Andragogy — or the art of teaching adults — is a relatively new word, largely because education was undifferentiated: for children, different learning styles, and adults. Today the pursuit of lifelong learning and catering to non-traditional learners is huge, both in the classroom and the workplace. With an influx of ESL learners of every age, there’s yet another growing market for adult education-focused educators. Tackling the myriad ways in which adults need education in the modern world doesn’t have to leave you scratching your head. There are some great online courses available now that help you to unpack the best methodologies for presenting to diverse adult minds. We understand that returning for a master’s as an educator can feel daunting when it comes to finances and time- one barrier playing into the other. This is why we have designed this ranking to address the heart of the problem- finding affordable tuition rate that works for your professional needs and career advancement desires. We selected not only the most affordable online tuition rates, but also programs that offer financial aid to a high percentage of enrolled students. What we came up with were these: our top 10 picks for the most affordable Master’s in Adult Education.
When selecting these affordable options we considered these two metrics:
- Out-of-State Tuition Rates
- Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid
1.) Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana(NSUL) is a public school located in the rural setting of Nachitoches- home of the Cane River Scenic Byway. There are 9,819 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 20:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits NSUL to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certificates. There are a wide range of academic programs available from nursing, military science, to new media journalism and communication. U.S. News ranks NSU for its best online graduate nursing programming, and its best online graduate education programs. Online, students have a wide array of choices. In fact, there are a total of 26 online degrees ranging from associates to the doctoral level. Twelve of those options are master’s degrees, covering nearly all areas of education. The doctorate program is in nursing practice. We love this school for its vast range of programs online, as well as the affordable tuition which is thousands of dollars lower than the national average.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSUL) offers a Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development. We selected this course for its affordable online tuition rate as well as for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid (94%). In addition to the affordable online tuition rates, we like the added flexibility in that NSUL offers 3 areas of concentration: adult and workforce development, homeland security, and e-Learning. Foundational course are consistent and include history and conditions of the profession, adult learning theory, program development and design of adult instruction and more. The course requires 33 semester hours of completions and costs $475 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $475
- Home page Northwestern State University of Louisiana
2.) Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) is located in Indiana County, Pennsylvania and enrolls 12,971 undergraduate and graduate students from 45 states and 56 countries. IUP has an 18:1 student/faculty ration. The Middle State Commission on Higher Education accredits IUP to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master’s certifications. Military Times ranks IUP as “Best for Vets” as IUP offers special learning opportunities for service members, ROTC and more. Academic programming is robust including 132 undergraduate degrees, 53 master’s programs and 12 doctoral programs. Faculty research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the U.S. Department of Education and others. Indiana University of Pennsylvania is also a great value college ranked “best bang for your buck” according to The Other College Guide We selected IUP for its affordable online tuition rates.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) offers a Master of Arts in Adult and Communication Education. We selected this online program for its affordable tuition rate and high percentage of students receiving financial aid which is 91%. The course provides students with a nice balance of academic online course material, personal research, and regional field studies. The culminating project will either be a thesis or a portfolio. When it comes to the core academic programming, IUP offers material on program planning for adult learning, organizational leadership, issues in distance education, an analysis of the professional literature and more. This program requires 36 credit hours for completion and costs $288 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $288
- Home page Indiana University of Pennsylvania
3.)SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College is a public 4-year institution located in Saratoga Springs, New York. There are 11,315 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The Middle State Commission on Higher Education accredits SUNY Empire State College to award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates. SUNY Empire State College was founded in 1971 with the desire to meet the very specific needs of adult learners. Today there are over 50 programs of study in a vast range of fields like the social sciences, art, physical sciences,business, and education. Empire State College continues to foster programming appropriate to adults with robust online options including 39 online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as professional certificate in fields like business, education, and health.
