most affordable cybersecurity degrees 2024
most affordable cybersecurity degrees 2024
A guide to the most affordable online cybersecurity degrees in the U.S.

Cyber attacks are escalating in frequency and sophistication, driving an unprecedented need for skilled and qualified professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 32% job growth for cybersecurity specialists over the next decade - more than ten times the 3% rate for all occupations.

Earning a reputable online degree in cybersecurity is one of the most affordable and accessible ways to enter this fast-growing field.

This guide will identify the top five affordable online cybersecurity degrees for 2024. We’ll also provide insights into costs and funding, degree types, accreditation, career prospects, and the pros and cons of pursuing a cybersecurity degree online.

What makes our affordability rankings valuable?

Most online degree rankings rely primarily on the National Center for Education Statistics, measuring school-wide rates for graduation, net price, loan defaults, etc. The NCES has good data, and we use it too, but we go beyond the institutional stats to analyze the workforce relevance of the skills and credentials you’ll gain, actual tuition fees, and cost-saving accelerated learning options for each program.

The Most Affordable Cybersecurity Degrees Online
School Program Tuition
University of the Potomac B.S. Cybersecurity and Policy $28,800
Western Governors University B.S. Cybersecurity & Information Assurance $36,920
Southern New Hampshire University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity $39,600
American Military University Online B.S. in Cybersecurity $42,000
Colorado State University Global Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity $42,000

How to Fund an Online Cybersecurity Degree

In addition to choosing an affordable online cybersecurity degree, there are many ways to get financial assistance for accredited programs, including scholarships, state and federal grants, work-study programs, student loans, and military funding. Here’s a closer look at these popular aid options:


Scholarships are financial awards based on merit, qualifications, or specific talents that don’t require repayment. Many institutions offer targeted scholarships for affordable cybersecurity degrees to support skill development in this vital field.

State & Federal Grants

Similar to scholarships, grants are essentially free money for college but are usually need-based. Federal programs like the Pell Grant are available to students demonstrating financial need and do not have to be repaid, making them excellent funding for an online cybersecurity degree for eligible students.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs provide part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to earn money to help pay for their cybersecurity education. Work-study positions are often related to the student's course of study and offer flexible scheduling around class times.

Student Loans

Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Federal student loans usually offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment plans than private loans, making them preferable for many students. However, it's important to borrow only what you need and carefully consider the long-term consequences of student debt.

U.S. Military Funding

Available to military personnel, veterans, and their families, this includes programs like the GI Bill, which covers tuition and fees for higher education, provides a housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies.

Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP)

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the CySP is designed to recruit and retain top cyber talent for the DoD and enhance the nation's cybersecurity. The CySP provides scholarships for students pursuing cybersecurity degrees at approved institutions.

The Most Affordable Online Cybersecurity Degrees in the U.S.

We chose this year’s top affordable online cybersecurity degrees based on numerous factors, including tuition price, availability of cost-saving accelerated learning plans, funding options, curriculum relevance, school reputation, and overall value.

Here are the most affordable online cybersecurity degrees in 2024:

1. University of the Potomac

University of the Potomac’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity & Policy is the most affordable online cybersecurity degree for 2024. This online bachelor’s program features industry-relevant coursework in network security, cybersecurity planning and design, and cyber law, preparing students to combat cybercrime in all its forms.

To make degrees more affordable for U.S. residents, in 2017, the University of the Potomac reduced domestic tuition costs for all of its associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs by more than 37% - a laudable move in the face of escalating higher education costs.

  • Format: Online or Campus (Washington D.C. and Virginia)
  • Tuition Cost: $28,800 (120 credits @ $240 per credit)
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

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2. Western Governors University

WGU’s Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance is not only wallet-friendly at $4,615 per term, but its accelerated study options let motivated students graduate in as little as four terms (or 2 years), which can greatly reduce the cost of the program.

Beyond being one of this year’s most affordable cybersecurity degrees online, this program features highly relevant coursework and prepares students for IT, business, and cybersecurity certifications from leading vendors like CompTIA, (ISC)2, Axelos, and the Linux Professional Institute.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $36,920 (8 six-month terms @ $4,615 per term)
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

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3. Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU’s Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity covers advanced network security, popular info-sec tools like Snort, Metasploit, and Kali Linux, Python programming, hands-on training in Microsoft and Cisco technologies, and marketable concentration options in data analytics or project management. SNHU has also has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the NSA, further increasing the value of this degree.

In addition to its inexpensive tuition, students can take advantage of SNHU’s generous transfer policy and bring up to 90 credits from previous degrees and certifications to make its online cybersecurity program even more affordable.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $39,600 (120 credits @ $330 per credit)
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

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4. American Military University

In the Online B.S. in Cybersecurity at AMU, students learn from seasoned professionals how to design, deploy, and evaluate security solutions across various industries while mastering the tools, laws, and strategies essential for lasting success in this field.

