Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Updated October 27, 2022

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Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

By 2020, 66 percent of jobs in Missouri are projected to require a postsecondary degree. In response to that estimate, Missouri's Big Goal for higher education aims to provide 60 percent of adults in the state with postsecondary degrees by 2025. But stats show that only 27.6 percent of Missouri residents held a bachelor's degree or higher as of 2016. In order to fulfill the Big Goal promise, non-traditional students who have put college on hold in favor of work, family and other lifestyle commitments are likely considering online colleges, which offer greater learning flexibility than traditional, on-campus programs. But how are you to tell which are truly the best online colleges in Missouri? And what makes them the best? Find answers to these questions, along with answers to other common queries surrounding online colleges, from how to fund your online education in Missouri, details on college transfers and career potential in the state below.

Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Initiatives in Missouri help prepare adult learners for college and make tuition more affordable. The Coordinating Board for Higher Education set a goal for 60% of working-age residents to hold a college degree by 2025. The board also works to make Missouri one of the 10 most affordable states to earn a college degree.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees at public four-year schools in Missouri cost an average of $8,387, which is less than the national average of $9,037. However, most students still need assistance paying for college. This guide explores scholarships and grants for learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri.

#1 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Cox College

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cox College's offerings include top-quality academic programming, which learners can access in person or online. The private institution provides flexible enrollment options for its 956 online students. The flexibility of online learning allows working professionals to complete coursework at convenient times.

Online enrollees can participate in forum discussions and group projects. Participants can collaborate with peers and instructors while conducting original research. Learners also gain access to institutional resources, such as academic advising and career services, and receive academic and professional guidance throughout the duration of their degree program.

To pay for their education, degree-seekers can consider institutional aid and external funding, such as federal loans and private scholarship programs. Students can contact a financial aid officer for information about eligibility requirements for institutional scholarships and fellowships. According to the school, 100% of enrollees receive some form of aid to fund their education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
39%
Students Enrolled
956
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Webster University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees who plan to study online can pursue a variety of excellent remote programs from Webster University. The school supports an impressive 96 online programs, reaching 4,741 learners near and far. Flexible scheduling and enrollment options allow online students to earn their degree more quickly than many on-campus learners.

Enrollees can connect with peers and instructors through group projects, virtual office hours, and online discussion boards. While completing original research, degree-seekers contribute to the field's body of knowledge while enhancing their resume. Students can take advantage of institutional resources including career services and academic advising. Learners can access resume assistance and mock interviews to ensure they put their best foot forward when approaching employers after graduation.

Online students may need to pay an additional technology fee. Admissions counselors can provide detailed cost information and help applicants understand the amount they should budget for their education. To minimize student debt, enrollees should apply for any funding for which they are eligible, including federal aid, scholarships, and institutional awards.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,500
Out-of-state
$28,500
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
9,860
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Maryville University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a premier online education should consider Maryville University. The private school maintains a campus in Saint Louis, Missouri, and offers 52 online programs for degree-seekers throughout the country. The institution provides online resources to support its 7,651 distance learners, including virtual library access and tutoring.

The online learning platform allows enrollees to communicate with peers and instructors, receiving assistance and developing professional connections. Curricula include general education requirements, which help learners develop soft skills that apply to careers across industries. Academic advisors help students explore elective options and other academic opportunities. Options for gaining professional experience while enrolled include internships and research projects.

To learn about program costs and funding options, applicants can contact the financial aid office. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

University of Missouri

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Missouri delivers flexible options for online learners. Located in Columbia, the school's academic options include in-person programs and 58 online programs. The institution's enrollment includes 9,722 online degree-seekers, who take classes remotely.

Online students receive support and can form connections through the virtual learning community. While earning their degree, participants can use virtual communication tools to network with classmates. Opportunities such as internships allow students to develop their professional skills while bolstering their resume. Online learners can access institutional resources such as academic advising. Networking opportunities and career services help enrollees prepare to succeed in the workforce.