SUNY Empire State College offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Adult Learning. We selected this course for its affordable online tuition rates as well as for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid- that is 92%. This affordable online course uses a blended approach of theory and application and is taught entirely online. Additionally, we like the customizable programming options where 12 credit hours are required and 18 credit hours are comprised of elective course and the final project. Core courses include rethinking experience and learning, learning and development in contemporary adulthood, strategies for effective adult learning, and approaches to critical inquiry and research. The cost of this program is $543 per credit hour and requires 30 credit hours for completion.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $543
- Home page SUNY Empire State College
4.)University of Houston-Victoria
The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is a public 4-year institution located in Victoria, Texas. There are 4,384 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 15:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits UHV to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. According to their site, UHV offers some of the most affordable tuition in Texas. Affordable online tuition is one of the many reasons we selected UHV. Additionally, 97 percent of students attending receive financial aid. When it comes to academics, UHV offers an array of career-ready degrees in fields like business, psychology, health, and education. As the average age of students as UHV is 35, a number of programs are designed with adult professionals in mind and includes robust online courses like the online bachelor’s in business administration, online master’s in publishing, and their online master’s in adult education and leadership among others.
The University of Houston- Victoria offers a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education (Ed.M.). We selected this program for its affordable online course offerings as well as the high percentage of students receiving financial aid which is in this case 96%. The program is offered in three areas of specialization: higher education, adult education, and discipline and instruction. These course are broken down into 4 component parts including: core course, specialization classes, research and an internship. Core courses focus on educational leadership in organizations, foundations of adult education, student services, programming and planning and more. This online course requires 36-39 credit hours depending on the area of concentration and costs $612 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $612
- Home page University of Houston-Victoria
5.)Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University (CSU) is a public 4-year institution located in Cleveland, Ohio. There are 17,730 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits CSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates and post-master’s certifications. U.S. News ranks CSU highly for their online MBA, nursing, and graduate education programming. In addition to fantastic online learning opportunities, CSU provides special learning opportunities for service members and veterans, students who wish to study abroad, as well as evening and weekend programming for local individuals. Additionally Project offers 60 free classes to senior citizens. There are over 200 major fields of study for undergraduates and graduate include 9 distance learning options. Their most popular online course are in the fields of health, business, and education.
Cleveland State University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Adult Learning and Development. We selected this course for is affordable online tuition rates in conjunction with the high percentage of students who receive financial aid (90%). Additionally, there are three specializations available including planning and implementing programs for adult learners, organizational behavior and change, and adult learning and development. The core courses are in educational research, adult education in a changing society, and the psychology of the adult learner. This program requires 35 credit hours for completion and costs $531 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $531
- Home page Cleveland State University
6.)SUNY Buffalo State
SUNY Buffalo State is a public 4-year institution located in Buffalo, New York. There are 9,475 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1.The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits SUNY Buffalo State to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as postbaccalaureate certificates, and post-master’s certificates. According to U.S. News, SUNY Buffalo State ranks as the 120th top university in the north and 39th top public school. SUNY Buffalo State offers 181 undergraduate program and 64 graduate programs from their 5 academic schools: school of arts and humanities, school of eduction, school of natural and social science, school of professionals, and the graduate school. When it comes to affordable online programming, SUNY Buffalo State offers a range of courses that include a M.S. in Adult Education, and a Master of Music in Music Education.
SUNY Buffalo State offer a M.S. in Adult Education that we selected for its affordable online tuition rates as well as for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid: 94%. This program consists of two components: 21 credits of required course sand 9 credits of elective field specialization courses. The core courses include an introduction to adult education, adulthood and development, instructional design, historical, social and philosophical foundations of adult education, diversity in adult education and training as well as research methodology. This affordable online program requires 30 credit hours for completion and costs just $680 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $680
- Home page SUNY Buffalo State University
7.)American InterContinental University
American InterContinental University (AIU) is a for-profit career university with open enrollment. There are 10,091 student enrolled through their online campus and the student to faculty ratio is 35:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits AIU to award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. AIU is military-friendly and offers affordable online tuition. According to US News, AIU offers some of the best online programs for it’s bachelor’s, MBA, Masters of Education, and online bachelor’s programs for veterans. In addition, AIU offers one-on-one support from faculty who are specialists within their field, credit for life experiences, advanced placement credits, and academic and career counseling. You can even extend this support upon completion of your degree through the career services department at AIU. Campuses are located online, as well as in Atlanta and Houston.
