Top 100 Affordable Early Childhood Education Schools

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Early childhood education is an often-overlooked specialty in the world of education. We tend to focus on high school and college since that bears more apparent and immediate relevance to the lives of most adults. However, the years between birth and around age four are critical for human development. Thus, the need for well-trained, highly qualified early childhood educators is imperative. These professionals must be more than babysitters. It's vital that they provide care and nurturing, but also stimulate each child's mind.

To that end, we have put together this page that helps budding educators find the very best early childhood education degree program for them. While they may not find a school close to them for their degree, the methods we discuss can be applied to any school whatsoever. We hope that this page will help students and their families discover the college or university that is best for them.


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Top 100 Affordable Early Childhood Education College Rankings


Some of the factors we consider in our Rankings include:

  • Retention Rate:
    This figure indicates how many first-time, full-time students return to campus after their first year. A high percentage indicates great satisfaction with the school, its curriculum, and its overall value as an educational institution.
  • Graduation Rate:
    Schools with low attrition and high graduation rates are generally considered to be a great educational value. While a healthy transfer-out percentage isn't necessarily a negative, it's better for a school to maintain its students through graduation.
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio:
    This statistic reflects the ground-level student experience. That is, with a low ratio, it can be assumed that class sizes tend to be small. Even if a larger university must have large lecture hall courses, they may offer students qualified teaching assistants who can work on a one-to-one basis with them.
  • Graduating Salary:
    After all, students want to know how much they might be worth after graduation. It's hoped that those who command higher salaries have received better education. Regardless, they certainly receive a healthier return on their academic investment.
  • Cost of Tuition:
    Naturally, this is a large factor for many students and their families. When weighed against the overall academic value and the long-term salary prospects, this figure helps everyone assess a school's relative affordability.
1

Florida Gateway College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,100
    • Out-of-state: $11,747
  • Net Price: $2,930
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 3,406
  • Undergrad Students: 3,406
  • Graduate Students:0
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Diplomas Awarded:11
  • Florida Gateway College
2

Florida State College at Jacksonville

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,878
    • Out-of-state: $9,992
  • Net Price: $3,306
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 24,605
  • Undergrad Students: 24,605
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 19
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
3

California State University-Los Angeles

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,781
    • Out-of-state: $18,661
  • Net Price: $3,859
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Total Enrollment: 26,671
  • Undergrad Students: 22,797
  • Graduate Students: 3,874
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 385
  • California State University-Los Angeles
4

CUNY Lehman College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,410
    • Out-of-state: $15,360
  • Net Price: $3,913
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,143
  • Undergrad Students: 13,002
  • Graduate Students: 2,141
  • Graduation Rate:53%
  • Diplomas Awarded:39
  • CUNY Lehman College
5

Texas A&M International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,683
    • Out-of-state: $18,983
  • Net Price: $4,165
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,305
  • Undergrad Students: 7,220
  • Graduate Students: 1,085
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Texas A&M International University
6

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: 14
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
7

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: 15
  • CUNY City College

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8

CUNY Brooklyn College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,440
    • Out-of-state: $15,390
  • Net Price: $4,736
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,811
  • Undergrad Students: 14,970
  • Graduate Students: 2,841
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 89
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
9

Miami Dade College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,838
    • Out-of-state: $9,661
  • Net Price: $4,998
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 51,679
  • Undergrad Students: 51,679
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 43
  • Miami Dade College
10

North Seattle College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,123
    • Out-of-state: $4,123
  • Net Price: $5,132
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 5,693
  • Undergrad Students: 5,693
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • North Seattle College
11

Saint Johns River State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,830
    • Out-of-state: $10,347
  • Net Price: $5,266
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 7,392
  • Undergrad Students: 7,392
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 19
  • Saint Johns River State College
12

Northwest Florida State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,133
    • Out-of-state: $11,940
  • Net Price: $6,328
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 5,025
  • Undergrad Students: 5,025
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Northwest Florida State College
13

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: 38
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho
14

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: 96
  • California State University-Fresno
15

Fayetteville State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,309
    • Out-of-state: $16,917
  • Net Price: $7,016
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,551
  • Undergrad Students: 5,644
  • Graduate Students: 907
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Fayetteville State University
16