Many students apply for financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. Many organizations, such as professional associations, offer scholarships to learners in certain fields. According to the institution, 89% of enrollees use financial aid to fund their education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,120
Out-of-state
$26,991
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
30,014
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

University of Central Missouri

  • Warrensburg, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Central Missouri offers online programs of premier quality. In addition to on-campus programs in Warrensburg, the school delivers 21 online programs. With flexible enrollment options, online programs often allow learners to begin their studies more quickly.

Students earning a degree online can participate in discussions and receive assistance from professors through the virtual learning platform. Completing field-specific experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects, can help graduates impress prospective employers. Enrollees can discuss their professional prospects with departmental academic advisors and the institution's career counselors. Toward the end of their degree, students can partake in career workshops and mock interviews to prepare to enter the workforce.

With assistance from the institution's financial aid counselors, applicants can explore many funding options. Available funding options include scholarships, grants, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Of the school's students, 94% receive financial aid of some type.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,128
Out-of-state
$14,256
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
65%
Students Enrolled
11,229
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Missouri University of Science and Technology

  • Rolla, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online learners at Missouri University of Science and Technology participate in high-quality programs that provide important academic preparation. The public institution's 1,747 online students can choose from 47 online programs, which they can complete from any location. Online learning eliminates the need to live near campus, allowing individuals to study from any location.

Instructors provide online enrollees with support and opportunities to participate in class discussions. Research opportunities help participants bolster their resume and develop practical skills. Learners can benefit from consulting departmental advisors to ensure they are on track to meet their academic goals.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal scholarships, grants, and loans. To understand their financial aid options, students can contact the institution's financial aid office. The school reports that 96% of enrollees receive financial aid of some kind, which can help them fund their degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,120
Out-of-state
$27,921
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
8,088
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Missouri State University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees who plan to study online can pursue a variety of excellent remote programs from Missouri State University. Regardless of geographic location, learners can enroll in any of the school's 82 online programs. The flexibility of online learning allows current professionals to complete assignments around their work schedule.

Enrollees can connect with peers and instructors through group projects, virtual office hours, and online discussion boards. Many employers prefer candidates with professional experience, which degree-seekers can gain by completing internships. Career services prepare students to obtain a job in their field after graduation.

Students can access career services for help choosing the best professional path. Learners who are nervous about attending job interviews can participate in mock interviews to prepare for their job search.

Educational expenses can vary based on the program. Applicants can discuss the exact cost of earning a degree with an admissions counselor. Scholarship and grant programs help enrollees reduce out-of-pocket expenses and student debt.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,540
Out-of-state
$14,850
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
23,453
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Lindenwood University

  • Saint Charles, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees at Lindenwood University can study on campus or through online academic programs. The school's offerings include 11 online programs, through which 4,457 learners pursue their degree. The institution's flexible remote programs make higher education more accessible for busy students.

Through the virtual learning platform, enrollees can connect with classmates and professors to develop their professional network. Degree-seekers who complete internships or research projects can leverage their experience when pursuing jobs after graduation. Students can discuss their academic path with departmental advisors, who provide important insights into the field. To prepare to secure employment after graduation, learners can participate in career workshops and mock interviews.

Students in different programs often have unique costs and educational expenses. Admissions counselors can provide details about program fees and the overall cost of earning a degree. Enrollees can apply for scholarships reserved for individuals in their field, along with federal aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,000
Out-of-state
$18,000
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
8,392
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Columbia College

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners can access flexible online programs from Columbia College. Online students attending the Missouri-based school can choose from 33 distance programs. Of the institution's enrollees, 7,568 study in an online format.

The school offers a supportive community for online students. Participants learn alongside colleagues in a virtual classroom environment. To contribute to the field and gain practical skills, students can complete original research under faculty supervision. Online resources for distance learners include access to academic advisors, who help with course selection. Enrollees can benefit from career services including mock interviews and job fairs.

To reduce the financial burden of higher education, eligible students can apply for financial aid. Learners often benefit from applying to a variety of funding programs, including those offered by private organizations. The institution indicates that 89% of its enrollees use financial aid to defray their educational costs.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,912
Out-of-state
$10,912
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,913
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Park University

  • Parkville, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners with personal and professional responsibilities can pursue their degree online from Park University. Online students attending the Missouri-based school can choose from 58 distance programs. The institution enrolls 8,894 degree-seekers in its remote online programs.

