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Most people are looking for an affordable grad school. We have ranked the top 10 most affordable graduate schools in the United States to help you evaluate the best options.

Originally published in September 2018 and revised/updated with the most current information in January 2024.

Graduate school is a big decision. It can be a profoundly enriching experience, both personally and professionally. However, many people look at the rising cost of grad school and shy away from taking that next step. If you’re worried about the cost of obtaining your graduate degree, this article can help.

Each school on our list of the most affordable graduate schools costs less than $10,000 a year. In some cases, that figure is substantially less. So, if you’re interested in finding the cheapest graduate online programs at top-tier colleges, read on!

Important Takeaways

• Pursuing a graduate degree can be a considerable expense. However, many students don’t realize there are plenty of cheap graduate programs out there. Just because you attend one of the least expensive graduate schools doesn’t mean you will sacrifice quality. Some of the cheapest graduate programs are offered at top research institutions.

• The best-value graduate schools will often allow online students to pay in-state tuition rates. Additionally, even the most affordable graduate programs feature generous assistance. For example, with cheap master’s programs, most students are still eligible for help. This includes scholarships, grants, and financial aid. Many affordable grad schools even offer internships and assistantships. These opportunities can further reduce the cost of online graduate programs.

• Students looking for an affordable grad school won’t be disappointed with this list. Each of the affordable master’s programs and doctoral programs on this list has tuition rates of less than $10,000 per academic year.

Methodology for the Most Affordable Graduate Schools

We approached this college ranking similarly to our others. However, all the schools on this list are ranked solely on tuition rates. To begin, we curated a list of schools that all meet the following criteria:

  • The college must have at least one graduate-level distance education degree program.
  • The college must be based in the United States.
  • The college must be appropriately accredited.
  • The college must be a not-for-profit institution.

Once we had a complete list, we determined each school’s graduate tuition rate.

All of the tuition information for this list of the most affordable graduate schools was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics. 

We did not consider any scholarships or financial aid a student may receive. We also did not consider any additional fees associated with attending each affordable grad school program. Please note that the costs listed are based on in-state graduate tuition. In some cases, the prices for out-of-state students will be higher. In other cases, online graduate students enjoy the same low tuition costs as in-state students, no matter where they live. 

This information is accurate at the time of writing. However, you should always consult with the financial aid office at any affordable grad school you consider.

Interested in earning an undergraduate degree online instead? You may find the school for you in our article featuring the Top 100 Best Online Colleges.

Top 10 Schools With Affordable Grad School Online Master’s Programs

Fort Hays State University$5,430
Wayne State College$7,618
University of the Cumberlands$9,875
University of West Georgia$6,521
Valdosta State University$6,530
Chadron State College$7,844
Georgia Southern University$6,485
West Texas A & M University$9,202
Kennesaw State University$6,436
Oklahoma State University$9,244

Ranking The Top Online Affordable Graduate Schools

Fort Hays State UniversityFHSU: affordable online master's programs

Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays State University is a comprehensive public university in Hays, Kansas. The school’s mission is “ to develop the engaged global citizen-leaders our world needs today.” It is known for its caring and innovative faculty, who have a deep commitment to mentoring and teaching.

However, it has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. This ensures that all graduate students receive the individual attention they need to succeed. This graduate school consistently ranks among the top universities in the Midwest. And a full 95% of FHSU graduates secure employment after graduation. 

FHSU features 60 online graduate degree programs through its five colleges. Students can study at the  Master’s, Education Specialist, and Doctoral levels. Some of the most popular graduate online degree programs include:

  • English
  • Corporate Communications
  • Global Management
  • Political Leadership and Public Service
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Instructional Technology
  • Elementary Education
  • Educational Administration
  • Gifted Education
  • Digital Leadership
  • School Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Nursing Administration
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice

FHSU also has an impressive online MBA program with 15 concentration areas. These online MBA programs are flexible and designed for working professionals. All online classes are taught in 8-week course sessions. There are five start dates a year. Graduate students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. Financial aid is available. 

