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    Online Medical Assistant Programs: Most Affordable

    Explore low-cost, accredited online programs that can help you become a certified medical assistant for less.

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    Most Affordable

    Online medical assistant programs offer a flexible way for students to enter a thriving field. With a 19% projected growth rate, work for skilled medical assistants outpaces other healthcare support occupations. Earning your certificate, diploma, or degree from an affordable program helps you take full advantage of those trends, reducing expenses so you can graduate with less debt and focus on your career.

    Designed as a starting place for aspiring professionals looking for budget-friendly options, this page ranks the most affordable online medical assistant programs for 2024. You’ll also find additional tips throughout on how to further cut costs for your medical assistant program.

    Most Affordable Online Medical Assistant Programs in 2024

    While many considerations go into choosing a school, affordability is often the deciding factor. With that in mind, we developed the following ranking of the most affordable online medical assistant programs found at community colleges and universities using the latest data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System). See “About the Ranking” below for more details on our rankings methodology.

    or
    About the ranking

    X

    Base Methodology for EduMed’s Most Affordable Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

    One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

    Two: Assign Weighting

    After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

    The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

    Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

    Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

    Following metrics were all equally weighted.

    Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

    Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

    Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    Student/Faculty Ratio

    About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

    #School NameTypeTuitionInstitutional AidMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
    1Rasmussen University-WisconsinGreen Bay, WIPrivate for-profit$$45%

    The ABHES-accredited Medical Assisting Diploma program from Rasmussen University balances the flexibility of online coursework with the face-to-face learning of a clinical externship. This externship lets students gain real-world experience by observing medical assistants working at a physician’s office or other medical provider. At the end of the program, students will be ready to take the necessary exams to become a certified medical assistant. The exam fees are included in the total program costs. Depending on the student’s location, they may also be eligible to receive one or more certifications through the American Medical Technologists Association.

    Program Highlights:

    Medical Assisting Diploma

    • Credits: 51
    • Length: About 1-2 years
    • Cost: $329.00/credit
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: ABHES
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    96%
    2Herzing University-KenoshaKenosha, WIPrivate not-for-profit$$51%

    Herzing University offers two pathways to become a medical assistant. First, there’s the diploma track, which takes about 10 months to complete and consists of 24 credits. Second, there’s the associate degree track that takes 20 months to complete and consists of 60 credits. No matter which track a student takes, the bulk of their coursework will be available online, with virtual tutoring, academic advising, library, and technical support services readily available. In addition to these online courses, students must also complete in-person clinical labs and an externship.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate Degree in Medical Assisting

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: About 20 months
    • Cost: $464.00/credit
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: HLC
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    79%
    3Spokane Community CollegeSpokane, WAPublic$7%

    Students interested in attending Spokane Community College to become medical assistants can choose between the certificate and associate degree path. Both are hybrid programs with online classroom education and hands-on training through an externship that occurs during the final term in the program. The certificate program can be completed in about one year while the associate degree program takes closer to two years to complete. One thing to note about either program is that they both have programmatic accreditation and use the quarter system.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate in Applied Science – Medical Assistant

    • Credits: 114
    • Length: About 2 years
    • Cost: $125.58/credit (resident) and $177.91/credit (non-resident)
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: CAAHEP
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    50%
    4University of ProvidenceGreat Falls, MTPrivate not-for-profit$$$$94%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    100%
    5Keiser University-Ft LauderdaleFort Lauderdale, FLPrivate not-for-profit$$$$78%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    50%
    6American National University-PikevillePikeville, KYPrivate for-profit$$N/AAcademic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    100%
    7Remington College-KnoxvilleKnoxville, TNPrivate not-for-profit$$$37%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    95%
    8Purdue University GlobalWest Lafayette, INPublic$7%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    100%
    9American National UniversitySalem, VAPrivate for-profit$$5%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    100%
    10Hussian College-Daymar College ClarksvilleClarksville, TNPrivate for-profit$$$44%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    99%
    or
    About the ranking

    X

    Base Methodology for EduMed’s Most Affordable Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

    One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

    Two: Assign Weighting

    After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

    The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

    Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

    Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

    Following metrics were all equally weighted.

    Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

    Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

    Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    Student/Faculty Ratio

    About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

    #School NameTypeTuitionInstitutional AidMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
    1Highland Community CollegeHighland, KSPublic$66%

    Highland Community College's Medical Assisting certificate program trains students to handle both front and back office tasks. Many of the classes are online, but there are several in-person curriculum requirements that include externships and a work experience. After program completion, students are prepared to pass the Registered Medical Assistant exam. They can also complete an additional year of coursework after earning this certificate to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

    Program Highlights:

    Medical Assistance Certificate

    • Credits: 37
    • Length: 1 year
    • Cost: $76 per credit
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    52%
    2Bossier Parish Community CollegeBossier City, LAPublic$49%

    Bossier Parish Community College's Medical Assistant program allows students to take some basic courses online, but many are taught on campus and at offsite locations. Towards the end of the program, for instance, students can complete a practicum that takes place at a healthcare provider to help them apply their clinical and administrative skills for eight hours a day, three to five days per week. This practicum lasts two to three months.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate of Applied Science -- Medical Assistant

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: About 2 years
    • Cost: $138.96 per credit
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    4
    Online
    Student %
    76%
    3Central Community CollegeGrand Island, NEPublic$48%

    Central Community College's Medical Assisting program provides students with an Associate of Applied Science degree and training to handle clinical and administrative tasks for healthcare providers. Some classes are available online for convenient learning, and students must complete a practicum where they apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world physician's office or healthcare provider. After completing the program, students are ready to take the American Association of Medical Assistants certification exam.

