If you’re looking to kickstart your career in computer or information technology, you’re probably wondering where to get an education at a cheap price without compromising on quality. This guide takes you through the cheapest computer engineering schools in the USA.
This article covers the most affordable computer engineering schools as well as online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for computer engineering students who need flexibility. In addition to the cheapest computer engineering degrees, we look at the highest-paying computer engineering careers you can get with a relevant degree.
What Are the Most Affordable Computer Engineering Schools in the US?
The most affordable computer engineering schools in the US are Florida State University, Grantham University, and Southern New Hampshire University. These institutions offer programs that cost less than $400 per credit hour, which is half the average cost of a computer engineering program.
How Much Do the Cheapest Computer Engineering Schools Cost?
The cheapest computer engineering schools cost between $500 and $800 per credit. Institutions like Dakota State University, Florida State University, and Grantham University charge less than $500 per credit for some of their programs. Meanwhile, most affordable schools fall around the $600 mark.
Cheapest Computer Engineering Schools Costs Breakdown
- Tuition and Fees. These are the fees a student pays to a university for classes. Tuition rates make up the highest percentage of university costs.
- Accommodation. These are the fees charged to students for living on campus during the course of their studies.
- Books and Supplies. This is the cost of textbooks as well as other supplies, like art supplies for art students or calculators and the like for math students.
- Health Insurance. Students are required to pay for health care coverage including doctor visits, prescription medications, and hospital stays.
- Student Services. These charges cover admissions, financial aid counseling, study abroad, and any other resources that don’t fall under a distinct umbrella.
Why You Should Attend a Computer Engineering School
You should attend a computer engineering school because it gives you the foundational knowledge to perform high-level computational tasks necessary for a successful career in the computer engineering industry. Having hands-on experience with the most up-to-date technology is an invaluable career asset.
Accredited computer engineering schools meet educational quality standards and have the resources necessary to help you master computer engineering. Upon graduating, you will have access to many career opportunities and a degree that provides proof of your expertise.
Best Computer Engineering School Career Options
The best computer engineering school career options include computer and information research analyst, software engineering developer, and computer hardware engineer. These roles are some of the highest-paying and rewarding careers available to computer engineering majors.
Some equally lucrative jobs are computer systems analyst and computer programmer. While the former has a positive job outlook over the next decade, the latter is poised to decrease in demand over the next 10 years as more businesses outsource projects to overseas workers.
Computer Engineering Salary
The average salary for a computer engineering bachelor’s degree holder is $92,000 per year, according to PayScale. Meanwhile, the average computer engineering master’s degree holder takes home $103,000 per year, PayScale reports. Entry-level professionals should expect a salary from $61,000 to $76,000 while senior engineers in top companies can earn upwards of $300,000 annually.
Can You Attend Computer Engineering School for Free?
Yes, you can attend computer engineering school for free if you qualify for a full scholarship or demonstrate a sufficient need for financial aid. To achieve this, you must be an outstanding student who can demonstrate the need for financial aid to cover the high tuition rates and other costs of university education.
You can also apply for numerous financial options including grants, federal and state scholarships, and work-study programs to help you cover university costs. Alternatively, you can acquire an online degree from an institution offering free online education, such as MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW).
Cheapest Computer Engineering Schools That Won’t Break the Bank
|School||In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||Graduation Rate|
|Florida State University||$5,656||$18,786||83%|
|University of Florida||$6,381||$28,659||91%|
|Western Governors University||$7,452||$7,452||64%|
|Dakota State University||$9,633||$12,735||47%|
|Western Kentucky University||$10,992||$27,000||54%|
|Oregon State University||$12,188||$31,579||68%|
|Colorado Technical University||$12,581||$12,581||23%|
What Are the Cheapest Computer Engineering Schools? A Deep Dive
Paying for Computer Engineering School With Financial Aid
There are numerous ways to pay for computer engineering school through financial aid programs. Some of the options include federal grants and loans, work-study programs, and private loans. Below we look at some of these options in depth.