Fort Hays State University is committed to online learning. Courses are delivered through Blackboard, the school’s digital learning management platform. Coursework may include videos, labs, discussion boards, team projects, and more. The school offers an array of services for its students. Graduate students can take advantage of:

  • Free Online Tutoring & Writing Center
  • Accessibility and Counseling Services
  • Circles of Support
  • Career Services
  • Software and Technical Support
  • Library Resources and Research Help
  • Credit for Prior Learning
  • Events, Clubs, and Organizations
  • Discounted Internet Service

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

In-State Graduate Tuition: $5,430

Wayne State CollegeWSC: affordable online master's programs

Wayne, Nebraska

Wayne State College is a small public college in Wayne, Nebraska. It serves around 4,500 students a year. The school is known for its academic excellence, friendliness, and affordability. There is also a strong focus on service learning at WSC.

Students are encouraged to lead community projects no matter where they live. These projects are designed to enrich their learning experience and strengthen the communities around them. Over 80% of the school’s faculty hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. 

The college features over 100 programs of study through four schools. And those who want to attend graduate school online have over 30 options. Some are fully online, while others are hybrid graduate degree programs with a mix of on-campus and online instruction. Some of the online master’s degrees include:

  • Athletic Administration
  • Business and Information Technology Education
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Criminal Justice Administration and Management
  • Curriculum and Instruction – Instructional Leadership
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Specialist
  • Elementary Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Human Performance and Wellness Management
  • Industrial Technology Education
  • Information Technology Management 
  • Organizational Management
  • Public Relations Management
  • School Administration
  • Sport and Recreation Management 

Most of the online master’s programs are highly flexible and can be completed in as little as two years. There are typically several start dates a year for the most popular programs. Financial aid is available. Courses are delivered through Canvas and may be asynchronous or synchronous, depending on the specific graduate program. Online graduate students have access to helpful resources such as:

  • Academic Coaching and Advising
  • Writing Help
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Disability Resources
  • Library Resources
  • Career Services

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

In-State Graduate Tuition: $7,618

University of the CumberlandsUniversity of the Cumberlands: affordable online master's programs

Williamsburg, Kentucky

The University of the Cumberlands is a non-profit private Christian university in Williamsburg, Kentucky. It is formally affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. However, students of all backgrounds attend this affordable college.

It was founded in 1889, and today, the school serves close to 20,000 students. The school offers dozens of programs, many of which can be completed online. Some of the online master’s degree programs at the graduate school include:

  • Artificial Intelligence in Business 
  • Finance
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Addiction Studies 
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Justice Administration 
  • Teaching 
  • Digital Forensics 
  • Global Business with Blockchain Technology 
  • Information Systems Security 
  • Information Technology
  • Coaching 
  • Health and Human Performance 
  • Nursing 
  • Physician Assistant Studies
  • Cyber-Engineering 
  • Christian Studies 

University of the Cumberlands also features several online doctoral degrees. Some of the options include:

  • Business Administration 
  • Information Technology 
  • Leadership 
  • Physical Therapy 
  • Counselor Education & Supervision 
  • Educational Leadership

Coursework is delivered online, and classes can be completed at your own pace. The college has a user-friendly class management system. This platform provides all the interactions of a traditional classroom in a flexible, online environment. Graduate students maintain regular contact with their instructors. And they are provided with plenty of options to communicate and collaborate with their peers. Financial aid is available. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $9,875

University of West GeorgiaUWG: affordable online master's programs

Carrollton, Georgia 

The University of West Georgia is a four-year public institution in Carrollton, Georgia. This non-profit university was founded in 1906 and serves around 12,600 students a year. The school is known for its diverse culture and commitment to academic excellence.

It boasts an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. It offers degrees at all levels, from associate degrees to Ph.Ds. UWG features over 90 dynamic programs. And many of them are offered partially or entirely online. Some of the online master’s degree programs include:

  • Applied Business Analytics
  • Criminology
  • Digital and Social Media Communication
  • Elementary Education
  • Integrative Health and Wellness
  • Instructional Technology, Media & Design
  • Music Education
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Physical Education
  • Reading Instruction
  • Special Education
  • Sport Management

UWG also offers four excellent online doctoral programs. They include:

  • Higher Education Administration
  • Nursing Education
  • Professional Counseling and Supervision
  • School Improvement

Online courses are delivered through Google Meet, CourseDen (D2L), and other technologies. Students in the online graduate education programs receive plenty of support. For example, faculty members hold online office hours so students can meet with them one-on-one.