We also favored AMU’s affordable online cybersecurity degree for its special savings programs for U.S. military personnel, including reduced credit hour rates of $250 for active-duty servicemembers and their families and $315 for Veterans.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $42,000 (120 credits @ $350 per credit)
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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5. Colorado State University Global

CSU Global’s Online Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity covers everything from computer networking and programming to implementing advanced cybersecurity defenses. Students learn how to protect data from cyber threats, assess network vulnerabilities, and navigate cybersecurity’s ethical and legal considerations while preparing for valuable industry certifications from (ISC)2, EC-Council, and CompTIA.

CSU Global is a not-for-profit public university aiming to keep its online cybersecurity degrees as affordable as possible. Much to their credit, they haven’t raised their tuition rates in over 10 years!

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $42,000 (120 credits @ $350 per credit)
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

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Types of Affordable Online Cybersecurity Degrees

Associate Degree in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity associate degrees introduce key IT topics like networks, operating systems, and computer programming while providing foundational cybersecurity skills that prepare graduates for entry-level roles or continued education. Cyber-sec associate programs typically take two years to complete, with an average of 60 credit hours. Affordable cybersecurity associate degrees are offered at community colleges across the U.S., which are typically much less expensive than similar programs at 4-year schools.

Common classifications of cyber-sec associate degrees include Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Cybersecurity and Associate of Science (A.S.) in Cybersecurity.

Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity

In addition to the fundamental computing skills learned in an associate degree, cybersecurity bachelor’s programs offer an in-depth curriculum where students can specialize in marketable information security niches like network security, penetration testing, and digital forensics, preparing them for higher-level cybersecurity jobs and graduate degrees. Cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees usually require four years of full-time study and 120 credit hours.

Popular classifications of cybersecurity bachelor’s include Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Cybersecurity, Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Cybersecurity, and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Cybersecurity.

Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity master’s programs are designed for those seeking leadership roles or advanced specialization in the field. Online master’s degrees in cybersecurity often require a bachelor's in cybersecurity or a related field and usually take one to two years to complete, with an average of 33 credit hours.

Common classifications of cybersecurity master’s programs include Master of Science (M.S.) in Cybersecurity, Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Cybersecurity, and Master of Science in Information Assurance (M.S.I.A.).

How Much Does an Online Cybersecurity Degree Cost?

The cost of an online cybersecurity degree varies widely depending on the institution, length of study, and program level (associate, bachelor’s, or master’s). Most affordable online cybersecurity degrees are charged by the credit hour, averaging $300 to $600 per credit. The final cost of your cybersecurity degree can be significantly reduced through funding programs like those listed above.

Online Cybersecurity Degrees vs. Campus-Based Programs

Pursuing an online cybersecurity degree over a traditional campus-based program comes with advantages and potential drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider when laying out your education path:

Potential Pros

  • Flexibility: Most online cybersecurity programs allow students to learn at their own pace and schedule, a valuable benefit for students with personal or professional commitments.
  • Affordability: Online cybersecurity degrees are typically more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. This cost-saving is even more pronounced when factoring in the additional costs of housing, transportation, hardcopy books, and campus dining plans.
  • Accessibility: Online students can enroll in the best cybersecurity programs across the U.S. without geographical constraints.

Potential Cons

  • Self-Discipline: Completing an online cybersecurity degree requires high levels of self-motivation and discipline. Successful online students must be able to hold themselves accountable.
  • Networking: Online students may find fewer networking opportunities with peers and faculty. However, well-designed online cybersecurity programs facilitate networking opportunities across the country if you avail yourself.
  • Hands-On Exposure: Online cybersecurity degrees may offer less hands-on technical experience than traditional programs. That said, modern cybersecurity is software-centric, and the capability of simulated security environments has grown by leaps in bounds in recent years.

Accreditation for Online Cybersecurity Degrees

Accreditation is crucial for ensuring the quality and transferability of credits in an online cybersecurity degree. Candidates should look for programs accredited by regional national bodies -- all programs in our 2024 ranking of affordable online cybersecurity degrees are regionally or nationally accredited by respected agencies.

In addition to institutional recognitions, valuable accreditations for online cybersecurity degrees at the program level include ABET’s Accreditation for Cyber Security and the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C).

What Jobs Can I Get with an Online Cybersecurity Degree?

Depending on degree level and specialization, graduates of an affordable online cybersecurity degree can pursue various career paths. Popular jobs for cyber-sec degree holders include cybersecurity analyst, information security manager, penetration tester/ethical hacker, digital forensics examiner, and network security architect.