Federal grants are a kind of economic aid offered by the United States government out of federal revenue. It is one of the ways the government provides public services and stimulates the economy. A federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid unless under certain circumstances.
Federal direct subsidized loans are offered by the government to students in need of financial aid. Beneficiaries are not required to pay interest on them while in school and for a six-month grace period after graduation. They are offered to undergraduate students.
These are non-federal education loans offered by financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and state loan agencies. Students use these loans to pay for college costs after they have reached the loan limits on all other sources of funding, which enables them to achieve their education and career goals.
This is a financial aid program funded by the federal and state government that helps college students in financial need get part-time jobs while pursuing their education. For instance, many employees in computer labs and IT are computer science and engineering students.
Best Schools For Your Area of Study
How to Apply for Federal Aid to Finance Your Computer Engineering School Program
Applying for federal aid to finance your college education requires diligence if you want to secure an award. You’ll need to follow all necessary procedures and upload all required documents to avoid missing out on any necessary aid. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for federal aid.
- Prepare your data and documents. When applying for federal aid you’ll be asked to provide certain information including your social security number, family size and income, personal income, and a list of colleges you’re applying to. Ensure you have all these things ready before starting the application process.
- Create a Federal Student Aid ID. With all your data and documents, you can proceed to apply for the FAFSA. Visit the website online and create your FSA ID, a unique identifier used to complete the FAFSA each college year. The process takes approximately 10 minutes.
- Fill in the FAFSA Form. The FAFSA form lets you fill in your personal information to capture your identity for future accountability. You’ll fill in the demographic section which asks for your name, age, and date of birth. You’ll also have to submit a list of the institutions you intend to join. In the last section, you’ll determine your dependency.
- Fill in Parents’ Data and Financial Information. Next, you’ll input your parents’ information, names, mailing addresses, and other information if you depend on them for financial support. Then you’ll input your household’s financial data including your parents’ income. You’ll use the IRS data tool to pull data on your tax returns.
- Review and Submit The final step in the FAFSA application is reviewing your finished form for any errors. Double-check all the data to ensure it’s accurate and truthful. You should also check the list of schools you’re applying to. Once you’re sure all the data is correct, electronically sign and submit the form.
Best Computer Engineering Scholarships
- Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship Program | Amount: $10,000. Every year, Lockheed’s STEM program awards a scholarship to 200 recipients. Recipients must be attending computer science and engineering programs at a four-year institution.
- Information Security (ISC)² Undergraduate Scholarship | Amount: $5,000. Every year the Center for Cyber Safety and Education offers scholarships to aspiring information security professionals to help them ease their educational financial burden.
- The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation Scholarships | Amount: depends on the institution. REC seeks to increase student interest in STEM, so it has partnered with over 50 organizations, universities, and colleges to offer scholarships to students pursuing careers in STEM and computer engineering.
- Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship | Amount: $10,000. This program recognizes outstanding female undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of computer science and engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and mobile and web development.
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society Intel Scholarship | Amount: $5,000 – $10,000. This program gives American Indian, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Indigenous Canadian students the opportunity to move forward in their education programs and acquire the skills necessary to meet unique STEM needs.
Cheapest Undergraduate Computer Engineering Schools
The cheapest undergraduate computer engineering schools across the US include Florida State University, the University of Florida, and West Governors. Generally, the cost of tuition and fees in these affordable institutions falls below $10,000 annually.
Most Affordable Computer Engineering Associate Degree Programs
- Franklin University | Associate of Science in Computer Science | $398/credit. This online degree program is designed to provide students with skills in software development, software testing, and database management. This is a great foundational program for computer engineers.
- Dakota State University | Associate of Science in Software Development | $253.85 /credit. This program trains students to develop, test, and deliver error-free software. It offers the foundational knowledge and skills for those pursuing careers as software engineers.
