Top 30 Best Buys in Online Education for Teachers and Librarians Offered by Public Colleges, Per’s Online College Affordability Rankings

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Teachers and librarians searching for online master's degrees will find the most affordable degrees from public colleges and universities, with 27 degrees available for under $10,000, according to a new ranking. Prices ranged widely, from about $5,600 to $41,000, with the average at $15,000. Prices were up significantly from's previous study in 2005. Best Buy in Online Master's Degrees, Education & Library Science

"The increase in price shows how markedly higher education prices have risen."

Teachers and librarians searching for online master's degrees should look first at public universities. A new online college affordability survey by has found that 27 high-quality, low-cost online degrees in education and library science are available for under $10,000. is an online education group that ranks and rates online college programs for credibility and affordability. The distance education group analyzed tuition and fees at 101 regionally accredited universities that offer 313 online master’s degrees to come up with national rankings of the Best Buys in online master’s for teachers and librarians.

Wide Variation in Costs for Online Master’s

Educators and librarians will find online master's degrees ranging in price from $5,600 to $41,000. The average cost of a distance learning master’s for educators is $15,714. According to’s survey, the top 27 ranked best buys all come in under $10,000—and they all are issued by public, nonprofit schools.

GetEducated found 94 regionally accredited distance graduate degrees in education or library science for under $16,000.

Online Education Costs Soaring

GetEducated’s previous survey of online master’s programs in education and library science in 2005 revealed tuition and fee costs ranging from $3,294 to $32,850. The increase in price from 2005 to 2009 is much higher than the rate of inflation for this same time period, showing how markedly higher education prices have risen.

Public Education Offers Most Affordability

Today's most affordable online graduate degree in education can be found at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. North Carolina residents can earn a master's in educational media for just $5,535. (Non-residents will pay significantly more: $23,922.)

The University of Wyoming Outreach offers the least expensive distance learning degrees for both in-state and out-of-state educators: a master of science in education/instructional technology and a master of arts in education/adult and post-secondary education. Both degrees cost about $7,000.

The first private college to crack the Best Buy rankings -- in 34th place -- is Saint Joseph's College of Maine with a cost of about $10,890 for its online master of science in education.

The most affordable for-profit, online education school in the rankings: Northcentral University, in Arizona.  This online college received an affordability ranking grade of “B” for its master of education, priced at $12,260.

The most expensive online master’s in library science:

  • Drexel University, Pennsylvania ($41,175)
  • Syracuse University, New York ($40,212)
  • University of Washington, Washington ($35,721)

The most expensive master's in education degrees:

  • Drexel University, Pennsylvania ($38,870)
  • Columbia University, New York ($34,720)
  • St. John's University, New York ($31,065)
  • Capella University ($30,456)

Consumers can review, rate and compare all their accredited online education options by cost, public perception, and verified student satisfaction by visiting’s directory of online colleges.

About: Founded in 1989, is a consumer advocacy group that reviews, rates and ranks online colleges along the dimensions that matter most to consumers: cost and credibility.


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Lorna Collier
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