The graduate school offers virtual counseling services, tutoring, and writing help. Students at UWG (including online students) can also pursue Credit for Prior Learning. This is accomplished through departmental exams, CLEP exams, and portfolio assessments. Financial aid is also available. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $6,521

Valdosta State UniversityVSU: affordable online master's programs

Valdosta, Georgia

Valdosta State University is a four-year public university in Valdosta, Georgia. It is a comprehensive university and one of four colleges in the University System of Georgia. The school was initially established in 1906 as a normal college which trained teachers.

Today, it offers dozens of programs through several academic divisions. While VSU only has eight online bachelor’s degrees, there are numerous flexible graduate degree programs. Over 70% of graduate students study online. Some of the online master’s degree programs through the graduate school include:

  • Adult and Career Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Curriculum and Instruction/Accomplished Teaching
  • Education Leadership
  • Elementary Education
  • English Studies for Language Arts Teachers
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Foreign Language Education (French or Spanish)
  • MBA
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Instructional Technology
  • Library and Information Science
  • Middle Grades Math and Science
  • Public Administration
  • Special Education: General Curriculum or Deaf/Hard-Of-Hearing

Students at Valdosta State University can also earn a doctoral degree online. Options include:

  • Coaching Pedagogy in Physical Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Technology
  • Leadership
  • Public Administration
  • School Counseling
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Leadership

The college also offers several hybrid programs. In these programs, students will take courses both online and on campus. Hybrid programs are ideal for busy working students who live near Valdosta. They allow you to collaborate in person while giving you plenty of flexibility in your schedule. 

Online graduate students at Valdosta have access to world-class resources and plenty of support. The school offers career, counseling, and disability services. All students can also access online tutoring, academic support, and technology help. The school uses Brightspace by D2L as its online learning management platform. And financial aid is available. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $6,583

Chadron State CollegeCSC: affordable online master's programs

Chadron, Nebraska

Chadron State College is a public college in Chadron, Nebraska. It was founded in 1909 and is a member of the Nebraska State College System. This is a small college serving just over 2,200 students a year. However, despite its small size, it still houses four academic divisions.

Students can choose from dozens of areas of study. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees. And many of them can be completed entirely online. 

  • School Counseling
  • Educational Administration
  • History and Math/Science Education
  • Education
  • Organizational Management
  • Athletic Training
  • Business Administration

The online MBA program at Chadron is particularly popular. Students can pursue a general track or opt for one of three specializations. These include  Accounting, Digital Marketing, and Healthcare Management. There are six entry points a year for the MBA. And no GMAt is required for admission to the program. Additionally, it is ACBSP-accredited. The degree can be earned in two years of part-time study.  Full-time students can complete the program in about 18 months. 

The Organizational Management program also offers three areas of focus. These include Human Services, Natural Resources, and Sports Management. The MS in Organizational Management takes about three years to complete. Students will complete an internship, a scholarly project, and a thesis. 

Many of the courses for the online master’s degree programs are delivered in an accelerated eight-week format. This allows students to complete their degrees faster than the traditional on-campus programs. Students have access to 24/7 support. And online students pay the same tuition as in-state students. 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

In-State Graduate Tuition: $7,844

Georgia Southern UniversityGSU: affordable online master's programs

Statesboro, Georgia

Georgia Southern University is a large public research university in Statesboro, Georgia. It is known as a conservative, military-friendly school. There are over 27,000 students attending Georgia Southern. 

