Top 100 Affordable Accounting Schools

Top Affordable Accounting Programs

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Accounting is a field where students can utilize their love for numbers to ensure that organizations are correctly managing their budgets. Unlike many other math-based careers, accounting is highly rooted in real-world applications, which can be a plus for individuals who enjoy seeing how their work directly contributes to improving the functionality of their firm. Given the complexity of the tax code and key accounting principles like GAAP, most accounting professionals need to undergo years of rigorous education and training before they are ready to embark on this career path. Here you’ll find some of the best and most affordable accounting programs in the United States.

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100 Most Affordable Accounting College Rankings


Elizabeth City State University

ECSU is a public school located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This historically black college enrolls around 2,500 students across its 28 undergraduate and 4 graduate programs every year and is an important member of the University of North Carolina system. Students at Elizabeth City State University experience a 16 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio on campus. The school has a relatively high first-year retention rate of 70% but has a relatively low overall graduation rate of 39%.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,260
    • Out-of-state: $7,260
  • Net Price: $2,465
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,769
  • Undergrad Students: 1,692
  • Graduate Students: 77
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6

CUNY Lehman College

CUNY Lehman College is a member of the City University of New York system that was first founded in 1931 and is located in the Bronx borough of New York City. The college was originally a satellite campus of Hunter College but became an independent institution named after former New York Governor and senator Herbert H. Lehman in 1967. Every year, the school serves around 13,000 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate students at a 16 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,410
    • Out-of-state: $15,360
  • Net Price: $2,709
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,143
  • Undergrad Students: 13,002
  • Graduate Students: 2,141
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 175

Texas A&M International University

A&M International University is a public university in Laredo, Texas that was founded in 1969. It’s a member of the Texas A&M University System, serving around 7,000 undergraduates and 1,100 graduate students every year. Students experience a 24 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio while on campus, and the school has a first-year retention rate of 79% and an overall graduation rate of 47%. Besides a bachelor's in accounting, Texas A&M International University offers a 30-credit hour Master of Professional Accountancy program that allows students to sit for their CPA exam upon graduation.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,683
    • Out-of-state: $18,983
  • Net Price: $3,323
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,305
  • Undergrad Students: 7,220
  • Graduate Students: 1,085
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 60

CUNY Brooklyn College

CUNY Brooklyn College, one of the campuses of the City University of New York system, was established in 1930. It is known for its 35-acre campus in the heart of Brooklyn that serves around 15,000 undergraduate students and nearly 3,000 graduate students every year. CUNY Brooklyn College offers multiple undergraduate programs in accounting, including a minor in Accounting, B.S. in Accounting, B.S. in Accounting (internal accounting), Certificate in Accounting, Certificate in Non-Profit Fiscal Management, and a B.S. in Public Accounting and Business Management. The school also a CPA-qualifying M.S. program in Accounting.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,440
    • Out-of-state: $15,390
  • Net Price: $3,805
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,811
  • Undergrad Students: 14,970
  • Graduate Students: 2,841
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 280

CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College, also known as Baruch College, is a member of the City University of New York system that was first founded in 1919 as the City College School of Business and Civic Administration and became an independent school in 1968. The university serves around 15,500 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students every year, with a 19 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,462
    • Out-of-state: $15,412
  • Net Price: $3,931
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,679
  • Undergrad Students: 15,482
  • Graduate Students: 3,197
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 774

The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley

UT at Rio Grande Valley is a member of the public University of Texas System. The research university has several campus locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, having consolidated the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American in 2013. UTRGV serves around 25,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students every year at a first-year retention rate of 76% and an overall graduation rate of 46%. Moreover, UTRGV’s School of Accountancy offers both bachelor’s and master’s level degrees in accounting, with the school’s central mission being to provide the most value-added educational experience by producing responsible global citizens.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,917
    • Out-of-state: $18,733
  • Net Price: $4,654
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 29,113
  • Undergrad Students: 24,965
  • Graduate Students: 4,148
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 226

Fayetteville State University

FSU is a historically black public university originally established in 1867 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. As part of the University of North Carolina System and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Fayetteville State University serves around 5,600 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students every year. The school has a relatively high 18 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, a first-year retention rate of 74%, and an overall graduation rate of 34%. Fayetteville State University’s Accounting program stands out because it not only offers a B.S. in Accounting but also an Accounting Online Completion Program, providing flexibility for students who are unable to attend school in the traditional classroom format.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,309
    • Out-of-state: $16,917
  • Net Price: $5,587
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,551
  • Undergrad Students: 5,644
  • Graduate Students: 907
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 38

