Best Accredited Online CollegesAcademic Programs

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Best School Ranking

Learn about our methodology

Online programs are an excellent option for students looking to earn their degree while balancing the demands of work and family. With over 10,000 individual online degrees available, however, assessing quality programs can feel daunting. To help you find and weigh your program options, we compiled the following two lists of the best accredited online colleges in the country using qualitative measures and data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and schools themselves. The first list assesses four-year schools based on key performance indicators such as admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. The second list uses the same criteria to rank two-year schools. Each school included in our rankings is a not-for-profit institution that offers at least three fully online degree programs. Read more about online education.

Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

  1. Rank School Location Tuition +
  2. Rank
    1
    School

    University of Florida

    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Tuition
    $6,310 in state;
    $28,541 out of state

    Websites

    Address

    Gainesville, FL 32611
    (352) 392-3261

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    The University of Florida has an extensive and inclusive online education portfolio. In addition to five levels of online degrees, including traditional bachelor's, master's and doctoral credentials, e-learners can opt to earn one of three specialist degrees, all of which are related to the field of education. International degrees in construction management, pharmacy and public health are also available. There are several bachelor's degree completion programs that can be earned in two years if applicants already hold an associate's degree.

    UF's online students access their classes through e-Learning, powered by the open source learning management system Sakai. Through this platform, students and instructors have access to a number of web-based collaboration and research tools, such as the anti-plagiarism programs Turnitin and iThenticate. Some classes are also accessed through Canvas. Online students have the same support system and services in place as their on-campus counterparts. They can sign up for disability accommodations and remotely access: counseling services, the UF bookstore and library, Career Resource Center and academic advising.

    Testimonial

    "[...] The online courses afforded me the opportunity to pursue my dreams through a program that was flexible and convenient for my schedule. I was able to be a part of the prestigious Gator Nation without abandoning my role as a stay-at-home mom. Not all Gators come from Gainesville." - Christy Richardson, BS Microbiology Alumna

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 8 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  3. Rank
    2
    School

    George Washington University

    Location
    Washington, DC
    Tuition
    $27,120 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2121 I Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20052
    (202) 994-1000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    The differences between online and on-campus programs at George Washington University, as far as the school is concerned, begin and end with how and where courses are delivered. This school takes pride in the fact that they don't distinguish between degrees earned online and those completed in person. Online learning at GW is taught by the same experienced and industry-knowledgeable faculty, the class sizes are slightly smaller than those taught in person and students are able to customize their assignments and projects to meet their professional goals.

    GW's Academic Technologies department provides all students and faculty with the tools and support they need to successfully complete an online degree or incorporate e-learning into their classrooms. AT maintains GW's Blackboard Course Management system, which is used for everything from posting syllabi to reporting grades. Faculty can also use the school's Lecture Capture to record and publish lectures for students.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  4. Rank
    3
    School

    University of Central Florida

    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Tuition
    $6,317 in state;
    $22,416 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    4000 Central Florida Blvd
    Orlando, FL 32816
    (407) 823-2000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    In 1996, UCF became one of the first accredited universities in the country to unveil an online-based degree program; today, the Center for Distributed Learning strives to provide online programs to all interested undergraduate and graduate students. Though the creation and maintenance of policies and standards that adhere to their accrediting agency, prospective distance learners at UCF can be certain of a quality education in a flexible environment. The school offers 16 bachelor's and 25 master's degree programs, as well as a number of online minors and graduate certificates. Most courses are taken fully online, but many of the programs include practicum and internship requirements that must be fulfilled in person.

    Webcourses@UCF uses the Canvas LMS to give students and instructors access to online course materials including, but not limited to: syllabi, assignments, readings and grades. With the Canvas app, classes can be accessed from any iOS or Android device. Prospective students can tour an online course to familiarize themselves with how delivery works.

    Quick Facts

    • Distance learners have specific services provided to them by UFC's library, including interlibrary loan, which will send students the books and documents they need for free.
    • All undergraduate programs are degree completion; those who have an associate degree or who have finished all general requirements can take their upper division courses online.
    • Residents of Minnesota are unable to enroll in UCF's distance programs; six online programs also have specific state restrictions.
    • This school offers 12 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  5. Rank
    4
    School

    Georgia Southern University

    Location
    Statesboro, GA
    Tuition
    $6,071 in state;
    $16,137 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Brannen Hall, 2670 Southern Drive
    Statesboro, GA 30460-8126
    (912) 478-5391

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Flexible online programs in science information technology, general studies, business, education and healthcare can be taken at GSU. Depending on the degree, certain courses may require "proctored experiences" (labs, tests or exams conducted under supervision at an approved facility).

    GSU’s eCampus learning managements system allows students to use the Georgia Career Information System (GCIS), which provides access to tools like assessments, explorations, educational and career search strategies and "My Portfolio," an online, personal career folder. Traditional classroom program and course objectives are completely identical to the online ones, which are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. For asynchronous classes, students use assignments, discussion board posts, email and phone to communicate with classmates and instructors.

    Testimonial

    "I chose distance education because of the rising cost of gas prices. I also like the flexibility that online courses afford. I can get my education from the comfort of my own living room."
    -Wallace Landrum, student

    Quick Facts

    • Degrees are intended for full-time professionals, transfer students and stay-at-home parents.
    • As a four-year college, most GSU students typically complete general education curricula within the first two years of study.
    • For those students residing in a state other than Georgia, check here to determine if GSU is authorized to offer online courses and programs in your resident state.
    • This school offers 6 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  6. Rank
    5
    School

    Florida State University

    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Tuition
    $6,507 in state;
    $21,673 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    222 S. Copeland Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
    (850) 644-2525

    Accreditation

    SACSCOC,

    School Description

    FSU offers four online undergraduate degree programs, all of which are considered advanced standing degree programs. Bachelor's degrees in public safety and security, computer science (also available as a BA), criminology and interdisciplinary social science are all online 4-year degree options. There are even two certificate options offered online for non-degree seeking students; Emergency Management and Multicultural Marketing.

    FSU uses the learning management system Blackboard to deliver its online courses and instruction. Most online courses are asynchronous and therefore allow students to complete their coursework on their own time, so long as they keep within the parameters of each individual instructor’s syllabus.

    If an online course happens to be synchronous, students are expected to login to their course via Blackboard at a specific time for live lectures or discussions, while mixed courses may actually require some real face-to-face time between students and instructors. Exams may be proctored at an external approved site. Otherwise, communication is conducted through email, chat rooms, discussion boards, streaming videos or through group projects.

    Testimonial


    "FSU has a really good reputation for quality of learning and quality of professors and I found that to be true even online."
    - Erin King, Online Student

    Quick Facts

    • Typically, students apply via the the online transfer application once they are sure they have completed all of the necessary prerequisites.
    • The Florida Virtual Campus provides online opportunities to complete any incomplete prerequisite coursework.
    • Prospective students should be sure to check the state authorization page for updates.
    • All online students have mentors monitoring their progress and offering support throughout their course.
    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  7. Rank
    6
    School

    Pennsylvania State University

    Location
    University Park, PA
    Tuition
    $16,992 in state;
    $29,566 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    201 Old Main
    University Park, PA 16802-1503
    (814) 865-4700

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    From correspondence courses in 1892 to over 100 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs today, Penn State has provided distance education to those without the time to attend classes on campus for over 120 years. The courses and programs are developed and taught by the same experienced and knowledgeable instructors that are found on campus, so online students can be certain they are receiving a high quality education.

    Penn State and its World Campus use Blackboard's ANGEL course management system. From its interface, students can take proctored exams, submit homework assignments and keep in touch with professors and classmates. The school is currently working on finding a new CMS as ANGEL will no longer be in service after October 2016. Online students have access to the same support system and services that can be found on-campus, including academic advising, tutoring, counseling and library access.

