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Explore the Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Explore low-cost, high-quality online NP programs and learn other ways to save on your nursing grad degree.

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A female doctor with long brown hair, wearing a white coat and a stethoscope, smiles at a male patient, partially visible, during a consultation in an affordable, bright, modern office.

Finding a top-quality, accredited nurse practitioner program at an affordable price is one of the most important things you can do as a prospective student. Reducing costs helps you limit student debt once you graduate, allowing you to focus on what matters most: providing the best treatment and care to patients.

This guide identifies top online MSN and DNP nurse practitioner programs, using affordability as a key benchmark. It looks at what these programs offer, including how they can help you lower expenses, and details how each program works in terms of flexibility and online learning. You’ll also find helpful tips and resources for lowering costs even more and determining school affordability.

Ranking of the Most Affordable Online NP Programs

While every student weighs different factors when selecting a nursing school, overall cost tops the list for many. We created the ranking below with those concerns in mind, using a combination of quality and affordability metrics from the latest Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data. See “About the Ranking” for more information on method and metrics.

Find out which online nurse practitioner programs rise to the top and learn how they can help you advance your career without breaking the bank.

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About the ranking

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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.

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 Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 New Mexico State University-Main CampusLas Cruces, NM Public $ 1

New Mexico State University's nursing program offers several Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks that result in students becoming nurse practitioners. First, there's the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration that requires 70-74 credits to complete. Second, there's the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration that takes 72-74 credits to complete. Both concentrations include mostly online didactic training, although there are several in-person practicums that total more than 1,000 contact hours. These are necessary to provide students with hands-on training.

Program Highlights:

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Credits: 70-74
  • Length: About 3 years
  • Cost: $444.40/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
76%
2 Arkansas State UniversityJonesboro, AK Public $ 1

Students interested in earning a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Arkansas State University can choose from several specializations, including Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. Because most students will be practicing nurses, almost all of the required courses are available online. The primary in-person academic requirement in this program is to complete several practicum courses where students receive hands-on training. Upon graduation, students will be ready to take the appropriate national certification exams.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 41.5
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $14,110 total
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: ACEN
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
69%
3 The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $ 1

The Family Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing program from the University of West Florida is set up for full-time students and prepares them to pass the ANCC and AANP nurse practitioner national exams. Students will take six credit hours each semester which allows for faster completion while still giving students time to work while in school. Another way students can save time in school is to transfer up to nine credits to the MSN program. To make learning as flexible as possible, all didactic courses are online, with students completing in-person learning requirements through their practicums.

Program Highlights:

MSN -- Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: 27-30 months
  • Cost: $500.00/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
88%
4 Angelo State UniversitySan Angelo, TX Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
49%
5 Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OH Public $$ 4 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
78%
6 Midwestern State UniversityWichita Falls, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
65%
7 Montana State UniversityBozeman, MT Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
21%
8 University of Central MissouriWarrensburg, MO Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
50%
9 Radford UniversityRadford, VA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
70%
10 Marshall UniversityHuntington, WV Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
48%
11 Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZ Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
55%
12 University of ArizonaTucson, AZ Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
56%
13 Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmond, KY Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
72%
14 Weber State UniversityOgden, UT Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
48%
15 Youngstown State UniversityYoungstown, OH Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
56%
16 The University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaChattanooga, TN Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
68%
17 Texas A & M International UniversityLaredo, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
61%
18 University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCincinnati, OH Public $$ 3 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
65%
19 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $ 4 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
63%
20 University of MemphisMemphis, TN Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
58%
21 South Dakota State UniversityBrookings, SD Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
50%
22 Morehead State UniversityMorehead, KY Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
57%
23 Northern Michigan UniversityMarquette, MI Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
41%
24 Delta State UniversityCleveland, MS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
10/1
Online
Student %
68%
25 San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco, CA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
Online
Student %
94%
26 Winona State UniversityWinona, MN Public $ 4 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
56%
27 SUNY BrockportBrockport, NY Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
50%
28 University of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayette, LA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
44%
29 East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
74%
30 University of IowaIowa City, IA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
54%
31 The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington, TX Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
24/1
Online
Student %
63%
32 Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
60%
33 The University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
Online
Student %
63%
34 Southeastern Louisiana UniversityHammond, LA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
38%
35 Husson UniversityBangor, ME Private not-for-profit $$$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
69%
36 Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids, MI Private not-for-profit $$$$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
81%
37 Texas A & M University-College StationCollege Station, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
39%
38 The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleKnoxville, TN Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
46%
39 Clarkson CollegeOmaha, NE Private not-for-profit $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
95%
40 Colorado Mesa UniversityGrand Junction, CO Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
44%
41 Columbus State UniversityColumbus, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
70%
42 Maryville University of Saint LouisSaint Louis, MO Private not-for-profit $$$$ 5 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
84%
43 University of Massachusetts GlobalIrvine, CA Private not-for-profit $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
22/1
Online
Student %
99%
44 Presentation CollegeAberdeen, SD Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
Online
Student %
70%
45 South CollegeKnoxville, TN Private for-profit $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
Online
Student %
71%
46 Harding UniversitySearcy, AK Private not-for-profit $$$$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
30%
47 Herzing University-KenoshaKenosha, WI Private not-for-profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
79%
48 Herzing University-AtlantaAtlanta, GA Private not-for-profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
90%
49 Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbock, TX Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
7/1
Online
Student %
64%

