Best Online Information Technology Programs

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At the heart of every industry is data. In one form or another, all organizations must collect, store and manage vast amounts of data to operate successfully. As data management systems become increasingly complex, with technology allowing for ever growing amounts of information to be tracked and stored, demand for a highly-skilled workforce to manage these operations is rising. Earning an information technology degree online is a fantastic gateway to employment in this lucrative and highly competitive industry.

If you’re interested in understanding the nuances of databases, networking and computer technology, and want to work in a field that allows you to be employed in nonprofits, corporations, government organizations or nearly any other industry, then earning an online degree in information technology could be the path for you. Online IT degree programs cover a wide range of specializations, from app development to systems implementation, allowing plenty of opportunity to concentrate in an area of your choice.

An IT education is especially well-suited to a virtual format, as the field is heavily focused on internet and computer literacy. And the field pays well. Network administrators, for instance, earn an average of $72,560 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other titles to consider after college include computer system analyst, database administrator, computer system administrator and software developer.

In this list, we dig into the best programs for earning an online information technology degree. We’ve pulled data on schools nationwide to discover which offer the best online IT programs for launching your career. We’ve analyzed metrics like graduation and retention rates, as well as looking at which schools provide the best support, career and technology services. Our breakdowns cover timelines, admission requirements and learning management systems, so you can immediately get the essential information without having to sort through pages of fluff. Scroll down to browse the best online bachelor’s in IT programs from non-profit schools across the country.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description    
1

Northeastern University

 5/581.62%Boston, MA

campus-Northeastern-University

The NU College of Professional Studies provides students with two Bachelor of Science in Information Technology options: a traditional four-year program and an 18 month fast-track program; both available online or at the Boston campus. To meet NU's admissions requirements, students must have a GED or high school diploma, along with proof of language proficiency if English is not an applicant's first language.

Students attend online courses through the Blackboard digital platform, which supports conversations via live video conferencing, instant messaging, discussion boards and assignment drop boxes. NU maintains an extensive "Knowledge Base" to help first-time online students get adjusted to the online learning format. Technical support can be reached at any time through a 24/7 hotline (855-836-3520), a ticket system or by live chat.

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2

East Carolina University

 2/558.63%Greenville, NC

campus_East_Carolina_University

The online Bachelor of Science in Business Education (BSBE) for Information Technology is a unique, interdisciplinary degree offered by ECU's College of Education. This program blends information systems knowledge with courses on industrial and social psychology. Required admissions materials include a high school transcript with class rank and GPA, SAT or ACT scores and a completed online ECU application.

To access online learning materials, students use a blend of Saba Meeting and Blackboard. Saba is a web conferencing tool that facilitates video and audio communications. Faculty also use this multimedia tool to hold virtual office hours. Undergraduates sign onto Blackboard to access course files, submit assignments and communicate in class forums.

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3

George Mason University

 2/566.88%Fairfax, VA

campus_george_mason_university

Mason’s information technology program is intended for students who have completed some IT-related coursework, and prepares students for graduate work in the fields of IT security, information systems, web development, and telecommunications. Students will complete 120 credit hours of coursework covering web design, database management, computer programming, and network security. The bachelor of science (BS) in information technology also requires a seven-credit applied senior capstone project, which is completed over a period of two consecutive semesters. All courses are available online, with a few exceptions for Mason core courses. It is possible to complete the program on a part-time schedule.

Applicants to the online information technology degree program are expected to have maintained a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all previous post-secondary courses. Preference is given to students who have completed four years of high school math courses, and applicants with an AS in IT from Northern Virginia Community College are automatically accepted.

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4

Central Washington University

 2/553.41%Ellensburg, WA

campus_central_washington_university

CWU is the home to two different IT completion programs: a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management (BS ITAM) and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management (BAS ITAM). Students are required to enter both of these programs with an associate degree. The BAS program accepts any technical/professional associate degrees, placing an emphasis on "soft-skills," to allow students to become leaders in the field. The BS program places a stronger emphasis on the technical specializations.

CWU students attending online courses use the Canvas platform to view classwork, check grades, contribute to classroom discussion boards and access learning materials. CWU has created a library of online video tutorials for students who are new to the Canvas learning system. Undergraduates have access to 24/7 technical support via email or by calling (877) 399-8897.