Students benefit from a supportive online learning community. During their studies, participants can build their professional network. Online students can pursue internship opportunities at facilities near their home. Institutional resources including online academic advising help distance learners select classes that match their professional goals. Opportunities such as job fairs and career workshops help enrollees explore their professional options.

To minimize debt, students can apply for financial aid. Learners often benefit from applying for a variety of funding programs, including those offered by private organizations. To defray the cost of their education, 93% of enrollees receive financial aid of some type, according to the institution's statistics.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,999
Out-of-state
$7,999
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,415
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

  • Kansas City, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary delivers options for remote students. Enrollees at the school can choose from 15 online programs or take on-campus classes in Kansas City, Missouri. Learners from all walks of life can benefit from the flexibility guaranteed by an online education.

Like on-campus students, those pursuing a degree online receive opportunities to develop connections with classmates and instructors. Research projects present opportunities for learners to bolster their resume while contributing knowledge to their field. Career counselors help enrollees identify the best professional path for them and prepare to find and secure jobs after graduation. As they near completion of their program, students can participate in career workshops to prepare to secure employment after graduation.

When preparing for the cost of education, applicants can speak with a financial aid counselor to explore funding opportunities. Eligible enrollees can earn internal and external funding, including scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. According to the school, the number of degree-seekers receiving financial aid amounts to 90% of the student body.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$7,920
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
3,038
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Southeast Missouri State University

  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Southeast Missouri State University delivers options for remote students. Along with educating enrollees at its campus, the school offers 25 distance programs for its 5,553 online enrollees. The flexibility of online programs can benefit learners with personal and professional responsibilities.

Like on-campus students, those pursuing a degree online receive opportunities to develop connections with classmates and instructors. Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects, help learners bolster their resume and prepare for the workforce. Institutional resources, such as job boards and the alumni network, can help enrollees locate job opportunities after graduation. Career workshops provide opportunities for students to explore their job prospects before graduation.

The institution's financial aid office is an excellent resource for applicants who need help exploring their funding options. Available options include scholarships, grants, fellowships, and federal financial aid. The school indicates that 96% of students are awarded financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,606
Out-of-state
$12,636
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,637
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Northwest Missouri State University

  • Maryville, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

For a premier educational experience, online learners can attend Northwest Missouri State University. The public institution's 2,759 online students can choose from 14 online programs, which they can complete from any location. Learners who need to set their own schedule, such as working professionals, often benefit from the flexibility of online programs.

Online enrollees can communicate with peers and professors remotely. Participants can collaborate with peers and instructors while conducting original research. The institution's academic and career advisors help learners reach their academic and professional goals.

If they demonstrate financial need, degree-seekers may qualify for federal scholarships, grants, and loans. Students can consult financial aid officers for information about institutional and outside funding options. The college reports that 98% of all enrollees receive some form of aid, defraying the cost of education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,956
Out-of-state
$10,738
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
7,104
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Missouri Southern State University

  • Joplin, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Missouri Southern State University delivers high-quality, flexible online programs. In addition to programs at its Joplin campus, the school offers nine academic options in an online format. The institution's student body includes 2,836 online enrollees.

The school offers a supportive community for online students. While earning their degree, participants can use virtual communication tools to network with classmates. Many employers prefer candidates with professional experience, which students can gain by completing internships and research projects. Distance learners can communicate with academic advisors to select classes aligning with their goals. During job fairs, enrollees can network with prospective employers and make professional connections.

Many students apply for financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school's financial aid office provides information about scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid opportunities. To help pay for their educational program, 95% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,289
Out-of-state
$14,578
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
5,604
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Fontbonne University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fontbonne University delivers flexible options for online learners. From its main campus in Saint Louis, Missouri, the school delivers eight online programs to students located throughout the country. Of all enrollees, 701 benefit from distance learning opportunities.

