Top 100 Affordable Computer Engineering Schools

Best Most Affordable Computer Engineering Programs

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A university education can cost students and their families money for years after the initial investment of time. While general tuition may be the biggest expense each year, students also have to consider housing, books, food, fees, etc. As of 2017, the average cost of tuition was around $7,000, not including room and board. Adding these in, along with other fees, the per-semester cost for students and their families rose to more than $25,000.

The demand for a college education, coupled with state funding cuts have forced some educational institutions to raise tuition as a way of making up for the loss of state funding. However, there are a few factors which may help to reduce the burden on students and their families. These include financial aid packages and online computer programming degree programs. Schools offering fully online degree programs don’t always feel the same effect that demand places on schools offering only on-campus programs.

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Top 100 Affordable Computer Engineering College Rankings

The ranking system used by UniversityHQ to determine the most affordable computer engineering programs is made of a number of factors that are important to students. One of the biggest factors is that of the cost of tuition for a college or university. This is because this is one of the most important factors for students. However, the sticker price is not the only thing that confers value on a degree. For example, the retention rate demonstrates the percentage of first-year students who choose to continue with the same higher learning institution for the next year.

Reasons for students choosing to stay, transfer, delay, or leave a program are often unique to the student. However, overall, a high retention rate often translates to a school and program being highly supportive of students to ensure a greater chance for success. The same is also often true for the graduation rate of a program, which is another factor included in the ranking system.

The admission rate is another indicator on the quality of a computer engineering program. Many academic experts have shown a direct correlation between a high retention rate and a low admission rate. This means that, when a college or university is more selective, the students are often more dedicated to their education. And, of course, the cost of a computer engineering program is taken into consideration. While cost is not always an indication of the quality of an education, it is important for the ranking system when determining the most affordable computer engineering program. These are just a few examples.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,917
    • Out-of-state: $18,733
  • Net Price: $4,419
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 29,113
  • Undergrad Students: 24,965
  • Graduate Students: 4,148
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 33
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

CUNY City College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,340
    • Out-of-state: $15,290
  • Net Price: $4,546
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,816
  • Undergrad Students: 13,030
  • Graduate Students: 2,786
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 46
  • CUNY City College

CUNY New York City College of Technology

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,320
    • Out-of-state: $15,270
  • Net Price: $5,097
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,036
  • Undergrad Students: 17,036
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 18%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 117
  • CUNY New York City College of Technology

Brigham Young University-Idaho

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,300
    • Out-of-state: $4,300
  • Net Price: $6,871
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 39,145
  • Undergrad Students: 39,145
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 147
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho

California State University-Fresno

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,643
    • Out-of-state: $18,523
  • Net Price: $6,906
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 24,298
  • Undergrad Students: 21,541
  • Graduate Students: 2,757
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 24
  • California State University-Fresno

California State University-Bakersfield

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,498
    • Out-of-state: $19,378
  • Net Price: $7,697
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,531
  • Undergrad Students: 9,981
  • Graduate Students: 1,550
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • California State University-Bakersfield

Farmingdale State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,395
    • Out-of-state: $18,305
  • Net Price: $7,948
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,996
  • Undergrad Students: 9,939
  • Graduate Students: 57
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Farmingdale State College

Utah Valley University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,906
    • Out-of-state: $16,806
  • Net Price: $8,184
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 41,728
  • Undergrad Students: 41,186
  • Graduate Students: 542
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 35
  • Utah Valley University

Marshall University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,512
    • Out-of-state: $19,366
  • Net Price: $8,387
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,852
  • Undergrad Students: 9,415
  • Graduate Students: 3,437
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Marshall University

The University of West Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,360
    • Out-of-state: $19,241
  • Net Price: $8,452
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,557
  • Undergrad Students: 9,521
  • Graduate Students: 3,036
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • The University of West Florida
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Why a Degree from an Affordable Computer Engineering School?

The reasons for pursuing a degree from an affordable computer engineering school are nearly endless. To begin, the most compelling reason for most people who pay for their own education, is that an affordable college or university will eliminate a significant amount of debt throughout the rest of your life. Choosing an affordable higher education can save individuals anywhere from $40,000 to $120,000 or more. This is money that can be spent on a down payment for a home, taking vacations every year, paying for a graduate degree, saving for retirement, and so much more. And the less debt a person has, the less likely they are to develop financial-related stress, anxiety, and depression, which is also good for one’s physical and mental health.

