dcsimg

Online Colleges in Oregon

Most Affordable Online Colleges

Located in the northwest, the state of Oregon is diverse in many ways, having beachfronts, mountains, forests and even farmland. It is home to both Mount Hood and Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, and has a vast array of educational offerings.

When it comes to a college education, Oregon has many opportunities, including online degree programs that students can complete through its two-year and four-year colleges. While the state-run higher education system encompasses seven public universities and 17 public community colleges, there are also private and for-profit educational institutions. Those schools may also offer online options for students.

The affordability of college is a concern for most students, and it's also something that lawmakers in the state are paying attention to. In an April 2017 letter to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Oregon Governor Kate Brown reaffirmed her continued interest in making college affordable for students. This is on top of Oregon Promise, a statewide grant program approved by the Oregon legislature in 2015. That program is designed to cover tuition costs for eligible students attending community college.

Affordable Online Colleges in Oregon

Affordability is an important factor for most people looking to enroll in college. The schools listed below are among the most affordable ones in the state, based on their in-state tuition costs.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Oregon

Below are five of the most affordable two-year colleges in Oregon. Whether students considering these schools are parents, career changers, or entirely new to college, these schools and their programs may be worth checking out.

1

Columbia Gorge Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,276
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
49.83%
Institution Type
Public

About

Columbia Gorge Community College offers online classes using the distance learning Moodle platform. Although learning is available 24/7, assignments have specific due dates. There actually are three types of distance-learning classes available, including 100 percent online, hybrid courses with some on-campus attendance, and campus-based classes with web components. The school even has an online math lab.

Online and hybrid coursework is available in disciplines such as economics, English, history, sociology and more. Of note, the school also offers an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree program, totaling 90 credits, that is available with most of the coursework online. Meeting with an advisor is highly recommended so students can map out an educational plan.

School Website: 
GO
2

Klamath Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,222
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
67.08%
Institution Type
Public

About

Klamath Community College prioritizes educational accessibility by making several courses, certificates and degrees accessible online. Included in those is a certificate in retail management that can take less than a year to complete. Students take online computing and business courses for the certificate program, learning about business communication, marketing, human relations and management.

Klamath also offers four associate degree programs online: accounting, business management, early childhood education and paraeducation. Courses at the school start and end at the same time as the on-campus programs, and a distance education page on the school website provides many details about online learning options.

School Website: 
GO
3

Rogue Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,420
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
39.34%
Institution Type
Public

About

Rogue Community College's website devotes an entire page to details about online coursework, including what students can expect from them if they enroll. In fact, students enroll for online courses just like they do for campus-based coursework and need to search through the school's online database to identify classes offered through distance learning.

Online coursework is offered in a variety of areas and, in the business discipline alone, include courses in business law, marketing, technical writing and more. Students seeking online coursework in other areas can find them available in computer science, criminal justice, medical assisting, sociology and even music.

School Website: 
GO
4

Portland Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,456
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37.41%
Institution Type
Public

About

Portland Community College uses the D2L Brightspace learning platform to provide students with opportunities to earn online degrees, certificates and courses. Full degrees and certificates are attainable in the disciplines of business administration, computer applications and office systems, computer information systems, health information management and gerontology.

Within each of these disciplines, a variety of programs are available online, too. For example, in gerontology, students can pursue one of three related certificates or an associate of applied science degree in the field online. Additionally, Portland Community College provides direct contact email addresses to students who are interested in any of the school's online programs and want to ask questions of the right person.

School Website: 
GO
5

Lane Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,582
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
40.49%
Institution Type
Public

About

Lane Community College provides a variety of online classes though Lane Online, which utilizes the Moodle platform for instruction. These classes are available in a range of subject areas, including art, business, health, psychology and many others. Depending on the semester, students might also find specific classes online, such as Medical Terminology, Lifetime Health and Fitness or Introduction to Theatre.

The school offers both online and hybrid learning courses, and reports that students opting for online learning should be versatile in emailing, adding attachments, and posting comments. The school also has an online readiness quiz on its website to help students better determine if online learning is for them.

