which is right for you? Read on for help answering the question, Should I go to an elite college? Back to Top