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Online Colleges in Missouri

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Top Missouri Cities
School Interviews
Dr. Darla Runyon
- Director of the Center for Information Technology in Education at Northwest Missouri State University
"Northwest Missouri State University provides online classes and programs via Northwest Online."
See entire interview

Introduction

According to the Lumina Foundation, about 59 percent of jobs in Missouri will require a college credential by 2018.

This includes careers the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) classified as "Top Grade A Occupations" in a 2010 career outlook report. These professions, which include accountants and registered nurses (positions that typically require a college degree), are expected to grow 11.4 percent between 2008 and 2018, over three times as fast as the average occupational growth rate (3.3 percent). Missouri's top-50 private employers (DED), including Mercy Hospitals and U.S. Bank, may have a need for skilled professionals in these and other career fields.

And while the Lumina Foundation found that just over 35 percent of state residents between the age of 25 and 64 held at least an Associate degree as of 2010, it's still well short of the 59 percent mark. Online schools in Missouri could open the doors for more nontraditional students, such as the 23 percent of residents that the foundation reports have attended college but never graduated.

Missouri is home to 13 public four-year institutions and 26 public two-year institutions, according to the 2012 Leaders & Laggards Report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many now offer online options.

Missouri is home to 5.9 million people, and of the 4 million who are 25 years or older, just under 10 percent have a graduate or professional degree. Sixteen percent have a Bachelor's degree, and one in three has attended some college or has earned a two-year Associate's degree. Among those between 18 and 24 years old, 10 percent have a Bachelor's degree and 45 percent have some college or an Associate's degree.

The 2.6 million workers in Missouri earn an annual mean wage of $42,040. Workers who are interested in getting a better job or earning a promotion can chose from 82 private and public colleges and universities that offer Bachelor's degree programs in Missouri.

Most Affordable Colleges in Missouri

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Missouri that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tuition/Year
$6,320
Graduation Rate
64%
# of Online Degrees
3
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

This faith-based institution offers one fully online Bachelor's degree program and two online Master's degree programs, with varied ways to emphasize different specific topics. The online undergraduate program offers a degree in Christian Ministry, and graduate degree programs include a Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies (with an emphasis on either Church Revitalization, Missions, or one of these in Korean language) or a Master of Science degree in Theological Studies (with an emphasis on Leadership, Church Planting, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, or Mobilization).
School Website: 
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2

Northwest Missouri State University

Tuition/Year
$6,390
Graduation Rate
50%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Northwest Missouri utilizes e-mail and threaded discussion forums to allow students in their online degree programs in Missouri to communicate with each other and with their professor. This allows students to hold virtual conversations even when they are not online at the same time. Northwest Missouri's online Bachelor's degree programs include Nursing; Business Management; and Marketing. The Master's degree programs offered online include Business Administration; Geographic Information Science; Teaching English Language Learners; and Special Education.
School Website: 
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3

Southeast Missouri State University

Tuition/Year
$6,863
Graduation Rate
49%
# of Online Degrees
16
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Southeast Missouri State University makes online learning a bit more appealing by offering in-state tuition for all online students, regardless of where they are located. The school is also inviting with its wide selection of online degree programs to choose from. Its online Bachelor's degree programs include Business Administration; Technology Management; Nursing; General Studies; Criminal Justice; Computer Information Systems; Social Science (with concentrations in Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology); and Emergency Preparedness. Its Master's degree programs that are online include Business Administration (with options in General Management, Sport Management and Entrepreneurship); Management; Elementary Education; Exceptional Child Education; Secondary Education (with options in Educational Technology and Educational Studies);Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages; Criminal Justice; and Technology Management.
School Website: 
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4

Missouri State University

Tuition/Year
$6,908
Graduation Rate
53%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Missouri State focuses on helping students who have some college credit to finish the work they need for their Bachelor's degree. MSU's online Bachelor's degree completion programs include Technology Management; Communication; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Finance; General Business; Nursing; and Health Services.
School Website: 
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5

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Tuition/Year
$9,456
Graduation Rate
51%
# of Online Degrees
3
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

UMKC recently introduced a degree-completion program that allows students who have earned at least 80 hours of college credit to finish their Bachelor's degree online through UMKC, Students can choose from courses in humanities, social science, and natural sciences to earn this Liberal Arts degree. The UMKC School of Education also offers two fully online Master's degree programs in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration.
School Website: 
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6

University of Missouri

Tuition/Year
$9,474
Graduation Rate
46%
# of Online Degrees
38
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Missouri has made a strong investment in online education, offering more than 30 graduate degree programs online to go with its seven fully online undergraduate degree programs. Its online Bachelor's degree programs are in General Studies; Interdisciplinary Studies; Educational Studies; Health Sciences; Radiography; Respiratory Therapy; and Nursing. Its sole online doctorate program is in Architectural Studies, and its 30 online graduate degree programs range from Agriculture Education to Public Health.
School Website: 
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7

