Excerpt from "Affordable Schools Online" website:
"Online degrees and courses are not necessarily any less expensive than if you were to attend an on-campus class. For example, if you want to take an online class at New York University, you will be paying the same cost per credit hour as a student who sits in class to listen to a professor. However, you will not have to commute to class, which saves you gas or transportation expenses. You will not have to live on campus, which can save you thousands of dollars a year. Also, courses and degree programs that are designed to be completed online often have content that is digital, which means no textbooks.
Online education is a very unique and financially viable option for people who want quality education on a cheaper budget. Not only do you save on the satellite expenses (books, room and board, travel), but you also get to tailor courses around your schedule. This opens up wider options to take just a few classes at a time, for instance, while you hold a part-time job to fund your schooling".
Any institution that attempts to offer you a degree for free, or at a suspiciously low rate, should be handled with caution. Affordable online colleges should also be held to the same standards and scrutiny that you would apply to a traditional school search. Do research on accreditation. Look into the professors who are behind low cost college courses–do they hold doctorate degrees? Have they done research or significant work in the area you want to study?