How Much Does an LMS Cost? 2024 Pricing Guide

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Pricing is a top priority for schools and businesses trying to pick a learning management system (LMS). These organizations want to educate students and train employees while staying in their budgets.

It can be time-consuming to compare prices for LMS solutions because vendors have different kinds of payment plans. In addition, some vendors state pricing info on their websites, while others ask you to contact them directly for a quote.

To make the process easier, we’ve created this comprehensive pricing guide with common payment models, additional costs to consider and examples of popular LMS vendor pricing.

What is an LMS?

A learning management system delivers and tracks educational and training content. It’s used by companies to onboard and train employees and by educational organizations to teach students. E-learning tools include customizable content, mobile lessons and gamification. LMS solutions can improve employee engagement and retention.

Learning management systems have several modules, including:

Learning management – Learning management helps users organize and automate education and training. It includes tools for managing user info, scheduling, alerts, messages and delivering content. Administrators can also set prerequisites for training and allow users to self-enroll into specific courses.

Content development – Organizations can develop personalized course content, either using templates or from scratch. Course authoring tools let administrators design courses with multimedia, such as videos, PDFs, infographics, animations and PowerPoint presentations.

Content library – Many LMS solutions include an out-of-the-box content library with premade learning materials. The library may cover a variety of topics, such as safety regulations, customer service and management techniques.

Employee training – Some LMS solutions offer employee training courses. These courses often cover onboarding and job training or offer instruction needed for industry-required certifications.

SCORM compliance – Shareable Content Object Reference Model, or SCORM, is an industry standard that allows learning management systems to incorporate third-party content without any duplication or recoding.

Asynchronous learning – Asynchronous learning lets students access course materials at different times and locations. The main benefit is that users can learn at their own convenience. Because users aren’t bound to a class schedule, organizations often set deadlines to motivate users to complete courses.

Synchronous learning – Synchronous learning requires students to learn at specific times, either online or in a physical classroom, which can foster collaboration between employees. However, it can be difficult to coordinate and schedule synchronous learning.

Mobile learning – Mobile learning gives students access to LMS materials through a mobile app or web browser. This feature allows remote and asynchronous learners to complete courses on the go.

Gamification – Also known as game-based learning, gamification provides incentives for students to stay engaged by offering points, badges and other achievements. Students are motivated by competition, entertainment and the casual nature of games.

Testing and assessments – Tests, assessments and quizzes see whether individual students have retained what they learned. They can be given after each lesson or at the end of the course. Analytical tools can identify proficiencies and learning gaps.

Certification and compliance management – Some industries or specific jobs require employee certification or compliance training. This feature manages and tracks whether employees have completed all requirements and can generate reports for auditing.

Performance tracking – Performance-tracking and reporting functions help determine if the overall learning program is effective. Organizations can analyze how users have performed in their courses and how much time they spend learning.

LMS Pricing Models

Learning management systems are used by businesses, schools, hospitals and more. The differences between customers in these markets are vast, so the pricing models for LMS solutions are equally flexible.

LMS solutions often use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) pricing model, which means customers pay a subscription fee for the features they actually use. Some LMS vendors also offer an annual or one-time license fee or have a free version of their software.

Here are the four standard LMS pricing methods:

Per learner, per month – The most common payment option is a per learner, per month subscription fee. This figure is either calculated based on the total number of users in the system or the number of active users enrolled in courses.

There may also be an initial service fee for creating an account. In addition, vendors might ask for payment to be made annually, even if prices are broken down monthly.

Fees are generally $5 or less per learner, per month. Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with general training requirements are the best fit.

Per learner, per use – LMS solutions can include more features, lessons, modules and tools than a company needs. A per learner, per use pricing model allows clients to opt out of certain parts of the software and pay only for what they use.

This could mean being charged based on the modules in use, the number of active accounts in use or only the content that’s being used by those accounts. It depends on the arrangement made between the vendor and client.

