A bachelor’s degree in finance is a crucial primary step in beginning a career in banking, insurance, and investment. For students interested in the high salaries and limitless potential of a finance career, there is a wide field of the best online finance degree options available – world-renowned business schools, elite colleges, influential public universities, and all sorts of highly-connected programs that can all but guarantee a six-figure finance job right out of the gate. The sky is the limit, and money is no object.
But if you’re a working professional looking into a career change, or a soon-to-be high school grad, money is, in fact, an object. It may well be a very big object, so finding an affordable online bachelor’s degree in finance is a top priority. If you’re going to complete your bachelor’s degree without an overwhelming amount of debt, finding an affordable program with a solid return on investment is key. Bachelor’s Degree Center has the best online finance degree programs that won’t break the bank.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Cheap Online Finance Degree Programs
To find the 10 Most Affordable Online Finance Degree Bachelor Programs for 2019, Bachelor’s Degree Center researched the regionally-accredited colleges and universities offering fully online bachelor’s and bachelor’s completion programs in finance.
From there, the ranking is quite simple: the lowest tuition rate, according to current IPEDs statistics, gets highest honors. The top 10 cheap online finance degree programs are all accomplished, accredited, and admired, but there’s a factor that keeps students applying – they’re affordable.
1. University of Houston-Downtown
The University of Houston-Downtown online BBA in Finance is offered through their Marilyn Davies College of Business. This bachelor’s degree in finance prepares graduates for career paths involving leadership in banking, financial management and investment management. Finance degree graduates are poised to take advantage of an evolving business industry, badly in need of technological and financial solutions. Finance degree career industries include the fields of real estate, credit analysis, personal financial advisors, insurance, banking and security, among others.
The University of Houston-Downtown is located in the diverse gulf city of Houston. Like their host city, UHD is culturally diverse and welcomes students of varying backgrounds. Since 1974, the University of Houston-Downtown has offered undergraduate degrees in more than 40 fields of study. Tuition rates are considered some of the lowest around, which makes UHD a cheap online finance degree for students on a shoestring budget.
Degree: BBA in Finance
2. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University’s online BS in Business Administration (BSBA) that requires students to complete 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field of finance. Additionally, Thomas Edison State University finance degree candidates must complete a Strategic Management Capstone project to graduate. The finance degree offered by TESU is available through traditional coursework or, online studies. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) has accredited both the undergraduate and graduate business degrees offered by Thomas Edison State University.
Thomas Edison State University is a public university established in 1972 to meet the educational needs of busy working professionals. There are five schools that are a part of TESU – one of which is TESU’s School of Business and Management. Like its namesake, TESU believes in self-directed, self-motivated learning, offering numerous fully online programs in a self-paced format. Tuition for the undergraduate finance degree is much lower for in-state residents, so for students in New Jersey, it’s one of the best cheap online finance degree programs available.
Degree: BS in Business Administration-Finance concentration
3. Texas A&M University-Commerce
The Texas A&M University-Commerce online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance program offers a cheap online finance degree for students in rural Texas. Coursework focuses on the relevant topics of Financial Planning, Corporate Finance, Banking and the many facets of Financial Analysis. Students can opt for online or traditional classes, from one of the most affordable schools in the state of Texas. Graduates of TAMUC’s undergraduate finance degree find they are prepared for long-term professional success as a Chartered Financial Analyst or a designated Certified Financial Planner.
Texas A&M University-Commerce was founded in 1889, and with makes it Texas’ 4th oldest state school. The school is experiencing a renewed growth with older, more ethnically diverse and international students. The school offers some introductory, free online finance courses; however, these cannot be applied to a finance diploma. TAMUC has, over that last quarter century, evolved to a preeminent regional business school. Forbes and the Wall Street Journal have recognized TAMUC as a ‘best buy’ with one of the best cheap online finance degree programs in the nation.
Degree: BBA in Finance
4. New England College of Business
The New England College of Business online BS in Business Administration-Banking Finance concentration prepares graduates to understand the theory (and application) of Banking Principles, Financial Services, Investment Services and Consumer Credit. The tuition costs are so affordable it may seem to some that they are taking free online finance courses. A BSBA opens opportunities in the political, social and economic facets of the corporate world as one of the best online finance degree programs available.
The New England College of Business was founded in 1909 as the American Banking Institute. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education licenses NECOB, while the NEASC – the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits the university. Tuition for the Bachelor’s of Business in Banking and Finance is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. However, tuition also depends upon the number of credits a student takes in any given twelve-month period.