- Davenport University | Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems | $8,631/semester. This two-year program focuses on training students in analysis, design, programming, and testing and development techniques to serve businesses and organizations in digital information capacity.
- Park University | Associate of Science in Information and Computer Science | $453/credit. This online degree program prepares Park University students for a wide range of opportunities in tech fields including computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, and networking.
- Purdue University | Online Associate of Applied Science Degree in Information Technology | $371/credit. This program offers Purdue University students a solid technical foundation in creating software, managing databases, installing and maintaining networks, and troubleshooting software and hardware.
Most Affordable Computer Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
- Florida State University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering | $215.55/credit (in state), $721.10/credit (out of state). This program provides computing students with a strong background of skills. This program emphasizes design interdependence, object orientation, and distributed systems and networks.
- Thomas Edison State University | Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science | $411/credit (in state), $535/credit (out of state). This online degree program provides a strong liberal arts education along with a foundational education in computer science. Students learn to implement computer science theory in design and implementation.
- Regent University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering | $603/credit. This affordable BS program is designed to prepare students to solve complex problems through the application of mathematical, science, and engineering principles. Students learn the fundamentals of software engineering, computer programming, and systems thinking.
- Liberty University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering | $815/credit hour. This program is designed to enable students to work with software and hardware to make computing applications and platforms that are efficient and effective. Students will focus on developing hardware and designing and implementing innovative software.
- Western Kentucky University | Computer Science, Bachelor of Science | $10,992/year (in state), $27,000/year (out of state). This program is designed to prepare students to adapt to innovations in design and implements solid solutions. The program aims to produce ethical and socially responsible computer engineers.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Cheapest Graduate Schools for Computer Engineering
The cheapest graduate schools for computer engineering include the University of Nebraska, University of Florida, and Florida State University. These institutions offer either master’s or PhD programs at an affordable cost and have financial aid programs to help students better afford an education.
Most Affordable Schools for Master’s Degrees in Computer Engineering
- Lewis University | Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE) | $820/credit. This program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to advance their careers in engineering and make significant contributions to the disciplines of computer and electrical engineering.
- Tarleton State University | Master of Science in Computer Engineering | $694.79/credit. This research-based program is designed to prepare students to advance their careers or continue education at the doctoral level. Students learn marketable skills to help them become leaders in computer-related industries.
- Colorado Technical University | Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Engineering | $610/credit. This program is designed to give computer science majors the opportunity to study complex software systems and compare them. Skills covered in this program include information system solutions and domain-specific computing.
- University of Florida | Master of Science in Computer Engineering | $12,744/year. This program is designed to teach students the underlying principles of design and the integration of computer components and systems. Students can take advantage of collaborative relationships with industry and government agencies to gain practical experience.
- University of Nebraska | Master of Science in Computer Science (Computer Engineering Specialization) | $472/credit. This program includes advanced coursework in database management, artificial intelligence, and interactive, scientific, and high-performance computing.
Most Affordable PhDs in Computer Engineering Universities
- Oregon State University | Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. | $619/credit. This graduate degree program prepares students for work in industry research laboratories, governments, and careers in academia. Students are encouraged to cooperate with faculty members in areas of interest to develop programs of study.
- Concordia University | Electrical & Computer Engineering (PhD) | $558.35/credit. This program trains students to contribute to the research, development, and innovation of technologies in computer engineering. Students are also encouraged to research specialized areas of interest.
- Florida International University | Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering | $4,101/semester. This program offers students an opportunity to access advanced education through a research-based curriculum that prepares them to conduct high-quality original research and develop innovative technologies.
- Mississippi State University | Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering | $514/credit. This program offers coursework and research opportunities to help students develop maximum capability in their areas of special interest. Graduates get an opportunity to undertake different leadership roles to gain experience in product design, consulting, and education.
