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The Cheapest Online Colleges

by Jared Lewis, Demand Media

    Online colleges and universities are an attractive option for many students who simply do not have the time to sit through traditional lecture courses becuase responsibilities associated with jobs and family often make this impossible. The disadvantage of online classes is that they can be cost prohibitive, as students often pay more for convenience. There are, however, a number of online college options that are comparable to traditional schools in terms of tuition costs.

    University of Wyoming

    One of the most affordable options among online colleges is the University of Wyoming (UW). What sets this university apart from many other public state universities is the fact that UW does not charge additional tuition fees for out-of-state students. Tuition costs for both resident and non-resident students are exactly the same. As of 2010, undergraduate students pay $134 per credit hour while graduate students pay $223 per credit hour. The only exception: the executive MBA program is far more costly at $600 per credit hour. Depending on the credit hour requirements for each degree, this makes the cost of attending the University of Wyoming minimal compared to other similar institutions. Undergraduate degrees offered online include bachelor's degrees in nursing, business, applied science, criminal justice, education, psychology and social science. Graduate degree programs include business administration, kinesiology and health, education, nurse education, public administration, speech-language pathology and social work. University of Wyoming 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071 307-766-5160 www.uwyo.edu

    Amberton University

    Amberton University in Garland and Frisco, Texas, offers another affordable option for both undergraduate and graduate online degree seekers. At $225 per credit hour (as of 2010), Amberton's degree programs are some of the most affordable, especially for graduate students whose credit hour requirements are substantially less than those of undergraduates. Amberton's Master of Business Administration degree was listed as a "best buy" by geteducated.com, a site commonly used by students and educators to find and rate online degree programs. At the undergraduate level, Amberton University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in general business and management. It also offers a Bachelor of Science in the field of human relations and business. Amberton offers several master's level degree programs. These degrees are offered in the fields of professional development, business administration, family studies, human relations, human resources and managerial science. Amberton University 1700 Eastgate Dr. Garland, TX, 75041 972-279-6511 www.amberton.edu

    Chadron State College

    Chadron State College, located in Chadron, Nebraska, was voted a "best buy" by geteducated.com. This college offers both undergraduate and graduate courses online. Undergraduate course costs as of 2010 were $180 per credit hour. Graduate degree costs were slightly higher at $225 per credit hour. Only online graduate degrees can be obtained entirely online, however. Degree programs offered at the master's degree level include programs of study such as a Master of Arts in Education in the areas of science and math, community counseling and history. The education program also offers a Master of Education in school counseling, education administration and curriculum and instruction. Finally, Chadron State also offers the Master of Business Administration degree that has become increasingly important in the business community. At just $8,100 for a 36-hour MBA degree, Chadron State offers one of the cheapest online degree options available. Chadron State College 1000 Main St. Chadron, NE 69337 800-242-3766 www.csc.edu

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    About the Author

    Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.

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