    Testimonials

    "[The faculty] went the extra mile for me, and there was no question in my mind that World Campus and the master's in children's literature was right for me." - Allyson Arnwine, Master of Education in Children's Literature

    Quick Facts

    • The student-teacher ratio is only 13:1.
    • During the 2012-13 school year, 91% of the first-year freshmen students received financial aid.
    • Ranked #1 among Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
    • This school offers 23 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  8. Rank
    7
    School

    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Tuition
    $13,555 in state;
    $19,805 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    100 Church Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213
    (612) 625-5000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The timeline of distance education at the University of Minnesota begins with correspondence courses in 1906, moves to radio and television classes in the 1930s and 1960s and ends with the Digital Campus today. Featuring more than 50 degree and certificate programs, completely or partially online, prospective bachelor's, master's, doctorate and continuing education students have plenty of options for their educations.

    Using the open source, course management system Moodle, distant and on-campus faculty and students can access all online class materials, as well as submit assignments, take tests and quizzes and communicate via forums and discussion boards. UM online students can also access some class lectures on the school's iTunes account.

    Testimonial

    "The experience of online education has been great. I recommend it to those who want to start or continue higher education." -Scott Rosenquist, Manufacturing Management

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 6 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  9. Rank
    8
    School

    University of Alabama

    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Tuition
    $9,450 in state;
    $23,950 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    739 University Blvd
    Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0166
    (205) 348-6010

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    The "Bama by Distance" program delivers degrees and courses in a wide-range of formats. From online to video conferencing, nontraditional, adult learners have the opportunity to earn a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a time and way that suits their needs. The majority of UA's distance programs are offered online.

    UA uses Blackboard Learn to house, maintain and access its online course materials. Distance students have access to the same student services as those on a more traditional path, including the access to help from the Writing Center, career resources and scholarship opportunities.

    Testimonial

    "In my first year, I especially loved the discussion board. This allowed students to interact with each other. It was a place for us to ask other students questions and sometimes professors would also make clarifications. [...] Even though I was a distance learner the professors were still flexible, understanding and easy to communicate with." - Hamdya Adem, Online MAMGT graduate

    Quick Facts

    • Distance courses are taken asynchronously, and they, with very few exceptions, span a semester.
    • Students are responsible for arranging a proctor for all of their exams at a UA approved site.
    • U.S. News & World Report: #13 - Best Online Graduate Business Program (excluding MBA)
    • This school offers 10 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  10. Rank
    9
    School

    Appalachian State University

    Location
    Boone, NC
    Tuition
    $6,462 in state;
    $18,670 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Dougherty Administration Building
    Boone, NC 28608
    (828) 262-2000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    The online undergraduate programs offered at Appalachian State University are all comprised of upper-division courses ― and these degrees can be earned in two years or less. However, upper-division means that the courses offered are only intended to represent the second half of a bachelor's program ― the more advanced courses. All general ed. and lower-level requirements must have already been completed by prospective students in order to be accepted, making the program ideal for returning students or professionals looking to advance their education.

    The 19 bachelor's degree programs cover majors like education, business management, health/nursing, social work and psychology. Other web-based offerings include six professional certificates, 13 master's degrees and three education specialist programs.

    Quick Facts

  11. Rank
    10
    School

    Misericordia University

    Location
    Dallas, PA
    Tuition
    $28,210 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    301 Lake St
    Dallas, PA 18612-1098
    (570) 674-6400

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Misericordia University offers online undergraduate programs in accounting, applied behavioral sciences, business administration, government/law/national security and health care management. The online arm of Misericordia also features three professional undergraduate certificates: addictions counseling, diagnostic medical sonography and picture archiving and communications systems (PARC) administration

    Misericordia's online management system is referred to as e-MU, a service that supports online and offline students alike. The program is backed by a student support desk, which can be reached by phone or email.

    Quick Facts

    • While Misericordia is committed to serving distance students, the school's ability to provide an education to students in different states is somewhat limited; applicant should review the school's list of states with potential restrictions.
    • School support can be reached at 570-674-8087.
    • This school offers 8 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  12. Rank
    11
    School

    Mississippi State University

    Location
    Mississippi State, MS
    Tuition
    $6,772 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Lee Boulevard
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
    (662) 325-2323

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Bachelor's degrees in interdisciplinary studies, geosciences and education (including the only online elementary ed program in Mississippi) are offered online at Mississippi State University. Students transferring from a community college can enroll in a degree completion program, transferring up to 61 credit hours from any other accredited four-year institution and then completing 36 upper-level concentration courses online at MSU.

    Through Blackboard, "Distance@State" delivers online courses equivalent in quality to traditional face-to-face instruction. Students regularly log in to their "mySTATE" account to stay connected to the university, their instructors and classmates. The MSU Writing Center offers online tutoring to all its distance students, not to mention an abundance of library resources, while the Center for Distance Education offers technology assistance and student services.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  13. Rank
    12
    School

    University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Tuition
    $6,343 in state;
    $18,480 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    601 South College Road
    Wilmington, NC 28403-5963
    (910) 962-3000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Undergraduates who enroll at UNC Wilmington may choose from three different online bachelor's degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research and an RN to BSN degree.

    UNC Wilmington delivers all online courses through Blackboard Learn version 9.1, the platform at the forefront of online education. The school also dedicates a considerable amount of resources to its online students, including personnel able to help students with academic advising, financial aid and their eventual career search.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 3 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  14. Rank
    13
    School

    East Carolina University

    Location
    Greenville, NC
    Tuition
    $6,143 in state;
    $20,256 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    East 5th Street
    Greenville, NC 27858-4353
    (252) 328-6131

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    As a leader in distance education in North Carolina for more than sixty years, ECU is proud to offer over 75 online certificate and degree programs. Areas of study include business, education, health care and technology. Full-time traditional ECU students do have the option to attend distance education courses in addition to their regular on-campus schedule, however they will be charged distance education tuition and fees on top of their regular tuition.

    Distance education students at ECU have access to their online coursework 24/7, through an easy-to-understand learning management system (aka, Blackboard or Centra). On a weekly basis, coursework and assignments are submitted via e-mail or the class website. The same faculty who teach on-campus courses communicate with their online students using discussion forums and real-time "chat" sessions in virtual classrooms. Students often work in groups, thereby benefitting from collaborating and their peers’ professional experience.

    Testimonial

    "I am entering my fourth semester as a full time DE student at ECU. I was apprehensive about taking all of my classes online and losing that face-face interaction with fellow classmates and my professors. However, to my surprise I have felt completely connected and involved with all of my professors and classmates. I have made new friends in my classes, and am able to reach out to my professors when I need help. In addition, my academic advisor has been supportive and helpful to me since my first day of registration." - Kristen Rallings, Student

    Quick Facts

    • The undergraduate distance education programs at ECU are degree completion programs, meaning students typically attend the first two years of college courses at a community college and then apply to ECU, transferring completed credits.
    • Unfortunately, for students residing in Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio, ECU is no longer able to provide distance education online programs.
    • ECU’s Joyner Library is also accessible online for use by distance education students.
    • This school offers 18 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  15. Rank
    14
    School

    Asbury University

    Location
    Wilmore, KY
    Tuition
    $26,076 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1 Macklem Dr
    Wilmore, KY 40390-1198
    (859) 858-3511

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Asbury's bachelor's programs in business, elementary education and ministry education are either taught entirely online, in a hybrid format, through on-campus evening classes or via a degree completion program. Kentucky licensure is received upon completion of any of the online education programs.

    Discovery is the name of Asbury’s online campus learning management system platform. Via Discovery, students can access class activities, assessment items, communication tools, courses, their grade book, and message their fellow learning cohorts and instructors.

    Interactions are conducted through face-to-face online chat sessions and forums structured within the course schedule. Occasionally, pre-scheduled chat sessions, class presentations, discussions or video web-conferences are conducted synchronously; otherwise, coursework is conducted asynchronously.