Northern New Mexico College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,952
    • Out-of-state: $13,676
  • Net Price: $7,038
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,119
  • Undergrad Students: 1,119
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Northern New Mexico College
17

Ohio University-Lancaster

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,674
    • Out-of-state: $8,666
  • Net Price: $7,270
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,532
  • Undergrad Students: 2,532
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Ohio University-Lancaster
18

Heritage University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,332
    • Out-of-state: $18,332
  • Net Price: $7,356
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 971
  • Undergrad Students: 827
  • Graduate Students: 144
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 2
  • Heritage University
19

College of the Ozarks

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $19,960
    • Out-of-state: $19,960
  • Net Price: $7,505
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,546
  • Undergrad Students: 1,546
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • College of the Ozarks

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20

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,040
    • Out-of-state: $18,900
  • Net Price: $8,000
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 800
  • Undergrad Students: 800
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
21

College of Central Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,710
    • Out-of-state: $10,517
  • Net Price: $8,181
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 6,605
  • Undergrad Students: 6,605
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • College of Central Florida
22

Cameron University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,450
    • Out-of-state: $15,870
  • Net Price: $8,442
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,142
  • Undergrad Students: 3,816
  • Graduate Students: 326
  • Graduation Rate: 21%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • Cameron University
23

Polk State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,366
    • Out-of-state: $12,272
  • Net Price: $8,573
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 10,827
  • Undergrad Students: 10,827
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • Polk State College
24

Kent State University at Salem

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,229
    • Out-of-state: $15,105
  • Net Price: $8,588
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,646
  • Undergrad Students: 1,646
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Kent State University at Salem
25

Chicago State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,204
    • Out-of-state: $11,204
  • Net Price: $8,637
  • Retention Rate: 52%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,039
  • Undergrad Students: 2,108
  • Graduate Students: 931
  • Graduation Rate: 17%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Chicago State University
26

Louisiana State University-Shreveport

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,160
    • Out-of-state: $20,314
  • Net Price: $8,676
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,579
  • Undergrad Students: 2,577
  • Graduate Students: 6,002
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Louisiana State University-Shreveport
27

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,450
    • Out-of-state: $24,516
  • Net Price: $8,758
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 25,177
  • Undergrad Students: 21,427
  • Graduate Students: 3,750
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
28

Florida International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,565
    • Out-of-state: $18,963
  • Net Price: $8,988
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 58,711
  • Undergrad Students: 49,326
  • Graduate Students: 9,385
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 207
  • Florida International University
29

Green River College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,233
    • Out-of-state: $4,694
  • Net Price: $9,245
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 8,435
  • Undergrad Students: 8,435
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Green River College
30

Coppin State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,809
    • Out-of-state: $13,334
  • Net Price: $12,544
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,101
  • Undergrad Students: 1,845
  • Graduate Students: 256
  • Graduation Rate: 26%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Coppin State University
31

McNeese State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,382
    • Out-of-state: $16,420
  • Net Price: $9,721
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,295
  • Undergrad Students: 6,663
  • Graduate Students: 632
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 23
  • McNeese State University
32

East Central University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,052
    • Out-of-state: $16,412
  • Net Price: $9,776
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,613
  • Undergrad Students: 2,981
  • Graduate Students: 632
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • East Central University
33

Shawnee State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,604
    • Out-of-state: $14,647
  • Net Price: $9,778
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,641
  • Undergrad Students: 3,466
  • Graduate Students: 175
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 22
  • Shawnee State University
34

University of North Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,389
    • Out-of-state: $20,793
  • Net Price: $9,789
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,117
  • Undergrad Students: 14,734
  • Graduate Students: 2,383
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 28
  • University of North Florida

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35

Northeastern State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,915
    • Out-of-state: $15,315
  • Net Price: $9,790
  • Retention Rate: 60%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,517
  • Undergrad Students: 6,289
  • Graduate Students: 1,228
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 38
  • Northeastern State University
36

Harris-Stowe State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,484
    • Out-of-state: $10,116
  • Net Price: $9,889
  • Retention Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,630
  • Undergrad Students: 1,630
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 17%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Harris-Stowe State University
37

Eastern New Mexico University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,648
    • Out-of-state: $8,688
  • Net Price: $9,922
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,685
  • Undergrad Students: 4,465
  • Graduate Students: 1,220
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 13
  • Eastern New Mexico University
38

