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Work­ing adults, low-income stu­dents, and many oth­er col­lege stu­dents tend to find them­selves pay­ing their way, so an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bachelor’s pro­gram can be key to get­ting ahead. There are sev­er­al ways to save mon­ey on an actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree. 

You can start by look­ing for cheap uni­ver­si­ties to study actu­ar­i­al sci­ence and enroll in the degree pro­gram you are inter­est­ed in. You may be able to find a cheap­er option if you choose to enroll in an online pro­gram. Online pro­grams some­times cost less than tra­di­tion­al class­room pro­grams sim­ply because there is less over­head. There is no trav­el time from your home to the school and the school does not have to pay to keep the lights on or the build­ing heat­ed or cooled.

Sav­ing mon­ey on an actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree can also be accom­plished by apply­ing for grants and schol­ar­ships. Many uni­ver­si­ties offer schol­ar­ships to stu­dents who meet their eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments. Oth­er stu­dents may be able to get the funds they need by fill­ing out and sub­mit­ting grant paper­work. By earn­ing a grant, the stu­dent may be able to con­tin­ue on with their edu­ca­tion until they receive the high­est degree pos­si­ble. This will make it much eas­i­er for them to con­tin­ue to move for­ward with their career as time goes on.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Actuarial Science Bachelor’s Degrees

The pro­grams in the Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter rank­ing of the most afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degrees are pre­sent­ed accord­ing to their tuition cost, using cur­rent IPEDS num­bers. Only accred­it­ed, rep­utable col­leges were con­sid­ered by the editors.

1. CUNY Brooklyn College

CUNY Brook­lyn Col­lege has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. The pro­gram aims to devel­op stu­dents into deduc­tive math­e­mati­cians. Learn­ers mas­ter com­pu­ta­tion­al skills and an appre­ci­a­tion of abstract rea­son­ing that is the foun­da­tion of math­e­mat­ics. Stu­dents solve real-world prob­lems using advanced math­e­mat­i­cal skills. Addi­tion­al­ly, stu­dents gain expe­ri­ence with soft­ware and tech­nol­o­gy used by actu­ar­i­al math­e­mati­cians. This pro­gram pro­motes ana­lyt­i­cal and crit­i­cal think­ing and helps stu­dents pre­pare for grad­u­ate stud­ies or entry-lev­el posi­tions. Grad­u­ates go on to teach pre-col­lege math­e­mat­ics and earn a BS in actu­ar­i­al mathematics.

CUNY Brook­lyn Col­lege is locat­ed in Brook­lyn, New York. This large insti­tu­tion has over 11,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and a com­pet­i­tive accep­tance rate of 45%. Those who are lucky enough to receive an accep­tance let­ter choose from numer­ous majors, the most pop­u­lar of which include busi­ness and accounting.

What We Like: This pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ty has an accep­tance rate of 45% and 83% of stu­dents receive finan­cial aid. Finan­cial aid makes col­lege for afford­able for return­ing adult stu­dents and those just out of high school.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Math­e­mat­ics, BS

CUNY Brook­lyn College

2. Appalachian State University

The afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree at Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty focus­es on risk man­age­ment and con­fers a BS in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence for grad­u­ates of this pro­gram. Stu­dents learn to use math­e­mat­ics too pre­dict future events and design risk man­age­ment pro­grams. This degree builds a foun­da­tion in sta­tis­tics, advanced math­e­mat­ics and eco­nom­ics. Stu­dents also learn the ins and outs of finance. Cours­es focus on prepar­ing stu­dents for the first three exams to become an actu­ary. These include the prob­a­bil­i­ty exam, the finan­cial math­e­mat­ics exam and the mod­els for life con­tin­gen­cies exam.