    Quick Facts

    • Applicants must be at least 23 years of age and must submit an official transcript, along with two references
    • Applicants must have completed at least 12 credits at an accredited institution of higher learning.
    • The school allows up to 75 transfer credits to be applied.
    • The three programs are each a total of 124 credit hours.
    • Asbury University Online students have access to all of Kinlaw Library's electronic resources, along with other online student services and support.
    • This school offers 3 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  16. Rank
    15
    School

    Florida International University

    Location
    Miami, FL
    Tuition
    $6,496 in state;
    $18,895 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    11200 S. W. 8 Street
    Miami, FL 33199
    (305) 348-2000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    FIU Online offers a number of online undergraduate degrees, with programs in business, healthcare, childhood development, criminal justice and hospitality. Scholarships, such as the First Generation Scholarship, or the Fulbright Scholarship, are available for FIU’s online students, in addition to financial aid. Applying is easy; simply complete the online application, submit the application fee and have official high school transcripts and SAT/ACT test scores sent over.

    Using Blackboard along with other technology (like NBC Learn, Respondus Study Mate, Turnitin and ProctorU), faculty and students can collaborate via message boards and virtual classrooms, access grades at any time and post and share course content. At FIU, online courses are not self-paced; all activities, assignments, projects and exams must be completed by their scheduled due dates. The Online Student Orientation is also designed to inform students of information that will help them succeed at FIU Online. A practice course is even available for those who want to try before they buy.

    Quick Facts

    • All programs are 120 credit hours total and conducted fully online.
    • Programs start three times a year: spring, summer and fall.
    • In order to ensure undergraduates get the most out of their online program, students are paired with a personal success when they enroll.
    • Corporate MBA: #9 - 25 Best Value Online MBA Programs, 2012
    • This school offers 11 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  17. Rank
    16
    School

    University of Oklahoma

    Location
    Norman, OK
    Tuition
    $8,916 in state;
    $21,105 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    660 Parrington Oval
    Norman, OK 73019-3072
    (405) 325-0311

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The University of Oklahoma offers several undergraduate degree programs online. Some of these programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, are available either 100% online or as part of a blended program. Degree programs available exclusively online also include bachelor's in world cultural studies and criminal justice.

    Online programs are run as part of Oklahoma Outreach, a program bent on transforming the lives of people returning to school. In addition to fully online programs, OK Outreach is a hub for auditing individual courses, web-based youth programs and even a pool of grants & partnership funding.

    Quick Facts

    • Online undergraduate programs amount 120 credit hours in total.
    • Oklahoma makes a concerted effort to point out that many of their online-only programs and courses were built with continuing education adults in mind.
    • oZone is the portal for all students enrolled at Oklahoma, assisting them with all administrative tasks, finances included.
    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  18. Rank
    17
    School

    Rowan University

    Location
    Glassboro, NJ
    Tuition
    $12,380 in state;
    $20,186 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    201 Mullica Hill Road
    Glassboro, NJ 08028
    (856) 256-4000

    Accreditation

    MSCHE

    School Description

    Rowan's online offerings are spread across seven majors: business, communication/creative arts, education, engineering/technology, humanities/social sciences, nursing and performing arts. All told, the school's online programs consist of the following: a BA in Humanities/Social Science, an RN to BSN hybrid degree, 11 MS and MA degrees, two doctorates and more than a dozen certifications.

    Testimonial

    "I chose Rowan because of the program content and cost. The online courses are great and I enjoy the convenient Saturday meetings with the instructors and colleagues. This is a great program that respects you as an individual professional. It is flexible and filled with relevant information." -Nancy Woloszyn, graduate of the School Nursing Certification program

    Quick Facts

    • Rowan's technical support is available 24 hours a day, every day.
    • One of the major components of Rowan's online offerings is its College of Graduate & Continuing Education (CGCE).
    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  19. Rank
    18
    School

    University of Missouri – Kansas City

    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Tuition
    $9,456 in state;
    $22,203 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    5100 Rockhill Rd
    Kansas City, MO 64110
    (816) 235-1000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Undergraduate degrees in nursing, dentistry, and liberal arts, and certificates in education, leadership and nursing are available through UMKC online. UMKC has three types of online learning formats: instructor-lead online asynchronous, online synchronous, and blended. Certain programs, such as the RN to BSN, are delivered either synchronously or asynchronously, depending on the course, while other programs are designed as degree completion programs.

    UMKC recently moved from Wimba to Blackboard Collaborative as its LMS of choice, and now uses that along with Moodle and the platform's forums to further communication between students and instructors. An online class is available for exploration in addition to an Online Readiness Tool, to help prospective students gauge their affinity for online learning.

    Quick Facts

    • Applicants should check the state authorization page to be sure that UMKC is authorized to deliver online and distance education in their state of residency.
    • Scholarships are available for freshman and transfer students, along with work study, financial aid and grant opportunities.
    • This school offers 3 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  20. Rank
    19
    School

    Dallas Baptist University

    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Tuition
    $22,350 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
    Dallas, TX 75211-9299
    (214) 333-7100

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    DBU maintains online undergraduate programs in business, Christian ministries, criminal justice, healthcare, psychology and sociology. Most programs require a total of 120 credits. DBU helps each student customize a degree program. Although the schools online courses are asynchronous, they are not self-guided. Every week, students receive a new session of course materials to read through, study and complete before the next assignment arrives. Applicants must submit a 250-word essay in addition to official high school transcripts, ACT/SAT scores and a completed application form.

    As a pioneer in Christian online education, DBU has offered online courses since 1998. Currently, the school uses Blackboard as its primary online learning management system to host boards, chat rooms, and instant messengers.

    Testimonials

    "I would definitely recommend DBU's online classes to anyone out there that is looking for another way to get their degree done, and they're not able or wanting to go to a typical school environment where you sit in a classroom. I definitely recommend online classes, especially from DBU; they make it so easy for you." - Brian Hamilton, Student

    Quick Facts

    • Several of these programs require that a minimum of 30 of the last 36 credit hours be completed in residence at DBU, in addition to a minimum of 12 residency or internship hours.
    • DBU states it is possible to transfer up to 66 credit hours. DBU recognizes military or corporate training as college credit towards certain degrees.
    • A number of resources are provided to online students, including access to the DBU Writing Center, the Online Education Office and a 24 hour help line.
    • eLearning 2006 Outstanding Online Course Award for Exemplary Online Course Development
    • Blackboard Bionic Course Award
    • This school offers 11 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  21. Rank
    20
    School

    Clarkson College

    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Tuition
    $12,880 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    101 S 42nd St
    Omaha, NE 68131-2739
    (402) 552-3100

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    With nearly 90% of Clarkson College students enrolled in at least one online course each semester, the quality of online education at Clarkson is rarely in question. Bachelor's in nursing, medical imaging, healthcare management and healthcare administration can be completed through Clarkson’s Online Education. However, some online programs require periodic campus visits in order to conduct skills assessments.

    Since 1998, Clarkson online students have used a learning management system to complete their online courses. Once students register for the Clarkson Online Campus, they have access to resources such as the Success Center, which offers tutoring, study skill materials, counseling, tutorials, and writing aids. Using webmail, the Online Campus, virtual classrooms and discussion boards, faculty members convey coursework, assignments, projects and tests to their online students.

    Quick Facts

    • Degrees take between 125 to 130 credit hours depending on the program structure.
    • Some course exams may require a proctor, in which case, students should be sure to submit an off-site test proctor request form.
    • Online applicants should check the list of states where Clarkson College is authorized to provide distance and online education before completing the application process.
    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  22. Rank
    21
    School

    Texas Tech University

    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Tuition
    $7,517 in state;
    $16,063 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    Broadway and University Avenue
    Lubbock, TX 79409-5005
    (806) 742-2011

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    TTU Worldwide eLearning allows students to earn web-based bachelor's degrees in general studies, horticulture/turfgrass science, multidisciplinary studies and university studies. TTU's online offering extend to the graduate level, with 14 master's degrees fully online and seven doctoral degrees either fully online or blended. Additionally, TTU offers 13 online graduate certificates in fields such as autism, fibers and bio-polymers, gerontology and wind energy.