American InterContinental University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree with a specialization in Adult Education and Training. This program is affordable and provides financial aid to 83% of enrolled students. This program is broken into 2 parts: core courses and adult education and specialization course. Core courses focus on analysis, assessment, and technology; integrative design and evaluation; applying learning theories. The adult education training and specialization courses include the art and science of learning, characteristics of adult learners, designing instructions for adult learners, and facilitating and assessing adult learning. The total credit hour requirements are 48 and the cost of this program is $442 dollars per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $442
- Home page American InterContinental University
8.)University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas (UofA) is a public institution that was founded in 1871. It is located in Fayetteville and is a public land and space grant university. There are 27,194 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UofA to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postabaccalarate certificates and post-master’s degree certificates. There are hundreds of academic programs offered appropriate for both traditional and non traditional learners in a vast range of scientific, arts, and humanities fields. With over 30 online degrees and certifications, UofA has online courses for all types of interests. The largest online courses are in the fields of business, education, engineering, and health. We selected U of A for its affordable online tuition rate as well as for the high percentage of students receiving financial aid.
The University of Arkansas offers a Master of Education(Ed.M.) in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning. This fantastic affordable online program awards financial aid to 77% of students enrolled. To satisfy degree requirements, students must fulfill a minimum of 33 credit hours that are divided into 4 components. These components are as follows: research, adult education core, electives, and a capstone course. The core material includes perspectives in adult education, principles and practices of adult learning, curriculum development, instructional strategies and assessment in adult education, and organization and administration of adult and lifelong learning. The capstone course is an applied project. The cost per credit hour for this high quality affordable online program is just $420 per credit hour.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $420
- Home page University of Arkansas
9.)Oregon State University
Oregon State University (OSU) is a public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon. There are 30,354 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits OSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs as well as postbaccalaureate certifications. U.S. News ranks OSU as the 143rd best school in the nation, and 95th best college for veterans. As a land,sea, space, and sun grant research university, OSU makes research a central component to their educational model. There are 10 academic colleges and one professional school- their school for veterinary medicine- that offer a vast range of degree programs including unique offerings like Puerto Rican studies, agronomy and crop science, water resources engineering and more. Online programming is robust and includes over 30 online degrees and professional certifications.
Oregon State University offers a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Adult and Higher Education. We selected this online course for its affordable tuition and high percentage of students enrolled receiving financial aid- which is 85%. The program includes nine core courses, an internship aligned with your personal interests, and a capstone experience which takes shape as an applied research project. The core courses include some unique offerings like instructional technology, instructional design, program evaluation, needs assessment and research, organizations and systems theory, instructional strategies for adult learners, ethical and professional issues, adult learning development, and leadership and human relations. The cost of this program is $528 and requires 45 credit hours for completion.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $528
- Home page Oregon State University
10.)Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public university located in Bowling Green, Kentucky with satellite campuses in Glasgow, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, and Owensboro. There are to over 21,students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 18:1. is WKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, certificates and doctoral programs. There are over 170 undergraduate programs and 125 graduate programs. For affordable online tuition, WKU may be our largest pick with over 50 online degrees and certifications offered to undergraduate and graduate students. WKU also has the largest master’s degree program in folklore- housed in the “Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology” with a focus in historic preservation. Other programs of note include the Journalism and Broadcasting program with 13 Pulitzer prizes under its belt, as well as education, engineering, and business.
Western Kentucky University offers a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) in Adult Education. This program was selected for is affordable tuition rate and high percentage of enrolled students receiving financial aid which is 94%. The cost of this program may be our highest tuition rate but includes a large number of degree concentrations which lead to a wide range of careers in this expanding field. The concentrations include: general, community and technical college, higher education, and training and development. Graduates of this course find careers in as community college instructors, ESL instructors, college support and much more. The cost for this course is $707 per credit hour and requires 30-39 credit hours for completion depending on area of concentration.
- Cost Per Credit Hour $707
- Home page Western Kentucky University