What We Like: Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty ranks num­ber three among north Car­oli­na’s top uni­ver­si­ties, mak­ing this a com­pet­i­tive pro­gram for those search­ing for the right col­lege for them.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence, BS

Appalachi­an State University

3. The University of Texas at Dallas

For math-lov­ing stu­dents look­ing for an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lors degree, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Dal­las is a great can­di­date. The uni­ver­si­ty has a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence that falls under its depart­ment of math­e­mat­ics. Learn­ers receive a deep back­ground in math­e­mat­ics and sta­tis­tics that pre­pares them for future careers in insur­ance, finance and health fields, among oth­ers. Addi­tion­al­ly, there are a num­ber of cours­es devot­ed to finance, eco­nom­ics, com­put­er sci­ence, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and oth­er fields relat­ed to actu­ar­i­al science.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Dal­las is locat­ed in the Dal­las-Fort Worth area. This large insti­tu­tion has 18,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and near­ly four out of five stu­dents who apply gain admis­sion to the uni­ver­si­ty. The school also has a high grad­u­a­tion rate of 70%. Its most pop­u­lar majors include biol­o­gy, infor­ma­tion sci­ence and accounting.

What We Like: The school has a num­ber four rank­ing among the top pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties in the state.

Degree: Actu­ary Sci­ence, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Dallas

4. The University of Texas at San Antonio

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at San Anto­nio also has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. This inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­gram includes an empha­sis on both quan­ti­ta­tive meth­ods and com­put­ing. Stu­dents learn to ana­lyze, visu­al­ize and inter­pret data com­mon­ly used in actu­ar­i­al sci­ences. This pro­gram pro­vides a ratio­nal basis for stu­dents seek­ing careers in deci­sion analy­sis. Grad­u­ates emerge ready to per­form a num­ber of busi­ness func­tions includ­ing mar­ket­ing, oper­a­tions, human resources, sup­ply chain man­age­ment and logis­tics. Grad­u­ates go on to find jobs in insur­ance, bio­med­ical indus­try, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and hi-tech fields.

UT San Anto­nio has few­er than 1,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. How­ev­er, it offers sev­er­al majors includ­ing nurs­ing, emer­gency med­ical tech­ni­cian and den­tal hygiene. UT-San Anto­nio focus­es on health majors and prepar­ing stu­dents to work in health-relat­ed careers.

What We Like: Approx­i­mate­ly 83% of stu­dents feel that pro­fes­sors put a lot of ener­gy into their class­es, and 100% of stu­dents sur­veyed say that is easy to get the class­es they need.

Degree: Actu­ary Sci­ence, BBA

Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at San Antonio

5. University of Michigan — Flint

The afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan – Flint is ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing a strong foun­da­tion in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence. It helps stu­dents gain the knowl­edge they need to pur­sue entry-lev­el careers in actu­ar­i­al sci­ences. This career requires strong math­e­mat­i­cal skills and a deep knowl­edge and under­stand­ing of busi­ness-relat­ed areas. Actu­ar­ies go to work for finan­cial plan­ning agen­cies, insur­ance com­pa­nies, and gov­ern­ment agen­cies, among oth­er employ­ers who val­ue can­di­dates with a strong math­e­mat­i­cal background.

UM Flint is a high­ly respect­ed uni­ver­si­ty open to the pub­lic and locat­ed in Flint, Michi­gan. With few­er than 4,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents, it is con­sid­ered a small insti­tu­tion and has an accep­tance rate of 66%. Pop­u­lar majors include nurs­ing, psy­chol­o­gy and business.

What We Like: UM Flint is ranked num­ber eleven among Michigan’s top pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties, mak­ing in a strong can­di­date for stu­dents look­ing for a rep­utable school to com­plete their degrees.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Math­e­mat­ics, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan – Flint

6. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. Before they can declare an actu­ar­i­al sci­ence major, stu­dents must pass an exam offered by the Soci­ety of Actu­ar­ies (SOA). Most stu­dents choose the exam FM to meet this require­ment. The prin­ci­ples of sta­tis­tics, sta­tis­ti­cal the­o­ry, cal­cu­lus, pro­gram­ming, vari­ance analy­sis, prob­a­bil­i­ty, regres­sion, and infer­ence are just some of the cours­es that give stu­dents a well-round­ed math­e­mat­i­cal back­ground. Some stu­dents go on to apply for grad­u­ate stud­ies in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence or relat­ed fields.

