Most Affordable Online Cybersecurity Degrees

Earning your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity online doesn’t have to break the bank. Find affordable, accredited programs from top schools and other ways to cut college costs in this guide.

Last Updated: 02/03/2022

With our increasing reliance on technology and online platforms to communicate, make purchases, store sensitive personal and business data, it’s no surprise that the risk and frequency of cyberattacks has never been higher. To help combat and prevent these attacks, companies, governments, and other organizations need well-trained cybersecurity professionals. Many schools now offer convenient and affordable online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity to help meet this demand.

If you’re interested in becoming a cybersecurity expert, but are concerned about what it might cost, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help you explore accredited universities that offer the most affordable online cybersecurity programs and find other ways to lower the cost of your college education.

Top-32 Most Affordable Online Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees in 2022


Choosing the right cybersecurity program can help you reach your professional goals, and a key factor is finding a program you can afford. To help, we’ve developed a ranking list of accredited schools that offer a solid online education and are also very affordable. We created this list by looking at a combination of cost and quality characteristics like those provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Click on the “About the ranking” button below to learn more about how we ranked these schools.

or
About the ranking

Methodology for STEPS Most Affordable College Rankings

Step #1: Create Universe of Eligible Colleges

To be eligible for this ranking, colleges were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) in subject area offered at least partially online.

Step #2: Assign Weightings and Rank Colleges Based on Scores in Key Areas

After creating the list of eligible colleges, STEPS’ data science team assigned weightings and ranked colleges based on a combination of affordability, online learning availability, and student support performance metrics. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Affordability

  • Cost:Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid:Percentage of students who receive financial aid directly from the school.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Student Support Services

  • Academic Counseling:Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement:Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our College Rankings Data

Each ranking on STEPS utilizes the latest data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which colleges and universities across the country self-report via surveys from the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation Glossary

ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

ATS: Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools

DEAC: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

HLC: Higher Learning Commission

MSCHE: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

NECHE: New England Commission of Higher Education

NWCCU: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

SACSCOC: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

TRACS: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

WSCUC: WASC Senior College and University Commission

1
Type: Public
Cost: $$

Central Washington University is a leader in online education with robust undergraduate and graduate online degree offerings. Students interested in a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity have two options. The Bachelor of Science, Cybersecurity Specialization is designed for students who already have a transferrable associate degree and who want to earn their degrees fully online or in a hybrid format but don’t mind some on-campus coursework. The Bachelor of Applied Science, Cybersecurity Specialization is available in both 100% and partially online and is intended for incoming students with a nontransferable associate degree. Both tracks have curriculums designed to teach as much practical knowledge as possible in addition to the theoretical principles and concepts necessary to succeed in a cybersecurity career. Students also develop business and management expertise to help them apply their technical knowledge in an industry setting.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science – Cybersecurity Specialization

  • Credits: 94-98
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $6,475/year (in-state); $10,779/year (Western Undergraduate Exchange); $22,551/year (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online or hybrid
  • Accreditation: NCCU (school)

Bachelor of Applied Science – Cybersecurity Specialization

  • Credits: 70-72
  • Length: Approximately 2 years
  • Cost: $6,475/year (in-state); $10,779/year (Western Undergraduate Exchange); $22,551/year (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NCCU (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationNWCCU
2
Columbia Southern University Orange Beach, AL
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$

Columbia Southern University’s B.S. Information Systems and Cyber Security degree stands out because of the transfer options available. Students must earn 120 credits to graduate (42 electives, 30 general education, and 48 major courses), but they can transfer in up to 90 credits. This generous transfer policy allows you to earn your cybersecurity degree in as little as one year if you already have a bachelor’s degree or significant undergraduate credit.

Classes are asynchronous through LifePace Learning, which allows you to start or end your classes at any time and to complete class requirements at your own pace. There’s also Term Enrollment that allows you to self-pace but that has set start and end dates for each class, which last about nine weeks.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science – Information Systems and Cyber Security

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $235/credit
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: DEAC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationDEAC
3
Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

Bellevue University optimized its Bachelor of Science Cybersecurity Degree, available in online accelerated or cohort formats, for those who already have a bachelor’s degree or are eligible for transfer credit due to military experience and training. The cohort option allows you to complete preselected courses with the same classmates throughout the program. Bellevue University’s Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree is also designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). Other cybersecurity areas emphasized include Protect and Defend, Securely Provision, and Oversee and Govern. Students can also use the two elective courses to choose their own area of emphasis.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science – Cybersecurity

  • Credits: 127
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $430/credit
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
78%
AccreditationHLC
4
Baker College Flint, MI
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$

The Information Technology and Cybersecurity Bachelor of Science program at Baker College is in an asynchronous online learning format tailored for working students. There are many financial aid resources available, and over 85% of students receive some form of financial aid that includes grants and scholarships. In addition, Baker College has received the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, making this an exceptionally high-quality program.

Baker College cybersecurity bachelors emphasize technology coursework. Of the 120 credits needed to graduate, only 30 are in general education. The remaining credits are split between information technology and security (72 credits) and information assurance and cybersecurity (18 credits).

