Best Online Associate in Health Information Technology Programs

If you are detail-oriented and have strong interpersonal skills, a health information technology associate degree online may be right for you. This degree will prepare you for an entry-level position at a hospital, community clinic, or other medical facility. You can choose to work in an administrative or in a more hands-on role assisting doctors with examinations and providing patients with basic care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is growing faster than the national average and needs compassionate professionals with good analytical and technical skills.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Shoreline Community College 76.20 2/5 49% Shoreline, WA

Sitting at the front of the class for this year’s ranking of the best health information technology associate degrees online is Shoreline Community College's health informatics and information management program. Structured as an associate in applied arts and sciences, this program was created to provide technical skills students need to move directly into a job upon graduation. Comprised of between 92 and 94 credits, Shoreline students take innovative courses in topics such as hospital and clinical records, medical terminology, quality improvement in healthcare, and alternative care record systems. Toward the end of their time at Shoreline, students complete both a professional practice experience at a health clinic or hospital along with a health information technology capstone course to help them pull together all the skills and knowledge they’ve gained into a culminating project.

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2 Collin County Community College District 70.42 1/5 47% McKinney, TX

Collin County Community College District's associate of applied science in health information management degree was designed for students who don’t plan to complete any higher education upon exiting this program. By providing all the tools and knowledge a student needs to be competitive for entry-level roles, CCCCD makes it possible for students to avoid those extra years — and costs — associated with a bachelor’s degree. Because admission is limited to 25 students each semester, this program is considered competitive. Learners can apply for admittance for either the fall or spring term. Requiring 60 credit hours, students who take a full course load each semester will finish this program within two years. Because students are required to complete a clinical component to satisfy graduation requirements, the school provides a comprehensive list of vaccinations learners need before beginning the semester-long experience.

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3 Hutchinson Community College 70.23 2/5 59% Hutchinson, KS

Hutchinson Community College, a comprehensive two-year school based in Kansas, is an excellent option for both local learners and those further afield. The fully online associate of applied science in health information management at HCC fulfills all the requirements of health agencies, hospitals, and clinics that typically hire graduates of this type of program — meaning that Hutchinson graduates are in high demand. If students can commit to full-time study, the program's required 66 courses may be completed in two years (including a summer semester). Otherwise, the school offers part-time plans for those who must balance school with professional and personal responsibilities. Some of the courses included in this program are pharmacology, principles of supervision, CPT coding, health documentation and transcription, and health record applications. Students also complete a number of labs — such as coding — to ensure that they’re fluent in the latest in software.

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4 Pitt Community College 66.71 1/5 46% Winterville, NC

Whether graduates of Pitt Community College’s online associate of applied science in health information technology hope to work in a hospital, health insurance agency, outpatient clinic, rehabilitation facility, or nursing home environment, the skills and knowledge they gain during this 76 credit hour degree build a foundation they need to succeed. During this program, learners discover how to efficiently complete tasks associated with careers in the field, including medical coding and classification, index diagnoses and procedures, cost control, quality management, and system control design. During their fifth and final semester, learners take a professional practice experience that places them in the middle of a bustling clinic, agency, or organization so they can gain hands-on experience. After completing all these requirements and depending on their state of residency’s mandates, graduates may also be eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician examination.

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5 Davenport University 66.39 3/5 40% Grand Rapids, MI

From its home base in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport University provides education to both local and non-local students alike thanks to its innovative and comprehensive distance learning platform. A perennial favorite program is the school's associate of applied science in health information technology online, a 69 credit hour degree designed for learners who want to move directly into a career rather than continue into higher education. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, this program uses the American Health Information Management Association’s Virtual Lab to complete assignments via cutting-edge technology and software. After students have satisfied all degree requirements, they work to complete the HIT professional practice experience while gaining practical skills in areas of medical terminology, health care and ethics, health record content, and ICD coding. After graduating, learners may also sit for AHIMA’s Registered Health Information Technician exam.

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6 Idaho State University 65.05 3/5 54% Pocatello, ID

Recognizing the largely rural status of its location, Idaho State University makes its award winning educations available to as many qualified students as possible by providing online degrees from its Pocatello campus. Offered as an associate of applied science, the school's two-year health information technology program requires 69 credit hours for completion. Students considering this path can begin their learning during the fall semester and immediately dive into foundational courses during their first semester – including health informatics, informatics technology, and medical terminology. When they aren’t completing coursework asynchronously, many online students can be found meeting the requirements of their practicum experience or taking part in the health information technology online student club. ISU requires students complete a set course sequence to ensure learners take pre-requisites before moving into more advanced topics.