This high­ly rat­ed pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Pro­vo, Utah. This large insti­tu­tion has over 20,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and a com­pet­i­tive admis­sions process that admits 67% of appli­cants. Those who do become accept­ed study nature such as exer­cise phys­i­ol­o­gy, account­ing and psy­chol­o­gy. The uni­ver­si­ty has an excel­lent grad­u­a­tion rate of 78%.

What We Like: Brigham Young Uni­ver­si­ty at Pro­vo is the top col­lege in Utah.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence, BS

Brigham Young University

7. Arizona State University

Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. Stu­dents learn risk man­age­ment and oth­er actu­ar­i­al sub­jects that help them eval­u­ate future events using num­bers. Grad­u­ates learn to design cre­ative ways to decrease the like­li­hood of unde­sir­able out­comes. Actu­ar­i­al pro­fes­sion­als also work to reduce the out­come of unde­sir­able consequences.

Actu­ar­ies pro­vide an impor­tant func­tion for finan­cial insti­tu­tions and secu­ri­ty pro­grams. these cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­als go through a series of exam­i­na­tions in order to achieve their designations.

The school has an A‑plus rat­ing in fields such as diver­si­ty, aca­d­e­mics and best val­ue for mon­ey. Stu­dents speak high­ly of pro­fes­sors and say they are able to obtain the class­es they need to com­plete their pro­grams on time.

What We Like: Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty at Tempe is ranked the #1 best col­lege in America.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence, BS

Ari­zona State University

8. Oakland University

Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree that teach­es stu­dents what they need to know to mas­ter finan­cial secu­ri­ty pro­grams. Grad­u­ates emerge to find jobs where they act as the brain trust behind finan­cial safe­guards. Actu­ar­ies study the like­li­hood of cer­tain cat­a­stro­phes and sug­gest ways that finan­cial insti­tu­tions can safe­guard them­selves against them.

Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Auburn Hills near Detroit. This large insti­tu­tion has more than 12,000 under­grad­u­ate enrollees and offers dozens of majors to help stu­dents achieve their career objec­tives. Can­di­dates have a good chance of accep­tance, with 83% of those who apply get­ting an accep­tance let­ter. Some majors avail­able include health pro­fes­sions and relat­ed fields such as psy­chol­o­gy and nursing.

What We Like: About 94% of stu­dents receive some sort of finan­cial aid, mak­ing an edu­ca­tion at Oak­land Uni­ver­si­ty high­ly accessible.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence, BS

Oak­land University

9. Ball State University

Ball State Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. Risk man­age­ment requires a unique skill set and this pro­gram pre­pares learn­ers to mas­ter skills and math­e­mat­ics and sta­tis­tics required to eval­u­ate and plan for future events. Actu­ar­ies must have strong com­put­er and ana­lyt­i­cal skills as well as great mouse skills. Addi­tion­al­ly, stu­dents learn how to become effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tors and go on to work and jobs in health­care, gov­ern­ment, con­struc­tion and envi­ron­men­tal sciences.

Ball State has near­ly 15,000 stu­dents and this pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty, locat­ed in Muncie, IN, has a some­what com­pet­i­tive admis­sions rate of 77%. There are many majors to choose from includ­ing dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions and psy­chol­o­gy. Ball State also has an excel­lent grad­u­a­tion rate of 67%.

What We Like: Ball State Uni­ver­si­ty ranks num­ber three among the state’s top pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties, mak­ing this an attrac­tive choice for stu­dents look­ing for a well-reput­ed actu­ar­i­al sci­ences program.