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science – Information Technology and Cybersecurity

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: Approximately 4 years
  • Cost: $425/credit
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationHLC
5
Type: Public
Cost: $$

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program at the University of Maine Fort Kent is fully online with coursework offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Special emphasis on hands-on learning opportunities better teaches students how information technology, cybersecurity, and information assurance strategies work from technological, management, and societal perspectives. Students take courses in core subjects like Introduction to Computer Science, Databases, Operating Systems Security, Cyber Defense, and Introduction to Programming. They can customize their curriculum by choosing from electives that include Computer Forensics and Investigations, Information Assurance – Policy, Law, Compliance and Governance, and Cryptography. Students use classwork to create a unique Cybersecurity Portfolio. This cybersecurity program has been recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science –Cybersecurity

  • Credits: 123
  • Length: Approximately four years
  • Cost: $245/credit (in-state); $392/credit (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationNECHE
6
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHLC
7
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationDEAC
8
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationSACSCOC
9
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationSACSCOC
10
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHLC
11
Grantham University Lenexa, KS
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationDEAC
12
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHLC
13
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationNECHE
14
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
6%
AccreditationSACSCOC
15
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHLC
16
Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDEAC
17
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationHLC
18
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
63%
AccreditationHLC
19
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
12%
AccreditationMSCHE
20
Capella University Minneapolis, MN
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHLC
21
Wilmington University New Castle, DE
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationMSCHE
22
Monroe College Bronx, NY
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
91%
AccreditationMSCHE
23
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationDEAC
24
Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationNECHE
25
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationHLC
26
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
15%
AccreditationHLC
27
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationHLC
28
Hodges University Naples, FL
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationSACSCOC
29
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
21%
AccreditationMSCHE
30
Franklin University Columbus, OH
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHLC
31
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHLC
32
Purdue University Global Indianapolis, IN
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHLC

5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Online Cybersecurity Degree

Tuition for a bachelor’s in criminal justice can be expensive. Fortunately, there are many ways to make earning a degree more affordable. We discuss a few of those ways below and encourage you to utilize as many as possible to make getting your degree easier and less of a drain on your bank account.

1

Apply to scholarships, grants, and fellowships created for cybersecurity students.

One of the most common ways to lower the cost of your cybersecurity bachelor’s degree is through scholarships, grants, and fellowships. These are popular because they don’t have to be paid back and are often awarded based on merit, financial need, or both. CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program is an example of these types of awards. Find out about additional grant, scholarship, and fellowship opportunities through prospective schools, our financial aid guide, and this list of cybersecurity scholarships.

2

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Cybersecurity is a quickly evolving field, so cybersecurity employers understand the value of continuing education. That’s why many employers like the National Security Agency help their employees pay for additional training. Employers differ in how they implement these programs with some directly paying for an employee’s tuition and others offering fellowships to eligible employees. Keep in mind that some employers place certain conditions on tuition reimbursement. Most common is asking employees to continue working for them for a set period of time.

3

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

National governments play a significant role in how cyber threats and security concerns are addressed, and many graduates of cybersecurity programs find employment with government agencies. One benefit of working for the government after graduation is potential eligibility for public service loan forgiveness. Specifically, the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program allows eligible students working in a public service job to enjoy forgiveness of any remaining student loan debt after 120 qualified monthly payments are made. Learn more about PSLF financial aid programs.

4

Work-Study

Work-study is an often-overlooked form of financial aid. While it doesn’t need to be paid back, students must work to earn this financial aid assistance. The primary work-study option is the Federal Work-Study program. The type of work varies, but schools try to give students jobs in fields related to their areas of study or that provide civil education.

5

Paid Internships

One of the best ways to enhance your cybersecurity educational experience is to gain real-world exposure to the cyber defense field. One way to do this is through internships. Many internships are unpaid, but a good number have a respectable income. One prominent example in the cybersecurity field is the paid internship at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

What Affects the Cost of an Online Cybersecurity Degree?

Learning about a cybersecurity program’s tuition rate gives you a starting point as to how much your degree will cost. There are many other factors, however, that influence the total dollar amount of your degree. We’ve identified five notable factors below that may impact the total cost of your online degree.

Accelerated Learning Options

Most bachelor’s degrees take about four years of full-time study, but many online cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees allow students to graduate far sooner because of accelerated curriculums and/or generous transfer policies. Some accelerated degrees can actually shave one or two years off the time it typically takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, which can save you significant money.

Type of School

Post-secondary institutions are either private or public. Private schools generally cost more to attend. Tuition at public schools is usually cheaper, at least for students with in-state residency status, since much of their funding comes from state-based government aid.

In-State Residency

Public schools may be less expensive than private schools, at least with respect to tuition rates, but that is usually only the case when a student is taking classes as an in-state student. Often, the cost of attending a public college or university as a non-resident is roughly equal to the tuition of private post-secondary institutions.

Financial Aid Availability

There is a plethora of financial aid options, including private scholarships, state grants, and subsidized federal student loans. Some schools stand out more than others with regard to financial aid because they do a better job helping their students take advantage of financial aid sources. Additionally, many offer exclusive scholarships to their students, which can significantly lower overall costs.

Education Fees and Added Costs

Tuition cost is typically the biggest number you see when checking the tuition and financial aid information of a potential school. It’s important to realize that there are almost always additional fees that can easily double a tuition rate. Schools use various terms to describe these fees, but they range from technology fees to health fees to books and supplies.