[caption id="attachment_56914" align="alignleft" width="150"] Average starting salaries varied across online programs.[/caption]

Not every online program is a cost-effective alternative to traditional college courses, with some schools standing out as bargains for students seeking a low-cost degree.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org this week released a list of the country's most affordable web-based colleges and universities, using criteria from reputable sources including the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), The Carnegie Foundation, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), PayScale.com’s 2013 College Earnings Report.

The NCES, for example, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing post-secondary data. The Carnegie Foundation...

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