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7 Minnesota State Community and Technical College 64.54 2/5 48% Fergus Falls, MN

A slightly different offering than other programs in this ranking, Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s AAS in health information technology and coding is exclusively tailored for students who wish to work within the more technology-driven side of the field — coding. Like others, however, this program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health informatics and Information Management Education and prepares graduates for the AHIMA examination. While most other associate of applied science degrees are considered terminal, MSCTC maintains an articulation agreement with the College of St. Scholastica for students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree in health information management. Requiring 64 credits for graduation, learners devoted to full-time studies may be able to complete this program in four semesters, while those who need to take fewer credits can typically finish in five to six semesters. In addition to small class sizes, students at MSCTC also benefit from a full complement of tutoring and support services geared exclusively toward online learners.

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8 North Dakota State College of Science 64.17 2/5 47% Wahpeton, ND

According to the latest statistics available from North Dakota State College of Science, graduates of the school's online associate of applied science in health information technology had a 75% placement rate within six months of graduation, and program graduates have an average beginning monthly salary of $2,885 (and in some cases reaching $4,333). These salaries speak for themselves: NDSCS graduates are clearly well-prepared for their field. Comprised of 67 credit hours of classes in areas of pathopharmacology, healthcare delivery systems, health information data analytics, and intermediate diagnosis coding, students gain a comprehensive theoretical education before learning how all the dots connect during a semester-long clinical placement. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit ACT or COMPASS placement exam scores that meet the program's minimum requirements.

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9 Northwest Iowa Community College 64.12 2/5 63% Sheldon, IA

Although this two-year institution is based in Iowa, students from across the country are currently enrolled in its associate of applied science in health information technology online. This is in part due to its flexibility. Students completing learning on a full-time basis can finish this 69 credit hour program within five semesters, but the school has options for part-time learners as well. While full-time learners need to begin their studies during the fall semester, part-time students can start during any term. According to program administrators, what makes this program unique is its focus on the sciences and developing communication skills, while also preparing students for success. According to recent data on students who take the Registered Health Information Technician examination, nearly 100% of NICC graduates pass. As of the 2016-2017 academic year, online students can expect to pay approximately $15,819 for the entire program.

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10 Central Piedmont Community College 63.80 2/5 43% Charlotte, NC

Central Piedmont Community College, a large two-year institution in Charlotte, North Carolina currently serves more than 62,000 students and is home to a notable and innovative health information technology degree program. CPCC’s offering allows learners to complete all their coursework online, but three professional practice experience classes must be completed in Charlotte. 48 hours must be completed during the second semester, 96 contact hours during the third semester, and an additional 48 hours during the fourth semester. Students completing eight to nine credits per semester — including a summer term — can graduate within two years. Because this program is structured in a lockstep manner, students must complete courses in a prescribed sequence. According to the school, CPCC graduates have a 100% pass rate on the Registered Health Information Technology examination. Resident students completing all required hours at CPCC will be charged $5,624 for the entire program, while out-of-state students will be charged $19,832.

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11 Dakota State University 62.92 3/5 80% Madison, SD

As medical records continue to move from paper to online databases, the need for qualified professionals to maintain and update these files becomes ever more crucial. Enter Dakota State University’s comprehensive associate of science in health information technology. While many programs boast affiliation with leading associations, few can say that their program director holds fellowship status in the American Health Information Management Association. In addition to cutting-edge courses in topics like health information management and fundamentals of disease and diagnosis coding, students are required to complete supervised professional practice to ensure they know how to put theoretical ideas to everyday use. The program's 65 required hours are generally completed in two years by full-time students, many of whom receive scholarships or grants from the university. Outside of the classroom, learners may elect to take part in the school's active health information management club, which has an online arm.

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12 Rochester Community and Technical College 62.27 3/5 48% Rochester, MN

According to the latest data from Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota, more than 90% of currently enrolled learners are pursuing an associate of applied science in health information technology online at the school. RCTC’s program stands out in part due to the embedded coding diploma program within its HIT degree path. Consisting of 64 credit hours, this program has been offered fully online since 2003, meaning professors and administrators alike have refined course content delivery to a science. In addition to core coursework, learners also complete two semester-long internships at healthcare facilities near their homes – wherever they may live. As of the 2015-2016 academic year, RCTC students boast an 84% pass rate on the Registered Health Information Technician national examination. Regardless of whether or not a learner plans to study full or part-time, the program's asynchronous delivery of all coursework means they can log on at times that best suit their schedules.

