Cheapest Online Masters Degree in 2023 | Best Affordable Colleges

Cheapest Online Masters Degree
Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Colleges With The Cheapest Online Master's Degrees

You already have your undergraduate degree; now you are going for your Masters.

Whether you want to increase your earnings or access better job opportunities, earning a graduate degree is the clear next step in your career. Also, because you are a non-traditional student with a busy schedule, you need to find an online program.

The only problem is that most options are super expensive and exceed your budget. According to Education Data, the average cost of a Master’s degree is over $66,000, with some of them costing up to $120,000.

Yes, that’s a lot!

Fortunately, there are more affordable options too. Now you just need to know which are the cheapest online Master’s degrees and the colleges that offer them.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional student’s most trusted resource. Because tuition costs can be quite expensive, we know how important it can be for busy prospective students like you to find the cheapest Master’s online degree.

That’s why we are sharing a list of online colleges with the cheapest Master’s degrees, the courses they offer, their costs, and their requirements.

Fort Hays State University is a public school with a strong foundation for developing and offering a highly accessible education for everyone. Not only does it rank among the top regional universities in the American Midwest, but its tuition fees are among the lowest in the U.S.

Online Degree Programs

They have more than 200 degrees and over 60 online graduate programs. 

List of degrees:

Cheapest Online Masters Degrees FHSU

To apply for Fort Hays State University, you need to:

Within the required 60 credit hours, you need to have a GPA of at least 2.5. However, some departments may ask you to have a higher minimum grade.

Pricing of online graduate degrees:

Fort Hays University has a wide range of financial aid options, but there are even more accessible benefits if you are a military member

If you are part of the force or are a spouse to someone who is, be sure to check out our list of the best scholarships for military members.

Western Governors University is the place to go if you want an accelerated Master’s program. Unlike other online schools, their distance learning approach is competency-based. This means that they measure your knowledge and not class time.

At WGU, when you start a class, you get all the lessons and assignments with an overall due date. How you choose to use that time depends entirely on you. If you are already familiar with the concepts of that class, you can prove your knowledge in the final assessment and complete that course in less than a week.

This is why this learning method is so popular among experienced graduate students.

You can learn more about competency-based programs and which other colleges have this approach in our blog post.

WGU has 35 online Master’s degrees. They have programs in fields for:

Cheapest Online Masters

General requirements to enter WGU are simple:

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Submit your official Bachelor’s transcripts

However, additional criteria changes depending on the online program you want to study. You can learn more about them by clicking on the links below:

At WGU, you pay flat-rate tuition for a six-month term, meaning you can complete as many online courses as you can and not pay extra for them.

If you already have experience and knowledge, you end up saving time and money.

Even though their yearly Master’s tuition costs $7,842 on average, tuition depends on your chosen degree online program.

You can also apply for their featured scholarships or claim the benefits for military students.

The American College of Education is a private school with a mission to deliver high-quality and affordable online programs grounded in evidence-based content. They are a socially conscious educational institution aiming to positively impact the world and inspire its online students to do the same.

ACE specializes in degrees related to teaching. If your professional goal is to become a teacher, here you’ll find a wide range of online options in different fields.

They have conferred over 25,000 degrees and rank fourth in the Nation for most master’s degrees awarded in education.

Their list of degrees goes from Certificates to Doctorates. ACE has 26 online master’s programs in the fields of:

Cheapest Online Masters Degrees

To apply for ACE, you need to:

Some graduate programs will require additional requirements, like having a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 2.75. You can check their admissions information for more information.

Tuition costs change depending on the advanced degree you’ll be taking. However, most of their online master’s programs are under $9,500.

You can check the total cost of attendance page to see how much each program’s tuition is and what additional fees are included.

You can also find out which scholarships and grants are available for you to apply for.

Eastern Illinois University is a public school that offers superior and accessible undergraduate and graduate education.

Their curriculum is service-oriented, as EIU has been named twice to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Plus, every year, they devote more than 10,000 hours to service.

EIU has consistently ranked in the top third of Midwest universities in its class by U.S. News and World Report. They are currently working to make their institution financially sustainable.

While not all of their Masters-level degrees are available online, EIU has 20 graduate courses for busy adult students to take. These are programs in fields related to:

Cheapest Online Masters Degrees EIU

To apply here, you’ll need to create an EIU account. Then, you’ll have to:

Studying an online Master’s at EIU has a cost per credit hour of $419. This comprises its $329 tuition and $89 of additional fees.

You can also apply for their highlighted scholarships.

Last on our list we have Wilmington University.

We already talked about them in our Colleges with the Highest Acceptance Rate post, but they have also earned their place on this list because their tuition costs are about 50% cheaper than other state universities.

They have over 130 online programs, ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees and more than 30 online Master’s degrees.

They have degrees in fields such as:

Cheapest Online Masters Degrees

The admission process to enter Wilmington is simple; you don’t even need GRE or GMAT scores.

You’ll have to submit:

In Wilmington, the cost per credit hour for a graduate degree is $500. However, there is a $200 discount if you are an active military member.

While its cost per credit hour is the highest on this list, it is still the most affordable private university in the region, with 54% of its students completing their programs without financial aid.

But in case you want to apply, they also offer many scholarships based on merit, financial need, and other criteria.

Find The Cheapest Master's Degree For You!

Finding an online college with graduate degrees and affordable tuition isn’t as hard as it seems.

These are only some of the online Master’s degree programs you can find. If they don’t sound like the right choice for you, don’t give up the search! There are other affordable programs you can enroll in.

We hope this information helps you make an informed decision on where you’ll get your online graduate degree. Remember that if you also want to finish your degree faster, you can count on Gradehacker to help you with your essays and classes to accelerate your degree.

If you want more tips on how to save money or how to improve your college experience, check out our related blog posts:

Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.