    All online programs at TTU are carried out on the cutting-edge Blackboard Learn 9.1. The program manages all live courses, forums, messaging tools, file sharing and test-taking. IT Help Central is the department at TTU dedicated to resolving all issues students or faculty might experience while adjusting to the online platform.

    Quick Facts

    • The TTU eLearning Council serves as the advisory board for the entirety of TTU online services, and happens to be one of the largest such boards in the nation.
    • Some online programs at TTU are deemed "regional site" courses, meaning some portion of the program is conducted in-person at a designated regional branch of TTU.
    • Since 1965, TTU has lead the nation in distance education offerings. A brief history of their efforts can be found here.
    • This school offers 3 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  23. Rank
    22
    School

    Kennesaw State University

    Location
    Kennesaw, GA
    Tuition
    $5,818 in state;
    $15,898 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1000 Chastain Rd
    Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591
    (770) 423-6000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    KSU's online programs include three bachelor's in business administration degrees (in management, marketing and information security and assurance) and bachelor's in integrative studies and sociology. Hybrid and mixed-model degree programs, certificates and courses are also an option, but the four-year degrees do not require any face-to-face instruction. KSU prides itself on offering the same courses online as those offered on campus. Online courses follow the same semester schedule as on-campus courses, they meet the same learning objectives, and they confer the same degree.

    KSU students enrolled in online degree programs also register for the Web Learners Program, which provides early registration for online courses. KSU uses the learning management system Desire2Learn Brightspace. Instructors and students interact through webinars, video-based communication, discussion threads, and email. An online course tour video gives prospective students a short overview of the ins and outs of a KSU online course.

    Quick Facts

    • Each 3 credit hour course is typically delivered in a 16-week long session, with students spending up to 10 hours a week on coursework.
    • Out-of-state students should refer to the state authorization page to ensure KSU is authorized to provide distance education in your state of residence.
    • There are several Adult Learner Friendly options that cater to adult students trying to obtain a new degree, complete a degree or work towards an advanced degree.
    • This school offers 4 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  24. Rank
    23
    School

    University of Missouri – Columbia

    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Tuition
    $9,415 in state;
    $23,764 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    105 Jesse Hall
    Columbia, MO 65211
    (573) 882-2121

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Mizzou offers nine online bachelor's degree completion programs, ranging from education studies, health sciences, hospitality management, human environmental sciences, interdisciplinary studies, nursing (RN-to-BSN), radiography and respiratory therapy. Certain traditional bachelor's programs are also available fully online, including educational studies, interdisciplinary studies and general studies.

    Mizzou online uses a combination of Blackboard, Sakai or Moodle to deliver its online courses. A demo Blackboard course can be viewed for those enrolled in semester-based courses, however, Mizzou Online self-paced courses (courses in the online Bachelor of General Studies degree completion program are self-paced) use a different learning management system. A demo can be previewed by exploring the Course Search feature.

    Testimonials

    "I picked Mizzou because of the program, the online program with the self-paced classes, because having a family with four kids and full time job - it was the best program for me. It was awesome, they are so nice and flexible, and I never had trouble contacting anyone. I could call and say, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m scared, I need to do this, or whatever,’ and they would just guide me. The fact that I could do it online at any time - I did most of mine in the middle of the night - and the fact that I could come to campus to take my tests means I would definitely do it again and I’m actually even thinking of Mizzou for my masters." - Toi Cox, Student

    Quick Facts

    • There are scholarships available for Mizzou Online students, both merit and need-based.
    • While Mizzou is seeking authorization to deliver university-level distance or online education in many states, certain states have not yet authorized the University of Missouri to do so.
    • Semester-based courses are either synchronous or asynchronous and eight to sixteen weeks in length, depending on the course.
    • Self-paced courses offer the highest level of flexibility, allowing students to work at their own pace. They take anywhere from six weeks to nine months to complete.
    • This school offers 6 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  25. Rank
    24
    School

    University of North Dakota

    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Tuition
    $7,508 in state;
    $17,194 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
    Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
    (800) 225-5863

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    No stranger to distance learning, having offered "correspondence by mail" courses since 1911, it’s no surprise UND currently offers over 120 online courses. Many of those online programs are four-year degrees, including programs in communication, engineering (chemical, electrical, mechanical and civil), nursing, general studies and psychology.

    UND offers its extended learning through Blackboard, correspondence by mail, via virtual classrooms with some "live" web discussions, videoconferencing, recorded lectures and at off-campus sites in Bismarck, Fargo and other locations. Online students have access to Blackboard support, the UND Writing Center and tech support.

    Testimonial

    "Even though the program is online, I feel as though I still learn as much as I would from being in a regular program." -Raelee Bishop, Student

    Quick Facts

    • Depending on the degree, the program structure and how many credits a student already has, the programs can take two to six years complete.
    • Students enrolled in the general studies, social science and RN to BSN programs pay in-state tuition regardless of their actual residency.
    • This school offers 14 different online bachelor's degree programs.
  26. Rank
    25
    School

    University of Cincinnati

    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Tuition
    $10,784 in state;
    $25,816 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2624 Clifton Avenue
    Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
    (513) 556-6000

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The University of Cincinnati has been offering distance learning courses for over 30 years, easily adapting to the online format as technologies evolved. Their first distance learning course, Fire Science Technology, is still available today - one of seven Bachelor's degrees offered through their online program.

    Blackboard is central to UC's e-learning ecosystem. Through the Blackboard interface, students can access instructional videos, take tests, submit assignments, and engage their instructors. Online students can find additional academic support through UC's online library resources.

    Quick Facts

    • 11 UC colleges offer online learning options.
    • Ranked among the top National Universities by US News & World Report.
    • This school offers 7 online bachelor's degree programs.

Online Associate Degree Programs

  1. Rank School Location Tuition +
  2. Rank
    1
    School

    Mitchell Technical Institute

    Location
    Mitchell, SD
    Tuition
    $4,296 annually

    Websites

    Address

    1800 E. Spruce Street
    Mitchell, SD 57301
    (605) 995-3025

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    MTI offers completely online two-year degrees for aspiring administrative office specialists, medical office professionals, office technology specialists and managers of small businesses. Students in the associate-level speech language pathology and advanced medical imaging programs must enroll in a blend of online and in-person courses, with on-campus work required so students can develop hands-on technical skills and perform clinical activities.

    Through their MyMTI accounts, students have access to their webmail, their online courses, coursework and assignments from instructors, an events calendar and more. Once registered, all online students must complete the MTI Online orientation, which will introduce them to the MyMTI learning management system.

    Quick Facts

    • There is no tuition difference between online and traditional classroom delivery, and no online course fees.
    • 95% of MTI students receive financial aid.
    • It should be noted that some MTI online classes use instructional videos that students access through YouTube.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  3. Rank
    2
    School

    Alexandria Technical & Community College

    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Tuition
    $5,385 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1601 Jefferson Streeet
    Alexandria, MN 56308
    (320) 762-0221

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Alexandria College Online offers a total of 12 web-based educational programs. These include associate degrees in liberal arts, business administration and computer information systems. Career-wise, there are programs for aspiring human service practitioners, legal administrative assistants, medical administrative assistants, paralegal and speech-language pathology assistants.