School Website: 
GO

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Alabama

Whether you already have an associate degree or want to go straight to a bachelor's degree, here are some affordable four-year schools in Oregon worth considering.

1

Eastern Oregon University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,323
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
62.36%
Institution Type
Public

About

Eastern Oregon University offers a number of programs online through its online school. The offerings fall into categories such as business, emergency medical services administration, early childhood education, integrative studies and physical activity and health.

EOU also offers an emergency medical services administration degree program online that leads to a bachelor's of science degree. This degree is earmarked for fire professionals interested in a four-year education and includes curriculum staples such as Fire Behavior and Combustion, Fire Protection Systems and Fire Investigation and Analysis. To help students succeed in its online programs, EOU provides access to academic advisors.

School Website: 
GO
2

Southern Oregon University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,615
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
21.80%
Institution Type
Public

About

Southern Oregon University makes bachelor's, master's and endorsement/licensure programs available to students online. In total, there are a dozen complete programs available online, including a 24-credit nonprofit certificate for those who already have a bachelor's degree and are interested in accounting, financial management and grant-writing in the nonprofit world.

Students also can take individual courses online at SOU with offerings varying semester to semester. These may fall into disciplines such as business administration, computer science, history, math and psychology. Online delivery is made available through the Moodle platform and dozens of online classes are offered each semester.

School Website: 
GO
3

Portland State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,750
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23.72%
Institution Type
Public

About

Portland State University offers coursework through PSU Online with a variety of programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. These include the Business of Social Innovation business certificate, a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice and a master's degree in global supply chain management.

A master's in social work (MSW) is also available though PSU Online and includes coursework in social justice, social work and advocacy as well as field experience. Admittance to the program is highly selective, with the school being the only one in the Pacific Northwest to offer an accredited online social work master's degree program, according to its website.

School Website: 
GO
4

Oregon Institute of Technology

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$7,323
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
26.10%
Institution Type
Public

About

Oregon Institute of Technology makes both degree completion and full degree programs available online for its students. Degree completion programs fall into many allied health areas, such as dental hygiene, health care management, respiratory care and vascular technology.

Degree programs offered online range from the undergraduate certificate to master's degree level. Some of the more unique offerings at the school include its certificates and associate degrees pursuable in clinical sleep health or polysomnography, with the latter designed to help students prepare to take the Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) exam. Students can also find minors online at the school as well as badges and micro-credentials, like in Network Essentials or Microsoft Office 365.

School Website: 
GO
5

Oregon State University-Cascades Campus

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$8,130
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Public

About

Oregon State University-Cascades Campus is located in a mountain town, but offers online education for those who want alternative options to commuting to school. Students can register for Ecampus courses and look to Ecampus Student Services for any type of online help they might need. An Ecampus orientation even helps students learn about the resources and tools available to them to be a success as an online learner.

More than 1,000 online courses are offered in more than 90 areas, although some coursework may utilize other distance-learning delivery methods, such as video. Online coursework can be found in areas as diverse as anthropology, economics, history and even Russian or zoology. Students can be the first to know about new online offerings by following OSU on Twitter.

School Website: 
GO

College Accreditation in Oregon

Students often spend a great deal of time determining what subject to major in when they enroll in college, but they should also pay serious attention to how their prospective college is accredited.

Accreditation is important because it means a college's educational programs adhere to widely accepted standards of quality and administration, and therefore the degrees students earn are valid.

There is one main accrediting body for public, private and independent colleges and universities in Oregon and six other western states:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

The NWCCU also accredits technical and career colleges throughout Oregon. Before enrolling in an online college in Oregon, students can check to see how their prospective institution is accredited through the NWCCU or through the Department of Education.

School Interviews

Fully online learning will continue to grow. ... The experience will be increasingly more engaging and interactive.