Each person will find the advantages and success of a computer engineering degree to be unique. Some people relish the fact that computer engineering is constantly evolving. This means that these technology professionals are always learning, and every day is different. Individuals in this field are often working to solve problems to help millions, if not billions, of people worldwide. As such, many people enjoy that the work is meaningful and rewarding. One of the best advantages of a degree in computer engineering is that it often pays exceptionally well.

Another benefit is that computer engineering careers come in multiple forms at all levels of an organization. It’s possible to specialize in specific areas and industries such as software development, hardware engineering, the healthcare industry, and financial institutions. Career pathways are dependent upon the ambitions of the individual. With the right continuing education and years of experience, it’s possible to advance through management all the way up to C-suite roles. An affordable computer engineering school can lead to endless opportunities.

Choosing an Affordable Computer Engineering College

Many people fall under the misapprehension that a less expensive computer engineering college means it is less of an education. In fact, many affordable computer engineering degrees are just as good if not better than more expensive degrees. The price tag of some degrees is simply a marketing scheme to appear as a quality school or program. In other cases, the price tag truly is reflective of the quality of the school. It can be difficult to determine which affordable schools are best, so keep a few aspects in mind while finalizing a choice.

Remember that many schools still charge in-state and out-of-state tuition. In many cases, in-state tuition is often as much as half the cost of out-of-state tuition for public schools. At the same time, private schools are often somewhere between two and four times more expensive than in-state tuition rates. All of these types of schools offer exceptional education opportunities with very different pricing structures. Online programs are yet another way to save money. However, some schools are charging more for online degrees, so be careful.

Don’t forget to evaluate the school’s accreditation. This is one of the best ways to determine whether or not an affordable computer engineering college offers a high-quality and reputable education. It’s important to pursue regional accreditations over national accreditations. Regionally accredited schools are held in much higher regard by employers as they have a more demanding curriculum. It may even be better to find an affordable college that is regionally accredited with a computer engineering program that also has accreditation from various governing bodies and professional organizations. It’s also a good idea to look at the school’s graduation rates, job placement rates, retention rates, and more to make sure that the school will offer you all the best possible options as you move into your new career.

Online Options

Online degrees have become a wonderful way for more and more people to access higher education at a more affordable rate. Keep in mind, however, that some schools are starting to exploit online degrees because of their demand. Be sure to verify whether or not the college or university charges the same rates for online degrees as in-person degrees or if they charge more for online degrees. And, some schools have also started charging in-state and out-of-state tuition for online degrees, whereas other schools have created more of an open enrollment program for all students, in-state or otherwise, to take courses from any state school that participates in its shared degree programs.

Affordable online computer engineering programs are an exceptional way to complete a degree. Because this is a technology-based degree, it’s relatively easy to find online degrees in the field of computer engineering. This allows individuals to continue working as a way to minimize debt or to take care of loved ones at home while taking courses. It also allows students to find more affordable options from reputable online computer engineering degree programs. Some individuals might be able to pay the same rate as an in-state school from a top computer engineering program in another state by taking courses online. The options are nearly endless these days.

Are Computer Engineering Programs in High Demand?

While computer engineering is an in-demand degree, the job title of a computer hardware engineer is far less in demand than other jobs related to a computer engineering degree. Computer hardware engineering jobs are only expected to grow at a rate of 2% through 2029, according to the BLS. However, other jobs within the field of computer engineering have far better projections.

Computer systems analysts have a more favorable outlook with an anticipated growth rate of 7% during the same period. The real demand in this field is for software developers. Software is the golden goose at the moment, with an expected growth rate of 22% through 2029. One reason for the higher demand for software over hardware is that companies and consumers have rapidly switched to cloud-based applications rather than depending on electronic devices for functional capabilities and storage. Keep in mind that, despite the current trend, the continued development of IoT and hardware in physical products will keep computer hardware engineers employed for many years to come. And for even greater job stability, consider computer security and cyber security engineering roles.

What Can You Do with a Computer Engineering Degree?

Computer engineering degrees can lead to many different types of jobs in an array of industries and employer types. Students will receive a well-rounded education in systems, networks, hardware, and software development. Regardless of the role a graduate pursues upon degree completion, all graduates should be able to complete many aspects of IT successfully including researching, designing, developing, and testing.