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5

Colorado State University – Fort Collins

 2/565.25%Fort Collins, CO

campus_colorado_state_university_fort_collins

The undergraduate degree in information technology provided by CSU can be completed asynchronously online, with classroom activities accessible 24/7. Students may opt to specialize in one of many fields, including Healthcare Management, Marketing or Cyber Security. Undergraduates may also qualify for alternative credits for previous work and life experiences after completing Prior Learning Assessments and Competency Based Exams.

CSU uses the Schoology learning management system, a user-friendly and collaborative virtual classroom platform that supports achievement badges, quizzes, mastery tracking and assignment submissions. Students access technical support 24/7 online or through an interactive web form system.

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6

Elmhurst College

 5/5N/AIL

Elmhurst provides a degree completion program for students who wish to earn an accelerated bachelor's in information technology either entirely online or in a hybrid format with on-campus interactions. The program focuses on the JavaScript and Java servlet programming languages.

Online learning takes place through the Blackboard learning management system. Some professors host digital office hours through this platform, enabling students to chat live or post asynchronous messages on discussion boards. Each online course runs for a duration of eight weeks.

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7

DePaul University

 5/571.21%Chicago, IL

This software-centric bachelor's in information technology focuses on the creation and deployment of applications. DePaul invites both freshmen and transfer students to enter this intensive degree track, requiring a minimum of 192 credit hours before graduation. Enrolled students are expected to maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Students attend courses online through the Desire2Learn platform. The IT faculty relies on multimedia lecture recordings, so that students can rewatch class sessions through the CDM Course Online playback system. Online learners should note that all exams are proctored, either at a campus location or at an exam facility local to the student.

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8

Western Governors University

 2/516.74%Salt Lake City, UT

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology can be earned entirely online within just two years. Students are invited to apply as freshmen or as degree completion students, if they already hold an associate degree. Since WGU charges a flat rate for tuition every six months, students can save money by completing the program within a shorter period of time.

WGU coursework is delivered on an asynchronous schedule, so that students can sign on at any time to work on their degree. Students are expected to spend at least 15 hours each week studying.

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9

University of West Florida

 1/551.46%Pensacola, FL

Undergraduates attending UWF have two degree tracks to explore online:

Engineering Technology, B.S. - Information Engineering Technology students focus on networking and telecommunications as they investigate how technology is used to support organizations. The program emphasizes designing, implementing and maintaining networks and telecommunications and distance systems. Combining technical and management proficiency, graduates possess skills that help them succeed in complex organizations by being able to apply solid problem-solving strategies to solve real-world problems. This program is offered fully online.

Information Technology, B.S. - Network Systems Operations is an intensive professional development program for higher order skills in the design, implementation, and maintenance of network and telecommunications systems for training and education organizations. It provides an alternative path to the short term, time-sensitive, narrowly focused, application-specific skills training provided by commercial training concerns or community colleges in the form of a lengthier, more generalized, broad-ranging course of study. The program is highly technical without being too narrowly focused, and provides additional emphasis on developing strategies for the application of the technologies in innovative ways. Special attention is also devoted to development of planning and organizational skills required to implement and evolve complex systems as well as maintain them.

Prospective students should note that their lower division class work may be offered in partnership with other Florida state colleges and universities through the Florida Virtual Campus, a network that pools resources to help undergraduates complete their core education requirements.

Students taking online courses use the eLearning D2L (LMS) for course content, checklists, discussions, drop-box for assignments, grades and quizzes. Within eLearning other tools that allows instructors to conduct classes, hold online office hours, and collaborate with students over the Internet. TurnItIn enables students to submit their assignments, check their essays for originality—avoid plagiarism—and receive grades. Technical support for online students is available five days a week through the UWF Help Desk.

Tuition waivers are available to non-Florida resident students admitted to these two degree tracks, i.e., at 75% out-of-state tuition waiver (waiver of non-residence). Active Duty and Reserve military students serving on active duty outside of Florida are always eligible to receive the 100% out-of-state tuition waiver.