Dalton State College

DSC is a public school founded in 1963 in Dalton, Georgia that is also a member of the University System of Georgia. First established as a junior college meant to prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution, later on, Dalton State College became a full four-year university in 1998 and has since opened a satellite campus in Ellijay in 2009. Dalton State College offers both a bachelor’s program in accounting and a full 150 semester hour program that allows students to pursue their CPA certification in both day and night program formats.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,683
    • Out-of-state: $10,589
  • Net Price: $6,697
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,964
  • Undergrad Students: 4,964
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 18

Northern New Mexico College

NNMC is a public school situated in Espanola, New Mexico that was first founded in 1909. The college serves only undergraduate students pursuing an associate degree, a bachelor’s program, or a certificate, currently enrolling around 1,100 students every year. Northern New Mexico College’s low student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 ensures that students will get to interact in a close-knit academic environment. Students seeking to study accounting at Northern New Mexico College will select the Accounting Major under the Bachelor of Business Administration program, meaning that besides accounting coursework, students will also be required to complete business core courses.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,952
    • Out-of-state: $13,676
  • Net Price: $6,703
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,119
  • Undergrad Students: 1,119
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6

Brigham Young University–Idaho

BYU–Idaho is a satellite campus of Brigham Young University located in Rexburg, Idaho that was first founded in 1888. BYU-I is religiously affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first became a four-year institution in 2001. BYU-I only serves undergraduate students and enrolls nearly 40,000 students every year at a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1. Most students are affiliated with the LDS church and choose to take a hiatus during their studies to pursue missionary work and tuition rates are generally lower due to grants from tithing donations. The average net price of enrollment in 2018-2019 was $7,038.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,300
    • Out-of-state: $4,300
  • Net Price: $7,038
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 39,145
  • Undergrad Students: 39,145
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 156
Full Ranking Report

Why a Degree from an Affordable Accounting School?

When most future students think about accounting, they may imagine images of a bespectacled bookkeeper poring over journal entries, but the field is actually much more complex and flexible than that. Accounting, like many other business degrees, encompasses a variety of different types of job applications, ensuring that there are vertical promotion opportunities or even horizontal movement opportunities within one’s career. For instance, accounting students can specialize in fields like auditing, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and payroll services, building careers for themselves in any of these different accounting specialties. Eventually, accountants can be promoted to managerial positions in a firm’s finance department and later even head up a tax practice or found their own accounting firm. Furthermore, since accountants must undertake specialized education and even sit for certifications like the CPA exam, accounting is a very stable career path. Most organizations that keep financial records will, at some point down the line, require the services of an accounting professional, ensuring that there is almost always job demand for this line of work.

Are Accounting Programs in High Demand?

Given the ubiquity of demand for accounting professionals across all industries and geographies, students who graduate with accounting degrees are in high demand on the job market. In particular, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.4 million accounting professionals were employed in the United States in 2019. The overall demand for new accounting and auditing professionals was growing at a rate of 4% between 2019-2029, a rate that is equal to the average job growth rate in the country, indicating good future job prospects. Moreover, the BLS states that the median pay for accountants and auditors in 2019 was $71,550, indicating that accounting degrees can lead to lucrative careers as well.

However, it’s important to note that not all accounting degrees are created equal. When you are considering earning an accounting degree, you need to decide what level of higher education you want to obtain and from what school you want to graduate from. The college program and the level of education play an important role in being hired from a higher quality firm and your overall salary outcome. University HQ has ranked some of the best accounting programs for: associates in accounting, bachelor's in accounting and master's in accounting degrees online. The BLS has also noted that the bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk subsections of the accounting field are actually expected to decline by 6% between 2019-2029. The median pay for this career type was $41,230 in 2019. Overall, this suggests that the accounting professionals with less training and specialization may have a harder time finding jobs in the future, especially with the onset of more advanced accounting software.

What Can You Do With an Accounting Diploma?

When a student completes their online accounting degree, they have several important career choices to make. First, they should decide which industry they wish to join. Then, they should consider whether they wish to pursue a specific accounting specialization. Given the high demand for accounting professionals across multiple business industries, accounting students can decide if they wish to join a specialized accounting firm that serves clients from all walks of life or if they wish to join the accounting department of a company directly after graduation. For instance, accounting students who also enjoy technology goods can choose to join the finance department of a company like Google or Microsoft, allowing them to take advantage of the best of both worlds. Additionally, given that many large organizations have complex financial needs, accountants who do not work for an accounting firm will typically focus on helping firms balance one or two important accounts. Therefore, once accounting students enter the workforce, they will often choose to specialize in positions like accounts payable clerk, accounts receivable clerk, compliance officer, auditor, tax accountant, budget analyst, controller, bookkeeper, or forensic accountant, among many possible career paths.

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