10 Cheapest Online Bachelor's Programs for In-State Students

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.
For students deciding where they wish to pursue an online bachelor’s degree, tuition is typically a key factor.
Online education can help reduce overall costs for students, as they aren’t paying for room and board and usually don’t need to spend money traveling to and from campus. Students may also be able to save money by pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a public institution in their state.
[Understand why cheaper tuition isn’t a sure thing for online students at in-state schools.]
Among the 133 ranked public online bachelor’s degree programs that submitted data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average cost for in-state students was about $286 per credit during the 2015-2016 school year. The average in-state total program cost was $34,892.
Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts topped the list of cheapest public online bachelor’s degree programs, costing only $40 per credit, U.S. News data show. With 120 credits required for graduation, the total tuition for its bachelor’s programs comes to $4,800. That figure does not include student fees.
The 10 online bachelor’s degree …