Degree: BSBA in Banking Finance
5. Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University’s online BS in Business Administration-Finance is designed for those working professionals who require a flexible schedule to earn their degree. CSU’s cheap online finance degree requires the completion of 120 credit hours; however, the school allows students to transfer credits that meet CSU’s fundamental qualifications. BSBA graduates enter the workforce as skilled finance and management leaders. They often find rewarding careers in the fields as investment fund managers, financial analysts or loss prevention leaders.
Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 and remains a for-profit, private university dedicated to providing the finest online education programs on the market. The Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC), a Department of Education recognized accrediting body, provides accreditation for CSU. Tuition for the Columbia Southern University’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is the same for all students, and on average, less than half the cost of traditional undergraduate programs.
Degree: BSBA in Finance
5. UNC Pembroke
UNC Pembroke’s online BS in Business Administration Finance concentration provides students with the skills they need for a career in banking and investment. Students have the option of doubling up their major, if they meet certain requirements, adding specializations in Entrepreneurship, Management, International Business, or others to the Finance concentration. UNC’s BSBA prepares graduates to move towards a graduate program, or, with the skills necessary to successfully navigate the complex world of business.
UNC Pembroke was established by legislation in 1887 as a normal school to prepare schoolteachers. It opened with just fifteen students and one teacher. UNC Pembroke was then included as one of the 16 campuses within the University of North Carolina system, and continues today as the only public Historically American Indian Serving liberal arts college in the South. U.S. News & World Report considers UNC Pembroke among the most affordable schools in the nation. Tuition costs vary and are based upon whether the student lives in-state or out-of-state.
Degree: BSBA in Finance
7. Columbia College (Missouri)
Columbia College’s online bachelor’s degree in finance offers either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance. Both finance degrees are offered online in eight different locations in Missouri and Illinois. Students studying for a BS or BA must complete 120 semester hours. The required courses include general classes required for all bachelor degrees, plus those classes within a student’s specialty of choice. Graduates of the finance degree program have the option of applying the learned techniques and knowledge to a variety of careers, across many fields and industries.
Columbia College was established in 1851 by the Missouri legislature. The school is a private, not-for-profit arts and sciences institute of higher learning, and was the first college for women west of the Mississippi River. Columbia College’s online student enrollment exceeds 29,000 students, and tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students, making it one of the top cheap online finance degree programs in the Midwest.
Degree: BA or BS in Finance
8. University of Houston-Victoria
The University of Houston-Victoria online Bachelor of Business Administration-Finance concentration prepares students for the whole gamut of finance careers. Students learn the foundations of risk management, insurance, real estate, and other finance concepts. The BBA Finance degree is available exclusively online, but students have the option of taking required courses at the University of Houston’s Victoria or Katy campus. Potential careers include a Financial Planner, a Private Banker, a Mortgage Banker, a Research Analyst or a Real Estate Appraiser.
The University of Houston-Victoria was founded in 1973 in the tiny suburb of Victoria, when townspeople lobbied the university for an extension campus to provide convenient courses in the area. Outreach, accessibility, and convenience remain central to UHV’s mission, as well as affordability. Tuition costs depend upon the student’s residency; as either an in-state or an out-of-state student. UHV offers a plethora of financial aid options. In any given year, they disburse more than $32 million in loans, grants, and scholarships. It’s one of the best possible choices for a cheap online finance degree in Texas.
Degree: BBA in Finance
9. Dickinson State University
Dickinson State University’s online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance is the best online finance degree, in terms of value, in the Dakotas. DSU’s bachelor’s degree in finance is available online or on the Bismarck campus. Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce with planning, controlling and organizing skills fine-tuned for the financial industry. Finance specialties include budgeting, risk vs. return analysis, financial statements management and valuating complex financial concepts.
Dickinson State University started in 1908 when 104 students first met in a local high school classroom. The cost of tuition for those students was $0. While tuition is no longer free today, Dickinson State University is tasked with the responsibility of participating the economic, cultural intellectual and social environment of the state. DSU achieves their mission by consistently providing quality education at an affordable price, including a cheap online finance degree.
Degree: BBA in Finance
10. State University of New York-Canton
SUNY Canton’s online Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance comprehensively prepares graduates with a solid background in financial theory. Coursework for the bachelor’s degree in finance can be completed entirely online, though SUNY finance majors are required to finish an internship in the financial services sector of their choice before graduating. Online finance degree candidates attend virtual classes with other students from Moscow. SUNY Canton has a 100% job placement for those graduates willing to relocate.
