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Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Degrees

Earning your degree through one of todays’ best online master’s in education programs can be more affordable than you think. Explore specialization options, delivery formats, financial aid resources, and more.

Author: Kathleen Curtis
Editor: STEPS Staff

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Whether you’re a licensed teacher seeking to enhance your skills and salary, hold a bachelor’s degree in a different field and aspire to become a teacher, or aim to pursue advanced roles in educational administration and instructional design, an online master’s degree in education can assist you in achieving your career goals in a format that accommodates your busy schedule.

Finding a high-quality, reasonably-priced online education master’s program from an accredited university has become easier than ever before. To assist you in getting started, we’ve compiled a list of the most affordable online education master’s programs for this year. Keep reading to discover an online master’s in education program that suits your budget and career objectives, as well as additional tips on obtaining financial assistance to pay for graduate school.

50 Most Affordable Online Education Master’s Programs in 2024


When searching for a program, it’s crucial to consider factors such as academic rigor, learning flexibility, and student support. However, for many students, affordability is the most important factor when selecting an online master’s in education program. With this in mind, we’ve ranked schools based on providing the most affordable tuition rates without compromising on quality. Schools are ranked based on key metrics and data supplied by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). You can learn more about how we ranked schools by clicking “About the Ranking” button below.

About the ranking

College Ranking Methodology

Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools 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.
  • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
  • Career placement and academic counseling services.
  • Maximum tuition of $15,000 per academic year.

Assign Weightings

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Learning

  • Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Percentage of graduate students at the school taking at least one class online

Affordability

  • Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for undergraduates per academic year.

Academic Quality

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: Schools with lower ratios ranked higher.
  • Percentage of students admitted. More selective schools ranked higher.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023

Accreditation Glossary

ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

ABHES: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

ACCSC: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

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: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

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Cabrini University

Radnor, Pennsylvania

Cabrini University is a private institution that offers a fully online Master of Education in Educational Leadership. This program is designed to prepare students for a career in educational administration at the preschool through grade 12 level. Once enrolled, students complete core courses on the theory and practice of education and courses to prepare for certification as a school principal through Cabrini's PreK-12 Principal Certification Program. In addition, students complete 180 hours of practical experience. Prospective students apply online; financial aid and scholarship opportunities may be available.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $740/credit
  • Mode: Online, Hybrid
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation MSCHE
Online Students 65%

Eastern New Mexico University offers a fully online Master of Education with an Emphasis in Career and Technical Education for those who wish to pursue a career as a teacher in a vocational or technical field. An in-person option for this 36-credit degree is also available. Students delve into graduate-level pedagogy, teaching methods, and research skills and prepare to teach at the high school, community college, or higher education level upon graduating. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must specify their area of emphasis as part of the online application.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education with Emphasis in Career and Technical Education

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $303/credit
  • Mode: Online, In person
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation HLC
Online Students 93%

3

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

The Master of Education in Educational Administration at Tarleton State University is an in-person or online program that prepares students for careers in educational administration at the K-12 level. This 30-credit MEd is designed for maximum flexibility, including availability at three Texas campuses as well as fully online. Learners study not only the fundamentals of educational administration but also the multicultural and community-sensitive factors that go into building a successful relationship between students, teachers, and the community. Applicants must have an accredited bachelor's degree. Students seeking a Principal Certificate in Texas must take an additional three-credit principal practicum course.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education in Educational Administration

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $247.01/credit (in-state); $667.01/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online, In person
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, TEA
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 21:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 97%

4

Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 76%

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