Online students receive opportunities to collaborate with classmates. Participants can develop connections with classmates, which may lead to jobs after graduation. Students can pursue internships and research projects to enhance their resume while completing their program. Online resources for distance learners include access to academic advisors, who help with course selection. To prepare to apply for jobs after graduation, enrollees can take advantage of mock interviews and resume help.

Students with demonstrable financial need can submit the FAFSA to receive funding from the federal government. Many organizations, such as professional associations, offer scholarships to learners in certain fields. To defray the cost of their education, 98% of enrollees receive financial aid of some type, according to the institution's statistics.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,760
Out-of-state
$26,760
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
1,199
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#16 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

University of Missouri St. Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Regardless of their professional aspirations, enrollees can receive a high-quality education through the University of Missouri St. Louis's online programs. The school's 5,037 online programs meet the same academic standards as its in-person programs. The flexibility of online learning allows current professionals to complete assignments around their work schedule.

Online enrollees receive opportunities to connect with classmates located throughout the country. Experiential learning opportunities include internships and original research projects. Career counselors help students identify professional goals and develop a plan to achieve them. To prepare to secure employment after graduation, learners can participate in career workshops and mock interviews.

Some classes require additional fees. Before enrolling, applicants should consider the overall cost of earning a degree and can receive detailed information from an admissions counselor. Enrollees can apply for scholarships reserved for individuals in their field, along with federal aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,079
Out-of-state
$29,295
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
15,988
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#17 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

William Woods University

  • Fulton, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students can enroll in William Woods University's online programs to earn their degree remotely. The private school maintains a campus in Fulton, Missouri, and offers 14 online programs for degree-seekers throughout the country. Online resources such as tutoring and library access help the institution's 876 online learners succeed academically.

After enrolling, online enrollees connect with fellow colleagues, faculty members, and staff through a virtual classroom environment. Learners complete general education requirements and advanced classes to prepare for roles in their field. Students consult with academic advisors to choose elective classes that align with their academic and professional goals. To be more competitive for professional roles, enrollees can conduct original research and complete internships while earning their degree.

The financial aid office can help applicants understand funding options and minimize student debt. Students should submit the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,950
Out-of-state
$23,950
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
2,153
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#18 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Evangel University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
With programs in various fields, Evangel University's online degrees help enrollees gain the education they need to succeed in many professional roles. The school's 950 online programs meet the same academic standards as its in-person programs. With flexible scheduling options, the institution's online programs make higher education more accessible for students with families and full-time employment.

Enrollees connect with classmates and faculty members through a virtual classroom environment. Degree-seekers can contribute to their field and enhance their resume by completing original research during their studies. Academic advisors provide support and guidance for online students throughout their program. Learners who are nervous about attending job interviews can participate in mock interviews to prepare for their job search.

Students should expect to pay varying fees and costs based on their program and course selections. Applicants can discuss the exact cost of earning a degree with an admissions counselor. In addition to institutional funding, enrollees can apply for private scholarships based on their field and background.

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,032
Out-of-state
$23,032
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
2,300
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#19 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Missouri Baptist University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students at Missouri Baptist University can access top-quality educational programs in an online format. Delivering 25 online programs in various fields, the school educates 1,826 online enrollees, in addition to those studying on campus. With flexible enrollment options, online programs often allow learners to begin their studies more quickly.

The institution's virtual learning platform provides opportunities for students to communicate with instructors and classmates. In addition to internships, research projects provide opportunities for learners to collaborate with professionals in their field and gain practical experience. Career counselors help enrollees identify the best professional path for them and prepare to find and secure jobs after graduation. During career workshops, students can explore professional opportunities aligning with their academic background.

Applicants who need help understanding various funding options can receive help from the institution's dedicated financial aid counselors. Enrollees can apply for scholarships based on academic merit and awards reserved for learners in their field. The school reports that 99% of its students receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,860
Out-of-state
$26,860
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
5,309
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#20 Best Online Colleges in Missouri

Drury University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrollees at Drury University can study on campus or through online academic programs. With 387 online learners, the school provides six online program options. The institution's online programs feature flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for students with personal or professional responsibilities.

