Best Value Online Colleges in Massachusetts 2021

Updated December 1, 2022

The best online colleges can help you kick off your career with a valuable bachelor's program, or open up new opportunities with an affordable master's degree. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Credit: Tomasz Szulczewski/Moment/Getty Images
Best Value Online Colleges in Massachusetts badge

The best online colleges in Massachusetts provide affordable tuition rates, excellent academic offerings, and accessible support services. These schools offer high-quality degree and certificate programs featuring academic flexibility. Online learners who live near their school may have the option to take some classes on campus. Students at these schools also gain access to online resources, including technology support.

To qualify for in-state tuition rates, on-campus students must have lived in Massachusetts for at least one year. However, the University of Massachusetts system offers in-state tuition rates to all online learners, including out-of-state students. Private colleges typically charge the same tuition rate to all students, regardless of residency. Some schools exempt online learners from certain fees, further reducing educational costs.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.


Question Answer
How long does it take to earn an online degree? Degree-completion time varies by program. Bachelor's programs take approximately four years to complete. Full-time learners generally need two years to complete online master's programs in Massachusetts.
What kinds of degrees can I earn online? Many of the most affordable online colleges in Massachusetts offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Additionally, students can choose from numerous certificate programs.
Do I need to be a resident of Massachusetts to study at an online school in Massachusetts? Online colleges in Massachusetts accept learners from all over the world. However, international applicants may need to submit additional application materials.
How long does it take to become an official resident of Massachusetts for college? New Massachusetts residents must wait 12 months before they qualify for in-state tuition rates and benefits such as state-funded scholarships and grants.

Best Value Online Colleges in Massachusetts 2021

This section highlights the best online schools in Massachusetts. The following list details each school's online programs, student support services, and admission requirements. Many of the following schools offer institutional scholarships. Learners can use this information as a starting point as they research schools that align with their academic and career goals.

  1. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

    Lowell, MA



    The top online college in Massachusetts, UMass Lowell offers over fifty undergraduate and graduate degrees entirely online. Undergraduate programs that can lead to a fulfilling career include criminal justice, information technology, and psychology. The school features more than a dozen master's and doctoral programs for future leaders in the education field from which to choose.

    Although course and graduation requirements vary, many programs allow online learners to select from different class formats: asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid. Students use Blackboard to access course content and communicate with professors and peers. Prospective learners can test drive a course to determine whether UMass Lowell will meet their education needs.

    Undergraduate and graduate programs use separate application forms, and freshman applicants submit GED or HiSET scores. Graduate admission requirements include a statement of purpose, recommendation letters, and GRE or GMAT scores. UMass Lowell does not charge out-of-state degree- and certificate-seekers more in tuition.

  2. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

    North Dartmouth, MA



    Prospective students researching Massachusetts online colleges should consider UMass Dartmouth, as the university offers numerous undergraduate and graduate degrees, including certificates. Unique options for bachelor's degree-seekers include operations management, management information systems, and anthropology. Online master's degrees train the next generation of healthcare and education leaders.

    Visitors to the UMass Dartmouth website can view a sample course before applying. Courses feature numerous video tutorials that help learners new to online learning succeed academically. Additionally, the university's IT services provide assistance at any time of day.

    Admission requirements for undergraduates include high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a 500-word personal statement. Graduate programs ask for two recommendation letters, and some applicants may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Like other Massachusetts public universities, UMass Dartmouth charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all online learners regardless of residency.

  3. Bay Path University

    Longmeadow, MA



    An online college in Massachusetts situated in Longmeadow, Bay Path offers online undergraduate degrees for women and graduate programs that also accept men. Online bachelor's degrees include counseling foundations, criminal justice, and digital forensics and incident response. Master's and doctoral students can select an online degree from ten academic areas, such as applied behavior analysis and education.

    Bay Path's online degrees use the Canvas content management system and an asynchronous format. Courses feature a course map and modules to keep students on track, and professors communicate with learners through Canvas Messenger. Also, no course requires that students visit a testing center for exams or other assessments.

    Application materials for prospective undergraduates include transcripts and FAFSA results. Graduate applicants may need to submit a personal essay, a resume, and two recommendation letters. Bay Path offers many institutional scholarship opportunities for online learners.

  4. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

    Amherst, MA



    UMass Amherst's online programs in Massachusetts attract recent high school graduates and nontraditional learners who want to advance their career and salary potential. New programs include a bachelor's degree in nursing and graduate certificates in public administration and engineering project management. The school features over thirty options for bachelor's degree-completion students.

    Individuals can view an online course demonstration before applying. Virtual resources for online learners include 24/7 tech support, library services, and academic advising. Additionally, UMass Amherst promotes students' academic success by offering all online courses in an asynchronous format, perfect for degree- and certificate-seekers who work or raise children.