Governors State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,108
    • Out-of-state: $17,620
  • Net Price: $9,998
  • Retention Rate: 52%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,789
  • Undergrad Students: 3,206
  • Graduate Students: 1,583
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 19
  • Governors State University
39

University of South Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,410
    • Out-of-state: $17,324
  • Net Price: $10,004
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 44,246
  • Undergrad Students: 32,684
  • Graduate Students: 11,562
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 15
  • University of South Florida
40

University of Missouri-St Louis

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,573
    • Out-of-state: $27,972
  • Net Price: $10,039
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,988
  • Undergrad Students: 13,026
  • Graduate Students: 2,962
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • University of Missouri-St Louis
41

Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,118
    • Out-of-state: $25,162
  • Net Price: $10,151
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 14,977
  • Undergrad Students: 13,722
  • Graduate Students: 1,255
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
42

Humphreys University-Stockton and Modestoes

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,580
    • Out-of-state: $14,580
  • Net Price: $10,240
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Total Enrollment: 486
  • Undergrad Students: 309
  • Graduate Students: 177
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 17
  • Humphreys University-Stockton and Modestoes
43

Purdue University Northwest

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,942
    • Out-of-state: $14,734
  • Net Price: $10,279
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,006
  • Undergrad Students: 9,106
  • Graduate Students: 900
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Purdue University Northwest
44

Missouri Western State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,875
    • Out-of-state: $15,300
  • Net Price: $10,440
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,608
  • Undergrad Students: 5,367
  • Graduate Students: 241
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 25
  • Missouri Western State University
45

Rhode Island College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,260
    • Out-of-state: $24,735
  • Net Price: $10,557
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,523
  • Undergrad Students: 6,432
  • Graduate Students: 1,091
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 37
  • Rhode Island College
46

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,173
    • Out-of-state: $15,286
  • Net Price: $10,747
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,970
  • Undergrad Students: 1,767
  • Graduate Students: 203
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University
47

Lewis-Clark State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,982
    • Out-of-state: $20,238
  • Net Price: $10,957
  • Retention Rate: 60%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,748
  • Undergrad Students: 3,748
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • Lewis-Clark State College

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48

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,904
    • Out-of-state: $16,170
  • Net Price: $11,068
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 616
  • Undergrad Students: 616
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 26%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
49

University of Central Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,368
    • Out-of-state: $22,467
  • Net Price: $11,108
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 69,402
  • Undergrad Students: 59,371
  • Graduate Students: 10,031
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 71
  • University of Central Florida
50

Tennessee State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,012
    • Out-of-state: $21,732
  • Net Price: $11,139
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,081
  • Undergrad Students: 5,875
  • Graduate Students: 2,206
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Tennessee State University
51

Santa Fe College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,563
    • Out-of-state: $9,189
  • Net Price: $11,195
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 14,915
  • Undergrad Students: 14,915
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 24
  • Santa Fe College
52

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,622
    • Out-of-state: $25,228
  • Net Price: $11,283
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,766
  • Undergrad Students: 12,103
  • Graduate Students: 663
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
53

New Mexico State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,301
    • Out-of-state: $23,767
  • Net Price: $11,467
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 14,296
  • Undergrad Students: 11,675
  • Graduate Students: 2,621
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 15
  • New Mexico State University
54

Murray State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,168
    • Out-of-state: $18,348
  • Net Price: $11,628
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,556
  • Undergrad Students: 8,139
  • Graduate Students: 1,417
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 13
  • Murray State University
55

Louisiana Tech University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,065
    • Out-of-state: $16,807
  • Net Price: $11,630
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,510
  • Undergrad Students: 10,289
  • Graduate Students: 1,221
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 13
  • Louisiana Tech University
56

The University of Montana-Western

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,747
    • Out-of-state: $17,209
  • Net Price: $11,679
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,358
  • Undergrad Students: 1,358
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 32
  • The University of Montana-Western
57

Weber State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,956
    • Out-of-state: $16,138
  • Net Price: $11,767
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 29,644
  • Undergrad Students: 28,843
  • Graduate Students: 801
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 10
  • Weber State University
58

Youngstown State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,656
    • Out-of-state: $10,016
  • Net Price: $11,785
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,110
  • Undergrad Students: 10,938
  • Graduate Students: 1,172
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 50
  • Youngstown State University
59

