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Most Affordable Online MSN Programs for 2024

Explore affordable online MSN programs from top schools that can help you take the next leap in your nursing career for less.

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WRITTEN BY: Kenya McCullum
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

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If you’re a nurse who wants to advance your career—whether you want to take a supervisory role at a healthcare facility, become an educator, or provide advanced care as a nurse practitioner—you can get the training you need while continuing to work through one of many quality online MSN programs. Finding ways to keep costs low is important, so before you choose a program, you’ll want to review this roundup of the 50 most affordable MSN programs, as well as tips on other ways to save money on your nursing grad education.

50 Most Affordable Online MSN Programs in 2024

Although you’ll want to consider many factors when choosing an MSN program—such as accreditation, specializations, and the experience of faculty members—there’s no denying that affordability is one of the most important. To help you choose a school that has been vetted for its quality and affordability, we compiled the following list of online nursing master’s degree programs using the latest data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System). For more information about how these rankings were calculated, click on the “About the ranking” button.

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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 Georgia College & State UniversityMilledgeville, GA Public $ 2

Georgia College and State University's online Master of Science degree program is a primarily online program with in-person clinicals that must be completed in Georgia at an approved location. Another in-person requirement students must complete is the occasional campus visit for labs and other interactive learning requirements. However, the bulk of the courses can be completed online and in the following specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, and Nurse Midwifery.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 38-45
  • Length: Up to 7 years
  • Cost: $294.00/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
92%
2 Denver College of NursingDenver, CO Private for-profit $ 1

The Master of Science in Nursing at Denver College of Nursing is available for RNs who want to further their knowledge and mastery of the art and science of nursing. After graduation, they can seek careers as nurse leaders and in education. The curriculum includes advanced health assessment, leadership, teaching strategies, curricular development and planning, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and evidence-based nursing. The program is fully online. You must have an unencumbered state RN license in your home state to qualify.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 56
  • Length: 15-18 months
  • Cost: $15,137 program
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
100%
3 Tarleton State UniversityStephenville, TX Public $ 2

The Master of Science in Nursing program curriculum at Tarleton State University is offered in an accelerated track allowing students to take two courses every eight weeks and graduate in about one year. Those who want a less intense course load can instead take one class every eight weeks and graduate in two years. Both tracks can be completed mostly online, with two practicums required. Students can also choose between the Nursing Education and Nursing Administration specializations and between a final project that consists of a thesis or a capstone course.

Program Highlights:

MSN in Nursing Administration

  • Credits: 36-39
  • Length: 12 or 24 months
  • Cost:$241.90/credit (resident) and $661.90/credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
97%
4 Rasmussen University-WisconsinGreen Bay, WI Private for-profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
12/1
Online
Student %
100%
5 Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA Private not-for-profit $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
97%
6 Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
94%
7 Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
88%
8 University of Southern MainePortland, ME Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
73%
9 University of North Carolina at PembrokePembroke, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
93%
10 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
96%
11 West Texas A & M UniversityCanyon, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
100%
12 Arkansas State UniversityJonesboro, AK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
83%
13 Southwestern Oklahoma State UniversityWeatherford, OK Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
66%
14 Eastern New Mexico University-Main CampusPortales, NM Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
93%
15 Albany State UniversityAlbany, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
Online
Student %
90%
16 University of West GeorgiaCarrollton, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
92%
17 Saint Joseph’s College of MaineStandish, ME Private not-for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
8/1
Online
Student %
100%
18 Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbock, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
7/1
Online
Student %
58%
19 Midway UniversityMidway, KY Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
100%
20 University of North GeorgiaDahlonega, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
80%
21 Clayton State UniversityMorrow, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
97%
22 Texas A & M International UniversityLaredo, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
Online
Student %
82%
23 University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences CenterOklahoma City, OK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
8/1
Online
Student %
45%
24 Northwestern State University of LouisianaNatchitoches, LA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
97%
25 Texas Woman’s UniversityDenton, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
82%
26 Louisiana CollegePineville, LA Private not-for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
Online
Student %
82%
27 University of North AlabamaFlorence, AL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
94%
28 Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
63%
29 Grantham UniversityLenexa, KS Private for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
25/1
Online
Student %
100%
30 Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
94%
31 Arkansas Tech UniversityRussellville, AK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
83%
32 New Mexico State University-Main CampusLas Cruces, NM Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
63%
33 East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
73%
34 Stevenson UniversityStevenson, MD Private not-for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
97%
35 Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OH Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
66%
36 Columbus State UniversityColumbus, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
77%
37 Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
66%
38 The University of Texas at TylerTyler, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
80%
39 Wilmington UniversityNew Castle, DE Private not-for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
12/1
Online
Student %
87%
40 University of St FrancisJoliet, IL Private not-for-profit $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
85%
41 Pittsburg State UniversityPittsburg, KS Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
75%
42 Nicholls State UniversityThibodaux, LA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
67%
43 Wheeling UniversityWheeling, WV Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
12/1
Online
Student %
93%
44 Auburn University at MontgomeryMontgomery, AL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
81%
45 Idaho State UniversityPocatello, ID Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
79%
46 Wilson CollegeChambersburg, PA Private not-for-profit $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
88%
47 Winona State UniversityWinona, MN Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
87%
48 University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
62%
49 West Coast University-DallasDallas, TX Private for-profit $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
100%
50 McNeese State UniversityLake Charles, LA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
74%