    Admission requirements for undergraduates without prior college experience include high school transcripts, standardized test scores, and a 500-word essay detailing leadership potential and academic interests. Prospective graduate students may need to submit standardized test scores, depending on the program. Incoming learners can research and apply for institutional aid on UMass Amherst's Our Opportunities website.

  5. Lesley University

    Cambridge, MA



    An online college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley features more than 20 asynchronous online programs. Areas of study include art and design, business management, and education. Graduate degrees feature academic flexibility, as learners can select from up to five concentrations. Additionally, Lesley appeals to practicing teachers, as individual online courses may count toward professional development requirements.

    Academic support services for online learners include free 50-minute tutoring sessions. The Center for the Adult Learner assists nontraditional students with transferring credits and applying their professional experience in the virtual classroom. Degree- and certificate-seekers can also access extensive library resources, such as citation guides and databases.

    Undergraduate applicants submit high school transcripts or GED scores if they do not possess at least 60 transferable credits. Requirements for graduate degree- and certificate-seekers vary by program. Lesley offers institutional grants and scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students and does not ask for a separate scholarship application.

Accreditation for Online Schools in Massachusetts

All reputable colleges and universities in the United States hold accreditation from an agency with recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. The best online colleges in Massachusetts possess regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. Graduates from schools without regional accreditation may experience difficulty getting a job or gaining admission to another academic program.

Institutions that offer online degrees and certificates should also hold national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. This accreditation signifies that the school's online programs use the same curricula and meet the same academic standards as its on-campus programs.

Some online bachelor's programs in Massachusetts may also hold programmatic accreditation. Programmatic accreditation demonstrates that the program meets or exceeds discipline-specific academic standards and prepares students to succeed in the field.

Why Study Online?

Earning a degree or certificate from one of the online colleges in Massachusetts brings many benefits. Several schools offer online classes asynchronously, meaning that students do not need to attend classes at set times. This scheduling flexibility helps learners continue to work, raise children, and fulfill other responsibilities while earning their degree. Also, some self-paced programs allow students to complete coursework faster and enter the workforce sooner.

Online programs also offer geographic flexibility. Learners attending online colleges in Massachusetts do not need to relocate, which can be inconvenient and expensive. Additionally, the most affordable online colleges in Massachusetts provide financial benefits other than low tuition rates. Online students do not incur expenses for housing, meal plans, and transportation. These savings can help online learners minimize student debt.

Professional Organizations for Students in Massachusetts

Students attending any of the best online schools in Massachusetts can enhance their academic experience by joining professional organizations. These organizations typically offer scholarships and mentorship programs. The four associations below provide benefits to help student members launch their careers.

Middle schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the United States host FBLA chapters. Undergraduate and graduate student members receive discounts, scholarships, and a subscription to PBL Business Leader. Graduates can remain in FBLA as professional division members, who receive opportunities to network with other business professionals.

With chapters at more than 400 postsecondary institutions, Golden Key offers travel grants and a private job board. Membership requirements include an excellent GPA and a history of community engagement. Graduate student members can apply for scholarships worth $10,000, and undergraduate learners can receive up to $5,000 in aid.

The nation's largest labor union, NEA advocates for educators working in K-12 public schools. Members include undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to professional development materials, members receive discounts on numerous services and free financial planning advice.

Founded in 1922, Phi Sigma Iota recognizes undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers who excel in a foreign language, comparative literature, or linguistics. Prospective members must meet GPA requirements and attend a school with a Phi Sigma Iota chapter. Members receive benefits including graduation honors and access to the extensive member database.

Although many online colleges in Massachusetts charge affordable tuition rates, undergraduate and graduate students can further minimize debt by applying for scholarships. Scholarship application requirements vary but often include a strong GPA, recommendation letters, and an essay. Learners should research each award's requirements before applying.

Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports Massachusetts residents who live in rural areas and whose FAFSA results demonstrate financial need. Applicants must also obtain an institutional recommendation and be enrolled in an undergraduate program full time.
Amount: Varies

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: In-state undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers majoring in early childhood education can apply. Candidates may be full-time or part-time learners and need at least one year of work experience in early childhood education.
Amount: Up to $9,000

New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break

Who Can Apply: NEBHE offers this tuition-reduction program for college students who reside in one of New England's six states. Undergraduate and graduate students can qualify. Eligibility requirements vary by institution.
Amount: Varies

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Scholarships

Who Can Apply: NIADA accepts applications from U.S. high school seniors who possess an excellent GPA and strong SAT or ACT scores. Applicants must submit an essay. The application deadline is March 9.
Amount: $3,500

The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports undergraduate degree-seekers who demonstrate financial need. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must submit an essay. The scholarship renews as long as recipients remain in good academic standing.
Amount: $18,000

Get prepared for your next steps

Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.