There is no denying it. College is expensive. Students consider tuition one of the most significant factors when choosing a college. This is also true for students who attend school online instead of attending a traditional classroom environment.
The cost of college tuition varies depending on the location of the school. In-state students pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students.
Throughout this article, we will discuss tuition rates based on state residency for online college degree programs across the country.
In-State vs. Out-Of-State Tuition for Online Students
Tuition costs can differ depending on your state residency. Often public colleges will charge students living outside of the school’s state more to attend the school, and students who reside in the state will be charged less. As the cost of tuition and attendance for a school is one of the top factors to consider when choosing a degree program, knowing your specific costs is crucial before committing to a program.
Public colleges receive government funding for operational costs, which comes from state residents’ taxes. In-state students who have paid in-state taxes benefit from lower prices, whether they paid them directly or through their parents.
Top 4 Online Colleges That Don’t Charge Extra For Out-of-State Residency
In response to the growing popularity of online educational programs, schools are adding additional programs to their curriculums. While it may seem logical that distance learning students should all pay the same tuition rates regardless of where they live, many public colleges have a higher tuition price for out-of-state students.
The following list includes four high-quality colleges that offer online degree programs without an extra cost for out-of-state residency students.
1. University of the People
Noted to be best for their business administration and related programs, the University of the People is an accredited, free-tuition school offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and non-degree programs. You can’t beat free tuition! While there are limited majors to choose from, this 100% online program allows for asynchronous learning with support from professors and Program Advisors.
Their website mentions, “Our programs are American-accredited, 100% online, and affordable, so you can graduate debt-free with the knowledge you need to become an industry leader.” If you want to complete an online program in computer science, business administration, information technology, education, or health sciences, definitely check out one of the most affordable options at the University of the People.
2. Liberty University
Liberty University is known and recognizable worldwide. Whether you’re physically on one of their campuses or taking one of their dozens of online degree programs, LU promises a rigorous and high-quality education. Liberty University is religiously affiliated and offers programs related to religion, such as Biblical Studies and Pastoral Counseling. However, the university also provides a variety of other majors, such as Psychology, Information Sciences, and many options related to education.
With its extensive range of majors and programs, Liberty University keeps tuition costs low, at $390 per credit for full-time undergraduate students and $455 for part-time undergraduate students. Their program rates are the same regardless of whether you live in Virginia, their residency state, or anywhere else in the country. Additionally, Liberty University offers tuition discounts for first responders and military personnel and discounts for corporate partners. They also have a tool to compare their cost of attendance with other programs.
3. Colorado State University
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Colorado State University offers a flexible, quality education for students to complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees for an affordable sticker price. Students have many degrees to choose from, including arts and music, political science, sociology, and computer science.
Like other schools on this list, CSU offers affordable tuition to all students, regardless of their state residency. Undergraduate degree programs cost $476 per credit, while graduate degree programs cost between $580 to $1,118 per credit, depending on the program chosen. They also have different fees that students need to cover outside of their tuition, but this is generally standard practice for most colleges nationwide regardless of in-person or online learning status.
4. Trine University
Located in Indiana, Trine University has launched its TrineOnline program to allow students to complete undergraduate and graduate programs online from the comfort of their home. Trine offers classes in a few subjects, including criminal justice, business, healthcare, and more. With the ability to transfer up to 90 credits towards a degree, 24/7 access to online support for faculty feedback and tech support, and the flexibility to start a new course every eight weeks, TrineOnline allows their students the freedom to work on a degree on their own terms.
According to its website, Trine University states its online programs will “…provide you the maximum affordability, TrineOnline offers more than 45 courses, including two complete degree programs, with no textbook fees. And you can take your first TrineOnline course for free!” We love the word free here. Once their free course is completed, tuition for TrineOnline is $399 per credit for undergraduate classes and $575 per credit for graduate courses, with a military tuition discount available for those who qualify.