What Makes an Online MSN Program Affordable?

An MSN program’s affordability is based on multiple factors. This section explores some of the variables that may affect the bottom-line cost of your MSN degree.

How much financial aid you can secure for your online MSN program

The amount of financial aid you get depends on several factors, such as if your school provides scholarships to nursing students and if your income level makes you eligible for certain grants. You may be able to receive financial aid from the federal and state government, as well as from your school and professional nursing organizations that want to help nurture people in the field.

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

Many online MSN programs offer courses on an asynchronous basis, meaning you can access the classwork at your convenience. In addition schools may also have short semesters, allowing you to finish classes in weeks instead of months. These programs are made with busy nurses in mind, so you can continue making a living as you earn your degree.

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

Attending a nursing school in-state or out-of-state can have a huge impact on your tuition bill. In fact, in-state tuition can range from $100 to $200 per credit hour depending on the school you attend, while out-of-state tuition can cost around $400 per credit.

How much of the MSN program coursework is offered online

The amount of MSN program coursework offered online depends on the school you attend. In many cases, you can take your entire curriculum online, except for any required practicum to get hands-on training. Some schools may expect you to travel to campus occasionally for laboratory work or special classes, but you’ll save money by not going to campus regularly.

How much it costs to apply

The cost of application fees may not be something you consider as you’re applying to MSN programs, but if you’re interested in several schools those fees can definitely add up. The fee to apply varies depending on the school, but generally you can expect to pay $25 to $100 per application.

If the nursing grad school is private or public

Choosing a private or public nursing school for your graduate studies can also make a huge difference in your tuition rates. Although it varies from one school to the next, in-state tuition costs at public institutions can be half the amount you’d pay at a private college or university.

How to Lower the Cost of Your Online MSN Degree

Public or private, in state or out of state—no matter which online nursing master’s degree program you choose, you’ll still have opportunities to save money on your tuition. Consider these three options for lowering the cost of your online MSN degree.

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

Be sure to look for scholarships and grants that are specifically designed for nursing students, including funding from federal and state programs, school scholarships, and organizations that cater to the nursing industry. To find out what your options are, review our scholarships for nurse practitioner students and scholarships for nursing students pages for information on the different types of scholarships that are available.

  1. Find out if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program.

You may work at a facility that invests in its employees by offering tuition reimbursement. Employers like Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and Texas Health Resources all have tuition reimbursement programs, so it’s worthwhile to find out if your employer offers this benefit.

  1. Explore student discounts.

From education costs to supplies, students can find various ways to save through discounts. For example, local medical supply stores may offer student discounts for scrubs and equipment. To find out more information about sources to help you save money, visit our nursing student discounts page.