Top Most Affordable Online Teaching Degrees

Online Teaching Degrees

While teaching is a very rewarding career, it is not known for being a particularly well-paying one. Schools are constantly dealing with budget cuts, leaving teachers to deal with stagnant salaries and purchasing much needed educational materials themselves.

Teachers who take out thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt will likely have a difficult time paying their debts off, even if they find a great job right out of college. Therefore, it is essential that future teachers consider the cost of their degree when choosing which college to attend. While price should not be the ultimate deciding factor, looking for affordable online teaching degrees should be a priority for anyone looking to enter the field of education.

Featured Teaching Programs:

  • BS in Early Childhood Education – Interdisciplinary Studies: Liberty University Online
  • MA in Teaching Grades 5-12 (for Aspiring Teachers): Kaplan University
  • PhD in Professional Studies in Education: Capella University

The ten affordable online colleges on this list are all excellent options for people interested in obtaining their teaching degree online without spending a ton of money they do not have or taking out large student loans that they will later have difficulty paying back. These cheap schools cost very little per credit hour, especially compared to other more expensive educational options. Most of these schools offer discounts for students, including current and former military students, employees of certain partner organizations, students with excellent grades and even single parents.

Top Most Affordable Online Teaching Degrees


These schools also offer excellent financing options. Many provide interest-free payment plans as well as discounts for students who are able to pay in full before the semester begins or make automatic payments throughout the year. Some of these schools offer several convenient payment options, including cash, check, credit card and PayPal. Lastly, because these schools all offer online education degrees, the students who attend them can work full time while attending classes and save a significant amount by avoiding the expenses of room and board, meal plans and transportation.

1. Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Ashworth College offers both an Associate of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education teaching degree online. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), and it has an impressive Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

With a cost per credit hour as low as $64 and several payment options and discounts, Ashworth College is a very affordable option for people looking to pursue a degree in the field of education. Ashworth students receive $100 off per student when multiple family members are enrolled at the same time. They receive $50 for referring friends to the school, and their friends receive $50 off of their tuition when they enroll as well. Students pursuing an Associate’s Degree may be eligible to have their fourth semester paid for, and all students can save up to $300 off of future Ashworth programs if they decide to return to further their education.

Ashworth offers several types of financing as well. Students can from choose one of three options: they can pay their tuition over time with an interest free payment program, they can receive a price break by signing up for a monthly payment plan, or they can save $300 by paying their balance in full. Monthly payments start as low as $69, and down payments start as low as $29.

Ashworth College accepts the transfer credits students earn at other colleges, and students can also earn college credit for various work and life experiences as well. The college waives all administrative and shipping and handling fees for students who pay in full. Textbooks and CareerBuilder Career services are included in student tuition. Plus, students have the flexibility to study at their own pace so they never have to worry about falling behind with a course load that is too heavy.

2. Penn Foster

Penn Foster

Penn Foster offers a very affordable online Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. The school has received national accreditation by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. Penn Foster has also received an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

The cost of attending Penn Foster is only $79 per credit on average, and there is no application fee. Students can spread out the expense by making interest-free low monthly payments, or they can choose to pay the entire semester upfront or sign up for automatic monthly payments at a discounted rate. Penn Foster offers tuition assistance up to 100 percent for military members, making the school a very attractive and affordable choice for military families. Students may also be eligible to receive their last semester for free. Students can make their payments by credit card, bank account or PayPal.


3. University of Florida Online

University of Florida Online

The University of Florida Online offers four different Master of Education degrees in areas including Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education. The school has received top rankings for its affordability by Princeton Review, Smart Money Magazine and Kiplinger’s. As of early 2014, the school is currently under review to renew its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition for Florida residents is a very affordable $111.92 per credit hour, not including the only $17.26 in fees. University students are often eligible to receive four types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment, if they live near the school. Florida high school students with excellent academics who are planning to attend the University of Florida may also be eligible for Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which can reward hard-working students with up to $103. Tuition for non-residents is $500 per credit plus $52.62 in additional fees.


4. Western Governors University

Western Governors University

Western Governors University was founded by 19 governors who believed that all people should have access to quality, affordable education. Therefore, the University makes it its mission to provide students with an affordable college degree. Western Governors University is unique in that the University’s students are charged per six-month term, instead of per credit. Students who complete more or fewer classes are charged the same rate as long as they take over 12 units at the bachelor’s level or 8 units at the master’s level.

Western Governors University offers a wide range of education degrees. The University offers eight Bachelor of Art, four post-baccalaureate, 11 Master of Arts, two Master of Science and two Master of Education degrees within their education program. Their online degrees cover subjects ranging from science to special education to educational leadership and cover all grade levels from kindergarten through grade 12. Western Governors University offers two endorsement programs as well.

The cost of attending Western Governors University is $2,890 per six-month term, which would amount to approximately $192 per credit hour for a student taking 15 credit hours per semester. Education students must also pay a $100 application fee as well as a $900 demonstration teaching fee before they take their in-classroom teaching practicum.

Western Governors University provides scholarships for math and science educators, employees of partner institutions and hospitals, NEA academy members, military spouses and graduates of WGU partner community colleges who are attending Western Governors University in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. Members of the military may also receive tuition assistance, which may cover up to 100 percent of their college expenses. Western Governors University accepts cash, checks, web checks and EFT credit cards.

Western Governors University has received regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the Western Governors University Teachers College was the first exclusively online university to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

5. University of Nebraska Online

University of Nebraska Online

The University of Nebraska Online offers a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Unified Teaching Endorsement that is perfectly designed to allow in-service teachers, preschool assistants, HeadStart staff and others the opportunity to earn their teaching degrees without attending physical classes at a university. Students who earn this degree will be able to teach children from birth to age five within a special education setting and children from birth through age eight in a regular educational setting. This is a degree completion program, however, so it is for students who have already completed their general education credits at another school or community college and who only need to finish their education-related coursework.