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13 Peirce College 61.85 2/5 76% Philadelphia, PA

For practically-minded students looking for a foundational degree to help them enter the burgeoning healthcare industry, Pierce College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides a health information technology associate degree online. With a focus on useful, career-oriented training opportunities, students in this program gain real-world insights via courses like application software fundamentals, statistical applications in healthcare, and legal issues in health information management. Toward the end of their time completing the required 61 credits, students take the program's professional practice experience, a course geared towards embedding them in a healthcare agency to gain useful experience. While enrolled, learners also benefit from joining the school’s Health Programs Student Association. After leaving Peirce, alumni of this program have gone onto roles as medical assistants, hospital facilities staff, and insurance specialists.

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14 Ultimate Medical Academy-Tampa 60.88 4/5 49% Tampa, FL

With the option to complete a health information technology associate degree online in as few as 17 months at the Ultimate Medical Academy in Tampa, it’s no wonder that so many students choose this innovative program. In addition to 135 hours of required simulated experience, every student in this program also receives 45 hours of hands-on experience while under the supervision of a health information technology professional. Aside from gaining qualification to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician exam, UMA students also receive free course preparation to ensure they excel. Students who enroll in this program are able to complete all coursework asynchronously and can rest assured knowing the academy provides 24/7 technical support in case they run into any issues with the online learning platform. Client documentation specialist, medical records analyst, patient access representative, and document imaging technician are all examples of positions held by UMA alumni.

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15 Gateway Community and Technical College 60.65 2/5 46% Florence, KY

Florence, Kentucky’s Gateway Community and Technical College provides an online associate degree in health information technology that is well respected by employers in Kentucky and further afield alike. According Gateway's data, 89% of students who graduated in the spring of 2015 are employed within the healthcare field, compared to 84% of those who graduated the year prior. Students must complete 62 credit hours to qualify for graduation at GCTC, including a four-credit clinical practicum during the spring of their second year. Because not all classes are offered every semester, students should work with their academic advisers once they’ve been accepted to the program to ensure on-schedule and hassle-free graduation. GCTC’s program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

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16 Fisher College 57.78 4/5 76% Boston, MA

Whether a graduate of Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts wants to work in a veterinary medicine lab, a dentist’s office, a nursing home facility, or a healthcare agency, the school’s associate of science in health information technology provides them with the skills and knowledge employers are seeking. Offered as a fully online program, students take 71 credits — including two supervised professional practices — before stepping into the professional world. Recognizing that few students enrolled in the online program live in — or even near — the Boston area, the school makes a number of program administrators available to help those outside the city locate and secure suitable fieldwork sites. In addition to maintaining good relationships with companies in the field, the school also works directly with industry associations and organizations to ensure students have access to other professionals working within the field of health information technology.

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17 Sinclair Community College 57.78 1/5 45% Dayton, OH

With a focus on providing graduates with all the tools they’ll need to be experts in managing and protecting healthcare information and providing appropriate coding structures for new patients, the associate of applied science in health information management at Sinclair Community College is a cutting-edge degree path. Designed to be completed in five semesters by those who enroll in full-time studies, learners complete both general education and core degree courses alongside one another for the duration of their time at Sinclair. Students electing to study part-time can also select from a range of plans of study to ensure they stay on track while balancing busy outside lives. The professional practice experience is completed in cohort-style by students living within the 14-county area surrounding the school, but those living outside these bounds are responsible for finding a suitable facility to complete their fieldwork. The school maintains a number of articulation agreements for individuals who plan to move into a bachelor’s degree after leaving Sinclair.

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18 Ozarks Technical Community College 57.31 2/5 40% Springfield, MO

Recognizing that any organization using or maintaining patient data and health information requires a professional to oversee these files, Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri developed an online associate of applied science in health information technology to help interested students meet growing demand. The program, which works toward preparing students to sit for — and successfully pass — the Registered Health Information Technician examination, is comprised of 69 credit hours and was designed to be completed in five semesters by full-time learners. Although the national mean pass rate for this examination is 76%, learners at OTCC achieved a 100% pass rate in 2011 and 2013. Because there is a course sequence, newly admitted students should work with their assigned advisers to learn when certain classes need to be taken.