    Quick Facts

    • ATCC’s hybrid format allows students to take online courses while simultaneously taking traditional on-campus courses.
    • This 53 credit hour program is typically completed within five semesters, including a final summer internship.
    • ATCC’s online platform, Desire2Learn, supported by Oracle, delivers coursework that is equivalent to the school's on-campus courses, ensuring that ATCC's high standards are maintained. Online support is provided for students seven days a week.
    • To graduate with an associate degree in applied science, students must have general education courses from three goal areas. Students hoping to take advantage of the MN Transfer Curriculum must complete general education courses from six goal areas.
    • This school offers 9 different online associate's degree programs.
  4. Rank
    3
    School

    Northwest Iowa Community College

    Location
    Sheldon, IA
    Tuition
    $5,370 in state;
    $5,850 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    603 W Park St
    Sheldon, IA 51201
    (712) 324-5061

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Students who enroll at Northwest Iowa Community College may earn an online, pre-professional associate degree in seven different fields: accounting, business, criminal justice, early childhood education, education, human resource management and paralegal. Associate of science degrees are also available online in health information technology, agriculture, accounting and powerline technology.

    Northwest employs Pearson's eCollege Learning Management System for all online programs. The system supports email and allows instructors to incorporate compatible third party software and media to their online class dashboard, letting students experience highly tailored classes.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 6 different online associate's degree programs.
  5. Rank
    4
    School

    Foothill College

    Location
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Tuition
    $1,536 in state;
    $8,016 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    12345 El Monte Rd
    Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
    (650) 949-7777

    Accreditation

    WASC/ACCJC

    School Description

    Foothill College conducts 13 different associate programs entirely online; programs in accounting, psychology and sociology, to name a few. The school also identifies a series of online courses that meet general education requirements.

    The Foothill's platform is Etudes, a course management system that manages over 450,000 enrollments per year for hundreds of schools. The platform manages collaboration, assessment and live, in-classroom instruction.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 15 different online associate's degree programs.
  6. Rank
    5
    School

    Moraine Park Technical College

    Location
    Fond du Lac, WI
    Tuition
    $4,032 in state;
    $5,865 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    235 N National Avenue
    Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1940
    (920) 929-2483

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    The online offerings at Moraine Park Technical College include associate degrees in accounting, health information technology, leadership development, information technology and business management. Additionally, blended programs are offered for educational assistants and water quality technology professionals.

    Moraine's online platform is eCollege, a Pearson Company creation. The school stresses that their online classes are non self-paced, meaning students must adhere to set deadlines for all course assignments and exams.

    Quick Facts

    • Moraine also awards professional diplomas for accounting assistants or medical coding specialists.
    • Prospective online students can give Moraine's interface a testrun with this demo.
    • All online students at Moraine are required to use the Microsoft Office suite for all submitted work; students are eligible for vouchers to obtain MS Office.
    • This school offers 9 different online associate's degree programs.
  7. Rank
    6
    School

    Western Wyoming Community College

    Location
    Rock Springs, WY
    Tuition
    $2,282 in state;
    $6,074 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2500 College Dr
    Rock Springs, WY 82902-0428
    (307) 382-1600

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Western Wyoming Community College offers 17 web-based educational programs. Associate degrees are available in majors like accounting, business administration, computer information systems, marketing, criminal justice and sociology.

    WWCC's online courses are not self-paced; most online courses share their start date with the on-campus equivalent programs. The school suggests that, for a 3 credit course, remote students need to commit to being online, in class, a minimum of 3 days per week and, outside the class, studying for a minimum of 9 hours a week.

    Quick Facts

    • This school offers 34 different online associate's degree programs.
  8. Rank
    7
    School

    Northeast Community College

    Location
    Norfolk, NE
    Tuition
    $2,910 in state;
    $3,855 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    801 E Benjamin
    Norfolk, NE 68702-0469
    (-2) -

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Northeast Community College currently runs 14 online associate programs, including programs in accounting, criminal justice, elementary education and behavioral science. The school also has made a striking commitment to online programs in business, with administration, international business and insurance services all offered as individual programs at the associate level.

    Northeast's online system is referred to as "My Sakai." The interface is broken into training materials, courses (divided by type of instruction) and tools, including a calendar, email and file storage. NCC has also committed a sizable amount of resources to support services for online students, be they IT support, career counseling or tutoring.

    Quick Facts

    • NCC also has two fully online certificate programs: Business - Insurance Services and Food Service and Dietary Management.
    • NCC has put together an introductory video about their online programs for prospective students and the newly enrolled.
    • This school offers 13 different online associate's degree programs.
  9. Rank
    8
    School

    Olney Central College

    Location
    Olney, IL
    Tuition
    $8,873 in state;
    $10,811 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    305 N West Street
    Olney, IL 62450
    (618) 393-2982

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    IECC online courses do not require any campus visits and are conducted 100% online; however, an occasional proctored exam may be required at an approved location in proximity to the distance student. Associate-level programs in accounting and computing are offered online. There is also an online program for aspiring medical office assistants.

    Olney Central College (and most of the IECC schools) use the learning management system (LMS) Desire2Learn for online learning. Students log in to their Entrata account and click on the "Online Learning" link to learn how to use their D2L account. Students who aren’t sure if online learning is for them can take the school's Intro to Online Learning course. The course explores a wide range of online learning aspects and transitions students into Angel, the LMS learning management system used by IECC.

    Quick Facts

    • Online classes follow the same timeline as traditional semester-based classes, typically running over a 16 week period. During the summer semester, online classes follow an 8 week schedule.
    • Since each state has its own approval process for out of state institutions, students outside of Illinois should refer to the state authorization page to ensure Illinois is authorized to deliver higher education in their state of residence.
    • Once fully enrolled and registered for an online course, students have access to bookstores, financial aid, library services, student support and technical assistance.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  10. Rank
    9
    School

    Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

    Location
    Shell Lake, WI
    Tuition
    $4,296 in state;
    $6,252 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    505 Pine Ridge Drive
    Shell Lake, WI 54871-8727
    (715) 468-2815

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Online associate degrees are available at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in the following fields: accounting, administrative professional services, E-Child (early childhood education), IT-Web/software development and marketing.

    WITC's online courses are run through the Blackboard platform, a leader in course management systems since the advent of online education. It should be noted that some programs, such as accounting, require their own separate set of tech requirements that go beyond the basics of Blackboard.

    Quick Facts

    • In order to ensure students are fully prepared for the WITC online experience, the school has put together a series of orientation manuals, as well as a quiz for prospective applicants.
    • WITC's SOS team is the team supporting the school's online students; while they can help with IT needs, SOS goes above and beyond, helping students adjust, succeed and eventually land jobs.
    • This school offers 4 different online associate's degree programs.
  11. Rank
    10
    School

    Citrus College

    Location
    Glendora, CA
    Tuition
    $1,174 in state;
    $5,086 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1000 W Foothill Blvd
    Glendora, CA 91741-1899
    (626) 963-0323

    Accreditation

    WASC/ACCJC

    School Description

    Citrus College offers online associate degrees in the arts and humanities, math and science, social and behavioral sciences, technology and business, administration of justice and business. Classes are typically offered during fall and spring semesters, each lasting 16 weeks. There are, however, other scheduling options as well, including six-week long summer and winter sessions, evening classes, flexible start and end dates and hybrid online formats.

    Citrus College uses Blackboard as its primary online course delivery mechanism. Through Blackboard, instructors and students communicate via discussion boards, virtual classrooms and lightweight chat. Exams, tests, projects and assignments are also conveyed through Blackboard and Citrus College email. Once enrolled in distance education, students participate in the online orientation to gain a better understanding of how Citrus College orchestrates online learning.

    Quick Facts

    • The majority of the online associate degree programs are specifically designed for students who intend to transfer to a four-year university.
    • Distance education students should expect to spend approximately nine to twelve hours a week on coursework, with most associate programs totaling 18 units.
    • Citrus’s online resources include access to Hayden Library and Learning Resource Center, Online Tutoring, the Owl Bookshop and a Testing Center.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  12. Rank
    11
    School

    Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

    Location
    Curtis, NE
    Tuition
    $4,672 in state;
    $9,092 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    404 East 7th
    Curtis, NE 69025-9552
    (308) 367-5253

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    NCTA in Curtis offers four great areas of study: agribusiness management systems, agriculture education and animal science, agronomy and horticulture and veterinary technology. Students choose one of four associate options, within which there are online courses available, such as animal sciences, veterinary technology, agribusiness management courses and general education.