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,685
    • Out-of-state: $24,338
  • Net Price: $11,834
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 31,171
  • Undergrad Students: 25,827
  • Graduate Students: 5,344
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 35
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas
60

Columbus State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,241
    • Out-of-state: $17,295
  • Net Price: $11,855
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,877
  • Undergrad Students: 6,501
  • Graduate Students: 1,376
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 36
  • Columbus State University
61

Charter Oak State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,553
    • Out-of-state: $11,166
  • Net Price: $11,872
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,611
  • Undergrad Students: 1,547
  • Graduate Students: 64
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Diplomas Awarded: 17
  • Charter Oak State College
62

Minot State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,896
    • Out-of-state: $7,896
  • Net Price: $11,949
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,125
  • Undergrad Students: 2,836
  • Graduate Students: 289
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Minot State University
63

Augusta University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,022
    • Out-of-state: $24,400
  • Net Price: $11,973
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,650
  • Undergrad Students: 5,604
  • Graduate Students: 3,046
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 28
  • Augusta University
64

College of Coastal Georgia

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,933
    • Out-of-state: $10,839
  • Net Price: $12,085
  • Retention Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,535
  • Undergrad Students: 3,535
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 21
  • College of Coastal Georgia

Find Your College

65

University of New Mexico

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,161
    • Out-of-state: $24,499
  • Net Price: $12,200
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,729
  • Undergrad Students: 17,330
  • Graduate Students: 5,399
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • University of New Mexico
66

Southeastern Louisiana University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,289
    • Out-of-state: $20,767
  • Net Price: $12,206
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 14,220
  • Undergrad Students: 13,257
  • Graduate Students: 963
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 31
  • Southeastern Louisiana University
67

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,366
    • Out-of-state: $18,957
  • Net Price: $12,235
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,581
  • Undergrad Students: 7,120
  • Graduate Students: 2,461
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
68

Middle Tennessee State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,070
    • Out-of-state: $27,742
  • Net Price: $12,265
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 21,721
  • Undergrad Students: 19,461
  • Graduate Students: 2,260
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 27
  • Middle Tennessee State University
69

Purdue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,992
    • Out-of-state: $28,794
  • Net Price: $12,294
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,500
  • Undergrad Students: 34,596
  • Graduate Students: 10,904
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 17
  • Purdue University
70

Eastern Washington University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,733
    • Out-of-state: $25,702
  • Net Price: $12,322
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,410
  • Undergrad Students: 10,756
  • Graduate Students: 1,654
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 25
  • Eastern Washington University
71

Monroe College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,536
    • Out-of-state: $16,536
  • Net Price: $12,330
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,517
  • Undergrad Students: 5,678
  • Graduate Students: 839
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 29
  • Monroe College
72

Francis Marion University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,160
    • Out-of-state: $21,544
  • Net Price: $12,380
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,240
  • Undergrad Students: 3,800
  • Graduate Students: 440
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 26
  • Francis Marion University
73

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,430
    • Out-of-state: $6,430
  • Net Price: $12,435
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 3,821
  • Undergrad Students: 3,502
  • Graduate Students: 319
  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Diplomas Awarded: 29
  • Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies
74

Oakland City University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $24,990
    • Out-of-state: $24,990
  • Net Price: $12,481
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,435
  • Undergrad Students: 1,265
  • Graduate Students: 170
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Oakland City University
75

Morehead State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,290
    • Out-of-state: $13,876
  • Net Price: $12,498
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,654
  • Undergrad Students: 8,958
  • Graduate Students: 696
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • Morehead State University
76

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,735
    • Out-of-state: $16,607
  • Net Price: $12,522
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,452
  • Undergrad Students: 11,024
  • Graduate Students: 1,428
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 51
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
77

University of Michigan-Flint

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,744
    • Out-of-state: $24,546
  • Net Price: $12,546
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,297
  • Undergrad Students: 5,862
  • Graduate Students: 1,435
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • University of Michigan-Flint
78

Nicholls State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,946
    • Out-of-state: $9,039
  • Net Price: $12,621
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,491
  • Undergrad Students: 5,906
  • Graduate Students: 585
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 20
  • Nicholls State University
79

University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,552
    • Out-of-state: $27,520
  • Net Price: $12,639
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,191
  • Undergrad Students: 6,910
  • Graduate Students: 2,281
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 17
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn
80