The university houses eight colleges and offers nearly 150 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. The school features dozens of online graduate degrees and certificates. Some of the most popular online master’s degree programs include:

  • Health and Physical Education
  • Curriculum & Instruction 
  • Educational Leadership
  • Evaluation, Assessment, Research, and Learning
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Instructional Technology
  • Special Education
  • Professional Communication and Leadership
  • Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Public Health
  • Accounting
  • MBA
  • Applied Economics
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Kinesiology
  • Sports Management 

Courses are taught by the same esteemed faculty members who teach on campus. And students earn the same respected degree. The graduate school offers a wide range of services for its students, including:

  • Student Accessibility Resource Center
  • Counseling Center
  • Career Services
  • Testing Services
  • Multicultural Student Center
  • Library
  • Online Course Support
  • Writing Center
  • Academic Success Center (Tutoring)

Financial aid is available. Graduate students can also explore a wide range of professional continuing education opportunities. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $6,485

West Texas A&M University

WTAMU: affordable online master's programs

Canyon, Texas

West Texas A&M University is a public university in the Amarillo metropolitan area. Like most universities in America, WTAMU was established as a normal college. Doors opened to an inaugural class in 1910. Today, it serves a student population of around 9,600. It features dozens of majors through seven colleges and departments. 

The college features over 20 remote graduate programs. Many online graduate programs at WTAMU have been nationally recognized as some of the best online graduate programs in the country.  And most of them can be completed 100 percent online. Students also have the option of completing them as a hybrid program. This allows them to attend some classes on campus and engage with peers and faculty while earning their master’s degree. Some of the online master’s degree programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture 
  • Business 
  • Communication 
  • Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics 
  • Counseling 
  • Educational Diagnostician 
  • Educational Leadership
  • Engineering 
  • English
  • Finance and Economics
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Public Administration
  • Social Work, 
  • Sports and Exercise Sciences

WTAMU also features one online doctoral program, an Educational Leadership Ed.D. In this program, students complete 86-99% of their coursework online. However, there are some required on-campus components. 

Financial aid is available. And those pursuing a master’s degree have access to many resources to help them succeed at WT. Some of these include:

  • Office of Student Engagement and Leadership
  • Cornette Library
  • Student Success Center
  • Testing and Tutoring Services
  • Student Affairs Resources

Currently, WTAMU is offering to beat any offer from another college or university in the United States!

So it is possible to earn your graduate degree at an even lower cost than the listed tuition. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $9,202

Kennesaw State UniversityKSU: affordable online master's programs

Kennesaw, Georgia

Kennesaw State University is a large, four-year public doctoral research institution. It is part of an elite group of only 6% of U.S. colleges with an R1 or R2 Carnegie designation. Headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia, it serves close to 43,000 students a year. And it is one of the largest universities on our list. 

The school comprises 13 colleges and offers over 180 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. And many areas of study can be completed online. Some of the online master’s degree programs at KSU include:

  • Systems Engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Engineering Management
  • Digital Financial Technologies
  • Intelligent Robotic Systems
  • TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Information Systems
  • Instructional Technology
  • International Policy Management
  • Special Education
  • Art and Design
  • Secondary and Middle Grades Education
  • Elementary and Early Childhood Education
  • Business Administration, Web MBA
  • Educational Leadership

In addition to the fully online master’s degrees, students can choose from 14 hybrid programs. These involve a combination of on-campus and online learning. They are ideal for busy working professionals who live in the area and need a flexible master’s degree program. There are also three online doctoral programs at KSU. They include:

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Instructional Technology
  • Secondary and Middle Grades Education

KSU offers a full range of services to its students. They include academic advising, library, career planning, and more. Plus, students are provided with 24/7 mental health support to ensure their wellness and happiness during college. Financial aid is available. 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

In-State Graduate Tuition: $6,436

Oklahoma State UniversityOSU: affordable online master's programs

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University is a public land grant university in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1890 and is classified as a Carnegie R1 research university. The school currently serves close to 25,000 students. The university offers degrees at every level through six different colleges and schools. 