Degree: Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence, BS

Ball State University

10. University of Central Missouri

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Mis­souri also has an afford­able actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bach­e­lor’s degree. The actu­ary sci­ence and sta­tis­tics pro­gram ends with a bach­e­lor of sci­ence degree for suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates. Typ­i­cal­ly, high-achiev­ing math­e­mat­ics stu­dents make the cut when it comes to admis­sion to the pro­gram. Future careers include jobs in busi­ness, insur­ance and eco­nom­ics. The pro­gram has been rec­og­nized for hav­ing an Advanced Cur­ricu­lum (UCAP-AC) by the Soci­ety of Actuaries.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Mis­souri is con­sid­ered a large insti­tu­tion and has about 10,000 stu­dents. Based in War­rens­burg, Mis­souri, UCM has over 100,000 alum­ni. The school has been edu­cat­ing stu­dents since 1871 and prides itself on pro­vid­ing strong skills to stu­dents just begin­ning their pro­fes­sion­al careers.

What We Like: Nine out of 10 stu­dents sur­veyed feel that they can get a job in their field after the oth­er studies.

Degree: Actu­ary Sci­ence & Sta­tis­tics, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Missouri

How Do I Become an Actuary?

To become an actu­ary, you must first get the required edu­ca­tion. This is best accom­plished by grad­u­at­ing from high school (or obtain­ing a GED) and then com­plet­ing an actu­ary sci­ence degree pro­gram, either online or in the class­room. While you are in col­lege, start to explore a few extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties. This will allow you to look into pos­si­ble employ­ment options and maybe even an intern­ship lat­er on. As you work your way through school, you will want to begin to devel­op the nec­es­sary tech­ni­cal com­put­er skills.

Before you grad­u­ate, you will need to suc­cess­ful­ly pass two actu­ar­i­al exams pri­or to your grad­u­a­tion. Once you have com­plet­ed your two exams, you will be able to apply for an actu­ar­i­al intern­ship. An intern­ship will allow you to find work in a busi­ness that will guide you through what an actu­ary real­ly does. They will pro­vide you with on-the-job train­ing and valu­able expe­ri­ence that you will be able to fall back on for many years to come. After you com­plete your intern­ship and have received your degree, you can begin to look for entry-lev­el work as an actuary.

Can I Get an Entry-Level Actuary Job Right Out of School?

It can be dif­fi­cult to get an entry-lev­el posi­tion as an actu­ary right out of school. If your high school offers the option to take col­lege-lev­el cours­es in addi­tion to your high school cours­es, you may be able to accom­plish your goal. In most cas­es, how­ev­er, the cours­es you take in high school may not be able to offer you the lev­el of edu­ca­tion you need to be able to work effec­tive­ly in an actu­ary posi­tion. You may, how­ev­er, be able to find work in anoth­er posi­tion in which an actu­ary may be able to coach you until you are able to enroll in an actu­ary degree program.

Even entry-lev­el posi­tions require a rather high lev­el of math and sta­tis­ti­cal skills to be able to be effec­tive at the job. This is part of the rea­son that you are encour­aged to apply for an intern­ship pro­gram while you are in col­lege. An intern­ship pro­gram will allow you to gain valu­able expe­ri­ence in the field. While you will learn the major­i­ty of what you need to know in the class­room, being able to use it in a real-life set­ting is extreme­ly valuable.

How Much Do Actuaries Make?

Just start­ing out, an actu­ary can make between $50,000 and $87,000 per year. If you were able to find an intern­ship while you were in col­lege, the expe­ri­ence you gained dur­ing that time will be very valu­able and will give you an advan­tage when it comes to the amount of pay you are offered to start. As you begin to take on more respon­si­bil­i­ty, your income will con­tin­ue to grad­u­al­ly increase. Over time, you may be offered more pay and an oppor­tu­ni­ty to move up to a man­age­ment level.

Indi­vid­u­als who have been in the busi­ness for many years may be able to make as much as $190,00 per year, depend­ing on what indus­try they work in and how many years of expe­ri­ence they have under their belt. In many cas­es, their lev­el of expe­ri­ence will give them the best chance at mov­ing up the ranks at a much faster pace. Some choose to return to the class­room as an edu­ca­tor and still work as an actu­ary in the field.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Actu­ar­i­al Science

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Actu­ar­i­al Science

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Actu­ar­i­al Science

15 Best Online Actu­ary Degree