Why This Matters

  • 179 OCCUPATIONS TRACKED BY THE BLS REQUIRE A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks around 800 occupations, and 179 of those typically require a bachelor’s degree. That includes jobs in nursing, business management, accounting, and marketing.

  • A HIGHER DEGREE EQUALS REDUCED RISK OF UNEMPLOYMENT

    Those with a high school diploma have an average unemployment rate of 6.2%. Those with a four-year degree have an unemployment rate of 3.5%, and those with a master’s degree or higher have a rate ranging from 1.5% to 2.6%.

  • EARN $525 MORE PER WEEK WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    The average pay for those with a four-year degree is around $1,334 per week. For those with only a high school diploma, this figure is around $809.

Our Research

This list features the best online college programs with low out-of-state tuition in the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list have been accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission and New England Commission of Higher Education, that assess the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of colleges and universities.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online college programs with low out-of-state tuition to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 45 Online Colleges with Lowest Out-of-State Tuition

Best Colleges with Lowest Out-of-State Tuition 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Penn State World Campus
01
Most Affordable
Florida Atlantic University
01
Best Alumni Network
University of Florida
01
Most Innovative
Maryville University
01
Best for Doctoral Degrees
Texas Tech University
01
Best for Minority Students
CAL State LA
01
Best for Undergraduate Degrees
Arizona State University
01
Best for Graduate Certificates
Appalachian State University
01
Best for Continuing Education
Texas State University
01
Best for Graduate Degrees
University of Central Florida
01

New Mexico State University
01

Oklahoma State University
01

Ohio University
01

Madonna University
01

University of Alaska at Fairbanks
01

Allen University
01

Dakota State University
01

Alice Lloyd College
01

Dickinson State University
01

Henderson State University
01

Northern State University
01

New Mexico Highlands University
01

Le Moyne - Owen College
01

Mayville State University
01

Thomas Edison State University
01

West Texas A&M University
01

Rust College
01

Harris - Stowe State University
01

Bellevue University
01

Central State University
01

Wayne State College
01

Granite State College
01

Mississippi Valley State University
01

Bemidji State University
01

Oklahoma Panhandle State University
01

Carolina Christian College
01

Minot State University
01

Chadron State College
01

Delta State University
01

Southwest Minnesota State University
01

Alcorn State University
01

The University of Texas Permian Basin
01

Peru State College
01

Panola College
01

Mid-South Christian College

What You Should Know About This Degree

Online programs should be compared with hybrid and in-person programs. Hybrid programs involve classes that are online and in-person. Online programs are appealing to many because you can get an education from the best school for your niche without regard to location. Just be sure you’re choosing a college that provides online programs that match the quality of in-person learning.

Regional accreditations are typically the best demonstration of quality for educational organizations, though national accreditations are also a positive indicator. You should avoid schools that aren’t accredited at all.

Make sure you understand all the requirements for your degree and what licensure may be needed. If you’re getting a nursing degree, for example, you will likely need to pass a licensure exam before you can land a job as an RN.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching the best online colleges with low out-of-state tuition:

  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Synchronous classes require you to log in at certain times and interact with teachers and other students. Asynchronous courses are more flexible, as coursework can be completed at your own pace. You’ll also want to consider factors such as time zones when you’re looking at out-of-state colleges — especially if classes are synchronous.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Associate degrees typically take two years to complete, while bachelor’s degrees tend to take four years. You can complete degrees faster or slower depending on how many credits you take every semester.

When you’re researching online colleges with low out-of-state tuition, write down the number of credits required and the cost per credit — as well as additional fees — so that you can compare costs. And if you’re worried about the cost of school, you can also reach out to financial aid offices to find out what options might be available to help you pay for your education.