Johannes de Gruyter

Executive Director, Office of Academic Innovation

Portland State University

Q. Tell us about your school's top degree programs.

Portland State University offers a wide range of online degrees and certificates. At the undergraduate level we mostly offer online options for degree completion, such as the BA in Management and Leadership, the BA/BS in Supply and Logistics Management or the BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. At the graduate level we have strong online Master programs such as our Master of Social Work, Healthcare MBA, MS in Global Supply Chain Management and our Master's in Early Childhood: Inclusive Education and Curriculum and Instruction. We also offer fully online credit and non-credit certificates for adult learners and professionals in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Business and Education.

PSU is fully accredited. Our online programs adhere to the same standards as campus-based courses; many have won significant awards and they are all designed and taught by excellent faculty trained in online learning.

Q. Can you offer advice for prospective students on choosing an online program?

It is important to assess your own skills and work/life commitments to determine if online learning is a good fit. Online learning is flexible, but it requires self-motivation and good time management. You also need a reliable computer meeting hardware and software requirements with a stable Internet connection.

What are your general thoughts on the future of online learning, and why it's a good option for many students?

Fully online learning will continue to grow. I expect improvements in the way we design online learning based on new research and the availability of new technology. The experience will be increasingly more engaging and interactive. Some of the current limitations in terms of scale and personalization will cease to exist. The online method will continue to inspire campus-based programs who seek to add more flexible pathways to their current offerings.


Make sure online learning is a strong fit for your own learning style. It requires independence, self-motivation, strong time management skills, and persistent commitment to personal goals.

Donald Wolff,

Vice Provost

Eastern Oregon University

Q. Tell us about your school's top degree programs.

Eastern Oregon University offers 13 complete majors and minors online. The majority of EOU's online students are placebound adult learners, with families and careers. They choose EOU's online programs for their academic quality since most are taught by tenured professors. They appreciate EOU's flexible transfer of credits from other institutions; they have often collected 90 or more credits from previous institutions.

EOU's online learners are 21st century students wanting to complete their degrees for professional reasons, tying career goals and work experience to their studies. For this reason, the most popular major is Integrative Studies, which allows students to combine two minors and complete a capstone portfolio where they reflect on their coursework and tie it to real world questions that cut across disciplines, while creating a platform for including applied and extracurricular interests.

Q. Can you offer advice for prospective students on choosing an online program?

  • Make sure the program you choose meets your needs and makes you excited you about your education.
  • Ensure quality by looking closely at the proportion of full-time, permanent faculty to part-time faculty teaching online in the program that interests you. Permanent faculty are more closely tied to the academic focus and standards of their universities.
  • Make sure online learning is a strong fit for your own learning style. It requires independence, self-motivation, strong time management skills, and persistent commitment to personal goals.

Q. What are your general thoughts on the future of online learning, and why it's a good option for many students?

Online learning certainly suits 21st century students, especially if they are already working and want to complete a degree to enhance their professional lives. It is abundantly clear that online students want a quality education, delivered by experienced, student-friendly faculty from strong academic programs in universities committed to effective teaching — online programs just like those of Eastern Oregon University.

Financial Aid in Oregon

Oregon Loans

Oregon does not currently offer students any state-based loan opportunities. Instead, they focus on providing scholarships and grants through the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). Students seeking financial aid assistance are encouraged to first apply for scholarships and grants to help cover their cost of tuition, as these forms of financial aid do not need to be repaid. However, if you are still in need of financial assistance, you may apply for federal and private loans to meet your college expenses. To qualify for federal loans, you will need to provide information about your family's financial situation by filling out the FAFSA.

Learn more about all types of student loans and how to repay them in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Oregon

  • Plan & Pay for College offers Oregon students tips and information about acquiring financial aid, calculating college costs, and determining one's own financial need.

Featured Cities in Oregon

Students wanting to enroll in online colleges in Oregon may be interested in the major cities there, particularly if they have to make an on-campus visit or are thinking about building a career in the area. Below are some details about some of the more popular metropolitan areas in Oregon, with the data sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Fun Facts

Known as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the country, it also has an extensive park system of more than 200 parks, making it a walker's and biker's town. Two rivers run through the city, the Willamette River and the Columbia River, with the Willamette River dividing Portland into its East and West sections. Every year, there also is a Portland Marathon. Finishers receive seedlings and have been responsible for planting more than 110,000 trees over the years.