University of South Carolina Aiken

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,760
    • Out-of-state: $21,218
  • Net Price: $12,689
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,720
  • Undergrad Students: 3,252
  • Graduate Students: 468
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 13
  • University of South Carolina Aiken
81

Western Kentucky University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,802
    • Out-of-state: $26,496
  • Net Price: $12,705
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,171
  • Undergrad Students: 15,895
  • Graduate Students: 2,276
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • Western Kentucky University
82

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,358
    • Out-of-state: $24,086
  • Net Price: $12,706
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 16,933
  • Undergrad Students: 14,603
  • Graduate Students: 2,330
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 47
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
83

University of Phoenix-Arizona

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,552
    • Out-of-state: $9,552
  • Net Price: $12,780
  • Retention Rate: 38%
  • Total Enrollment: 94,724
  • Undergrad Students: 72,485
  • Graduate Students: 22,239
  • Graduation Rate: 15%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 72
  • University of Phoenix-Arizona

Find Your Program

84

Florida State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,656
    • Out-of-state: $18,786
  • Net Price: $12,815
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Total Enrollment: 42,450
  • Undergrad Students: 33,270
  • Graduate Students: 9,180
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Florida State University
85

Fort Valley State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,832
    • Out-of-state: $16,554
  • Net Price: $12,916
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,624
  • Undergrad Students: 2,293
  • Graduate Students: 331
  • Graduation Rate: 35%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • Fort Valley State University
86

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,672
    • Out-of-state: $19,460
  • Net Price: $12,938
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,900
  • Undergrad Students: 9,825
  • Graduate Students: 1,075
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana
87

State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,074
    • Out-of-state: $11,595
  • Net Price: $12,985
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 10,096
  • Undergrad Students: 10,096
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 17
  • State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota
88

Idaho State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,872
    • Out-of-state: $24,494
  • Net Price: $12,999
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,402
  • Undergrad Students: 10,353
  • Graduate Students: 2,049
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Idaho State University
89

Granite State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,791
    • Out-of-state: $9,015
  • Net Price: $13,051
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,005
  • Undergrad Students: 1,729
  • Graduate Students: 276
  • Graduation Rate: 19%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Granite State College
90

Brigham Young University-Provo

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,970
    • Out-of-state: $5,970
  • Net Price: $13,150
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Total Enrollment: 34,318
  • Undergrad Students: 31,292
  • Graduate Students: 3,026
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 26
  • Brigham Young University-Provo
91

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,300
    • Out-of-state: $17,004
  • Net Price: $13,166
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,332
  • Undergrad Students: 7,838
  • Graduate Students: 494
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 21
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
92

Tennessee Wesleyan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $25,850
    • Out-of-state: $25,850
  • Net Price: $13,183
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,141
  • Undergrad Students: 1,060
  • Graduate Students: 81
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Tennessee Wesleyan University
93

Indiana University-Bloomington

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,221
    • Out-of-state: $37,600
  • Net Price: $13,191
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Total Enrollment: 43,260
  • Undergrad Students: 33,084
  • Graduate Students: 10,176
  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
94

Colorado State University Pueblo

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,591
    • Out-of-state: $15,149
  • Net Price: $13,388
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,081
  • Undergrad Students: 4,310
  • Graduate Students: 2,771
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Colorado State University Pueblo
95

Ball State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,144
    • Out-of-state: $27,132
  • Net Price: $13,195
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,443
  • Undergrad Students: 16,702
  • Graduate Students: 5,741
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 60
  • Ball State University
96

Troy University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,908
    • Out-of-state: $16,708
  • Net Price: $13,257
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 16,436
  • Undergrad Students: 12,995
  • Graduate Students: 3,441
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Troy University
97

University of North Alabama

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,620
    • Out-of-state: $20,220
  • Net Price: $13,279
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,702
  • Undergrad Students: 6,050
  • Graduate Students: 1,652
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 10
  • University of North Alabama
98

Alabama State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,068
    • Out-of-state: $19,396
  • Net Price: $13,282
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,190
  • Undergrad Students: 3,750
  • Graduate Students: 440
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 10
  • Alabama State University
99

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,136
    • Out-of-state: $$21,718
  • Net Price: $13,314
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,153
  • Undergrad Students: 12,245
  • Graduate Students: 2,908
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
100

Saint Xavier University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $34,730
    • Out-of-state: $34,730
  • Net Price: $13,326
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,623
  • Undergrad Students: 2,957
  • Graduate Students: 666
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • Saint Xavier University

Why a Degree from an Affordable Early Childhood Education School?