OSU has a very esteemed reputation. It has been recognized by a variety of organizations over the years. Most notably, it has been named a Truman Honor Institution. Its School of Entrepreneurship has been recognized as 10th in the world for research productivity. There are hundreds of programs of study offered at the school. OSUOnline is where you will find its distance-learning options. There are over 70 online graduate programs offered. Some of the most popular online master’s degrees include:

  • Aging Studies
  • Agricultural Education and Leadership
  • Aviation and Space
  • Curriculum and Leadership
  • Design, Housing, and Merchandising
  • Digital Design
  • Educational Leadership Studies
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational Technology
  • Engineering Technology: Mechatronics and Robotics
  • Family and Community Services
  • Consumer Sciences Education
  • Fire and Emergency Management Administration
  • Engineering Technology,
  • Health Care Administration
  • Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Public Health

In addition to the online master’s degrees, OSU features five online doctoral programs, including:

  • Applied Educational Studies: Aviation and Space option
  • Fire and Emergency Management Administration
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Health, Leisure and Human Performance: Leisure Studies option
  • Healthcare Administration

Every master’s degree student at OSU is assigned a personal advisor. Their advisors are knowledgeable and will help them to successfully complete their plan. Students also have access to free one-on-one tutoring, career services, an online writing center, and more.  

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

In-State Graduate Tuition: $9,244

affordable grad school

What Is a Graduate Program?

Graduate degrees are advanced levels of study you can pursue after completing your undergraduate degree. Graduate programs are typically more specialized and focused than undergraduate programs. They require a higher level of academic achievement and dedication.

Graduate programs can take several forms. These include master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and professional degrees. Master’s degrees are typically awarded after completing one to two years of study. Doctoral degrees can take several years to complete. Professional degrees include law degrees or medical degrees. These usually require several years of study and practical training.

Graduate programs often involve more intensive coursework, research, and writing than undergraduate programs. They may also require you to complete a thesis or dissertation. This is a comprehensive research project that demonstrates mastery of the subject matter.

Graduate programs can lead to a variety of career opportunities, depending on the field of study. Some common areas of study for those who attend graduate school include:

  • Business
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Public Health
  • Communications
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Administration 

These are just a few examples of the many fields of graduate study available to students. Of course, the choice of an online master’s program will depend on the individual’s interests, skills, and career goals.

Why Pursue an Affordable Graduate School?

If you’re looking for cheap online graduate programs, congratulations on taking the next step in pursuing your higher education! There are several excellent reasons to enroll in graduate school:

Career Advancement

A graduate degree is required for career advancement in certain fields. For example, many academic, research, and healthcare positions require a graduate degree. Attending an affordable grad school can secure you a great-paying job.


A graduate degree allows you to specialize in a particular area of study. You can explore topics you care about. And you will add depth to what you already know about your field. This can give you a competitive edge in the job market and open doors to new career opportunities.

Personal Growth

Graduate school can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It allows you to develop new skills, expand your knowledge, and grow as a person.


Graduate school provides excellent networking opportunities. You’ll meet other experts and professionals in your field. This can lead to valuable connections and future opportunities for collaboration.

Higher Earnings

In most cases, a graduate degree can lead to better pay. In fact, according to the US Department of Social Security, those with a college degree make much higher earnings over their lifetime. Those with a bachelor’s degree earn between $600,00 to $900,000 more than those with only a high school diploma.

However, those with graduate degrees make substantially more than that. For example, women with graduate degrees earn an average of $1.1 million throughout their careers. And men earn an average of $1.5 million more in median lifetime earnings. 

Can Graduate School Really Be Affordable?

It is essential to consider the cost and time commitment of graduate school. Naturally, you want to be sure you’ll see a return on your investment. The average cost of a graduate degree at a public university or college is $12,410 a year. At private universities, that figure jumps to $28,430 a year. It is also vital to research graduate programs carefully. Look at the classes offered for your preferred area of study.

Check out all the resources available for online graduate students. With so many options, you’re sure to find the most affordable master’s programs that align with your career goals and interests. 

affordable grad school

Combatting the Rising Costs of College

Yes, grad school is expensive. So when you start researching tuition prices, you might get a sticker shock. But it’s not as bad as it seems at first glance. There are many affordable graduate schools. And there are plenty of ways to make cheap graduate schools even more affordable.

For starters, many employers will reimburse tuition if you’re completing a graduate program in your current field. So be sure to check with the human resources department where you work. They may have programs you weren’t even aware of. 

Secondly, there are plenty of online college scholarships and grants up for grabs for graduate students. Did you know online students are just as eligible for scholarships as those attending school in person? Plus, many of the most affordable graduate schools have assistantships and internships for graduate students. This is another way to make college more affordable for you. 