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10

Champlain College

 5/557.12%Burlington, VT

Champlain College offers three undergraduate programs related to information systems and technology: the BS in computer and information systems, the BS in management information systems, and the BS in health information technology. Each program prepares students for a career in technology management, specifically with regards to IT support, programming, systems analysis, application development, IT consulting, and infrastructure architecture. Only the health IT program requires applicants to have either an associate’s degree or at least 60 college credits. Courses typically last seven weeks.

Online information technology degree students will also be given opportunities for certification, depending on which program they choose. Those studying computer and information systems can earn certificates in C++ programming, computer networking, computer forensics & digital investigations, Java development, Linux administration, software development, system administration, web design, and programming, among others. Students of management information systems can earn certifications for computer networking and software development.

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11

New Mexico State University

 2/545.69%Las Cruces, NM

The College of Engineering at NMSU helps students learn how to navigate database design, security strategies, operating systems and computing hardware with its Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology. Since this is a degree completion program, students must already hold an associate degree or have at least 62 credits from another accredited college or university.

Digital learners are expected to contribute at least 7-10 hours each week to their online studies. Students use Canvas to access group discussions, submit homework assignments and view learning materials. Technical support for online students is available over the phone at (575) 646-3700.

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12

Lawrence Technological University

 4/544.21%Southfield, MI

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is a fully online degree completion program offered by the College of Management. To meet the admissions requirements at LTU, prospective undergraduates must hold a high school diploma or GED, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all previous undergraduate work. Students attending this online completion program earn a total of 62 credit hours at LTU.

LTU's online courses are hosted on Blackboard, a popular learning management system. All coursework is completely asynchronous, meaning students are free to sign on at any time to participate. Students are expected to access their courses everyday to check for updates and complete required assignments.

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13

Oregon Tech

 2/547.09%Klamath Falls, OR

OIT offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program in which students can focus on health informatics, app development or business/systems analysis. In-state residents and out-of-state students pay the same tuition for an online education. To meet the application requirements, prospective students must submit an eligibility verification form and hold a GED or high school diploma.

The majority of online coursework at OIT is provided on an asynchronous schedule, which means students don't need to sign on to classes at a particular time. Digital classes are attended through Blackboard, a platform supporting shared course materials, forum discussions and live webinars.

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14

King University

 4/554.35%Bristol, TN

The information technology bachelor's at King can be taken entirely online with a concentration in programming, network management or cyber security. This is a degree completion program designed for students who have already earned at least 45 credit hours. Prospective students must hold a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.2; test scores must be at least 890 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT.

KU students access course materials through Blackboard, a virtual environment supporting real-time web conferencing, shared course materials and asynchronous forum discussions. Students can graduate within 16 months.

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15

Pace University

 5/554.89%New York, NY

Pace University offers a wide range of IT and computer science programs. The BS in professional technology studies, telecommunications concentration, is a 56-credit program including 10 major courses and 5-6 general education core courses. Applicants must have either an associate degree or equivalent certification. Most students also have some professional experience related to their field of study. The school also offers a BS completion degree in professional technology studies with a focus in business leadership and an advanced certificate in emerging telecommunications technology.

Coursework includes foundations in telecommunications, web development, and computer science, as well as more advanced studies including fiber optics, electrical circuitry, and emerging broadband technologies. Students will also complete a major capstone selection of two courses for a combined four credits, but can only do this once they have completed three out of four major core class, earned a minimum 90 credits, and maintained a GPA of at least 3.2.

Applicants pursuing an information technology bachelors degree online must have at least three years of full-time experience and have earned 60-64 college credits from a regionally accredited school. They must also have completed required courses in English and applied information technology.

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16

Kennesaw State University

 2/542.63%Kennesaw, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree at KSU prepares graduates for the fields of integrated computing, management, and information technology systems. Students can take courses online or in-class, with the option of completing the entire program online (including general education coursework). The school also offers a BAS in IT designed for students who have an Associate of Applied Science in a computing field from a member institution of the Technical College System of Georgia. 28 hours of computing related courses completed for the AAS transfer in as a technical block. The remaining courses are completed as KSU.

The BSIT program is accredited by SACS and ABET.

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17

Western Kentucky University

 2/543.55%Bowling Green, KY

WKU provides undergraduates with a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Technology, available to both incoming freshmen and 2+2 transfer students. Prospective freshmen must have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 and meet the minimum standardized test scores of 940 on the SAT or 20 on the ACT. Transfer students must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 during their last semester of college to be considered for admission.