Every student wants to find the best, most affordable degree program for their college experience. The good news is that a terrific education doesn't have to cost a lot of money and that even the least expensive options can offer top quality instruction. This goes for most any degree, but students of early childhood education can certainly benefit. It's important to determine what makes a degree truly affordable.

An early childhood education degree becomes affordable when the graduate is able to start a career in their chosen field and not spend too long under the burden of their college debt. In the case of ECE, graduates are sure to find an expanding array of opportunities in our current climate. This is because there's a renewed focus on preschools and the benefits of early childhood education.

In fact, an economist from the University of Chicago released a study in 2012 that demonstrated the terrific gains from investment in preschool programs. In particular, the study revealed that investing in underprivileged children from birth to age three helps them gain fundamental skills that they can build on for a lifetime. The resulting financial return is around 15%, according to the study. In the wake of this groundbreaking, if unsurprising, study, federal funds began to flow into preschool programs nationwide.

Nowadays, more funds are proposed for preschool programs. Where the earlier round of funding was in the form of grants, the new programs will likely be funded without the burden of a grant application. Thus, the job opportunities for early childhood education students are continuing to expand.

Choosing an Affordable Early Childhood Education College


When seeking an affordable online early childhood education bachelor's degree, there are more factors in play than mere cost. Other factors can include the overall reputation and quality of education, whether the classes are online or in classrooms, and the academic focus of the program.

As for the reputation and quality of an education, students should research schools based on sources that evaluate the appropriate educational statistics. Some of the key data points to use when assessing an early childhood education program are the retention rate, graduation rate, and student-to-faculty ratio. These objective measures can provide a counterweight to other, more emotional factors.

In fact, one of the most important factors to research is the program's accreditation. Students should only apply to fully accredited programs. That is, programs that have received credentials from CHEA approved accreditation agencies. This will ensure that the level of instruction is adequate to help launch a career and serve the most children possible.

CHEA approved regional accreditation agencies include:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Students may also choose to look for programmatic accreditation that covers teacher education. These include groups such as the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). These days students can also choose whether to pursue an online education or a traditional classroom experience. While research shows that outcomes are the same regardless of how the material is delivered, students will probably have a preference. For those who feel torn, many programs offer hybrid options for students who wish to experiment with online courses.

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Finally, another quality to consider is the focus of each program. Some programs may emphasize a specific educational modality, such as Montessori or Reggio Emilia. Others might offer a focus of particular interest, such as special education or gifted education. There may be other educational philosophies that students prefer, and it's important to find a program that can accommodate those views.

Online Options


Online education is a huge part of the academic picture these days. If the COVID pandemic can be said to have had any lasting impact, it certainly changed the face of online education, for better or worse. During the pandemic, nearly every active student in the nation took their courses online for approximately a year and a half. Thus, there are likely to be even more online classes and even whole programs dedicated to early childhood education than there were before these events.

Whether or not this modality is ideal for an education program is debatable. The courses that are heavy on theory and textbook instruction can likely translate easily to the online medium. However, those courses that rely more on group interactions and active, participatory activities, such as mock teaching, might suffer in an online format. However, if this problem can be solved, there is no doubt that an education faculty can arrive at the proper curricular solution.

Online education is surely here to stay and students should consider giving it a shot for at least one course, if only for the experience. After all, online courses certainly provide flexibility in one's schedule and so might be optimal for students who are working or doing an internship. Furthermore, studies show that online education has the same academic outcomes as traditional classroom instruction.

Online universities also open up more opportunities for learning. Since online education is often more affordable than traditional options, students have more options at their fingertips. No longer do students have no options other than to move hundreds of miles away to enroll in the program of their choice. Now, those opportunities are readily available and there's no moving required.

Are Early Childhood Education Programs in High Demand?