Prices range from $1 to $10 per learner, per use. This option best serves companies that don’t need to train employees regularly.

Per course – Some LMS vendors have a pay per course option for employees that need special certification for their industry or job function. Vendors might have content available in an internal library or partner with third-parties to deliver lessons through their LMS platform.

This pricing option has elements of the per learner, per use pricing model, but with premium prices for specialized content. The best fit for this option is compliance-focused industries with learners that must be certified, such as human resources, healthcare or safety.

Licensing fee – Companies can purchase a license to install LMS software on-premise. The licensing fee can be paid annually or up-front as a one-time fee. There are often additional implementation expenses for installation, data migration and training, and there may also be a charge per learner.

Licensing fees generally range from $500 to $20,000, and setup can cost over $25,000. This pricing model works best for mid-sized or large businesses with an existing data center and internal IT staff.

Additional Costs to Consider

Organizations in the market for an LMS solution should also consider other costs beyond the subscription or licensing fee. Here are several expenses that are easy to overlook:

Implementation – The cost of LMS implementation varies by vendor and whether the company chooses a cloud LMS solution or to host the software on-premise. Expenses may include consultants, hardware installation, software customization, data migration and integration with other software (e.g., enterprise resource planning systems).

Training – Many vendors may include web-based training services for free, but in-person training at the client’s site usually comes at an extra fee.

Support – Basic support (e.g., knowledge base, email support) is typically included in the price. However, vendors may offer plans that include advanced support, such as priority support or access to a dedicated customer service manager.

Maintenance – LMS software requires ongoing maintenance, such as updates, patches and upgrades. This is generally included with subscription pricing, but not with licensing fees.

Content creation – Many vendors offer services to create custom training courses and educational content for businesses and schools. Some vendors can even produce site-specific videos and with a company’s particular operating procedures. This service may be charged per hour or as a one-time fee based on course requirements.

Open-Source and Free LMS Software

Open-source LMS software has source code that’s publicly available. Companies can download, install and customize the software on their own, for free. Some vendors also offer free versions of their LMS software.

Open-source and free LMS solutions generally include basic functionality or may limit the number of users. Companies that choose these options will still have pay for implementation, customization, integrations and maintenance.

In particular, installing and customizing open-source software can be complicated for companies that haven’t used an LMS before, and there’s no support if something goes wrong. Companies that choose this route will need to have a knowledgeable in-house IT team or hire implementation consultants.

LMS Vendor Pricing

We’ve compared pricing for many of the top LMS solutions. Note that several of the largest vendors in the market don’t offer pricing details publicly, so you’ll need to contact them directly for a quote.

Abara LMS offers two pricing models: active user (anyone who logs into the system within a 30-day period in a given month) and registered user (anyone who has been registered in the system in a given year).

The tiers are 50 active users ($420 per month or $4,200 per year), 100 active users for $600 per month or $6,000 per year, 250 active users for $900 per month or $9,000 per year, 500 active users for $1,400 per month or $14,000 per year, 1,000 active users for $1,800 per month or $18,000 per year and over 1,000 active users that’s based on custom pricing.

Academy of Mine has two pricing tiers. The Professional tier starts at $999 per months for at least 1,000 active users and includes all core features of the software, as well as some custom features, 24/7 help desk support and access to the Premium Customer Success team. The Enterprise tier accommodates organizations with unique requirements. It includes all of the features of the Professional tier, plus unlimited users, a dedicated Customer Success team and unlimited custom features. Pricing for the Enterprise tier is available by quote.

Axis LMS has a LMS Lite platform for smaller companies that starts at $16.90 per user, per month for 10 users. It has a minimum 10-user requirement and a maximum 75-user requirement. The LMS Lite platform includes all LMS Axis features, free setup, up to two free training sessions per year and a one-day tech support response time.