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19 St Petersburg College 56.99 2/5 13% Clearwater, FL

As its name suggests, St. Petersburg College is a Florida-based, degree-granting institution catering to learners seeking programs that quickly propel them into a career. One of its most successful programs is the associate of science degree in health information technology, a fully online option that can be completed in as few as two years. While students will need to venture away from their computers to complete professional practice courses, administrators are happy to arrange these at appropriate healthcare facilities in their area. Developed in line with the American Health Information Management Association’s competencies for professionals in this field, SPC students are ready to take the Registered Health Information Technician examination offered via AHIMA shortly after graduation. The program seems to be effective, as 100% of students successfully passed the test in 2014. Florida residents pay $112 per credit hour while those who live outside the state pay $387.

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20 Roane State Community College 56.62 2/5 46% Harriman, TN

Based in the small town of Harriman, Tennessee, Roane State Community College has created an interdisciplinary associate of applied science in health information technology that combines coursework in computer science, medicine, and general studies. This program prepares graduates for any task that comes their way in the field — whether it’s managing records, conducting research, or analyzing data, RSCC graduates are confident and versatile employees. So much so that, according to the school, graduates of the class of 2016 enjoyed a 96% job placement rate. During their final fall and spring semesters, students undertake two professional practice experiences in local healthcare agencies deemed suitable by department administrators. This program is a member of TN eCampus initiative, a program launched by the Tennessee Board of Regents to promote quality online coursework throughout the state.

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21 Tyler Junior College 55.42 2/5 45% Tyler, TX

From its home base in the Lone Star State, Tyler Junior College provides the only health information technology associate degree online in east Texas. Incorporating both technical and administrative learning opportunities, students who enroll in this program come to understand the theoretical and methodological practices needed to excel before gaining hands-on skills as they work alongside doctors, nurses, and other qualified administrators during their on-site program experience. Breaking down to 17 hours related to their major and 43 related to general core education, students will take a total of 60 credits during their time at TJC. Examples of degree-specific classes new learners can expect to complete include anatomy and physiology, clinical-health information technology, coding/classification systems, and advanced medical coding. As part of services provided to them free of charge as TJC students, every learner is assigned a career coach to help prepare a resume, strengthen interviewing skills, and find networking opportunities in their area.

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22 State Fair Community College 55.23 2/5 38% Sedalia, MO

State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri offers an excellent cost value while providing students with the foundation necessary to gain a professional certificate in medical coding, part of the requirements for its health information technology associate degree online. Consisting of a total of 70 credit hours, learners delve into topics that prepare them for working with both digital and traditional patient records, ensuring that security, confidentiality, and integrity are maintained throughout any and all uses of these records. During the previous semester (Fall 2016), four SFCC graduates sat for the Registered Health Information Technician examination and three passed, providing the school with a 75% pass rate — still above the national RHIT pass rate. More so than other programs, SFCC’s degree plan truly emphasizes knowledge of different coding styles, providing advanced and nuanced learning for students who plan to work within the coding side of this field.

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23 SUNY College of Technology at Alfred 54.95 3/5 74% Alfred, NY

Operating as part of the State University of New York College of Technology system, Alfred State primarily provides two-year career and technical degrees to learners who want to start working quickly – including those who aspire to careers as health information technicians. The health information technology associate degree online at Alfred State is a 64 credit program that requires learners to complete an on-site practicum in addition to achieving a “C” or better in all degree core courses. This program, offered at the school since 1968, also qualifies for transfer at a number of institutions (though students should check with potential schools before applying). According to school data, 100% of the 2014 graduates of this program who responded to a survey were employed in the health information technology field. In addition to preparing learners for the Registered Health Information Technician examination, the program also qualifies students for sitting the certified coding specialist or certified professional coder exams.

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24 Ogeechee Technical College 54.72 2/5 29% Statesboro, GA

Ogeechee Technical College is an excellent option for future health information technicians who want to gain a health information technology associate degree online and a host of practical and useful skills tailored to the needs of employers. In addition to providing necessary technical knowledge, faculty at OTC help students delve into topics like health data reporting, legal and ethical considerations, licensure/certification standards for reimbursement, and risk management. Aside from holding a high school diploma or GED, learners must provide ACT, SAT, or COMPASS scores meeting minimum requirements. Once accepted to the program, students complete 64 credit hours to qualify for graduation, including a health information technology practicum in their final semester. Students can expect to pay the same fees regardless of their residence.

