Monday, October 3, 2022
Cheap Online Colleges20 Cheapest Self-Paced Online Colleges

20 Cheapest Self-Paced Online Colleges


Online education is growing rapidly and more people see it as the choicest way to learn at the moment. Through the cheapest self-paced online colleges, anyone regardless of their financial capacity can acquire an education at their own pace.

Data from the recent National Center for Education Statistics shows that of the 19.9 million college and university students enrolled in America, 35% of them engage in online education. At this rate, anyone can actually acquire any type of knowledge through self-paced online colleges.

This article is a resource for anyone who is in search of the cheapest self-paced online colleges. Additionally, you’ll also come across some useful tips that will be valuable to you. 

Self-paced education offers learners the leverage to learn on their own time and schedule. However, you need to do something right to ensure that you get the best out of your self-paced online education and that’s one of the things you’ll gain from this article.

Benefits of the Cheapest Self-Paced Online Colleges

Self paced learning comes with some benefits that individuals can leverage. Below are some of them.

1. Affordable Education 

These self paced online colleges offers individuals a cheaper way to acquire education.

Apart from the fact that most of these online colleges don’t charge as much tuition fee as traditional offline colleges, students don’t also have to pay for other educational expenses like hostel fees, transportation etc.

2. No schedule constraints

Enrolled students can actually learn at their own schedules. This is often an added advantage to adults who work and study at the same time.

Such individuals can learn at a time that is convenient for them.

3. Courses can be Completed Anytime

Most of these self paced online colleges allow students to complete their programs whenever they deem fit. While this may be an advantage, it is advisable to take your online courses seriously and finish them like you would with traditional offline education.

Tips for a Successful Self-Paced Online College Education

Check out these useful tips below if you wish to get the best out of your self paced online college education.

1. Write Down Your Learning Goals

One great way to start your online education is to get a clear understanding of what you wish to achieve with your study.

This will enable you to learn with a focus and purpose in mind.

Thus, it is very important that you identify and also write down WHY you’ve decided to take on that online college program or course.

2. Identify Other Commitments

As an individual, you may have other commitments like work, family, travel etc. To succeed at your self paced online education, you need to clearly identify these commitments, and schedule a time that will be convenient for you to focus solely on your online classes.

3. Create a Private Study Space

It is easy to lose concentration during online learning especially when you’re surrounded by things that takes your focus away from the course.

In order to simulate a learning environment, you’ll need to create an environment that will make that possible. One way to get this done is by creating a private study space where you can give wrapped attention to your online education.

4. Do Not Multi-task

Combining different tasks/activities at once can seem like the fastest way to get things done but that route is often disastrous and you may end up feeling overwhelmed.

When it’s time to study, study. When it’s time to play, play. To achieve this, remove anything that may remind you of other tasks.

5. Build a Schedule and Stick to it

A timetable will allow to progress at your own pace and get the best out of your study.

It is often easy to get overwhelmed or lose focus on why you actually started your online program when you don’t have a schedule. Building a schedule you can work with will allow you to get the best out of your self-paced education online. 

6. Save offline copies of your course materials 

If you can, endeavour to save or download your study materials once they are made available. This will allow you to take on your courses easily whenever you have spare time and even when you don’t have access to the internet.

7. Try to Practice What You Learn 

People say practice makes perfect. And that’s not far from the truth. If you’re able to put what you learn in your online courses into practice, you’ll begin to have a better understanding of everything you’ve learnt during the online lectures.

You can integrate your self paced online courses with your professional work or choose courses along your field of interest.

20 Cheapest Self-Paced Online Colleges

Below is a list of the cheapest self-paced online colleges:

Overview of the Top 20 Cheapest Self-Paced Online Colleges

Looking for some information about the cheapest self paced online colleges? Check below:

1. Great Basin College 

Location: 1500 College Parkway, HTC 130 Elko, Nevada (USA) 89801

Tuition: Check Here

Great Basin College offers affordable online education to students who wish to pursue a career in Arts, Sciences and other fields as well. It features online programs like:

  • Fully Online Bachelor of Arts Degree Programs
  • Fully Online Bachelor of Science Degree Programs
  • Fully Online Bachelor of Applied Science Degree Programs
  • Fully Online Associate of Arts Degree Programs
  • Fully Online Certificate of Achievement Programs
  • Fully Online Continuing Education Programs

2. BYU-Idaho

Location: 525 S Center St, Rexburg, ID 83460

Tuition: Check Here

The online programs at BYU Idaho is offered in partnership with Ensign College and BYU-Pathway Worldwide. At this self paced online college, you’ll gain access to online certificates programs as well as bachelor’s and associate degrees.

