A: An online bachelors degree in communication can open up job opportunities in a variety of fields. Graduates can begin careers in public relations, marketing, government, non-profit work, business, human resources, advertising, TV/film production, and much more. It can also be an entry point to continue your education and enter fields like law, digital media and education. Many organizations are building out robust, in-house communications departments where they’d previously relied on external agencies to handle those needs. This presents an opportunity to customize your education and end up working in the specific area within the field that you find most desirable.

Unfortunately, all these opportunities come at costs that can seem prohibitive. However, those costs can be mitigated by choosing an affordable, high quality online program. Students who do so can save money on boarding, and continue to work while simultaneously attending school.

One highly touted program is Bellevue University’s Online Communication Studies BA Degree. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bellevue University #18 in the category of best online bachelor’s degrees. Tuition is only $6,300 per year, or $25,200 for the degree. When you consider many baccalaureate programs charge over $20,000 a year, this is a great deal.

Even though you’ll be taking your classes online, in and out-of-state tuition might play a role in your search for the most affordable online bachelors degree in Communications. Many schools still charge more for students who attend their program from another state or country. Take for example University of Texas of the Permian Basin. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the online bachelor degree program at the school #1 among Texas public universities, and in the nation’s top 50. For Texas residents the program costs $5,250 per year, but for those out of state the price is $13,674 a year.

Your budget will dictate how much you can spend on a communications degree. However, here are 13 highly regarded programs that are all under $10,000 per year in tuition, from cheapest to highest: Lamar University , Fort Hays State University, Arkansas State University, Ohio University-Main Campus, Valley City State University, Clarion University, Salem State University, Waldorf University, Lynn University, Drury University, University of Wisconsin-Superior, King University and Southern New Hampshire University Online. Some of these programs (Fort Hays, Waldorf, Lynn and Southern New Hampshire) also offer associate and master programs in the same discipline, in case you need to build towards a bachelor degree, or are looking to continue your education in communications after attaining one.

The cost of an online bachelor degree in communications is extremely important, because those beginning a career in the field can expect lower wages in entry level positions. Fortunately, communications professionals that demonstrate talent and proficiency can quickly rise in the ranks and end up making high salaries mere years after they begin their careers. Many of these programs have rolling admissions and start dates throughout the year. With this as a guideline, you can begin exploring your options, and hopefully earn a bachelor degree in communications before you know it without breaking your bank.