Online enrollees who take opportunities to connect with peers may leverage their network to access job opportunities after graduation. Degree-seekers can contribute to their field and enhance their resume by completing original research during their studies. Institutional resources, including career services and academic advising, help students succeed in their online program. The school organizes job fairs and hosts career workshops to help learners understand their professional options.

Program costs vary based on the student's field. Admissions counselors can provide details about program fees and the overall cost of earning a degree. Federal financial aid, including grants and work-study programs, can help enrollees afford higher education.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,500
Out-of-state
$28,500
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
1,743
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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How Much More Do College Grads in Missouri Make?

According to a 2016 MDHEWD report, the Missouri Department of Economic Development projected that 92% of the state's highest-paying jobs would require at least a bachelor's degree by 2020. The same report states that more than 50% of Missourians held a college degree in 2016.

Professionals with higher levels of education tend to earn higher salaries. Additionally, college graduates often hold jobs with health insurance and retirement benefits. The table below illustrates the correlation between educational attainment and earning potential.

Annual Full Time Wage and Salary by Educational Attainment in the U.S.

Salary Comparison by Degree
Less Than a High School Diploma High School Diploma Associate Degree Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824 $62,296 $74,568 $94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Missouri: Tuition and Financial Aid

Both in-state and out-of-state learners at Missouri schools pay average tuition rates that are lower than the national average. Nonetheless, most Missouri students need assistance to minimize their college debt.

The following tables compare the average tuition costs for Missouri students to the national averages. Factors that impact tuition rates include the learner's residency status and whether they attend a public or private school.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Type of School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
Public $7,924 $20,061 $9,037 (In-State); $25,657 (Out-of-State)
Private $24,615 N/A $30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Missouri

Tuition and expenses typically comprise the largest percentage of the total cost of college. However, students should consider additional costs when budgeting for college. Below are some cost considerations for students at online schools and colleges in Missouri.

  • Activity Fee

    Undergraduates must often pay an activity fee to support on-campus programs, clubs, and activities. Online students may not pay this fee.

  • Information Technology

    Many schools charge an information technology fee to cover costs related to internet, email services, and computer labs.

  • Instructional Fees

    Students sometimes pay an instructional fee, which typically covers costs such as adding to the library's catalog and upgrading equipment.

  • Online Course Fee

    Online learners often pay a per-course or per-semester fee that covers costs associated with distance learning, such as technical support.

  • Self-Paced Course

    Students may pay an administrative fee to take self-paced or asynchronous courses.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Missouri

To prove residency, Missouri students must submit documents in accordance with the state's regulations. Learners who do not meet residency requirements must pay out-of-state tuition rates and cannot receive financial aid from the state government.

To qualify for in-state tuition rates, students must generally have resided in Missouri for 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the semester. Learners can also show proof of living in Missouri to work full time. Acceptable documentation includes income tax statements and pay stubs. Military students may receive exceptions.

Paying for College in Missouri: Scholarships and Financial Aid

To help fund their education, students attending online schools and colleges in Missouri can apply for scholarships from private organizations, their school, and the state. Scholarships and grants are ideal forms of funding, since they do not require repayment. Below are some funding programs available to Missouri students.

Scholarships for Missouri College Students


Community Foundation of the Ozarks Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The Community Foundation of the Ozarks provides scholarships to high school seniors and current college students. Requirements for scholarships vary, with some awards only available to students in the Missouri Ozarks region.

Amount: Varies

Fresh Start Scholarhip

Who Can Apply: Each year, two students receive this scholarship. Applicants must be aged 17-29, must reside in the Greater St. Louis region, and must attend a community or technical college full or part time. Learners who took a nontraditional pathway to college receive preference.

Amount: $7,500

Glenn L. Moller, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship program honors Glenn L. Moller, Jr., who died in Vietnam. The award supports learners who have overcome challenging backgrounds. Applicants must be attending a two- or four-year school and must demonstrate financial need.