An online certificate program at BYU can be completed in a year or less. Every bachelor’s or Associate degree starts from a certificate. Students have access to over 300 online courses, over 28 certificate programs and several degree programs.

3. University of Texas Permian Basin

Location: 4901 E University Blvd, Odessa, TX 79762

Tuition: Check Here 

University of Texas Permian Basin offers students a flexible way to earn a certificate or degree online. Newly admitted students are usually expected to complete the UTPB Student Canvas Orientation course.

As an online student of UTPB, you have access to undergraduate online programs, graduate online programs an also certificate online programs. 

4. Western Governors University

Location: 4001 700 E #300, Millcreek, UT 84107

Tuition: Check Here

WGU is an online college with a curriculum designed to fit the employment opportunities of today. Classes are designed to offer personalized access to students.

The University offers online degrees in business, teachers, IT, Health and Nursing etc. 

5. Amridge University

Location: 1200 Taylor Road, Montgomery, AL 36117

Tuition: Check Here 

Amridge University offers affordable self paced online degrees for working adults and other individuals who prefer online education. You can acquire both an online associate and bachelor’s degree through the school’s distance learning technology. 

This school has 40 online programs which are broken down into:

  • College of general studies
  • College of business and leadership
  • School of Education and human studies
  • Turner school of theology.

6. Thomas Edison State University

Location: 111 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608

Tuition: Check Here

Thomas Edison State University offers a long list of online courses, degrees, and certificates through its distance learning programs. Learners can acquire associate degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, undergraduate certificates, and graduate certificates.

The programs are built to be affordable and accessible to working adults.

7. The University of Illinois Online at Urbana-Champaign

Location: Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, United States

Tuition: Check Here 

University of Illinois Online at Urbana-Champaign serves a variety of students, ranging from Degree-seeking students to non-degree-seeking students.

Enrollment is allowed at anytime during the year, however Newmath courses are expected to be completed by students in 16 weeks.

In this institution, degree seeking students are not enrolled into the self paced online program until they are approved by the dean and confirmed. 

8. University of North Dakota – Online & Distance Education

Location: Grand Forks, ND 58202

Tuition: Check Here 

According to the University, it’s distance learning programs started in 1911 when it used to send correspondence by mail courses to students.

Currently, the University has an online program that serves students all across the globe.

It offers certificate courses, degree programs and adult continuing education programs through its online technologies. 

9. Capella University

Location: Capella Tower, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Tuition: Check Here 

Capella University has Over 160 graduate and undergraduate online programs which students can choose from.

The school has what is called a “flex path” program which allows students to learn at their own pace, set their own deadlines, learn on-demand and manage costs. Self paced Online Programs at Capella can be selected by degree, academic area and/or learning format.

10. Penn Foster College

Location: Penn Foster Career School

Student Services Center, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, PA 18515 USA.

Tuition: Check Here 

Penn Foster College has flexible online programs that allow students to acquire new skills, and improve upon their existing careers. Their online programs range from certificate programs of a few months to degree programs of several months. Online Programs at Penn foster are in different categories like Automotive, Business, computer and electronics etc.

11. Waubonsee Community College

Location: 4S783 IL-47, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Tuition: Check Here 

Online courses at Waubonsee Community College are delivered through a canvas system which allows for self paced online learning.

These programs are flexible, student-centered, and interactive in nature.

You can also gain access to credit and non credit online programs that can aid your professional development and education.

12. Upper Iowa University

Location: 605 Washington St, Fayette, IA 52142

Tuition: Check Here 

At Upper Iowa University, students have access to several self-paced online college certificates and degrees. The University had offered self paced online programs for many years using both paper and web based formats to ensure that students enjoy flexible education. Courses take around 6 months and start on the first day of every month.