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Tuition/Year
$9,510
Graduation Rate
63%
# of Online Degrees
17
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Missouri S&T focuses its online degree programs of graduate-level programs, with many students starting out by earning an online graduate certificate as a way to earn credit toward a Master's degree. The online courses utilize live streaming video, live collaboration software and archived class recordings to make the learning completely online. Missouri S&T offers online graduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering; Business Administration; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Management; Environmental Engineering; Explosives Engineering; Geotechnics; Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Information Science and Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Mining Engineering; Systems Engineering; and Technical Communication
School Website: 
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8

Lindenwood University

Tuition/Year
$15,150
Graduation Rate
45%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Lindenwood, located in St. Charles, Missouri, just west of St. Louis has a student body of more than 17,000 students working on more than 200 degree programs. There are also a growing number of online students working on three undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs. Online Bachelor's degrees are offered in Business; Criminal Justice; and General Studies. The online Master's degrees are offered in Educational Technology; Gifted Education K-132; Leadership; Nonprofit Administration; Business Administration; Writing; and Public Administration.
School Website: 
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9

William Woods University

Tuition/Year
$20,650
Graduation Rate
56%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

William Woods is located in Fulton, Missouri, but its online degree programs in Kansas draw students from far beyond state lines. In addition to its Associate or Arts degree, it offers online Bachelor's degrees in Interpretation Studies; Management; and Paralegal Studies. Its online Master's degree programs are offered in Business Administration; Equestrian Education; and Teaching and Technology.
School Website: 
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10

Missouri Baptist University

Tuition/Year
$21,790
Graduation Rate
44%
# of Online Degrees
11
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Missouri Baptist focuses its efforts on students who are busy and don't have time to travel to campus for face-to-face meetings. Faculty teaching online courses are available through e-mail, Skype or telephone. It offers an online Bachelor's degree in Sport Management and 10 online Master's degrees in Corporate Security Leadership; Teaching; Christian Ministry; Educational Technology; Criminal Justice; Fitness Management; Sport Management; Business Administration; Counseling; and Educational Specialist.
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Darla Runyon

Dr. Darla Runyon, Director of the Center for Information Technology in Education at Northwest Missouri State University

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Northwest Missouri State University?

Northwest Missouri State University provides online classes and programs via Northwest Online. Your Connection to Success is through a Northwest Online program. Northwest Online offers five online graduate programs including a Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a Masters of Education in Teaching with two different emphasis areas: English language learner and instructional technology, and a Masters in Business Administration. Two online undergraduate degree completion programs are available through Northwest Online: a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Certificate programs include a certificate in GIS, a certificate in instructional technology, and an English language learners certificate. General education courses offered online provide greater convenience of scheduling and time use for the student. At least one course in each area of Northwest's general education is available in the online delivery format.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Students interested in online programs or courses should be self-motivated and able to set aside and organize their time to complete the work required in the course.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning will evolve into a more interactive and engaging environment in the coming years. There will be more video resources and interaction along with a personalized approach to learning via interactive activities and resources.


Devon Cancilla

Devon Cancilla, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Online and Distance Learning at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Missouri-Kansas City?

UMKC offers fully online degrees in the professional and clinical sciences. Our undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing and dental hygiene are rigorous and prepare students for success in a variety of career paths in public health planning and delivery as well as clinical practice. UMKC also offers graduate and certificate programs in education in addition to an undergraduate online degree completion program (Bachelor of Liberal Arts) specifically designed for working professionals who need the flexibility of online instruction and who benefit from the resources and faculty involvement of a large state institution. Program listing: http://online.umkc.edu/online-programs/

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

When choosing an online degree program to pursue, students should consider the educational advantages provided by opportunities for clinical experience, the availability of internships, faculty involvement, and career placement. The appeal of flexibility and convenience should be matched with a challenging curriculum that will give students the best prospects for a successful and fulfilling career. I am proud to report that UMKC is a national leader in this area.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning promises to expand the reach of educational opportunities and to focus student energy and resources on the most rewarding outcomes. In this period of rapid expansion, there is a race to keep ahead of emerging trends in online learning. UMKC is focused on developing a digital campus that incorporates the best of these new insights while renewing our commitment to be a leader in the Life and Health Sciences and to developing a professional workforce.