    Online courses at NCTA are offered each spring, summer and fall semester through the Blackboard Course Management System. Most distance courses are asynchronous and use social media, discussion boards, videos and online lectures, live chats and email. Students register for them through their MyRed account, and once enrolled can then see details about individual courses.

    Testimonial

    "The classes were exactly what I was looking for. I have a big family and a busy life, and being able to fit it into my lifestyle was very important. You’re forced to have a conversation, an intelligent conversation with the other students, and it really pushes you to think, research, and dig into the field that you’re learning about." - Angela, Student

    Quick Facts

    • Students should note that for classes that teach clinical skills, distance students must be employed at a clinic and have a licensed mentor willing to supervise their coursework.
    • Applicants to the online programs should refer to the state authorization page before applying.
    • This school offers 4 different online associate's degree programs.
  13. Rank
    12
    School

    Santiago Canyon College

    Location
    Orange, CA
    Tuition
    $1,142 in state;
    $5,174 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    8045 E Chapman
    Orange, CA 92869-4512
    (714) 628-4900

    Accreditation

    WASC/ACCJC

    School Description

    Associate degrees, with the option to transfer to a California State University, are available both online and as an online and in-person hybrid at SCC. Courses offered cover women’s studies, accounting, marketing, gemology, education, sign language, cosmetology and computer science, just to name a few. Some SCC programs provide students with the skills to immediately enter the workforce, while others serve as the first two years on the path to a bachelor’s degree at a four-year school.

    SCC Online students gain access to their online classes using Blackboard 9.1. Tutorials are available for individuals not yet comfortable or familiar with Blackboard. Distance courses with SCC require interaction with your instructor and peers through chat rooms and discussion boards. Instructors deliver electronic lectures and assignments, respond to discussion posts, provide feedback on assignments and generally monitor students’ progress.

    Quick Facts

    • Students outside California should contact the Distance Learning department before enrolling in any classes to confirm that SCC is authorized to provide distance education in their state.
    • Online resources include online tutoring, career services and language labs.
    • This school offers 10 different online associate's degree programs.
  14. Rank
    13
    School

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College

    Location
    Granite Falls, MN
    Tuition
    $5,660 in state;
    $10,807 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1593 11th Ave
    Granite Falls, MN 56241
    (800) 658-2330

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Minnesota West Online makes it possible to complete an associate or applied science degree exclusively online. A typical two-year degree at MW is comprised of 35 core skill credits, with the rest of the program made up of specialty elective credits. For each three-credit class, students spend six to nine hours a week working on coursework. Liberal arts, nursing, energy technical specialist, business management, administrative assistant, computer information and security assurance are just a few of the online two-year degrees offered.

    MWTCT uses the Desire2Learn learning management system to deliver its online courses, however, depending on the course, instructors may use additional software and websites. While there are weekly deadlines and assignments, there are no live courses to attend. Courses are typically asynchronous, with date-assigned tests and assignment due dates, so students can make their own schedule. Students complete written assignments, participate in interactive discussions, take quizzes and use email to communicate with instructors.

    Testimonial

    "With all the knowledge and experience I received from the instructors at MnWest, it gave me the confidence and working ability to do well on the job." - Ethan Weis, Graduate

    Quick Facts

    • Minnesota West is currently experiencing a "tuition freeze," making tuition the same for the next two years, however, financial aid and scholarship options remain available.
    • Online students have access to the Minnesota West Library & Academic Resource Center (LARC) site, letting students access a research database, writing help and reference resources.
    • This school offers 10 different online associate's degree programs.
  15. Rank
    14
    School

    Seward County Community College and Area Technical School

    Location
    Liberal, KS
    Tuition
    $2,432 in state;
    $3,584 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1801 N. Kansas Ave.
    Liberal, KS 67901
    (620) 624-1951

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Via EduKan, which was formed as a cooperative effort between six western Kansas community colleges in the spring of 1999, SCCC/ATS offers those enrolled in the online program coursework that could lead to an associate degree from one of six participating institutions. EduKan consortium community colleges offer the first two years toward a bachelor’s or higher degree through their AS, AA, AGS and AAS degrees. Associate programs SCC/ATS students can enroll in include liberal arts, biology, business administration and chemistry.

    Edukan uses eCollege as its primary online learning management system. Once properly registered, students have access to eText or MyLabs courses, online proctoring for tests and exams and more. Students of the fully online programs at SCCC/ATS will have access to the Epworth Allied Health Education Center, a surgical technology skills laboratory, to be used to develop the skills need to provide adequate patient care. Students interact with each other and their instructors via email, web chat or phone.

    Quick Facts

    • All programs are approximately 64 credit hours long and require students to have at least a 2.0 GPA and 15 residential credit hours.
    • Fully online programs specifically run through SCCC/ATS, and not the other schools in the network, are the medical lab technician and surgical technology programs.
    • This school offers 4 different online associate's degree programs.
  16. Rank
    15
    School

    Kennebec Valley Community College

    Location
    Fairfield, ME
    Tuition
    $3,258 in state;
    $5,898 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    92 Western Ave
    Fairfield, ME 04937-1367
    (207) 453-5000

    Accreditation

    NEASC/CIHE

    School Description

    While some programs require courses that have in-person meetings or practicums, KVCC offers fully online programs and single online courses. Associate of applied science degrees in pulp and paper technology, mental health and business administration are available online; the school also conducts an associate in arts in liberal studies program online, but some face-to-face instruction is required.

    KVCC’s online interface is Blackboard. KVCC recommends online students be comfortable relying on email-based communications and online videos for instruction.

    Quick Facts

    • Student tutorial videos give detailed instructions on how to use the many tools the platform has to offer, such as wiki pages, discussion boards and class blogs.
    • KVCC provides an online help desk to support students experiencing any technical problems with Blackboard.
    • This school offers 5 different online associate's degree programs.
  17. Rank
    16
    School

    Casa Loma College-Van Nuys

    Location
    Van Nuys, CA
    Tuition
    $26,796 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    6725 Kester Ave
    Van Nuys, CA 91405
    (818) 785-2726

    Accreditation

    ABHES

    School Description

    Casa Loma's blended learning programs combine online education with traditional face-to-face classroom instruction. Programs for magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic medical sonography, vocational nursing, and physical therapy assistance are offered in this blended method. Typically, general education requirements are offered in the form of online courses. While core courses, especially those the medical field, are primarily delivered in a traditional, in-person method to ensure students receive the necessary hands-on experience before entering the workforce.

    CLC uses Moodle for online courses; the interface lets students access class documents, communicate with instructors and classmates, participate in discussions and group projects and take quizzes and tests. The majority of coursework can be done asynchronously. The exception to this are scheduled, synchronous weekly chat sessions via web conferencing or chatrooms. Otherwise, online courses are structured into weekly modules organized by the instructor (they are not self-paced).

    Testimonial

    "Casa Loma College helps prepare you for your state boards. Not only was I prepared for the NCLEX but they really prepared me to actually be an RN. The things that they taught me were well above the scope of practice of what I needed to know but they wanted me to be prepared. When I sat for my boards, without a doubt, I sat for 45 minutes, and I passed." - Melinda Hugley, Graduate

    Quick Facts

    • Casa Loma's Moodle features include email, blogs, journals and discussion boards.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  18. Rank
    17
    School

    Big Bend Community College

    Location
    Moses Lake, WA
    Tuition
    $4,150 in state;
    $4,550 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    7662 Chanute St NE
    Moses Lake, WA 98837-3299
    (509) 793-2222

    Accreditation

    NCCU

    School Description

    Big Bend, in partnership with Washington Online, proudly offers associate degrees, transfer degrees and professional technical degree courses online every summer, fall, winter and spring quarters. Thousands of students successfully transfer to state universities from community colleges like Big Bend every year. There are two modes of distant education technology available to students: online and over the ITV network.