Then, the vendor has three Standard LMS plans that start at $330 per month. Each plan adds on advanced features like a developer API, Zapier integration, B2B selling, localization features and a dedicated private cloud server. Finally, there’s the Axis LMS Content+ solution that includes all LMS features plus a 100-course training library. It starts at $9 per user, per month for a block of 50 to 100 users.

Accord LMS has several plans with core LMS features, mobile learning, gamification and role-based learner enrollment. It no longer publishes its pricing, so you’ll need to contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Blackboard is among the most popular LMS solutions for K-12 and higher ed organizations. Although the vendor doesn’t publicly release pricing info, we’ve estimated Blackboard pricing based on various sources.

A 2015 review by the University of Missouri found that mid-range plans were $25 to $30 per learner, per year and enterprise plans were $17 to $20 per learner, per year. And Michael Feldstein, partner at MindWires Consulting, estimated the average cost of a full license for a university or school district as $160,000.

CoreAchieve is available in three pricing tiers. Each tier includes a free trial and unlimited courses. The Starter plan costs $175 per month for up to 50 active users. The Basic plan costs $299 per month for up to 100 active users. The Standard plan costs $798 per month for up to 300 active users. Companies with over 300 active users can contact the vendor for more info. Note that CoreAchieve now has a free plan that covers unlimited courses and other basic features for up to five users.

EdTek LMS offers two pricing options.

The Kick Start option has an annual cost of $2,000 to $2,500 and a per learner fee based on course length. The Annual License option is based on the total number of learners in a year. Subscribers can earn a discount by paying the annual license fee up-front.

eFront’s pricing plans start at $1,200 per month (billed annually) for up to 1,000 registered users. There’s a tailored plan for over 1,000 registered users – interested prospects can contact the vendor for a price quote.

eTrainCenter offers two pricing models.

Registration pricing is calculated by multiplying the number of students by the number of registered learning activities. The plan starts at $151 per month or $1,500 per year.

User seat pricing is based on the number of active users. It starts at $1,800 per year for 50 users.

Google Classroom is part of the Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals package that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other apps. It targets teachers and students in both K-12 and higher ed markets.

The Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals package is free for qualifying institutions. There are three paid plans. First, the Google Workspace for Education Standard plan costs $3 per student, per year and adds on a security center, advanced device and app management features, Gmail and Classroom logs for export into BigQuery, and audit logs.

Then, there’s the Teaching and Learning Upgrade plan that costs $4 per license, per month and includes additional features like advanced Google Meet features, unlimited originality reports and the ability to check for peer matches across a private repository. Finally, the Google Workspace for Education Plus plan costs $5 per student, per year and includes all of the features of the other plans, plus live streams with up to 100,000 in-domain viewers, syncing rosters from SISs to Google Classroom, personalized cloud search and prioritized support.

iSpring offers three pricing plans (billed annually) that’s based on the number of active users: for up to 100 active users for $4.08 per user, per month, for up to 300 active users at $3.14 per user, per month and for up to 500 active users at $2.83 per user, per month.

KMI Learning offers licensed pricing that’s based on a per-user, per-month strategy. Note that the pricing is for informational use, and organizations should contact the vendor directly for a custom quote. For example, a company with up to 500 learners can pay $1,000 per month (without support) or $1,250 per month (with support).

There’s a separate fee for implementation, and the average cost for “out-of-the-box” implementation (i.e., doesn’t require any customization, integration or migration) can range between $5,000 and $10,000.

Knowledge Anywhere has four pricing options.

The Small Business plan costs $790 per month for up to 100 active learners. It includes a single administrator, up to 50 course uploads, 25 off-the-shelf courses and a year of the Scormify content conversion tool.

The Express plan costs $950 per month and is available to 500 active learners. The plan also includes two system administrators and up to 200 course uploads.

The Professional plan is $1,800 per month and covers up to 1,000 active learners and five administrators.

The Enterprise plan costs $2,900 per month and supports unlimited active learners, administrators and storage.

