Top 5 Affordable Associate’s in Computer Science Online 2020

Most Affordable ProgramsComputer science is one of the most in-demand majors worldwide. Whether you’re planning to complete your online associate’s in computer science and jump right into your career, or transfer to a four-year program and complete your bachelor’s, an online associate’s degree is a cheap, convenient way to get started in computing. We decided to feature the most affordable online associate degrees in computer science in the following ranking. Schools included in our ranking include:

  • South Texas College
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • Blinn College
  • Lake Superior State University

Our methodology was simple. The schools are ranked based on which programs featured the lowest annual tuition according to College Navigator.

#1.South Texas College

Online Associate’s in Computer Science

South Texas College-Most Affordable Computer Science Associate's Degrees

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South Texas College’s affordable online associate’s in computer science degree is designed specifically for students who plan to earn a bachelor’s in the subject, though it is still plenty suitable for those who wish to secure entry level positions in the field. Students will take courses like programming fundamentals I, II, & III, computer organization, C programming, calculus, and introduction to logic.

  • Tuition: $4,560

#2. Ivy Tech Community College

Online Associate’s in Computer Science

Ivy Tech-Most Affordable Computer Science Associate's Degrees

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Ivy Tech Community College’s “transfer as a junior” program is designed to ensure a smooth transition to a four-year college for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in computer science. The affordable online associate’s in computer science at Ivy Tech includes courses like software development using Java, software development using Visual Basic in the .NET Framework, and systems/software analysis and projects.

  • Tuition: $4,947

#3. North Hennepin Community College

Online Associate’s in Computer Science

North Hennepin-Most Affordable Computer Science Associate's Degrees

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North Hennepin offers certificates in addition to their affordable online computer science associate’s degree. These certificates include application programming, game programming, internet programming, .NET programming, object-oriented programming, and web graphic design programming and e-commerce. The computer science AS is designed to enable a smooth transition to a four-year undergraduate program.

  • Tuition: $5,850

#4. Blinn College

Online Associate’s in Computer Science

Blinn College-Most Affordable Computer Science Associate's Degrees

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Blinn College’s computer science associate’s degree online is a total of 60 credits. Courses include business and professional communication, programming fundamentals I, II, & III, computer organization, Calculus I, federal government, Texas government, and electives in language, philosophy, or culture, social/behavioral sciences, and life and physical sciences.

  • Tuition: $8,160

#5. Lake Superior State University

Online Associate’s in Computer Science

LSSU-Most Affordable Computer Science Associate's Degrees

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The sophomore projects course in the affordable online computer science associate’s degree at LSSU gives students the chance to analyze and solve an actual problem for a real-world client. Other courses offered in this program include computer organization and architecture, intro to computer programming, principles of programming, data structures and algorithms, and database applications.

  • Tuition: $11,640

FAQ

What jobs are available to me with an online computer science associate’s degree?

Well, most jobs in the field require a bachelor’s. This is due to the advanced mathematics required for high level programming and software development. Students with an online associate’s computer science may be able to find work as IT technicians, network administrators, and other jobs in the field. Your best bet for getting the computer science job you want is to earn your bachelor’s degree once you complete your associate’s online.

So why not skip the associate’s in computer science online and go straight to a four-year school and a bachelor’s program?

Many reasons. First, if you’re unsure whether or not computer science is for you, earning your associate’s will give you a taste of what the job entails without making as large a financial commitment. Second, even if you’re sure computer science is what you want to do, community college will allow you to save significant money in your first two years of college, as it often ends up being nearly free after you get the federal grants available through FAFSA.

Isn’t community college worse than four-year university?

Community college serves a different purpose than four-year university. It’s designed to be accessible and provide students with good education in 2-year programs for careers that don’t require a 4-year degree. It also provides students with a way to earn the first two years of their degree at a drastically lower cost than four-year college. If you didn’t do as well as you would have liked in high school, community college is a chance to fix that. Earning great grades in community college can help to put you back on the right track and make you eligible for all kinds of scholarships and financial aid. It’s also easier to transfer to many states’ flagship public universities with a strong community college performance than it is straight out of high school. This is by design as states would often rather students complete their first two years at community college as it takes some of the load off their largest universities. And if you transfer to a four-year university, then the degree you earn in the end will be from that university, so if you’re planning on earning a four-year degree, there are really no drawbacks.

Under what circumstances should I not go to community college for an online computer science associate’s degree?

If you have the ability to get into a top U.S. private university, most of them have incredibly strong financial aid packages and aren’t as friendly to community college transfers as many state universities. If you’re looking at ivy-league schools and their competitors, you’re probably better off skipping community college. Otherwise, community college really is one of the best ways to complete the first two years of your degree.

OAD Staff
September 2019

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This has been a ranking of the most affordable online associate’s in computer science degree programs for 2020.