7 Most Affordable Paralegal Degree Programs

To be a paralegal, you have a few pathways.

Choose a diploma or certificate in paralegal studies, or pursue a college degree.

Paralegal Degree Programs

Two years of school is required for an associate’s degree, while you need to attend a four-year program to earn a bachelor’s degree.

While most colleges do not have a degree program for paralegals, you will find that many schools now offer fully online paralegal training.

Online training tends to be the most affordable for paralegal degree programs.

Learn more about the most affordable schools and training courses for paralegals and legal assistants.

Search Paralegal Programs

Get information on Paralegal programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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1 Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Ivy Tech)

Associate of Science in Legal Studies

Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

Train to be a paralegal at Matt Lauer’s alma mater, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

Also called Ivy Tech, this public college has a whopping 43 campuses in Indiana.

Students can take classes at 19 campuses, plus 24 satellite locations, including:

  • Bloomington Campus
  • Batesville Satellite Location
  • Columbus Campus
  • Connersville Campus
  • Terre Haute Campus

Explore affordable career options as a future paralegal with two-degree programs.

Choose from an on-campus or online coursework.

Both pathways lead to a two-year degree in Paralegal Studies.

You need 60 credits to graduate with an Associate of Science (AS) in Legal Studies degree or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies.

Meet your budget while earning a college degree at Ivy Tech in paralegal studies.

The courses are $170.07 per credit, which is $2,455.76 a semester.

A two-year program for an associate’s degree completed full-time in four semesters costs approximately $10,204 in tuition and fees at Ivy Tech.

Contact Information

  • Address: 8000 S. Education Dr., Terre Haute, IN 47802
  • Phone: 765-651-3100
  • Website: Visit School Website

2 East Central University

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

At East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, you can earn a four-year bachelor’s degree as a paralegal.

The school is a public university with a main campus in Ada, as well as campus locations in:

  • Durant, OK
  • McAlester, OK
  • Shawnee, OK

Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at ECU.

The college program requires 124 credit hours.

This includes 27 legal specialty credits along with 45 general education credits.

The cost for tuition per semester at East Central University is $4,080 for a full-time term of 15 hours.

Books and supplies are estimated at $800 and transportation costs are $625.

The school also calculates on-campus housing, which is $3,820 a semester.

For the tuition, books, and transportation costs, which are mandatory for all students, this paralegal program is $5,500 a semester.

A four-year degree resulting in a BS in Legal Studies requires three semesters per year–fall, winter, and spring.

Expect to spend $21,000 on a four-year degree as a paralegal at this affordable college in Oklahoma.

Contact Information

3 New York City College of Technology (City Tech)

Associate in Applied Science in Law and Paralegal Studies

Bachelor of Science in Law and Paralegal Studies

Students in New York have affordable access to training in law and paralegal studies at the New York City College of Technology.

Also referred to as City Tech or CUNY, this Brooklyn university has two-degree pathways for paralegals.

Choose to earn a two-year degree with an Associate in Applied Science in Law and Paralegal Studies.

This will give you the skills you need for an entry-level paralegal job.

If you are ready to earn a bachelor’s degree, which is preferred by employers, the four-year route leads to a Bachelor of Science in Law and Paralegal Studies.

Classes in the Law and Paralegal Studies catalog include:

  • Administrative law
  • Law office management
  • Legal document preparation
  • Theatre of law
  • Trial preparation

The cost for tuition at City Tech in NY is $3,465 a semester for residents in-state.

A degree for a non-resident of New York has a price tag of $620 per credit for full-time on-campus courses.

Living and being a resident of NY is imperative to saving money with these affordable paralegal degrees.

Contact Information

  • Address: 300 Jay St., Namm Hall 622 (N-622), Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Phone: 718-260-5124
  • Website: Visit School Website

4 National Paralegal College

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Associate of Paralegal Studies

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Master of Science in Legal Studies

With a name like National Paralegal College, you can expect the focus to be entirely on training paralegals.

That is the case with this private online school with a physical campus located in Phoenix, Arizona.

All coursework is carried out over the Internet and is self-paced.

Graduates from the National Paralegal College earn a certificate or degree in paralegal studies.

The college and its paralegal training program is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

Start with the shortest program and earn a certificate in paralegal studies in seven months.

You can also go with the degree route.

There are three degrees offered by the National Paralegal College for paralegal and legal studies.