Amount: Varies

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation Regional Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This regional scholarship supports four learners per year who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement. Applicants must submit an essay, high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation.

Amount: $3,500

Arthur and Anna McGlothian Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Candidates for this award must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a religious college in St. Joseph, Missouri. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Amount: $1,500

Grants for Missouri College Students


Advanced Placement Incentive Grant

Who Can Apply: High school seniors who meet the eligibility requirements for Access Missouri and the A+ Scholarship can receive this grant. Applicants must earn two qualifying scores on Advanced Placement exams in math and/or science.

Amount: $500

Helen M. Delano Fund

Who Can Apply: This grant supports family members of firefighters or police officers who died in the line of duty. Applicants must submit a letter of request and a letter of recommendation from the chief of police or fire chief.

Amount: $2,000

Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant

Who Can Apply: Missouri residents who are at least 25 years old pursuing their first bachelor's degree can apply for this grant. Applicants must meet income eligibility requirements and must submit a Fast Track application.

Amount: Up to $500

Bright Flight Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: This state-funded scholarship supports students whose ACT or SAT score was in the top 3% for their high school. Applicants must attend college full time.

Amount: $1,000 to $3,000

Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program

Who Can Apply: Academically accomplished students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds can apply for this award. Applicants must be Missouri residents, have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or 2.5 college GPA, and be studying an approved subject area.

Amount: Varies

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Online schools and colleges in Missouri can receive accreditation through a voluntary evaluation process. An independent agency reviews and evaluates the school to ensure its curricula and outcomes meet academic standards. Attending an accredited school ensures that employers will recognize your degree, and it is often required to qualify for federal and state financial aid programs.

Students who attend a college without regional accreditation cannot receive federal loans or grants. The following sections explore various types of accreditation and provide information about how to identify an institution's accreditation status.

  • Regional and National Accreditation

    Six agencies award regional accreditation to U.S. institutions. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation for Missouri schools. Vocational and technical colleges often earn national accreditation. Regional accreditation is more prestigious than national accreditation, and credits earned from nationally accredited schools do not typically transfer to regionally accredited institutions.
  • Subject-Specific Accreditation

    Subject-specific accrediting agencies evaluate programs and departments within specific fields. For example, the American Psychological Association accredits psychology programs, and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council accredits education programs.

    Subject-specific accreditation demonstrates that a program meets accepted standards for the industry. Professionals in some fields need a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure.

  • How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

    Accredited colleges and universities generally feature accreditation information on their website. Learners can confirm a school's accreditation status by searching databases from the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development also provides information about the accreditation status of schools in the state.

Online College and Adult Education in Missouri

Several Missouri state initiatives help improve access to higher education, especially for working-age adults. Students can take advantage of state initiatives that support working adults and online learners. The following sections include information about resources for adult learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Missouri

As of 2018, 28.6% of Missouri residents 25 or older held a bachelor's degree or higher.

Each year of higher education leads to an average salary increase of 10%.

Only 11% of the lowest-income students complete their college degree.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, St. Louis Graduates

Adult Education Programs for Missouri Students

This initiative helps students earn 15 credits per semester to stay on track to graduate on time. Students who maintain this pace of study can earn an associate degree in two years and a bachelor's degree in four years.

As a result of Senate Bill 997, all public two-year and four-year colleges in Missouri adopted this standard transfer curriculum, which helps students easily transfer college credits.

This grant covers tuition and fees for up to two years for working adults pursuing high-need occupations.

Online College Resources for Missouri Students

Learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri can access free local and national resources. The resources below can help students find financial aid, transfer college credits, and plan their careers.

This online resource from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development helps students track their transfer credits, access state financial aid, and work on college essays. This free online service from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offers career development and educational resources. This foundation provides financial aid assistance. Learners can attend workshops in St. Louis or schedule a personal appointment. This resource from Purdue University delivers free online writing help. Students can access information about writing academic papers, adhering to MLA style, and creating works cited pages. The St. Louis Community Foundation funds this program, which offers scholarships and advocacy opportunities. The program facilitates higher education opportunities for low-income people of color.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

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