Featured Colleges

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has a CollegeNavigator tool that we used to help us gather some of the top ranked colleges in the U.S. with programs that can be completed entirely online. Below is a list of accredited schools that have a wide selection of online certificate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees for students to choose from (source: NCES.ED.gov: CollegeNavigator, data 2018).

American InterContinental University
American InterContinental University
American InterContinental University — "Serious about success? With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, at AIU, the Serious U™, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission."
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Antioch University
Antioch University
Antioch University — "Serious about success? With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, at AIU, the Serious U™, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7. American InterContinental University® is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission."
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Colorado State University - Global Campus
Colorado State University - Global Campus
Colorado State University - Global Campus — "At CSU-Global, our mission is to provide academically authoritative, career-focused online degree and certificate programs in an adaptive environment beyond traditional higher education models. Designed for working adults, our professionally relevant degrees undergo continual evaluation to ensure alignment with fast-changing market and industry practices and innovation."
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Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology — "What we are is a private, coeducational, residential, research-intensive, doctoral granting university located in the beautiful City of Melbourne on Florida’s sunny “Space Coast.” We are a community of researchers, scholars and learners hailing from all around the world. We are engineers, aviators, innovators, leaders, educators, athletes and astronauts. We are Florida Tech."
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Grantham University
Grantham University
Grantham University — "Grantham delivers a high quality, relevant education and offers exceptional flexibility, accessibility and affordability to deserving, working adults trying to better their lives. You do your part by working hard to earn your degree. And we do ours by providing you an exceptional Grantham experience that leads to an even more amazing career."
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Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University — "As a student at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, you’ll benefit from competitively priced tuition, small class sizes, personal advising, financial assistance options, flexible credit transfer policies and the opportunity to learn from faculty who bring years of expertise, experience, and mentorship to your education - all in our convenient online format."
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Northcentral University
Northcentral University
Northcentral University — "Northcentral University is a premier online graduate university and a global leader in providing unprecedented access to U.S. regionally accredited higher education. We hold all members of our community to the highest ethical standards of professional and academic conduct and the rules and regulations of U.S. higher education."
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South University
South University
South University — "South University is a private academic institution that offers focused and balanced curricula at the associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. A broad-based core curriculum is offered, promoting critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, and skills for life-long learning."
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University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex
University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex
University of Wisconsin Colleges Flex — "The UW Flexible Option is a self-paced, competency-based education format that allows busy adult learners to start any month, study at their own pace, and earn credit using their existing knowledge. To maintain rigorous academic standards, distinguished UW System faculty oversee all aspects of UW Flexible Option programs. Several programs are available in this flexible format, and more are on the way."
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Walden University
Walden University
Walden University — "As a student at Walden, you can participate in online courses on a weekly basis whenever it’s convenient for you; gain practical experience through in-person academic residencies or virtual field experiences; collaborate with expert faculty and fellow students around the corner or around the world; and find the support you need when you need it 24/7."
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Graduates

How are college rankings determined?

College and university rankings are usually determined by combining a wide variety of important factors. When evaluating the strength of an online college degree, the size of the university, the cost, amount of programs offered, and accreditation are solid indicators, but by no means the only elements that should be considered. Useful undergraduate and graduate rankings also take into account things like graduation rate, job placement rates, both student and educator feedback, as well as the general popularity of the university.

Other ranking criteria includes:

  • retention and acceptance rates
  • tuition per undergraduate credit hour
  • student-teacher ratios
  • technical support reputation

These factors combined help determine a school’s “score.” Many different publications and organizations compile these scores into ranks that assist students in selecting the right school. U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review are just a few bestsellers of college ranking statistics.

Are there rankings for online colleges?

While there is no official ranking for online schools, it is important for the school to be accredited. Below are different types of online schools broken down and discussed as well as some options if you are considering an online accredited school for your education.

How is an online education different from a campus-based education?

Many prospective students often hesitate to take the plunge into an online college education because they don’t fully understand the differences between it and a traditional campus education.

  • Flexible Schedule: Many online college courses offer a schedule that is much more flexible than traditional campus classes. Many classes offer lectures that simply need to be watched at some point before an examination.
  • Less Commuting: Traditional schools require students to live on campus or commute to call. This commute can be expensive because of gas prices, and can also result in extra costs for parking, loss of time, and so on. An online college education eliminates the need for a daily commute, which can do wonders to help cut costs.
  • Lower Costs: Not always, but often times, getting college degrees online can be somewhat cheaper than a traditional campus degree. Costs are lower because of the lack of costs for commuting and room and board. Additionally, online universities typically only charge students for the actual class, without other fees. Traditional college campuses often charge students lab, administrative, or activity fees that can increase costs significantly.
  • More Options: Traditional campuses do offer a variety of degrees, but students are often limited to only those campuses that are in their immediate area. Online colleges allow students much greater flexibility in selecting a school that offers the specific degree they are looking for, without having to worry about physical distance limiting their options. Some online colleges offer degrees that are simply less common in traditional universities.

What is the average salary of someone with an online degree?

No matter who you talk to, everyone agrees that when you obtain more education and certification, your earning potential will increase. Someone who has an online degree from a well ranked online university, who otherwise would have only had a high school diploma, should also see their salary increase. The average salary for someone with an online degree is highly variable, depending on the specific degree an individual is pursuing. In general, however, someone who has a basic degree has an earning potential in the $30,000-$40,000 range. Persons with advanced degrees such as masters and PhDs can see their earnings go up to over $100,000. This is far above the average salary of someone without a post secondary degree, which is closer to $20,000.

What kinds of financial aid are available for online schools?

Financial aid is generally available in the form of loans and grants for those who demonstrate need. Attending a school online does not exclude you from being eligible for financial aid. In fact, filling out a FAFSA form is often the first step to take in order find additional funding for school. There are also many unique and interesting scholarships available for perspective students. For example, the Culinary Institute of America’s All-American Apple Pie Recipe Contest, offers a scholarship to the best Apple Pie maker. Individual schools also offer a variety of scholarship programs, so research is key.

It’s important to verify accreditation when selecting an online school. If the school is not recognized as a legitimate institution, you will not receive financial aid. Therefore, research each school carefully and speak to an admissions representation before enrolling in classes. Once you’ve determined a school’s accreditation status, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A FAFSA will  provide you with an evaluation of your eligibility for financial aid.

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