    Program Highlights:

    Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: About 2 years
    • Cost: $96 per credit (resident) and $144 per credit (non-resident)
    • Mode: Partially online
    • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
    Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    72%
    4Panola CollegeCarthage, TXPublic$41%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    72%
    5Cerritos CollegeNorwalk, CAPublic$33%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    78%
    6James A. Rhodes State CollegeLima, OHPublic$34%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    3
    Online
    Student %
    35%
    7Lakeshore Technical CollegeCleveland, WIPublic$39%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    66%
    8Southwest Wisconsin Technical CollegeFennimore, WIPublic$41%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    35%
    9Western Texas CollegeSnyder, TXPublic$34%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    26%
    10Somerset Community CollegeSomerset, KYPublic$34%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    65%
    11Northwood Technical CollegeShell Lake, WIPublic$25%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    73%
    12Missouri State University-West PlainsWest Plains, MOPublic$25%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    62%
    13Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell CampusRoswell, NMPublic$5%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    2
    Online
    Student %
    71%
    14Lake Area Technical CollegeWatertown, SDPublic$25%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    44%
    15Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical CollegeCumberland, KYPublic$22%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    50%
    16South Piedmont Community CollegePolkton, NCPublic$N/AAcademic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    76%
    17Southwestern Community CollegeSylva, NCPublic$3%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    62%
    18Cerro Coso Community CollegeRidgecrest, CAPublic$N/AAcademic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    80%
    19Northeast Wisconsin Technical CollegeGreen Bay, WIPublic$14%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    41%
    20Mt Hood Community CollegeGresham, ORPublic$17%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    40%
    21Oklahoma City Community CollegeOklahoma City, OKPublic$8%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    6%
    22West Virginia Junior College-MorgantownMorgantown, WVPrivate for-profit$$36%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    81%
    23ETI Technical CollegeNiles, OHPrivate for-profit$$25%Academic
    Counseling
    Yes
    Career
    Placement
    Yes
    Online
    Programs
    1
    Online
    Student %
    2%

    What Makes an Online Medical Assistant Program Affordable?

    Tuition varies widely among schools with a few key factors impacting the overall cost of your education. Use the affordability considerations detailed below to help you make a smart, well-informed decision that meets your needs without hurting your wallet.

    How much financial aid you can get for your online medical assistant program

    Financial aid from schools, government programs, and other outlets can significantly reduce education costs. Prospective students should complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal aid. Most schools with medical assistant programs also offer financial aid as do organizations like the American Association of Medical Assistants.

    If the online medical assistant program has a class schedule that allows you to work while you study

    Working while you study can be challenging, but it does offer distinct benefits. Receiving a steady income throughout your studies not only provides extra stability but also gives you more resources to cover costs. Specifics vary, but many medical assisting programs with online formats allow for flexibility on this, especially if you already work in the healthcare industry.

    If the college is private or public

    If you want to complete your medical assisting studies at a private school, plan to spend more on tuition. With few exceptions, public colleges and universities offer cheaper rates than private institutions, especially if you are an in-state resident, since private schools largely rely on tuition and outside donations for financial support.

    How much of the medical assistant program coursework is offered online

    Hidden travel and commuting expenses impact the overall cost. Virtually all online medical assisting programs involve at least one in-person component—usually a hands-on externship or clinical placement—but some may require more (e.g., meetups, skill labs, orientation sessions, etc.). Put those requirements into financial perspective to help inform your decision.

    How much the college charges for you to apply

    Some schools require a non-refundable application processing fee that costs $30-50 depending on the school. A single application may not cost much, but they add up if you apply to more than one program. Avoid that expense by prioritizing schools that either waive fees or don’t charge them at all.

    What software and other equipment the school covers

    Skilled medical assistants need the technical knowledge necessary to use advanced software packages and manipulate sensitive medical instruments. Some schools provide those tools for you or include them with tuition. Other programs expect students to cover those expenses, a hidden cost that could raise your final price tag.

    How to Lower the Cost of Your Online Medical Assistant Degree


    Expenses can add up even for the most affordable online medical assisting programs. Fortunately, there are a few ways to lower the cost. Here are a few budget-friendly tips to help lessen the burden.

    1. Search for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid designed specifically for medical assistant students.

    Need or merit-based awards like scholarships and grants can go a long way, especially because they’re free and don’t need repaid, unlike student loans. Many medical assisting schools automatically place you in contention for financial aid when you apply, and some also connect incoming students with outside funding. See our guide to online medical assisting programs with financial aid for more information.

    1. Maximize student discounts

    Individual student discounts may seem insignificant at first, but they do save you money and accumulate over time. For example, if you need to travel for school, companies like Kayak offer discounts for healthcare workers, applicable to rental cars, hotel reservations, and airfare. Our page on student discounts provides more detail and lists 50 different ways you can save.

    1. Utilize payment plans

    Medical assisting programs often extend options for students who want to spread out their tuition expenses over time. For example, several schools included the ranking above partner with third-party providers to offer accommodating payment plans with reduced interest. Those plans aren’t always explicitly advertised, so it’s worth contacting financial aid offices to discuss your options.