Students are expected to study about 3-4 hours per credit hour each week. WKU notes students should be prepared to spend at least an hour each day online, interacting with their class. The Blackboard management system provides students with a virtual classroom environment, where they can access course materials, attend multimedia chat sessions, submit assignments and take tests.

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18

Bellevue University

 2/529.41%Bellevue, NE

BU provides a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program that can be completed entirely online, on campus or through a mixed cohort that blends both learning formats. Students are expected to complete 36 credit hours to fulfill major requirements and at least 3 credit hours in electives. Prospective applicants must hold a GED or high school diploma to meet admissions requirements.

This university uses its proprietary BRUIN (Bellevue Real-Time User Information Network) to create a virtual learning environment for online students. Through this system, undergraduates access library materials 24/7, real time chat sessions and multimedia learning content. A service desk is available via email for 24/7 technical support.

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19

University of South Carolina – Upstate

 3/538.42%Spartanburg, SC

USC Upstate’s online health information management program is designed for working adults who have already obtained an associate degree. The condensed, three-year program can be completed at the student’s own pace, allowing them to fit coursework around their work schedules. All courses are available online and can be completed in 5-15 weeks, however, general education courses may require in-class attendance. Some courses may also not be available in the condensed format.

The online information technology degree program is specifically catered toward students seeking careers in the healthcare sector. It highlights the role of electronic processing of health information records in an ever-changing industry. Courses include organizational informatics, healthcare administration, systematic innovation, networking technology, data warehousing, and executive IT management. Graduates will earn a BA in information management & systems, with a concentration in the health information management application. Academic scholarships are available for out-of-state accredited information management students.

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20

Granite State College

 2/513.51%Concord, NH

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at GSC gives students the opportunity to explore online infrastructures and database management. This is a completion program largely designed for students with an associate in a related field. Prospective students must hold a GED or high school diploma to be eligible for admission.

This institution uses the Moodle learning management system, a flexible platform that includes a significant amount of support for mobile users. Students are invited to attend eLearning Orientations to learn more about this platform, or they can take advantage of one-on-one Moodle tutorials. Online learners access technical assistance by calling 1-888-372-4270.

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21

Columbus State University

 2/532.41%Columbus, GA

A fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is available through the D. Abbott Turner College of Business. Students earn this degree by completing a well-rounded curriculum covering essential skills, humanities, science, math, technology and wellness. To enter this undergraduate program, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Prospective freshmen must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, along with SAT scores, 410-Math and 440-Reading. Alternatively, ACT scores of 17-Math and 17-English. The program may also be taken online and is housed in the School of Computer Science.

The learning management platform at CSU is Desire2Learn, a robust virtual classroom that supports eBooks, student forums, surveys and quizzes. The webmail infrastructure is provided through Google. Students can contact technical support for online classroom assistance by calling 706-507-8199.

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22

Hodges University

 3/528.74%Naples, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology (CIT) can be completed in three different formats: online, on-campus or through a self-paced online Upower track. Students enrolled in this undergraduate program may specialize in Forensics, Networking an Information Security. Generally, students take a course load of three classes each term.

Like many colleges listed here, Hodges uses the Blackboard platform to connect students via forums, video chat, classroom wiki pages and other interactive features. Students manage their accounts through MyHUgoPortal, which encompasses billing, bookstore purchases and grades. Technical support can be reached 24/7 via email, text-based chat or phone.

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23

Ottawa University – Milwaukee

 1/5N/ABrookfield, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Technology program at Ottawa University can be completed entirely online and prepares graduates for careers in information technology and data analysis, with the power to inform scientific research and business decisions. Data scientists are expected to advise executives and project managers on matters related to their field, and are found most often in the fields of finance, healthcare, and social networking. Ottawa University integrates faith into all of its curriculum.

Students may contribute up to 80 credit hours toward a degree in data science and technology. They are also free to pursue undergraduate minors in subjects ranging from economics and biology to healthcare management and human services. They are required to take foundation courses in mathematics, accounting, and business ethics. Major courses include data mining, network architecture, data visualization, information forensics, ethical hacking and intrusion detection, and calculus. Scholarships are offered for international students, and Ottowa Tribe members receive a favorable tuition rate.