- North Carolina State University | Computer Engineering (PhD) | $650.02/credit. This program helps students develop the analytical, technical, and engineering design skills to create computing systems and components. Students are funded through fellowships, research assistant appointments, and teaching appointments.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Best Online PhD Programs
How to Choose a Good and Affordable Computer Engineering School
When selecting the right computer engineering program to meet your needs, there are certain factors you should consider, including affordability and quality. Affordability depends on the cost of tuition and availability of financial aid programs, and the quality of college depends on accreditation, faculty and availability of student support programs.
An accredited computer engineering institution is one that has demonstrated to regional and national accreditation agencies that it can offer high-quality training to students. When researching any online or on-campus computer engineering program, you should first check whether the institution is accredited.
Cost of Tuition
The cost of a program, which is typically correlated to the cost of living, is the most obvious factor to consider if you’re focusing on finding a computer engineering program. A cheap college in New York may be more costly than an expensive school in Mississippi. This guide shows you some of the cheapest computer engineering courses in the country. It can be a good starting point when looking for an institution within your budget.
Availability of Financial Aid Programs
If you are choosing between an esteemed but expensive computer engineering school and a lower-quality institution that’s cheaper, find out whether the more expensive school has financial aid programs such as grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. These programs can help you cover tuition costs while allowing you to access the best education available.
Online publications such as US News & World Report and Times Higher Education often rank institutions based on their quality of education, student life, and degree programs. You can take advantage of these rankings to identify the best institution in the computer engineering sector and make an informed decision.
Faculty and Resource Quality
Besides depending on national ranking platforms, you can conduct your own research on an institution’s quality of faculty. Institutions with computer engineering faculty that have been recognized for groundbreaking research and innovations should be among your preferred choices in the selection process.
Tips for Saving Money While Attending Computer Engineering School
- Take advantage of digital learning. Online courses are often cheaper than in-person classes. If you can replace the former with the latter, make use of that opportunity.
- Work a part-time job. Partaking in a work-study program or finding a part-time job can help you make an annual wage and offset your annual tuition fees.
- Live off campus. Housing is the second-most costly university expense. If possible, live off campus and share accommodation costs with friends, as it is often cheaper.
- Choose the right bank account. To save money while in college, choose a bank account with cashback on credit card purchases and no monthly fees or overdraft fees.
- Take advantage of student perks. Universities often have on-campus amenities like a gym, health center, and student events. These can give your wallet a break because they mean you don’t have to travel off campus as often.
Cheapest Online Schools for Computer Engineering
The cheapest online schools for computer engineering are Grantham University, Kennesaw State University, and Southern New Hampshire University. These institutions offer programs that cost less than $500 per credit hour.
|Kennesaw State University||$185.40/credit hour||49%|
|Grantham University||$295/credit hour||28%|
|Southern New Hampshire University||$320/credit hour||39%|
|Baker College||$435/credit hour||21%|
|Western Governors University||$7,452/year||64%|
Most Affordable Online Computer Engineering Bachelor’s Programs
- Baker College | Bachelor of Science Computer Science (Concentration in Computer Programming) | $435/per credit hour. This fully online program is designed with guidance from industry leaders to provide students with the computing skills and knowledge that employers value.
- Western Governors University | Bachelor of Science Online Computer Science Degree | $3,920/six-month term. This program prepares students to design, develop and optimize systems that meet the current and future needs of the computer engineering industry.
- Southern New Hampshire University | Online Software Engineering Degree Concentration | $320/credit. This program trains students in the fundamental principles and concepts of software engineering to help them acquire the skills and experience necessary to break into the computer engineering field.
- Grantham University | Online Bachelor of Science Computer Engineering Technology| $295/credit hour. This program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue careers as professional engineering technologists.
- Saint Leo University | Bachelor of Software Engineering | $11,995/semester. This program combines the right balance of fundamental and theoretical principles of modern software design techniques to prepare students for careers in software development.