What Makes an Online Nurse Practitioner Program Affordable?

Several factors impact tuition rates and the overall cost of your online nursing program. Here are a few things to look out for as you weigh the bottom line, consider the potential expenses, and prepare to finance your degree.

How much financial aid you can secure for your online nurse practitioner program

Securing reliable financial aid is the easiest and most effective way to cut costs. Most programs offer at least a few opportunities, with some schools offering more aid than others–including awards specifically for nurse practitioner students. You can also determine your eligibility for federal aid by completing the FAFSA.

If the NP program has a class schedule that allows you to continue working

This won’t reduce your tuition rate, but it puts you in a good position to cover the expenses. Some programs discourage outside work during school, while others allow it or even integrate it into the clinical fieldwork component. Either way, the ability to continue working while you study not only helps you advance your career, but it also provides additional financial support.

If your NP program is offered by a private or public college

The general rule of thumb here is that private institutions cost more than state schools. This is true for virtually all disciplines, including nursing. Private schools do not receive state subsidies the way public colleges and universities do. Instead, they rely on tuition and donations to support their operations.

Whether you live in-state or-out-of-state

Attending a public college or university may not automatically guarantee cheaper tuition. Each institution follows a different approach, but keep in mind that many public schools charge higher rates if you live out of state–even if you plan to complete an online program. If you live in state, however, you could benefit from lower tuition.

How much of the NP program coursework is offered online

If you attend a program that requires significant in-person learning components you’ll need to consider the costs associated with travel. For example, commuting to and from campus for class, meetups, and other mandatory functions creates an additional expense that may not be reflected in the tuition figures alone.

How expensive application fees are

Some schools waive application fees, but this is not a universal feature of most online nurse practitioner programs. Application and processing fees aren’t too expensive – usually around $50 each – but they can add up, especially if you plan to apply to more than one program at a time.

How to Lower the Cost of Your Online Nurse Practitioner Degree

What else can you do to help make your nurse practitioner degree more affordable? Consider the following tips as you work to defray the costs and take full advantage of incentives, discounts, and other opportunities.

  1. Search for scholarships and grants designed specifically for NP students

There are quite a few scholarship and grant opportunities that go beyond the scope of federal or school-based aid. Outside scholarships for nurse practitioner students are a great way to help reduce expenses. Some scholarships only apply to tuition, but others can help you pay for things like books, travel, and other study materials. Organizations like the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners offer scholarships to new and returning students.

  1. Take advantage of student discounts

Small discounts may not seem like much, but they add up. Companies like Apple and The North Face offer regular student discounts on their products, as do Verizon, AT&T, and other internet providers (a key consideration for online students). See our handy guide to discounts and incentives for nursing students for more tips and ideas.

  1. Ask about tuition reimbursement

If you’re pursuing a nurse practitioner degree, odds are you’ve already launched a healthcare career and built a few key relationships. Those built-in networks can also help you lower costs. Many hospitals and other facilities have tuition reimbursement opportunities. It’s worth checking with your employer to see what they offer or even switching employers if you can get substantial help with tuition. Read the fine print to make sure you know how long you must be employed to take advantage of these benefits. At the federal level, you can also participate in the nursing education loan repayment program.