Eugene, OR Metro Area

Total Population

357,060

Median salary for high school grads

$26,251

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$34,074

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

41.8%

Median rent

$866

Fun Facts

For people living in Eugene, the average time to get to work takes 17.7 minutes. The city is also consistently ranked among the most bicycle friendly. And keeping in line with the green attitude found in Oregon, the city has banned plastic bags since 2013. Eugene is a favorite place for runners, with the largest running trail system in the nation. Six miles of the run is dubbed "Pre's Trail," after Oregonian Olympian Steve Prefontaine.

 
Article Sources

Sources:

  1. About Oregon's Industry Clusters, Oregon Business Plan, http://www.oregonbusinessplan.org/industry-clusters/about-oregons-industry-clusters/
  2. About Salem, City of Salem, http://www.cityofsalem.net/About%20Salem/Pages/default.aspx
  3. Accreditation, University of Oregon, http://accreditation.uoregon.edu/
  4. Directory of Institutions, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, http://www.nwccu.org/Directory%20of%20Inst/Directory%20of%20Institutions.htm
  5. Distance Education, Portland Community College, http://www.pcc.edu/about/distance/students/degrees-certificates/
  6. Ecampus courses, Oregon State University-Cascades, http://osucascades.edu/ecampus-courses
  7. Economy at a Glance, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/eag/
  8. Eugene, Cascades and Coast, Travel Lane County, https://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/media/lane-county-facts/
  9. Eugene, Oregon, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_21660.htm#00-0000
  10. Fulfilling the Promise? Early Findings on Oregon’s New College Grant Program, https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/oregon-promise-early-findings.pdf
  11. Fun Facts about the Portland Marathon, Portland Marathon, https://www.portlandmarathon.org/images/general_press_kit/PM%20Fun%20Facts.pdf
  12. Governor Kate Brown Calls for Restraint in Tuition Increases at Oregon's Public Universities, http://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=1977
  13. Johannes de Gruyter, Executive Director, Office of Academic Innovation, Portland State University, interviewed by author via email 4/23/2015.
  14. Lane Community College, http://www.lanecc.edu/laneonline/courses-and-degrees
  15. National Center for Education Statistics, nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator
  16. Online Degrees and Programs, Oregon Tech Online, http://www.oit.edu/online/degrees
  17. Online Degree Search, Portland State University Online, https://www.pdx.edu/psu-online/online-degree-search?degree-type=All&topic=All&page=1
  18. Online/Hybrid Classes, Columbia Gorge Community College, https://www.cgcc.edu/online
  19. Online Programs, Eastern Oregon University, https://www.eou.edu/online/
  20. Oregon Institute of Technology, http://www.oit.edu/online/degrees
  21. Overview of Online Courses at SOU, Southern Oregon University, https://inside.sou.edu/distanceeducation/students/distance-ed.html
  22. Portland City, Oregon, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/4159000
  23. Portland Community College, http://www.pcc.edu/about/distance/students/degrees-certificates/
  24. Portland Neighborhood Guides, Portland Bridges, http://www.portlandbridges.com/portland-neighborhoods/01-random-facts-and-trivia.html
  25. Portland State University, http://www.pdx.edu/psuonline/home
  26. QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045216/00
  27. Southern Oregon University, http://www.sou.edu/distanceeducation/programs.html
  28. Welcome to Distance Education, Klamath Community College, https://www.klamathcc.edu/Academics/Distance
  29. Welcome to RCC, Rogue Community College, http://www.roguecc.edu/Schedule/?returnUrl=/webapps/portal/execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_1_1&tabId=_1_1&forwardUrl=index.jsp
  30. Western Oregon University, http://www.wou.edu/provost/extprogram/students/onlineprograms.php
  31. OSAC - Get Financial Aid, Accessed April 2017, https://oregonstudentaid.gov/financial-aid.aspx
  32. OSAC - Plan & Pay for College, Accessed April 2017, https://oregonstudentaid.gov/plan-and-pay-for-college.aspx
X
Article Sources