Most Affordable Online Psychology Degrees

Got your eye on an online psychology bachelor’s degree but worried about the cost? Explore this year’s most affordable programs that fit your budget and get other tips for funding your degree.

Last Updated: 12/03/2021

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology online opens a wide variety of career opportunities, provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in psychology and many other fields, and gives you more flexibility than traditional degree programs. But with the cost of college on the rise, finding a program that fits your budget has never been more important. Keep reading to learn about 50 of the most affordable online psychology degrees from accredited colleges – plus find other ways to cut the cost of college and limit your student debt.

50 Most Affordable Online Psychology Bachelor’s Degrees in 2021

When searching for the school that best matches your personal and financial needs, along with your academic and professional goals, you’ll have many factors to consider. Academic reputation, location, and flexibility all play a significant role in your choice, but affordability can often be the deciding factor. To help with the search, we’ve compiled a list of the most affordable online psychology bachelor’s programs. Our rankings are based on a combination of affordability and quality metrics provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For more info about our ranking methodology, click the “About the ranking” button for more details.

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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 from the school itself.

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: $$

Established in 1902, Fort Hays State University is a public institution located in Hays, Kansas. The online bachelor’s in psychology offers a flexible and affordable way to complete your degree requirements in fewer than four years. Utilizing an asynchronous delivery, the program hones students’ practical and theoretical skills to prepare them for various academic and career opportunities.

Online learners complete 120 credits before graduating, including 55 credits of general education and 42 credits of psychology coursework. Core psychology requirements include topics such as applied statistics in the behavioral sciences, neuropsychology, and general, abnormal, social, and cognitive psychology.

Applicants to this online bachelor’s in psychology must hold a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Prospective learners must submit an online application along with standardized test scores, an admission essay, and letters of recommendation.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $26,240 (total cost)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationHLC
2
Type: Public
Cost: $$

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) was founded in 1973 and is located in the West Texas town of Odessa. UTPB’s online bachelor’s in psychology provides students with a flexible and affordable academic option that underscores critical thinking and empirical research and prepares them for careers in areas from human resources to public health.

Throughout this 120-credit online curriculum, students complete their work asynchronously. Alongside introductory courses on psychology and abnormal psychology, students complete upper-level classes like history and systems of psychology, organizational psychology, and a 16-week senior seminar.

First-year applicants to this online BA in psychology program must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit official transcripts from both high school and college-level coursework. UTPB reviews applications holistically and considers past academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and work experience.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Credits: 120 credits
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $327/credit
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationSACSCOC
3
Type: Public
Cost: $$

In addition to a traditional bachelor’s in psychology program, North Carolina’s Fayetteville State University offers a 100% online degree completion program. This program utilizes the Canvas online learning platform in which students complete requirements asynchronously and engage with course materials through message boards, online exams, online group work, and reflective writing assignments.

This 120-credit bachelor’s in psychology introduces students to a wide variety of liberal arts topics while requiring 82 credits of major and minor coursework. Core psychology requirements cover topics such as general psychology, statistics for psychology, introduction to biopsychology, and history and systems of psychology. Before graduation, students can also choose to complete a semester-long psychology internship.

Applicants for this online degree completion program must be eligible to return to past institutions and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Students declaring a psychology major must complete an introductory psychology course as a prerequisite.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Credits: 120 credits
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $124/credit (in-state); $311/credit (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
93%
AccreditationSACSCOC
4
Type: Public
Cost: $$

This Texas-based school was founded in 1927 and is one of the largest institutions in the state. The University of Houston—Downtown (UHD) online bachelor’s in psychology helps students develop research and critical thinking skills while introducing the history, concepts, and evolution in this dynamic field. 120 credits in scope, students also have the chance to complete an academic minor in areas like biology and criminal justice.

UHD allows flexibility as students select major classes; students choose courses from academic clusters including social/personality, clinical, cognitive/neuroscience, and diversity. Additionally, psychology students take six credits in advanced writing, choosing from medical writing, theories of personality, and business and technical report writing.

Applicants to UHD’s online psychology program must submit official high school transcripts or a GED certificate. SAT or ACT scores are required, and students must meet the Texas college readiness benchmarks. Students not meeting GPA or test-score requirements may receive conditional admission.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Credits: 120 credits
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $246/credit (in-state); $655/credit (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
72%
AccreditationSACSCOC
5
Type: Public
Cost: $$

The second-largest school in the state, Florida International University (FIU) boasts a 100% online bachelor’s in psychology. FIU offers three start dates per year and academic programming that highlights scientific research and foundational knowledge that prepares you for a wide variety of careers and academic pursuits. Online students complete asynchronous classes and have access to a personal success coach.

Throughout this 120-credit psychology program, students complete various general education requirements along with psychology coursework that highlights both theoretical and practical knowledge. Standard core psychology requirements include cognitive processes, psychology of women, introduction to community psychology, and psychology of health and illness.