Microsoft Teams is one of the products offered under Office 365 for Education, which has three pricing plans: Office 365 A1 (free for teachers, students and staff), Office 365 A3 and Office 365 A5. Pricing is no longer publicly available, so institutions will need to contact Microsoft for a custom price quote.

Moodle targets schools, but is also used by corporate training programs. Its MoodleCloud solution has a 28-day free trial that includes 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage. There are five pricing tiers (note that pricing represents USD): Starter ($120 per year for 50 users), Mini ($210 per year for 100 users), Small ($390 per year for 200 users), Medium ($900 per year for 500 users), and Standard ($1,700 per year for 1,000 users).

Moodle offers Premium and Enterprise hosting tiers for organizations with over 1,000 users. Organizations can contact Moodle for a quote.

MyQuest provides annual pricing that’s based on the number of users. It ranges from $9,000 per year for up to 75 users to $50,000 per year for up to 2,500 users. Companies with over 2,500 users can contact the vendor for a quote.

OttoLearn Agile Microlearning is a mobile-first, desktop-friendly application, that uses bite-sized content to improve learner engagement and retention. It has two user-based plans (Team and Enterprise) that start at $250 per month. However, the Enterprise plan has additional implementation and support services, so please contact Neovation directly for a quote. OttoLearn also offers an Enterprise CORE plan that includes a concierge-level implementation and support package.

Prosperity LMS is an end-to-end learning management system (LMS) that offers organizations a user-friendly platform for all sides of corporate elearning, from training employees to selling courses. It has three pricing models available including student activity-based, per student, and perpetual license options. Pricing starts at $300 per month. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.

SAP SuccessFactors Learning starts at $22.20 per user, per year. Note that this is a starting price, so you’ll have to contact the vendor directly for a custom quote.

SmarterU is a full-featured LMS platform that helps organizations administer engaging training programs more efficiently.  There are two pricing plans. The Corporate plan starts at $7,999 per year. It includes all SmarterU features except for learning plan automation. Onboarding and training services as well as an OttoLearn Agile Microlearning “Team” plan are included in the price.

The Enterprise plan adds on learning plan automation. Please contact Neovation for a custom price quote.

TalentLMS is a cloud-based LMS that helps small and midsize businesses provide training programs. It has two separate plans: Standard and Active. The Standard plan is based on the total registered number of users, which cannot go over the limit. On the other hand, the Active plan includes active users (e.g., trainers, administrators) but supports an unlimited number of registered users (e.g., learners). Note that each paid tier is billed annually.

The Standard plan has a free tier and five paid tiers. For example, the Starter tier supports up to 40 users and unlimited courses for $69 per month. The Active plan also has five paid tiers and its Starter Active tier supports up to 40 active users and an unlimited number of registered users for $149 per month, plus an extra $4 for each additional active user.

Thinking Cap provides a free plan that includes up to 10 active learners, community support and one learning domain. Pricing starts at $2 per user, per month for organizations with less than 250 active learners. Thinking Cap offers Enterprise licenses that are targeted to companies with more than 250 active learners and have three tiers. They are: Starter ($12,000 per year for up to 500 active learners), Small ($18,000 per year for up to 1,000 active learners) and Medium ($27,000 per year for up to 2,500 active learners. Companies with over 2,500 active learners can contact the vendor directly for a more personalized quote.

Unlock:Learn offers a monthly or yearly subscription based on the number of users.  Plans start at $10 per user (annually) for traditional employee training, but custom pricing options can be built for unique user requirements. The subscription includes all features, unlimited file uploads, unlimited course storage, a platform/dashboard with company branding and free email support. 

Bottom Line

Many of the LMS vendors listed here follow the per user, per month pricing model, with tiers that provide additional features. Some also offer perpetual licenses for a one-time fee.

Be sure to consider which features each vendor offers, as well as their reputation among users.

If you’d like more info on LMS software or want to compare solutions, check out our reviews for over 70 LMS vendors.

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