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Looking for an affordable online bachelor’s program in computer science? Explore our list of the cheapest computer science bachelor’s degrees to get started.
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Most Affordable Online Master’s In Computer Science Degrees
Choosing an affordable online bachelor’s in computer science can help students save money while preparing for new technology careers.
Skills learned from computer science programs are transferable to many computer and information technology jobs, and skilled technicians are in high demand. This trend will continue as organizations and individuals rely more and more on computers.
Completing a degree often requires a large investment of time and money. However, the return on investment (ROI) for a bachelor’s in computer science is generally higher. The ROI will vary depending on how much you pay for your degree and the salary you make after graduation.
Computer science graduates may be eligible to apply for high-paying careers such as software developers (median annual salary $109,020 by 2021) and computer network architects (median salary $120,520).
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Explore some of the cheapest online computer science degrees, learn how to make your education more affordable, and find options to pay for your program.
Choosing an affordable online computer science program can be time-consuming and complicated. This guide compares the four cheapest online bachelor’s degrees in computer science in 2023. Our ranking is based on academic standards, reputation, and program affordability. Follow the link below to learn more about our ranking methodology.
As a student-centered institution, Western Governors University offers online, self-paced programs to students around the world. This Salt Lake City-based university was founded in 1997 with the goal of making higher education accessible to all.
This online, self-paced program combines IT fundamentals with topics such as algorithms and data structures, human-computer communication, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The program culminates in a transitional course where students can showcase their skills.
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Although enrollees work through the material at their own pace, faculty are available for additional guidance. According to Western Governors University, graduates of the school’s programs earn an additional $18,200 per year two years after completing the program.
Western Governors University controls program costs by charging per term rather than per credit. Students can complete the program on their own accelerated timeline, which helps them reduce their overall tuition costs.
Founded in 1874, UWRF is one of four institutions of the University of Wisconsin and offers more than 70 fields of study. Students can pursue degree, minor, and certificate programs at this public university.
UWRF’s online bachelor’s in computer science and information systems is designed to equip students with the skills necessary for careers in computing. Courses included in the program are information security, artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer animation. Students study programming methodologies and data structures, build scalable databases, explore operating system theories, and design software applications.
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Sixteen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered near the University of Wisconsin River Falls campus. Computer science graduates may qualify for jobs as computer programmers, database engineers, and software architects.
According to UWRF, the school’s tuition is relatively affordable when compared to other local institutions of higher education. Students may qualify for a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.
Missouri-based Central Methodist University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and offers associate, undergraduate, and graduate programs.
The online computer science major at Central Methodist University focuses on programming languages, database technologies, and hardware and software. The curriculum is designed to strengthen problem-solving and analytical skills in computer science contexts.
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CMU computer science majors also learn how to diagnose and fix problems with computer and network systems. Students can pursue the program entirely online or pursue hybrid or in-person versions of the degree at the Fayette campus.
By offering online students the same quality education as on-campus programs, CMU makes a quality education accessible to all students, regardless of their location.
William Jessup University was originally founded in 1939 as San Jose Bible College. The school is a private Christian institution that offers both on-site and online degree programs. The Rocklin-based university believes in merging faith and academia.
Jessup’s online computer science degree prepares enrollees to embrace the ever-changing world of computing. By combining the curriculum with Christian principles, students learn to approach technical issues from an ethical perspective. Students study topics such as information integrity and security, software ownership, and intellectual property.
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A fully online program allows students to balance academic commitments with professional demands. Coursework includes topics such as programming, computer systems, web design, data structures, as well as a senior project related to the launch and marketing of new technology. Together with William Jessup University’s computer science faculty, enrollees can learn from industry experts in Silicon Valley.
Jessup’s average annual tuition costs $36,000, but according to the school, 99% of students receive financial aid. The university reported that the average student loan debt of 2017 enrollees was 23% lower than the national average.
The cost of tuition is the largest component of degree affordability. However, students should also consider how factors such as program format, financial aid availability, and enrollment status affect the net price.
The cost of a cheap computer science degree can vary significantly. Colleges may set prices on a per-semester, per-credit, or per-year basis. Whether tuition is “cheap” or “affordable” is subjective. However, an inexpensive degree usually refers to a program that costs less than average.
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For the 2022-2023 school year, a year of tuition and fees at a four-year public school will cost an in-state student $10,950, the College Board reported. Based on this data, students can expect to pay more than $43,000 for a computer science bachelor’s degree at a typical public institution. Some online programs offer lower tuition rates.
Whether you study full-time or part-time can affect how much you pay for a bachelor’s in computer science.
Part-time students may find it easier to find a job while in school. However, taking fewer classes at a time will extend the timeline for your degree.
If a school charges tuition per semester or year, part-time students may pay more than students who graduate in four years. But if a university charges by credit, attending part-time while working can help you stay on budget.
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Research your school’s tuition structure to make sure you understand the pros and cons of part-time versus full-time attendance.
Depending on where you live, you may have to pay out-of-state tuition fees to attend a public online university. In-state students generally pay a much lower fee. Be sure to find out if you’ll pay an in-state, out-of-state or special tuition fee.
Students choosing hybrid programs should also consider costs such as travel, parking and housing.
Asynchronous courses allow learners to log in to learn whenever they want. Synchronous courses require students to meet in a virtual classroom at specific times. Part-time programs make it easy to work and continue to earn money while in school.
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Online programs often offer access to in-person or online internships. Completing an internship can help students qualify for jobs after graduation.
Private schools often charge higher tuition than public institutions. However, private schools may offer more financial aid, making them an affordable option. Do not assume that publicly stated tuition students actually pay.
The National Association of College and University Business Officers reported that private, for-profit schools in the United States offered an average tuition reduction of 54.5% to freshmen during the 2021-2022 academic year. Some private institutions have no-loan policies, guaranteeing 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need.
Types of financial aid include federal student loans, grants, and scholarships. Students can also access work-study programs, a form of aid that helps students earn money through part-time jobs related to their majors. Loans must be repaid.
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All college students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges, government agencies, and scholarship providers use this form to determine financial aid eligibility.
Students pursuing cheap online computer science degrees may also need help paying for the degree. As free money that doesn’t have to be paid back, scholarships are the best option to consider. The list below is not exhaustive, but provides a selection of scholarships for computer science students.
Students can make cheap online computer science degrees even cheaper by finding creative ways to lower their costs.
Even an inexpensive computer science degree can require a significant investment of time and money, and no degree guarantees a job. However, the best computer science bachelor’s programs can prepare graduates for high-paying careers in a variety of industries, making this degree a worthwhile investment for many students.
Online Degrees And Postgraduate Studies From Top Universities
When comparing affordable degree costs, calculate your estimated return on investment by looking at factors such as prospective schools’ alumni employment records and pay-to-debt.
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