13. American Public University

Location: 111 W. Congress Street Charles Town, WV 25414

Tuition: Check Here 

American Public University offer it’s students a flexible online learning experience that allows for quality education.

Students of American Public University engage with each other over the internet and are able to learn from professionals located in different parts of the country.

They have a mobile application that enables students to study on the go and enjoy a comfortable learning experience.

14. Chadron State College

Location: 1000 Main Street, Chadron, NE 69337

Tuition: Check Here

Online education at Chadron State College are offered in an 8 week format to allow students earn an accelerated degree or certificate.

Enrolled students have 24 hours access to support everyday of the week. Tuition fee is cheap and every student pays the same amount regardless of their location. 

15. Minot State University

Location: 500 University Avenue West – Minot, ND 58707

Tuition: Check Here 

Tuition at Minot State University is affordable and charged by semester hour.

Therefore, Admitted students only pay the amount that will cover the amount of credits needed to complete a course or online program. Minot State University offers certificate programs, online undergraduate degrees as well as online graduate degrees.

16. West Texas A&m University

Location: Canyon, TX 79016

Tuition: Check Here 

West Texas A&m University has earned so many recognition for its online programs which allows students to learn at their own pace and schedules. The university offers so many Online program options ranging from professional to undergraduate and down to graduate degree programs. You can enroll in these online programs via two formats namely:

  • Semester-based
  • Education on Demand.

17. Columbia College

Location: 1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, MO 65216

Tuition: Check Here 

Columbia College designed its Online program to fit the busy schedule of individuals who wish to further their education or start a new career. Learners can earn a self-paced online degree from anywhere in the world. With the college’s more than 30 available degree programs, students have vast options to choose from.

18. Fort Hays State University

Location: Fort Hays State University 600 Park Street Hays, KS 67601- 4099

Tuition: Check Here 

There are more than 200 online programs available to students of Fort Hays State University. Students who Learn Online also have access to helpful resources that assist their online education. You can also choose from a list of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs and certificates.

19. Liberty University

Location: 1971 University Blvd Lynchburg, VA 24515

Tuition: Check Here

In the online program of Liberty University, you can earn a bachelor’s degree, masters degree and doctoral degree from the comfort of your home. Education online at Liberty University is offered to students at an affordable rate. Students also have access to flexible plans and other scholarships that make the cost of study more affordable for them.

20. Rasmussen College

Location: 385 Douglas Ave Suite #1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

Tuition: Check Here 

For over 20 years, Rasmussen has operated an online learning system for busy individuals who may want to study online.

With over 50 fully Online programs for different degree levels, students of all types can enroll into this college and learn at a flexible schedule. The school allows you to easily find the course/program of your choice by searching through the website or using a filter.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is the easiest and fastest online degree?

The speed and ease of most online degrees depend mostly on your online college and your learning pace. However, some online courses like business, arts, education, etc can be easier to get than others which require more rigorous coursework.

2. Is it possible to get a free degree online?

Yes. It is absolutely possible to earn a free degree online. All you need is the right information and you'll be studying online without paying a dime of your money. World Scholars Hub has made an article about online colleges that pay you to attend. You can check it out within the blog.

3. Is accreditation necessary for self paced online colleges?

Yes it is. The accreditation of your online college can affect you in several ways. Including; credit transfer, employment opportunities, professional certifications, financial aid eligibility and lots more. Before you enroll in any school online, ensure that it is properly accredited and recognized by the government.

4. Is Online College More Affordable?

Not in all cases. Some institutions charge the same amount for on-campus education and online education. However, you may not have to pay for some on-campus educational expenses. Nevertheless, there are schools whose online colleges are more expensive than their offline colleges.

5. Can I get a bachelor's degree in 1 year?

Yes you can. With an online degree program, you can earn a bachelor's degree in 12 months. However, some of these accelerated bachelor's degrees are not self paced. They will require you to dedicate a specific amount of time to study weekly.

Important Recommendations 


Online Colleges offer busy individuals and working adults a way to acquire education at their own pace and schedules. This is a great way to combine both work and study without having to sacrifice one for the other.

This article contains very vital information that will be useful to you if you’re looking to build a career in a new field, but lack the time and resources for on-campus study.

We hope you got real value.


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