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2023 Most Affordable Online Child Development Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 11/4/2022
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An online bachelor’s in child development prepares students to assume professional roles that help them work efficiently and effectively with children. Prospective students can expect to learn about the theories and practices related to childhood and family development by taking core classes, like Curriculum Management, Adolescent Development, and Educational Psychology. Alumni in this field typically go on to pursue professions as lead teachers, child life specialists, and parent educators, to name a few options.

It may be helpful to also explore similar programs to a child development degree, such as psychology and early childhood education. With any of these bachelor's degrees under your belt, you can always pursue further education at a later point and obtain a master’s degree in child development

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for some inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Fort Hays State University Hays (KS) $6,806
# 2 #2 Central Methodist University Fayette (MO) $7,800
# 3 #3 West Virginia University at Parkersburg Parkersburg (WV) $9,168
# 4 (tie) #4 (tie) Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches (LA) $9,600
# 4 (tie) #4 (tie) Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 6 #6 American Public University System Charles Town (WV) $11,150
# 7 #7 Jacksonville State University Jacksonville (AL) $11,190
# 8 #8 Florida International University Miami (FL) $11,276
# 9 #9 New Mexico State University Las Cruces (NM) $11,406
# 10 #10 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa (AL) $11,550
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806

At Fort Hays State University (FHSU), a public institution, students can pursue an online Bachelor of General Studies - Child Development requiring 120 credit hours. Prospective students can take four years to complete this degree on a full-time schedule. FHSU’s acceptance rate is 91%, and of these students, 57% obtain their college diploma.

At FHSU, online students complete coursework in asynchronous and synchronous formats through the learning management system, Blackboard. A child development program provides students with the skills needed to teach adolescents. Sample coursework includes Diverse Learners, Introduction to Instructional Technology, and Human Growth and Development. Students are also required to take distribution courses in order to graduate. Armed with their degree, they may go on to pursue careers as parent educators, daycare assistants, and children’s dance instructors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800

Central Methodist University (CMU) is a private, nonprofit, United Methodist institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Child Development. This four-year program requires 120 credit hours, and students must choose one of two emphases: Early Childhood and School-Aged Children. CMU's acceptance rate is 95%, and it has a 51% graduation rate.

CMU facilitates synchronous online learning via the learning management system, Canvas. The school's child development program covers curriculum planning, classroom management, and organization skills. Some of the core courses are Child Health, Creative Arts, and Child Development. Students are also required to complete a capstone project and internship. Graduates may become special education teachers, preschool teachers, or educational consultants.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,734
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 159
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $9,168
Annual Tuition: $9,168
Annual Tuition: $9,168

West Virginia University at Parkersburg (WVUP) is a small, public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Child Development requiring 122 credit hours. Full-time students can complete this program in four years. WVUP's acceptance rate is 100%, with a 33% graduation rate.

At WVUP, online students complete work asynchronously and synchronously through the digital platform, Blackboard. Remote students can expect to learn the necessary skills to educate and manage young children through the program's coursework, such as Guiding Young Children, Preschool Development, and Healthy Environments. A semester-long capstone and a seminar are required for graduation. Alumni may pursue a range of careers, from childcare workers and lead teachers to childcare center directors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 85%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 356
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSULA) is a medium public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies - Child Development and Family Relations, which totals120 credit hours. Prospective students can take four years to complete this program full-time. The university accepts 95% of applicants and has a 40% graduation rate.

Online students at NSULA complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously on Moodle. A childhood development curriculum teaches students how they can positively impact a child’s development, with core courses that include Preschool Program Administration, Child Development, and Developmental Psychology. Some potential jobs for graduates are educational consultant, teacher’s assistant, and preschool teacher.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1210
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,643
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 896
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Child and Adolescent Development. Requiring 120 credit hours, this program can take full-time students four years to complete. SNHU's acceptance rate is 94%, and the school has a 40% graduation rate.

At SNHU Online, students complete coursework virtually in either asynchronous or synchronous formats on D2L Brightspace. In a child development program, students can expect to take classes focused on child psychology and counseling techniques. Students must complete an internship and experiential learning before graduation. Sample coursework includes Adolescent Development, Child Development, and Assessment and Testing. Graduates may pursue careers like childcare workers, special education teachers, and case workers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $11,150
Annual Tuition: $11,150
Annual Tuition: $11,150

American Public University (APU) — a private, for-profit institution that's part of a larger system of colleges — offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies totaling 120 credit hours. This program offers two concentrations: (1) Child Development and (2) Family Development. Full-time students can expect to spend at least four years completing this program. Overall, APU has a 100% acceptance rate and an 18% graduation rate.

At APU, distance learners complete coursework on D2L Brightspace, which delivers it either asynchronously or synchronously (depending on instructors' preferences). This program explores theories and practices around human development across all ages. Students are required to take a senior seminar and complete core courses, like Child and Adolescent Development, Parenting, and Human Sexuality. Prospective careers for graduates include childcare teachers, youth counselors, and child welfare specialists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 37,335
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,914
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville (AL)
Annual Tuition: $11,190
Annual Tuition: $11,190
Annual Tuition: $11,190

At Jacksonville State University (JSU), a public institution, students can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences - Child Development. Requiring 120 credit hours, this online degree can take students four years to obtain if they maintain a full-time schedule. JSU’s acceptance rate is 64%, and the graduation rate is 47%.

JSU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via Canvas. Through this digital learning platform, the child development program covers curriculum planning, management, and administration. Sample coursework includes Family Life Education, Survey of Exceptional Children and Youth, and Parent-Child Relations. Graduates may pursue careers like family and consumer science teacher, family support advocate, and human resource assistant.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1160
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 979
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 935
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $11,276
Annual Tuition: $11,276
Annual Tuition: $11,276

Florida International University (FIU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education - Early Childhood Development, which requires 120 credit hours. Students can complete this program in four years with a full-time schedule. FIU accepts 58% of applicants and has a 65% graduation rate.

At FIU, remote students complete coursework — which is delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats — through Canvas. This program explores the theories and practices surrounding early childhood development. The program’s courses include Classroom Management, Educational Psychology, and General Decision Making. Potential careers for graduates of the program are social worker, librarian, and child life specialist.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1110 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 10,922
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,749
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#9
#9

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces (NM)
Annual Tuition: $11,406
Annual Tuition: $11,406
Annual Tuition: $11,406

At New Mexico State University (NM State), a public institution, future students can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science totaling 120 credit hours. The program can take four years to complete at a full-time pace. NM State has an acceptance rate of 63%, with a 52% graduation rate.

NM State's distance learners complete coursework on the digital platform, Canvas, in asynchronous and synchronous formats. This program's curriculum, specifically, covers child and family development topics, with sample coursework that includes Adult Development and Aging, Family Dynamics, and Parenting and Child Guidance. Graduates of the program may pursue careers like family support specialists, lead teachers, and child care providers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 966
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 809
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa (AL)
Annual Tuition: $11,550
Annual Tuition: $11,550
Annual Tuition: $11,550

The University of Alabama (UA) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies - Child Life totaling 120 credit hours. Students can expect to complete the program within four years on a full-time schedule. The university’s acceptance rate is 80%, with a 68% graduation rate.

At UA, online students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously on Blackboard. The Child Life concentration helps students develop the skills necessary to promote the development of healthy and hospitalized children. Some sample coursework includes Medical Terminology, Introduction to Child Life, and Medical Ethics. Students are also required to take an internship course before graduation. Alumni typically enter careers as child life specialists, family care advocates, and teacher assistants.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 79%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,856
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,659
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

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