Most Affordable Online Computer Engineering Master’s Programs
- Franklin University | Master of Science in Computer Science | $670/credit. This program trains students on in-demand skills and knowledge in systems architecture, algorithm analysis, distributed systems, acceptance testing, and database design and administration. It has a 20-month completion period with 36 required credit hours to graduate.
- Iowa State University | Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Online | $4,162/semester (in-state), $12,068/semester (out of state). This wholly online program is designed for working professionals looking to learn new skills. It has a one-class-per-semester schedule and allows online students flexibility.
- Kennesaw State University | Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering | $383/credit hour. This program is offered to students who wish to advance their studies in modern electrical and computer engineering technologies.
- University of New Mexico | Master of Science in Computer Engineering – Internet of Things | $517.86/credit. This is a fully online master’s program designed to provide graduates with the skills necessary to develop software and hardware systems.
- University of Idaho | Master of Science in Computer Engineering | $549/credit. This program is designed to help students develop high-level skills necessary to contribute to the next generation of computer innovations. It emphasizes digital hardware and computer design skills.
Will Attending an Online Computer Engineering School Save Me Money?
Attending an online computer engineering school can save you money because online programs are significantly cheaper than in-person or campus programs. Universities and colleges try to replicate the quality of in-person education through interactive digital learning, therefore ensuring online students don’t get any less of an education.
Benefits of Online Computer Engineering Programs
- Affordability. While online degrees require tuition fees, the total cost of obtaining a degree is significantly lower compared to in-person programs. Assorted costs such as transportation costs will not affect you.
- Increased learning opportunities. Online classes allow students to start and stop a lecture at will and listen over again if they need to. This means students can pace themselves, prioritize the most important projects, and maximize productivity.
- Flexibility. Online classes allow students to learn while working or indexing in other activities. Students can attend lessons at will and if they miss out because of work, they can always access the recordings and learn at their own pace.
- Increased networking opportunities. Online programs provide students with an opportunity to network with peers across the world. This leads to exposure and other opportunities for collaboration in the implementation of projects.
- Efficient documentation. Digital learning platforms come with an online database where students can store their academic resources including discussion documents, emails, and training materials. Students can easily access this data whenever they want.
Highest-Paying Computer Engineering Careers
|Computer Engineering Job||Computer Engineering Degree||Average Salary|
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||Master’s degree||$131,490|
|Computer Hardware Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$128,170|
|Software Developer||Bachelor’s degree||$110,140|
|Computer Systems Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$99,270|
|Computer Programmer||Bachelor’s degree||$93,000|
Best Computer Engineering Jobs Explained
The best computer engineering jobs are some of the most lucrative jobs in the market. With salaries ranging between $90,000 and $140,000, computer engineering graduates have the means to enjoy a financially secure life.
Computer Engineering Schools Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Computer Engineering Schools
We chose the most affordable computer engineering colleges based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.
Additional Reading About Computer Engineering
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Cheapest Computer Engineering Schools FAQ
It costs between $30,000 and $80,000 per year to study computer engineering in the USA. This is the cost of a four-year bachelor’s program, and the cost also depends on the choice of college. Nevertheless, some institutions such as those listed in this guide offer computer engineering programs at significantly cheaper prices.
It can take between two to four years to become a computer engineer depending on your academic path. If you start with an Associate Degree in Computer Engineering, you can join the workforce after two years of study. Meanwhile, a bachelor’s degree typically takes four to five years to complete.
Yes, computer engineering is difficult because it deals with different areas of math such as logical proofs and data structure for computer science. It also involves challenging engineering principles that students have to overcome through consistent and regular practice. However, passionate students with analytical minds might find it a worthwhile field of study.
Yes, a computer engineering degree is worth it. Computer engineering graduates can expect to make over $65,000 per year at the entry level. Besides being lucrative, it’s also rewarding. especially for students who have a knack for math and logical thinking and enjoy solving computer problems.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.