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24

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

 3/554.95%Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BS IT) completion program at KU gives students a comprehensive understanding of digital security, IT implementation and organizational management. This is a degree program designed for students who already have an associate degree in computer science or a related field of study.

Students attending online courses at Keiser University log onto the Blackboard Learn system to access course content, check their syllabi, submit assignments and communicate with their classes. This platform supports real-time multimedia conferencing, along with forum discussions and text-based chat.

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25

Florida State College at Jacksonville

 1/535.97%Jacksonville, FL

FSCJ offers a BAS in information technology management. The program takes a hands-on approach to learning that is designed to balance the practice and theory of information technology. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in systems analysis, IT project management, data management, software development, networking and communications, and quality assurance.

BAS online information technology degree candidates must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, including 36 general education credits, 27 credits of lower division coursework, and 39 credits of upper division coursework. Students must also select 18 credits of associate degree courses, including general education, electives, professional core or professional electives. Applicants must also have either an AS or an AA degree, or at least 60 applicable credits, and should maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average in order to be in good standing in the program.

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Employment Outlook for Information Technology Graduates

Online bachelor’s in information technology programs prepare graduates to become IT specialists, database administrators, and software developers. Students equipped with flexible skills in the field will enjoy a lengthy career, as the need for qualified professionals continues to expand. IT experts with bachelor’s level skills are ideal for midrange and management positions overseeing the network structure and security for all types of organizations. Common positions include:

  • Computer Programmer: Computer programmers write and test code, helping to translate software program “instructions” into a language that computers can understand. They ensure that code is written properly and that it allows the computer to function efficiently. Computer programmers may be required to edit or rewrite code for various applications of the same program to be used on multiple systems. Some computer programmers specialize in in a particular language, such as C++ or Java.
  • Software Developer: Software developers are responsible for designing various computer applications and programs. Professionals in this realm may also design the underlying platforms and network controls that allow such applications and programs to function. Software developers tend to have strong backgrounds in computer programming and mathematics. Job duties in this position may overlap with or lead into entry-level IT management tasks.
  • Computer Network Architect: Computer network architects design and build networks to enable and encourage data communication between entities. These professionals form a complete understanding of their clients’ business goals and technology capabilities in order to plan and implement LANs, WANs, and intranets to suit their needs.
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers: IT managers must have a combination of abilities, including computer programming, math, and software development skills. Entry-level positions with small organizations generally prefer employees to hold a bachelor’s degree as the minimum education requirement, though larger companies with more complicated networks or systems may require a master’s degree. Candidates in the field should pursue work experience and business training in addition to core IT courses.

The above jobs are just a few of the positions available to qualified graduates from an information technology program. Below is a snapshot of the expected earnings and growth potential for the positions we reviewed above:

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Computer Programmer $77,550 -8%
Software Developer $97,990 17%
Computer Network Architect $75,400 29%
Computer and Information Systems Manager $127,640 15%

While academic courses in an online bachelor’s in information technology program are delivered through a virtual platform, most students are required to seek additional hands-on training in an internship or professional program. Some employers allow new hires to complete on-the-job training in an entry-level position. Students aspiring to high-level positions in information technology may consider ongoing work experience and individual software certification in addition to their comprehensive online education in the subject.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option. Explore our collection of financial aid resources or dig into one of the following guides to read more about financing your education.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Scholarships for Computer Science Majors

We’ve hand-curated a list of 40 scholarships for computer science students representing $500,000 in total award dollars. Students at all levels can find an opportunity to apply for free money to help offset the cost of tuition.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.

Best Online Information Technology Programs of 2015
Rank Name Location
1 Northeastern University Boston, MA
2 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
3 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI
4 DePaul University Chicago, IL
5 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
6 Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL
7 Ohio University Athens, OH
8 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
9 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
10 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
11 University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
12 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM
13 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
14 Columbus State University Columbus, OH
15 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
16 King University Bristol, TN
17 Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR
18 Hodges University Naples, FL
19 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
20 Granite State College Concord, NH
21 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
22 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA
23 Franklin University Columbus, OH