The State University of New York at Canton was established in 1906 as the first two-year, postsecondary school in the state of New York. Today, SUNY Canton is a full residential college offering a range of certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees. The school is located near the Canadian cities of Montreal and Ottawa and proudly serves the people of the Adirondack Mountains and the Great Lakes. With a reputation for outreach and affordability (including its cheap online finance degree), SUNY Canton is first choice for many high school graduates and working adults in the St. Lawrence River region.
Degree: BBA in Finance
What is the Cheapest Accredited Online College?
College tuition is a notoriously tricky thing to nail down, what with different rates for in-state and out-of-state students, various upfront and hidden fees, discounts (such as for veterans), and other expenses and deductions (not to mention bachelor’s scholarships, work-study, grants…). It’s pretty much impossible to know how much you’re going to pay for your cheap online finance degree until the bill comes.
But there are some basic rules of thumb to go on when you’re wondering what is the cheapest accredited online college.
- Smaller regional public universities are almost always cheaper – sometimes much cheaper – than their big flagship cousins.
- Smaller religious colleges often attract students with much lower rates than elite liberal arts colleges, and their quality is often just as high (even if they don’t have the same networking power).
- For-profit online universities have a tendency to advertise low tuition and hide expensive fees, but a for-profit institution with regional accreditation and AACSB or ACBSP accreditation for their business programs will more likely be on the up-and-up (there’s more regulation, after all).
Are Cheap Online Colleges Reputable?
A college education no longer has to be expensive. Thanks to the Internet, students are now able to utilize technology to pursue their degrees and advance their educations. One of the most significant questions during these pursuits, however, is if cheap online colleges are reputable. While this is a valid question, it’s one prospective student don’t have to concern themselves with if they select a school with accreditation and high ranking.
When educational institutions, colleges, and universities have their accreditation through agencies like the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), for example, they’re more reputable. These schools approach accrediting agencies voluntarily for evaluations. These processes are critical because they help determine if institutions are providing quality of education.
How Much Does a Finance Degree Cost?
Several factors come into play regarding the overall costs for obtaining a finance degree. One of the most significant factors is state residency. The main reason is that a large number of colleges and universities provide discount rates to prospective students residing in the same state as the main campus of the school. However, if students choose to opt for online education, the tuition is the same flat rate for all who attend.
With those factors in mind, how much does a finance degree cost? Prospective students can expect to pay tuitions of at least between $200 and $600 per credit for obtaining their finance degree online. What this equals for those pursuing their bachelor’s degree generally range between $24,000 and $75,000.
Does a Cheap Online Finance Degree ROI?
Because it doesn’t have to cost a significant amount to earn a cheap online finance degree through an accredited university or college, there’s a high return on investment (ROI) for students. Here’s the career outlook for finance majors according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
- Financial Managers: their projected salary is $117,990 annually with a job outlook of +7%.
- Personal Financial Advisors: their projected salaries are $89,160 per year with job outlooks of +30%.
- Management Analysts: the projected salary for these individuals is $81,320 with a job outlook of +14%.
- Financial Analysts: those working in this field have a projected annual income of $80,310 with a job outlook of +12%.
Additional career opportunities with an online finance degree include the following:
- Budget Analyst: these individuals evaluate and monitor organizational finances. It’s their responsibility to compile their findings into a budget report.
- Compliance Officers: their specialty is dealing with a myriad of regulations and laws pertaining to financial transactions.
- Personal Financial Advisors: it’s their responsibility to work directly with individuals regarding the optimization of their assets, investments, and personal finances.
- Securities and Commodities Sales Agents: these people are middlemen who work toward connecting buyers with sellers who deal with financial markets.
Can I Earn a Finance Degree Online for Free?
While cheap online finance degrees are readily available, it’s also possible to find free online finance courses. However, you won’t be earning credits for taking them. For instance, MIT offers a number of free courses, including Analytics of Finance, Behavioral Economics and Finance, Financial Management, The Law of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets, and Real Estate Finance and Financial Markets.
Taking free online finance courses will help bring you closer to achieving your educational goals, earning your degree, and advancing your career objectives. While these classes don’t earn you credits toward these goals, you will earn the necessary experience from them to help bring you closer to career advancement.
Other universities offering free finance courses include. Utah State University, UC Irvine, Yale University, Rutgers, Michigan State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Purdue University.