    Canvas is BBCC’s online learning management systems of choice. Students have access to online services and multiple resources (databases, libraries, their personal profile with financial aid information and online tutoring) through their BigBend Portal. Every distance learner has an advisor from the start of enrollment through to completion. All students have access to the same superb faculty and high quality instruction that traditional students receive on campus.

    Testimonial

    "The Big Bend Medical Assistant program has prepared me to be a successful Medical Assistant. Through the program I was able to learn and practice my clinical skills, which prepared me for the externship and being in a real clinical setting. The flexibility of online, evening, and weekend classes offered with the Big Bend Medical Assistant Program allowed me still spend time with my family and work full time. I believe that the program educates and prepares students for a successful and fulfilling career. I would strongly recommend the program to any student who has a dream of working in the healthcare field." -Catherine Countryman, student

    Quick Facts

    • Each quarter is eleven weeks long.
    • Students can regularly check the course schedule to specifically see the courses being offered online.
    • A general, online learning tutorial, as well as a playfully interactive online orientation are available.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  19. Rank
    18
    School

    Northcentral Technical College

    Location
    Wausau, WI
    Tuition
    $4,020 in state;
    $5,855 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1000 Campus Dr
    Wausau, WI 54401-1899
    (715) 675-3331

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    NTC offers nine associate degrees entirely online and ten associate degrees that are largely, but not fully, online. The programs offered vary year to year but generally include: video production, accounting, insurance, human services, marketing and IT. There are also over twenty technical diploma programs offered either fully or partially online.

    NTC’s Virtual College uses Blackboard to deliver its online courses, and allows students to start courses when they want, work at their own pace and adjust due dates. Despite the flexible start date, however, students still only have until the end of the semester to complete all coursework. So while courses are instructor-led, students pace themselves within their module. Students have the option to communicate with their instructor face-to-face through Skype, Adobe Connect or HD conferencing.

    Testimonial

    "One of the reasons I picked the Supervisory Management program was because it was through NTC’s Virtual College. I have two young children and I’m a stay at home mom so I can do it in between nap times or whenever it’s convenient for me." - Katherine Welk, Student

    Quick Facts

    • Over half the associate programs have a late start option, allowing students to enroll anytime, after which they are given an end date for completing the course ― courses typically last 18 weeks.
    • Students enrolled in the Individual Technical Studies degree are given the opportunity to build their own degree.
    • NorthCentral has recently released a Virtual College informational video for prospective students.
    • This school offers 10 different online associate's degree programs.
  20. Rank
    19
    School

    North Dakota State College of Science

    Location
    Wahpeton, ND
    Tuition
    $4,094 in state;
    $9,902 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    800 N 6th St
    Wahpeton, ND 58076-0002
    (701) 671-2403

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    At the North Dakota State College of Science, online students can earn associate degrees in eight departments: architectural drafting/estimating, business administration/management, English/humanities, health information, information/communications technology, liberal arts, pharmacy tech and technical studies. Additionally, nursing students who are licensed practical nurses may enroll in the accelerated "certificate to nursing associate" program.

    NDSCS's online courses are run on the Pearson Company's LearningStudio platform. The service is used for exams, coursework and live, in-class learning. The school also makes a concerted effort to pair all online students with an academic advisor, who they can reach out to throughout their program for academic and career support.

    Quick Facts

    • NDSCS is a member of the North Dakota University System, a service that provides a detailed list of all distance courses currently being offered in the state.
    • All online students have access to a service called SMARTHINKING, a sort of web-based tutoring service designed to support students in any of NDSCS's distance programs.
    • The syllabuses for all online courses are catalogued as PDFs in one convenient location.
    • This school offers 4 different online associate's degree programs.
  21. Rank
    20
    School

    City College of San Francisco

    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Tuition
    $1,274 in state;
    $6,748 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    50 Phelan Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94112-1898
    (415) 239-3000

    Accreditation

    WASC/ACCJC

    School Description

    CCSF offers students the opportunity to complete all major coursework online, with an entirely online catalogue of 8 associate degrees and 12 certificate programs. The online programs offered include anthropology, computer science, early childhood education and studio arts.

    CSF’s learning management system, Insight, delivers all online class assignments, quizzes and exams. Since the school’s online courses are not self-paced, assigned coursework has set deadlines, and the class follows the regular semester schedule. As of the conclusion of the fall 2014 semester, CSF no longer offers Telecourses. Students register for their online courses using Web4 and receive updates through their CCSFmail.

    Testimonial

    "Being one of the first students in the program, I feel a certain prestige in being a participant. The WADP has allowed me to work during the day and go to school at night, which is not an easy task and I have been able to finish more classes on an accelerated basis. With the help of the program, I will be able to reach my goal of graduating with an AA Degree in Computer Science." - Vincent Jones, WAPD Student

    Quick Facts

    • CCSF also runs a Working Adults Degree Program (WAPD) to help busy students obtain their associate degree, while meeting general education requirements that can be transferred or applied to a bachelor’s.
    • Distance learners have access to counseling services, library resources, the learning resource center and the learning assistance center for online tutoring.
    • All online courses are taught by the same CCSF faculty members who teach the school's in-person courses.
    • This school offers 27 different online associate's degree programs.
  22. Rank
    21
    School

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Location
    Paducah, KY
    Tuition
    $3,456 in state;
    $12,096 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    4810 Alben Barkley Drive
    Paducah, KY 42002-7380
    (270) 554-92000

    Accreditation

    SACS/CC

    School Description

    Offering online courses for over 20 years, WKCTC continues to be a leader in online learning. The school currently offers a number of online associates degrees designed to help students transfer into bachelor’s programs; the school also maintains a list of online-run courses students can elect to audit in order to complete a prerequisite or to continue to earn college credits at their own pace. Online programs found at WKCTC include business administration, computer information, criminal justice, marine technology and medical information technology.

    Using the online learning management system Blackboard, students have two instructional methods to choose from. "Learn by Term" is the more traditional option, where online courses follow the typical semester schedule. Occasionally labs or exams will require an on-site visit to an approved location. "Learn on Demand" breaks courses down into smaller, 3 to 5 week long modules that allow students to choose their own start date, and choose to take just one module or an entire 15 week course at one time. WKCTC’s associate degrees are delivered via the Learn by Term method.

    Once students have access to their Blackboard account, they can learn how to create a discussion board post, submit assignments, check their grades and take an online test by watching video tutorials.

    Quick Facts

    • Applicants who have not taken the ACT or met minimum ACT requirements will have to take the COMPASS placement assessment.
    • WKCTC's online associate degrees are 60 credit programs.
    • To see what an actual class looks like, students can take a Glimpse Inside a Blackboard Course.
    • This school offers 10 different online associate's degree programs.
  23. Rank
    22
    School

    Palomar College

    Location
    San Marcos, CA
    Tuition
    $1,328 in state;
    $5,472 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1140 W. Mission
    San Marcos, CA 92069-1487
    (760) 744-1150

    Accreditation

    WASC/ACCJC

    School Description

    As a member of the Associate Degree for Transfer program, Palomar College offers Administration of Justice AA degrees that can be transferred to a number of four-year universities in California that Palomar has transfer agreements with, specifically the California State and University of California systems.

    Palomar College Online uses Blackboard as its learning management system of choice. All of PC’s online courses receive the same unit credits and transfer status as traditional classroom courses, while at the same time providing students with greater flexibility in their schedules. Instructors assess students’ progress using exams, papers, quizzes and class participation.