The industries and employers who pursue computer engineering graduates are extensive. Students can choose to focus on specific industries such as biomedicine, telecommunications, gaming, consumer electronics, government applications, and more. Many professionals will choose to work from home when employers provide the option. It’s also possible to work for corporations, non-profits, private companies, the public sector, or become self-employed.

Within these sectors and specializations, computer engineering degree holders can choose from many different career options. Some individuals will lean toward careers in software such as software developer, software engineer, and software programmer. Others will prefer the areas of hardware, systems, and networks, including computer hardware engineers and systems analysts. An area that often covers all areas of computer engineering is that of a cyber security engineer. These individuals are highly in demand in every aspect of technology.

Computer Engineering Graduates Earn More After College

A computer engineering salary for graduates will vary. Many recent graduates can expect to make nearly $70,000 a year. Most will make between $45,000 and $80,000. Salaries will be less for individuals who work in smaller markets and for smaller companies. A lower salary can also be associated with a candidate lacking hands-on experience. Higher salaries are often provided to students with superior abilities, large markets, and top employers.

Be sure to take advantage of internship and mentorship programs during your undergraduate degree so that you can gain relevant work experience and to establish connections that can improve entry-level pay. Top colleges and universities will help students secure such experiences. Professional organizations and professional social media channels are another way to make essential connections for solid career opportunities. Many professional organizations offer student memberships at a discount or for free.

Another reason for varying salaries will be based on the actual position. A degree in computer engineering can lead to any number of roles and responsibilities such as software engineers, software developers, electrical and electronic engineers, computer hardware engineers, testing engineers, digital gaming engineers, and many others. The salaries for all computer engineering roles often range between $77,000 and $130,000 a year. And remember that continuing education can also boost pay and open doors for promotions. This can be in the form of graduate degrees and specialized skill-based certifications.


  • Do computer engineering programs require a GRE or GMAT?
    Bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering typically do not have GRE or GMAT entrance exam requirements. These are more commonly reserved for master’s degree programs. And even with master’s degrees, it’s becoming less common to require graduate exam scores.
  • How long does it take to get a degree in computer engineering?
    Computer engineering bachelor’s degrees are designed to be completed in four years. However, today, the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. is 5.1 years. This delay could be for any number of reasons, such as the student works while they study, the school not offering enough support for students to graduate on time, etc. Keep in mind that, the longer it takes to complete a degree, the more expensive the degree becomes and the lower your overall lifetime earning potential. A master’s degree is likely to average 1.5 years.
  • How much money can you make with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer engineering?
    The amount of money one earns from a degree in computer engineering will be based on various factors, such as years of experience and additional certifications. Computer engineers with a bachelor’s degree will typically earn between $77,000 and $97,000. This amount will increase with a master’s degree and more experience. One can expect to earn up to an additional $20,000 or more each year with a graduate degree. Job titles can also influence salaries.
  • Will earning a master’s help you move up in computer engineering?
    Today, a master’s degree in computer engineering is highly advantageous for moving up within the profession. This degree will help holders to secure leadership roles and, eventually, management and C-suite positions over time. A master’s degree will also provide degree holders with an advantage over those with a bachelor’s degree.
  • What type of students should consider online computer engineering programs and are these programs available?
    Online computer engineering programs are not ideal for everyone. Many people have a difficult time with online learning. This is not bad, it just means that the person learns better from in-person teachings. These online programs in computer engineering are also ideal for individuals who have to work while they take courses and for those who care for individuals outside of work and classes. Today, it is possible to find numerous reputable online computer engineering degrees.
  • What type of accreditation should computer engineering students be looking for?
    Computer engineering students should always try to enroll in a regionally accredited college or university over a nationally accredited school. A program that is also accredited by reputable governing agencies or professional organizations is also beneficial when it comes time to job searching and pay.
  • What are the admission requirements for computer engineering students?
    Admission requirements will be different for each computer engineering degree program. Some schools will have more stringent requirements than others. Many schools maintain a traditional admissions system with various minimum requirements, such as a 3.0 GPA and a 1600 SAT or equivalent ACT score. Other colleges and universities use a more modern, inclusive, equal, and equitable independent scoring system based on a number of factors rather than minimum requirements, including the combination of GPAs, test scores, and classes taken in high school.

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