Students of the University of Nebraska Online pay $227 per credit hour for in-state tuition or $345 per credit hour for out-of-state tuition. Students also pay small additional fees, including a $25 per credit hour distance education fee, a $4 per semester student records fee, a $10 per credit hour technology fee, a $4 per credit hour library fee and a $2 per credit hour undergraduate research fellows fee. The University of Nebraska offers hundreds of scholarships and grants totaling over one million dollars in aid to their students. The University also participates in several programs that offer help to military students.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has received regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its education program has received accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


6. California Coast University

California Coast University

California Coast University offers five online education degrees at both the masters and doctoral level. Their degree offerings cover areas including educational administration, organizational leadership, educational psychology and curriculum and instruction. The University is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

California Cost University students pay $230 per master’s degree credit and $290 per doctoral degree credit. The University offers three payment plan options: students can put $500 down and make monthly interest-free payments of $100, they can put $300 down and make monthly interest-free payments of $125, or they can pay their balance in full before the beginning of the semester.

California Coast University also offers a 10 percent discount on tuition to active members of the military and to California Coast University graduates who are returning to further their education. Active members of the military can also receive additional educational assistance from DANTES, while veterans can receive additional assistance through the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs. All students are able to rent their textbooks from the school’s rental library from a nominal cost, which can help them save significantly on the cost of college textbooks.


7. Walden University Online

Walden University Online

Walden University online offers several degree program at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level as well as several educational specialist degrees. The University’s three bachelor’s degrees include child development, instructional design and technology, and educational studies, which is perfect for those students who would like to work in the educational field, but who are not interested in becoming a classroom teacher specifically.

Students pursuing their bachelor’s degree through Walden University Online can expect to pay $310 per quarter semester hour plus a $110 technology fee per quarter before any additional discounts they may quality for. Students may take advantage of the University’s interest-free monthly payment plans as well as any of a number of University or Federal scholarships, grants or loans they may qualify for.

Walden University offers several tuition discounts, including a ten percent discount to current and former members of the military, a 15 percent discount for returning Walden graduates looking to further their education and a 25 percent discount for family members enrolled at the University at the same time. Employees of any of Walden’s many partner organizations are eligible to receive additional discounts as well.

Walden University Online is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association. The University’s education program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


8. Kaplan University

Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers several degrees in education, including a Master of Science in Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and a Master of Science in Higher Education. The University has received regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, and it is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition for each Kaplan’s programs varies. For example, students seeking a Master of Science in Education should expect to pay tuition totaling $17,710 to $20,790 for their entire program while students seeking a Master of Science in Higher Education should expect to pay tuition totaling $19,250 to $27,355 for their degree. The actual amount students will pay will depend on the specific classes they take and the various forms of financial assistance they receive.

Kaplan University offers a large number of scholarships to make the cost of tuition more affordable for students. The University offers single-parent scholarships, success and achievement scholarships and a Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. The University is currently also offering a 75th Anniversary Grant.

Kaplan also offers discounts for employees of the University’s partner organizations. Kaplan alumni receive 20 percent off when they return to further their education, and international students receive 25 percent off of their tuition. Active-duty service members may receive up to 55 percent off of their tuition, while veterans may receive up to 38 percent off and military spouses may receive up to 10 percent off. Students may also qualify for Kaplan credits for courses they have taken at other colleges, work experience they have completed and other courses and workshops they have taken.

9. Capella University

Capella University

The first online academic institution to participate in the NCA’s Academic Quality Improvement Program, Capella University now offers several online degrees including 17 masters and 18 doctoral degrees in education. Capella’s degrees cover educational subjects including adult education, early childhood education, educational psychology, and reading and literacy.

The University has received regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, and it is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Furthermore, Capella’s Professional Education Unit has received accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

The tuition rates for Capella’s various educational programs differ slightly. Students can earn a quality degree for as low as $385 per credit and with as little as 48 credits in order to graduate. This puts the total cost of completing an entire degree at Capella at just under $20,000, which is comparable to what many other schools charge for a single year. Capella’s fees are clearly spelled out on the University’s website, and they include a $50 application fee and $350 graduation fee among others.

Capella offers students several ways to save on the cost of their educations. Capella offers grants, scholarships and credits for real world learning. The University gives a discount of between 10 and 15 percent to current and former members of the military as well as their spouses. Capella also provides discounts to members of their partner associations and employees of their partner business. Students can also save by using free e-books with select courses and by completing streamlined, accelerated, and regular courses at their own pace. The ability to finish classes faster allows students to complete their degrees and get back to their work and family commitments sooner.


For people looking to earn a quality education degree from an affordable online school, the ten schools on this list are all excellent options. These schools show that while a college education can be expensive, it does not have to be. There are ways to obtain a quality education for less.

Of course, when looking for cheap schools, students should not focus solely on the cost of attending; they should consider factors such as the school’s reputation, program and ability to produce graduates that find jobs in their desired field as well. An affordable school that does not equip students for their chosen career field will not be worth the money spent, even if the price tag is very low.

Students seeking an education degree have several options for making their education more affordable in addition to choosing a college with a low price tag. One excellent option future teachers should pursue is the TEACH grant. This federally funded grant pays up to $4,000 a year to future teachers committed to work in certain low-income high-need schools. Students can also research additional scholarships, grants and loans they may be eligible for outside of their chosen university.