Top Cities For Students In Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri

Mean Wage

$45,600

Average Cost of a House

$202,107

# of Employed People

1,300,000

Total Population

2,800,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$48,621

Economics

Just under 1.3 million workers call the St. Louis metro area home, earning an average hourly wage of $21.92 for an annual mean wage of $45,600. The Cost of Living Index in this area is 93.4, and house prices average $202,107.

Demographics

Just over 300,000 people live in the city of St. Louis proper, although the surrounding metropolitan area is home to nearly 3 million people. In St. Louis county, which has a population of nearly 1 million people, 16 percent of the over-25 population of 680,000 have a graduate or professional degree, and nearly one in four has a Bachelor's degree.

Fun Facts

The signature landmark of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, but visitors also enjoy watching the Major League Baseball Cardinals play in famous Busch Stadium or visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden. Forest Park and the St. Louis Zoo also make great outings.

Kansas City, Missouri

Mean Wage

$46,000

Average Cost of a House

$288,140

# of Employed People

986,500

Total Population

2,000,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$48,950

Economics

The 986,500 workers in the Kansas City metropolitan area of Missouri earn an average of $22.12 an hour, for an annual mean wage of $46,000. The Cost of Living Index in Kansas City is 100.3, and home prices average $288,140.

Demographics

With a population of 460,000, Kansas City is the largest municipality in Missouri. Among the 300,000 residents who are over the age of 25, 11.7 percent have a graduate or professional degree, and one in five has a Bachelor's degree. Nearly one in three has attended some college or has earned an Associate's degree.

Fun Facts

Kansas City is rich in museums, with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Jazz Museum leading the way. Baseball is big here, and many visitors like to take in a game at Kauffman Field or visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Springfield, Missouri

Mean Wage

$36,830

Average Cost of a House

$223,233

# of Employed People

190,000

Total Population

159,498

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$38,711

Economics

The nearly 190,000 workers in the Springfield metro area of Missouri earn an average of $17.71 an hour for an annual mean wage of $36,830. The average cost of a home in Springfield is $223,233, and the Cost of Living Index is 92.4.

Demographics

Springfield provides just 7 percent of the state's entire workforce of 2.7 million workers. Nine percent of the residents who are over the age of 25 have a graduate or professional degree, and 17 percent have earned a Bachelor's. A third of these 101,319 over-25 Springfield residents have attended some college or earned an Associate's degree.

Fun Facts

Visitors to Springfield enjoy being close to the Ozark Mountains and Branson, the entertainment mecca. Other points of interest include the vast caves of Fantastic Caverns, Dickerson Park Zoo and the Pythian Home of Missouri. Cyclists enjoy riding the Frisco Highline Trail that connects Springfield to Bolivar.

 
Other Missouri Resources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.htm
  2. College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=MO&l=93
  3. Dr. Darla Runyon, interview with the author June 2015
  4. Dr. Devon Cancilla, interview with the author June 2015
  5. Evangel University, http://www.evangel.edu/academics/adult-studies/about/
  6. Fun Things to Do in St. Louis, https://www.google.com/search?q=Fun+things+to+do+in+St.+Louis&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
  7. Fun things to do in Springfield, http://www.springfieldmo.org/things-to-do/c/sports-and-outdoor-recreation
  8. Lindenwood University, http://www.lindenwood.edu/online/programs.html
  9. List of Missouri State University alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Missouri_State_University_alumni
  10. List of University of Missouri-Kansas City people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Missouri-Kansas_City_people
  11. List of University of Missouri alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Missouri_alumni
  12. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, http://www.mbts.edu/academics/#online_programs
  13. Missouri Baptist University, http://www.mobap.edu/online/
  14. Missouri State University, http://outreach.missouristate.edu/
  15. Missouri University of Science and Technology, http://dce.mst.edu/credit/degrees/
  16. Northwest Missouri State University, http://www.nwmissouri.edu/online/programs.htm
  17. Notable Alumni Lindenwood University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindenwood_University#Notable_alumni
  18. Notable Alumni Southeast Missouri State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Missouri_State_University
  19. Notable Alumni Missouri University of Science and Technology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_University_of_Science_and_Technology#Notable_alumni_and_former_students
  20. Notable Alumni Northwest Missouri State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Missouri_State_University#Notable_alumni
  21. Notable Alumni Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwestern_Baptist_Theological_Seminary#Notable_people
  22. Notable Alumni William Woods University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Woods_University
  23. Southeast Missouri State University, http://online.semo.edu/content/OnlineDegrees/UndergraduateDegrees.asp
  24. Things to Do in Kansas City, https://www.visitkc.com/visitors/things-do
  25. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  26. University of Missouri, http://online.missouri.edu/degreeprograms/
  27. University of Missouri-Kansas City, http://cas.umkc.edu/blaonline/default.shtml
  28. William Woods University, http://online.williamwoods.edu/