Since most children these days takes part in some form of preschool or other early childhood education, it would seem that the growth rate for these programs tracks well with population growth. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the profession is in a period of slow growth and, indeed, population growth has slowed somewhat recently. Their research shows that the profession will grow by 2% through 2029. However, these numbers may change if certain legislation were to pass. If that law provides more funding for preschools, the demand for teachers could rise.z

Nevertheless, there is always a need for early childhood specialists who can provide stimulation and instruction for very young children. Those who hone their craft and specialize in a specific modality such as Montessori or Reggio Emilia may find that their work is highly valued and rewarded.

For those who decide to pursue a teaching certificate to work with older children, kindergarten and elementary school teachers are reported to be growing as a profession. The BLS reports that this employment sector is slated to grow by 4% through 2029. They also earn up to twice as much as those who teach preschool and younger age groups.

One key advantage preschool specialists have over their licensed colleagues is the ability to open their own early childhood education program. This entrepreneurial option has turned many early childhood educators into small businesspeople who make a healthy living. Those who are able to manage centers that span birth through around age four are able to not only enrich the lives of many children, but they can also apply their knowledge of early childhood development.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Early Childhood Education?


A degree in early childhood education can lead to a number of possible jobs and careers. The most obvious choice is to work in a community preschool. This work can be enormously enriching and can provide many opportunities for teachers to express their creativity and innovative approaches to early childhood education.

Not only are there opportunities in private preschools, but degree holders might look for a position with Head Start. This is a government program that provides early childhood education for underprivileged youth and their families. These jobs provide an opportunity for teachers to have a great, positive impact on their students and the entire community.

In either a private or public setting, early childhood educators can move up into a supervisory or even administrative position in their school. They might first achieve the status of lead teacher and then become a program director. There may be more such opportunities in Head Start, but private preschools offer other opportunities.

Specifically, preschool teachers can branch out and open schools of their own. This brings non-educational challenges in the form of business loans, licensing, and the other vagaries of business ownership. However, the experience can be both rewarding and lucrative for the right person.

Another way for early childhood educators to achieve more autonomy is to work with families as an in-home caregiver for their children. These professionals, often called au pairs, are tasked with carting children to activities, teaching them basic preschool curriculum, and more, depending on the family.

Others can seek out specialty fields within early childhood education. For instance, some may achieve special certifications to work with special education children. Others might delve into child psychology and work as social workers with an early childhood focus. With more training, an early childhood educator might open a private practice and practice child psychology.

Early Childhood Education Graduates Earn More After College


Across the board, those with a bachelor’s degree tend to make more than those who don't graduate from college. According to Payscale.com, those with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education earn an average of $55,000. Their salary can go even higher if they become a curriculum director, as Payscale's research indicates that their average salary is around $63,000. At the top end, executive directors in early childhood programs can make an average of $94,000.

Meanwhile, those who start their careers with an associate degree in early childhood education make a little less, on average. Payscale reports that two-year degree holders average just over $35,000 as early childhood educators. At the high end, this degree level averages $44,000 in the position of preschool director.

Finally, those who take their personal education to the next level and earn an MEd in early childhood education earn a reported average salary of $50,000. They are also able to land positions such as assistant principal, which brings their average pay up above $90,000. Those with this level of education might also be able to work as counselors for troubled or traumatized youth. Their graduate degree may also open up opportunities to work as consultants to public and private schools.

FAQs


  • What qualities do I need to become an effective educator upon earning my early childhood education degree?
    Early childhood education professionals need to have many strong personal qualities in order to truly succeed. They need to have a firm grounding in early childhood education by way of a two- or four-year degree, endless patience, and a love of children, among other qualities.
  • What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor’s or master’s in early childhood education?
    The top paying jobs for a professional with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in early childhood education is as an executive director in a preschool. However, those with an MEd in early childhood education might become assistant principal (or principal) of a public school and thus earn an average of around $90,000, depending on the school district.
  • How much does it cost to get a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education?
    This depends on whether the school is a public, in-state institution, private, or an out-of-state college or university. For a public, in-state university, tuition tends to run around $10,000 per year. Private schools can cost $50,000 per year for tuition alone, though some schools are significantly more expensive. Keep in mind that these are the gross costs; financial aid can reduce these figures significantly.
  • What are the goals of a bachelor’s program in early childhood education?
    Most colleges that offer ECE as a major tend to craft a curriculum that will lead to state licensure as a public-school teacher. Typically, an ECE graduate would enter the working world as a kindergarten teacher.

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