Finally, when seeking out the most affordable graduate schools, don’t forget about Federal financial aid. Graduate students (even online graduate students) are still eligible for many financial aid options. So be sure to fill out the FAFSA to see what you qualify for. 

The tips above, plus this list of the 10 most affordable graduate schools, can ensure you get the lowest price on your graduate education. 

Does Attending a Cheap Graduate School Mean a Lower Quality Education?

Attending a cheap graduate school does not mean getting a sub-par education. In fact, there are many cheap master’s programs that have rigorous academic standards. Here are some reasons why attending a cheap graduate school does not mean sacrificing quality:


Accreditation is a process by which colleges are evaluated for quality and rigor. Accredited programs meet certain standards for academic excellence. This is true whether they are expensive or affordable. 


The quality of the faculty is a key factor in the quality of education. Many affordable graduate programs have highly qualified faculty members. These instructors are experts in their fields. Many hold doctoral degrees. And they are committed to providing a top-notch education to their students.


Affordable graduate programs may have fewer resources than more expensive programs. However, they still offer the most essential services. This includes access to libraries, online tutoring, and academic advising. In short, even the cheapest grad schools feature resources vital to a quality education.


The curriculum at cheap grad schools is typically just as rigorous as more expensive programs. And many affordable programs offer opportunities for hands-on learning and research.

Career Outcomes

The ultimate measure of a high-quality education is the career outcomes of graduates. Many affordable grad schools have excellent track records for job placement. This serves as a testament to the quality of education they provide.

affordable grad school

Is It Worth It To Pursue an Online Masters Degree Program?

Should you pursue an online master’s degree? That depends on several factors. These include your career goals, personal circumstances, and the quality of the program. Here are some potential pros and cons of pursuing an online master’s program:



An online master’s degree offers exceptional flexibility compared to traditional on-campus master’s degree programs. Online master’s degrees are designed with busy, working professionals in mind. As a result, those who pursue a master’s degree online can usually create their own schedule. This allows them to balance their studies with work, family, and other commitments.


If you choose an online master’s degree, you can study from anywhere. You don’t need to relocate. Instead, you can stay where you are. Or, you can travel and learn from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, your location does not matter. This means there are more online master’s degrees available to students than ever before. 


An online master’s degree is often less expensive than an on-campus program. Sometimes, an online master’s degree has lower tuition and fees. Other times, students qualify to pay in-state tuition fees, even if they live out of state. Financial aid is typically available as well. 

Additionally, with an online master’s degree, you’ll save money on other expenses. These include things like housing, commuting, and other living expenses. 

Career Advancement

An online master’s degree can help you advance your career and earn a higher salary. This is especially true in fields where advanced education is required for promotion.


Limited Social Connections

Pursuing an online master’s program has many advantages. But for students who value the social aspect of college, it may feel isolating. Many graduate schools offer online clubs and organizations for master’s degree students. However, there are usually fewer opportunities to get to know other students that share your interests. 

Lack of Structure

An online master’s degree requires more self-discipline than a traditional master’s degree program. In many cases, the master’s degree program can be completed on your own schedule. This is great for graduate school students who have other commitments. But it also means staying motivated and on track with your coursework. 

Students who lack self-discipline may find an online master’s degree challenging. However, there are some master’s degree programs online that are synchronous. This means that all students meet in the virtual classroom at specific times. Students who need more structure might opt for this type of master’s degree program. They might also choose a hybrid master’s degree. This is where you complete part of your coursework online and part of it on campus. 

Less Interaction with Instructors

Some students who pursue an online master’s program find there is less interaction with their instructors. This is especially true at schools where there is a high student-to-faculty ratio. However, there are options for those who want more personalized attention. Such students can choose a school with smaller class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio. This can ensure more one-on-one time with faculty members during graduate school. 

Pursuing an online master’s program requires the same level of commitment as a traditional program. Whether it’s the right choice for you depends on your individual circumstances. Above all, students should carefully research the master’s degree programs that interest them. Of course, you’ll want to choose the most affordable online master’s programs. But you will also want a master’s degree program that suits your needs and interests. This will help to ensure your academic success at graduate school. 

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