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25 Eastern Iowa Community College District 54.35 2/5 42% Davenport, IA

Rounding out our 2017 rankings of the best online associate in health information technology programs in the United States is Eastern Iowa Community College District's health information technology associate degree online. A product of a conglomeration of schools in three different cities and provided as an associate of applied science, this program is a particularly excellent choice for learners who intend to move directly into the job market without completing any further higher education. For example, instead of requiring students to take lots of general education courses typically required for a bachelor’s degree, learners instead specifically focus on more classes related to their future careers. At the end of their time at EICCD, students in this program will have completed 72 credit hours over the span of six semesters if they were enrolled on a full-time basis. According to the school, the great majority of program graduates were either completing higher education or working in the healthcare information technology field, yielding an overall graduate placement rate of 81%.

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Time to Complete
Full-time students can complete the degree in two years.
Credit Hours
Full-time students complete an average of 33 credits per year.
Program Costs
Annual tuition costs range from $7,000 to $11,000.
Core Courses
Medical Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, Coding and Reimbursement
Concentrations
Health Information Technology, Medical Coding, Electronic Health Records
Accreditation
Commission on the Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Additional Considerations
Most programs require an onsite internship or professional practice field experience. Graduates are prepared take the the Registered Health Information Technician certification exam and the Certified Coding Specialist exam.

CAREER PATHS

Graduates often pursue careers as health information technicians and coding specialists. This degree equips students with the skills necessary to work in an administrative capacity and assisting doctors with examinations. Successful health information technicians possess strong analytical and technical skills, pay close attention to detail, and ethically handle confidential patient information.

Medical Records and Health Information Technician: A health information technician utilizes client data to track patient treatment histories and outcomes. They ensure the quality and accessibility of patient records and use medical codes to classify information for insurance reimbursement.

Medical Transcriptionist: A medical transcriptionist listens to recordings made by healthcare professionals and converts them into written reports. They are familiar with medical abbreviations and jargon.

Medical Assistant: Medical assistants work in hospitals and healthcare facilities recording patient information, scheduling appointments, and assisting physicians in examinations.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Medical Records and Health Information Technician $37,110 15%
Medical Transcriptionist $34,890 -3%
Medical Assistant $30,590 23%

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

A health information technology associate degree provides the foundation for a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and many BS programs allow students to transfer up to 60 credits. Continuing your education will provide you with more job opportunities and increased annual earnings. BLS data indicate that earning a bachelor’s degree can double your salary; healthcare managers make approximately $100,000 a year.

BS in Healthcare Management: This major combines business and healthcare skills to prepare students for management roles in the healthcare industry. Topics include accounting, human resources, and healthcare data.

BS in Finance with Insurance Concentration: Coding specialists can benefit from this degree by gaining in-depth knowledge about principles of insurance and insurance laws and contracts.

BS in Public Health: This degree prepares students for careers in healthcare education and management roles. Course topics include social and behavioral health, program planning, and public health education.

ASSOCIATE IN HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SALARY

More than 200,000 health information technicians are employed in the U.S. with the majority of professionals employed by hospitals and physician offices. Students who pursue a health information technology associate degree online can find employment across the nation. The following table utilizes BLS data to provide a glance of the highest paying states for careers in health information technology.

Top Paying States for Health Information Technicians Overall Median Salary
Florida $63,860
New Jersey $60,000
Alaska $56,920
California $48,840
Maryland $48,730
Colorado $48,730

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Students can enhance their health information technology associate degree online by joining a professional organization. These organizations promote career advancement by providing certification programs, webinars, and mentoring opportunities. Student members can participate in annual conferences and gain continuing education credits. Professional organizations like the ones listed below provide members with access to valuable resources and the latest healthcare news.

Tuition costs may initially seem daunting, but students have access to more financial aid support now than ever before. Securing federal financial aid begins with the completion of a FAFSA form. In addition to governmental aid, other options are available, including scholarships offered by professional organizations and academic programs. Many programs give veterans and public service workers tuition discounts, and lottery scholarships are offered by several states.

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 you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

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, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.