Prospective psychology students must submit an online application along with standardized test scores, official high school transcripts, and a $30 application fee. Transferring students with more than 60 college credits are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s in Psychology

  • Credits: 120 credits
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $206/credit (in-state); $619/credit (out-of-state)
  • Format: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationSACSCOC
6
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSACSCOC
7
University of Idaho Moscow, ID
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationNWCCU
8
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
78%
AccreditationHLC
9
Ohio University-Eastern Campus Saint Clairsville, OH
Type: Public
Cost: $
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHLC
10
Type: Public
Cost: $
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationSACSCOC
11
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
63%
AccreditationNWCCU
12
Chadron State College Chadron, NE
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHLC
13
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSACSCOC
14
University of Florida Gainesville, FL
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationSACSCOC
15
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationSACSCOC
16
SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
72%
AccreditationMSCHE
17
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
95%
AccreditationNECHE
18
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
51%
AccreditationHLC
19
Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
78%
AccreditationHLC
20
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationDEAC
21
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationHLC
22
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHLC
23
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
51%
AccreditationNWCCU
24
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationHLC
25
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
87%
AccreditationMSCHE
26
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationNWCCU
27
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationNECHE
28
Type: Public
Cost: $
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
5%
AccreditationSACSCOC
29
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
94%
AccreditationSACSCOC
30
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
82%
AccreditationNWCCU
31
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
54%
AccreditationSACSCOC
32
Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
53%
AccreditationSACSCOC
33
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationSACSCOC
34
University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationNWCCU
35
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
6%
AccreditationSACSCOC
36
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHLC
37
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationHLC
38
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
61%
AccreditationMSCHE
39
Aspen University Denver, CO
Type: Private, For-Profit
Cost: $
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDEAC
40
Baker College Flint, MI
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationHLC
41
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHLC
42
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
24%
AccreditationSACSCOC
43
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
53%
AccreditationHLC
44
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationHLC
45
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationMSCHE
46
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
46%
AccreditationNWCCU
47
Type: Public
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
44%
AccreditationSACSCOC
48
Carolina University Winston-Salem, NC
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
96%
AccreditationTRACS
49
Type: Public
Cost: $$$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHLC
50
Type: Private, Not-for-Profit
Cost: $$
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHLC

How to Decrease the Cost of Your Online Psychology Degree

With the price of higher education rising each year, it’s no surprise that students are looking for ways to cut their costs and avoid paying off loans for decades to come. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take when applying and while enrolled to save money. Learn more about a few of these below.

1

Apply to scholarships, grants, and fellowships created for psychology students

Awards created specifically for psychology undergraduate students are available, and it’s possible to cover thousands of dollars in costs if you’re tenacious about applying throughout your degree program. Find these through professional organizations, nonprofit groups, governmental agencies, and even businesses. Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, provides undergraduate scholarships of $3,000 to students who meet eligibility requirements.

2

Pursue paid internships

While some internships still try to get psychology students to work without pay, it’s increasingly common for organizations to provide a wage or stipend to help cover students’ costs. Some of these require in-person work, while others may allow for remote work. Internships.com provides a searchable database of psychology internships where you can find one that meets your financial and subject-specific needs.

3

Ask about tuition reimbursement programs

If you already work for a psychology-focused company, you may be able to receive tuition reimbursement in exchange for agreeing to stay at the organization for a set amount of time (typically at least two years) after graduating. Under current law, employers can provide up to $5,250 each year in untaxed reimbursement funds to help with your education. Use this money to cover the cost of tuition and fees, textbooks and supplies, and other education-related expenses.

4

Check into work-study programs

Many campuses provide in-person and virtual work-study opportunities for students who qualify financially. To learn whether you’re eligible, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you qualify, your college typically will have a career center or work-study department where you can learn about available posts. These pay at least the federal minimum wage, but some pay more. You may even find one related to psychology.

5

Apply for public service loan forgiveness

Under the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, students can apply to have a portion of their loans forgiven after meeting requirements. To qualify, you must work in a governmental or nonprofit role for at least 10 years after graduating. During this time, you must make 120 qualifying, on-time payments. At the end of those 10 years, you can apply to have the remainder of your Direct Loans forgiven.

What Impacts the Cost of an Online Psychology Degree?

The actual cost of an online bachelor’s in psychology doesn’t boil down to just one factor; students need to consider many different options along the way to make sure they earn a top degree without breaking the bank. Consider some of these factors when making your decision.

Public vs. Private

According to the Education Data Initiative, whether you attend a public or private college can make a big difference in how much you pay. During the 2020-2021 school year, public college students paid an average of $9,580 in tuition. Private college students paid an average of $37,200 during the same year.

Transfer Credits

Some bachelor’s in psychology students may decide to complete the first two years of their degree at a community college, as this can save thousands of dollars. If that’s your plan, check with the university you ultimately plan to attend to ensure classes taken at a particular two-year college will transfer.

In-state vs. Out-of-state

While public schools may be cheaper, the actual cost depends on your residency status. While in-state students attending a public university paid an average of $9,580, those who traveled across state lines to study shelled out an average of $24,437. That said, some schools allow online students to pay the same tuition rate no matter where they live.

School-based Scholarships

In addition to generalist psychology scholarships, many psychology departments provide program-specific awards. These tend to be less competitive given the smaller applicant pool and can really make a difference in how much you spend. Indiana University Bloomington offers an example of what’s typical.

Return on Investment

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it’s better to pay more for your education. If a prospective school costs a little more but has a great reputation, well-known alumni, and plenty of networking opportunities, you might earn a higher starting salary—as well as higher wages throughout your career. Consider return on investment alongside affordability.