The associate degree program leads to a degree in 15 months, which is nearly a year less time than most associate degrees.

An associate’s degree is needed to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

The bachelor’s degree program at the NPC only requires 3 years of school compared to the typical four years required.

Having a BS degree can lead to acceptance into the master’s program also offered for paralegals in legal studies.

This is the highest level of education that most paralegals obtain before moving into another field of law or business administration.

The annual cost of tuition at the National Paralegal College in AZ is $7,995.

This is after receiving financial aid and the typical cost of tuition for a first-year college student at this school.

Contact Information

  • Address: 717 E. Maryland Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85014
  • Phone: 800-371-6105
  • Website: Visit School Website

5 Cerro Coso Community College

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

At Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest, California, students can train as a paralegal with two-course pathways.

Classes are online and on campus in a hybrid format.

The school has several campuses across Southern California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, including:

  • Kern River Valley Campus
  • Eastern Sierra College Center
  • East Kern Center
  • Indian Wells Valley Campus

Attend either online for the professional certificate track or on campus for the associate degree program.

Learn about preparing legal documents and how to conduct legal research.

Also, you will gain skills in client communication and interviewing, as well as the court system and civil procedures.

The price of tuition for the Cerro Coso Community College certificate program is $3,392.

This covers the three semesters required to earn a certificate as a paralegal.

For the two-year associate’s degree pathway, expect to pay $6,360 for the total cost of four semesters of school.

This includes 60 credit units with both legal coursework and general studies for the AS degree requirements.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3000 College Heights Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555
  • Phone: 760-384-6100
  • Website: Visit School Website

6 Minnesota State University Moorhead

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Associate Degree

Students in Minnesota have access to Minnesota State University Moorhead.

This school offers a four-year degree program in paralegal studies.

Earn your Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Paralegal Studies and be ready for employment.

A four-year bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for employers seeking applicable job candidates.

This bachelor’s degree program for paralegals includes an internship component.

Work directly with a real attorney in the courts and law offices to gain insight and first-hand experience.

The cost for tuition at MSU Moorhead is $9,468 for a year of school with financial aid estimations.

Expect to pay nearly $40,000 for a four-year degree if you do not have a work-study assignment or scholarships.

Contact Information

7 American Public University

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies

Master of Legal Studies

American Public University has several options for students interested in training as a paralegal.

The school only offers online coursework and has no on-campus classes.

However, you can earn several degrees at APU in paralegal studies.

Excel in the workforce when you have an associate degree taking less than two years to complete.

A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies completed online also reduces the timeframe for school.

You can then earn a Master of Legal Studies to be at the highest level of training for paralegal studies.

At this point, you are ready to open a business or teach others in the area of paralegal and legal studies.

Keep in mind, that American Public University is part of the American Military University system, which is a military school.

Therefore, you may need to be in the military to be eligible for enrollment.

The cost of training at the American Public University is $350 a credit hour for the undergraduate programs.

A master’s degree program in legal studies is $425 per course credit.

If you are involved in the military, there may be assistance for you upon acceptance of this program.

Contact Information

  • Address: 111 W. Congress St., Charles Town, WV 25414
  • Phone: 877-755-2787
  • Website: Visit School Website

Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Ivy Tech)
#2 East Central University
#3 New York City College of Technology (City Tech)
#4 National Paralegal College
#5 Cerro Coso Community College
#6 Minnesota State University Moorhead
#7 American Public University


For paralegals in the US, the average salary for an entry-level job is anywhere from $59,330 to $119,420 earned annually.

This amount increases with experience, training, education, and certifications.

To make more money as a paralegal, stay in school or continue to sit for certification board exams.

The amount of money required to train as a paralegal is negligible for the boost these will provide to your potential salary.

At the end of the day, you are also able to improve your skills and qualifications as a highly-trained paralegal.

This will only lead to greater job satisfaction and better work performance.

Comparable paralegal salaries from around the US include: 

  • Between $36,000 and $71,000 a year in Minnesota
  • Between $30,000 and $68,000 a year in Florida
  • The average income of $48,840 annually earned in Delaware
  • Average income of $74,900 earned annually in Arizona

As you can see, these income brackets vary widely from state to state.

Additionally, some states and cities will pay paralegals more money but also require more in taxes, healthcare, and the general cost of living.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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