    Quick Facts

    • The AA degree programs total 36 unit credits, with coursework typically taking students a minimum of three hours per unit per week in class and on outside assignments.
    • Financial aid is available for those students who qualify and apply by the stated deadlines, as well as grants, work study opportunities, and student loans.
    • Online methods of instruction include lectures, demonstrations, guest speakers, discussions and videos.
    • This school offers 8 different online associate's degree programs.
  24. Rank
    23
    School

    Ridgewater College

    Location
    Willmar, MN
    Tuition
    $5,390 annually
    +

    Websites

    Address

    2101 15th Ave NW
    Willmar, MN 56201
    (800) 722-1151

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Associate degrees in liberal arts, computer aided drafting and design are all offered fully online through Ridgewater College. Due to the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, some of the programs allow students to transfer to baccalaureate majors at four-year colleges and universities, after "getting their generals" done for considerably less money. The Law Enforcement program offers 3 distinct educational tracks that prepare students to pass the Minnesota Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) Board’s examinations.

    RC uses the learning management system Desire2Learn (D2L) program. Some online courses are "student-paced," allowing students to work at their own pace, so long as all course requirements are completed by semester's end. Others are "instructor-paced," meaning they have several instructor-designated deadlines and due dates throughout the semester.

    Quick Facts

    • Applicants must be prepared to take the Accuplacer Assessment Test, unless their ACT scores exempt them and to attend an OAR Day (Orientation-Advising-Registration).
    • Overall, programs are typically 60 credits and take just two years to complete.
    • The Minnesota State Colleges & Universities has made two mini online education demo courses available to try.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  25. Rank
    24
    School

    Fox Valley Technical College

    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Tuition
    $4,152 in state;
    $5,985 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    1825 N Bluemound Dr
    Appleton, WI 54912-2277
    (920) 735-5600

    Accreditation

    NCACS/THLC

    School Description

    Through APICS (a not-for-profit international education organization and leading association for supply chain and operations management), FVTC offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designations online, as well as an associate degree in forensic science.

    Online FVTC students use the Blackboard platform. Instructors use videos, emails, discussions threads, group activities, reflection journals and other interactive software to conduct online coursework and assess students’ progress and performance. Students can work at their own pace, so long as they keep up with the week to week schedule for each program.

    Testimonial

    "As a non-English native speaker living in the USA, I have been amazed by the quality of the courses and the availability of the instructors and the college administration. This online program has been very helpful to review and digest the content of the CSCP Learning system." - Belinda, Student

    Quick Facts

    • Courses are meant to last around twelve weeks; however, students have sixteen weeks to fully complete the program. Most students spend about four hours per week on coursework.
    • Prospective students can take a virtual tour of an FVTC online course.
    • This school offers 3 different online associate's degree programs.
  26. Rank
    25
    School

    Gateway Community and Technical College

    Location
    Florence, KY
    Tuition
    $3,533 in state;
    $12,176 out of state
    +

    Websites

    Address

    500 Technology Way
    Florence, KY 41042
    (859) 441-4500

    Accreditation

    COE, SACS/CC

    School Description

    As a member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), Gateway offers a "Core Transfer" program, otherwise known as an associate to bachelor degree partnership, along with two convenient online options: Learn on Demand, which offers 12-16 week courses or flexible module-based courses, and Learn by Term, which offers courses in the traditional semester-length through all of the 16 Kentucky community colleges.

    Students who wish to complete a four-year bachelor’s would first complete the two-year associate degrees at Gateway, which include the 48 hours of general education courses required by any college in Kentucky that awards bachelor’s degrees. Areas of study for AA/AS to BA/BS students include psychology, communications, business administration, information technology and criminal studies.

    Gateway uses Blackboard's web-based classrooms to allow students to check, manage, review and submit their assignments, communicate with instructors and classmates via discussion boards, use journals and wikis, participate in interactive lectures take quizzes and tests online, among other coursework activities.

    Quick Facts

    • Gateway’s associate degrees are 60 credit hour programs designed for students to use as transfer degrees.
    • Courses are offered in 5, 8, 10 and 12-week sessions.
    • Students must create a PeopleSoft account in order to log into Blackboard.
    • This school offers 12 different online associate's degree programs.

Information & Data

Why Online Education?

In a recent survey conducted by BestColleges.com, 1,055 online learners nationwide share their reasons for taking courses online. An overwhelming 65% of respondents cite flexibility as the top reason for pursuing a digital classroom experience, and report less concern about curriculum specifics or access to on-campus activities. While traditional factors such as affordability, academic excellence and delivery format remain major determining factors, survey results suggest a majority of students choose to take courses online because they are more convenient.

Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus and tend to offer more flexible class schedules than comparable on-campus courses. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.

About 81% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule. While almost 63% of students say that the courses they took were to further their career, only 17% claim that taking courses was due to a desire to change careers. These responses may suggest that many online students are looking to expand their current professional skills, including the skills needed for a job promotion, rather than shift career paths entirely.

But full- or part-time employment is not the only hurdle to completing higher education; nearly 34% of respondents say they chose online classes due to flexibility surrounding their family’s scheduling demands. In fact, 33% of those surveyed had dependent children living with them when they took courses, offering some insight into what types of external factors students may have to consider when selecting a learning format, such as childcare arrangements.

Growing Popularity of Online Education

One in three U.S. college students are now taking at least one class online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Many leaders in education predict digital learning will become even more of an everyday experience for college students and recommend that high schools require students to take one online course before graduation, a requirement many high schools have already adopted.

In terms of total enrollments nationwide, growth rates of online college program and course enrollment have exceeded traditional enrollments since 2002, when fewer than 10% of new students were enrolled in at least one online class.

Growth of Online College Enrollment

chart - online college enrollment as percentage of overall college enrollment Source: Sloan Consortium Annual Survey of Online Education

Digital learning is easily the most dramatic change to sweep higher education in more than a century. Colleges are under pressure to expand their online program offerings to meet the rising demand for distance learning options across the country. Learners can choose to take individual courses online, or to pursue a formal certificate or degree program. In fact, 63% of the students responding to our survey were working towards a degree, with the majority of them working towards a four-year bachelor’s degree. The rest were enrolled in online classes for personal learning and growth rather than college credit.

Online Learners’ Degree Goals

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This is great news for prospective students. Academia, once synonymous with tradition and the slow and careful adoption of all things new, is changing more quickly than ever and for the better. There have never been more opportunities for a more diverse group of degree-seekers.

Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2013 and 2014:

Growth of Available Online Degree Programs

chart - total online degree programs available: 2012-13 and 2013-14 Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Why Accreditation is Key

Accreditation status should be the first and most important criteria any student, online or on-campus, uses to evaluate prospective schools. An unaccredited degree can cost graduates more than job offers — graduates of diploma mills risk leaving school tens of thousands of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it but a degree that isn’t recognized by employers, graduate schools or professional certifying agencies of any kind.

Of course, after confirming accreditation, it can still be difficult to weigh the value and quality of one online degree over another. It’s good to keep in mind that whether a program is offered online or on campus, all accredited college programs in the U.S. are held to the same academic and professional standards. These standards also extend to the full-time faculty and adjunct professors that these schools hire. Schools that fail to meet program and faculty quality requirements risk losing accreditation.

Due to the rapid evolution and development of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. Consider how the average admissions, enrollment, retention and graduation rates of the 25 four-year schools on our list compare to rates of all four-year colleges and universities nationwide:

How Our Top Online Schools Stack Up

chart - average BestColleges.com rankings admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation rates as compared to all schools overall Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Our rankings are a jumping off point to help you build a list of prospective programs that meet your needs. Remember, many factors that contribute to the quality of a degree program are intangible. You won’t find data points here or elsewhere that fully capture the level of faculty support, peer networking or academic and professional stimulation found in one program versus another. Please contact your schools directly for more information. Learn more about the methodology of our rankings.