Best Online Colleges and Universities 2022

BestColleges ranked the top online colleges and universities for 2022. Read on to compare schools based on affordability, flexibility, and academic quality. Find your path forward today.

portrait of Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Published on December 20, 2021 · Updated on June 22, 2022

Edited by Kayla Leng
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Top 5 Online College Accredited Programs

We've ranked the top online colleges and universities. Read this guide to compare schools based on affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

Accredited University Rank Quick School Facts Tuition Cost (Per Credit Hour)

#1. Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire


Program Accreditation:Yes

  • Program Offered: 200 Online Programs
  • Admissions Rate: 88%
  • Graduate Rate: 44%
  • Online Enrollment: 94%
  • Under Grad In State: $320;
  • Under Grad Out-of-State: $320;
  • Graduate In State: $627
  • Graduate Out of State: $627

#2. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia


Program Accreditation:Yes

  • Program Offered: Online Associates, Bachelors, & Graduate Degrees
  • Admissions Rate: 51%
  • Graduate Rate: 47%
  • Online Enrollment: 92%
  • Under Grad In State: $390-$455;
  • Under Grad Out-of-State: $390-$455;
  • Graduate In State: $565-$615
  • Graduate Out of State: $565-$615

#3. University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida


Program Accreditation:Yes

  • Program Offered: Bachelors in Anthropology, Nursing, Pysch + Masters & Phd
  • Admissions Rate: 44%
  • Graduate Rate: 72%
  • Online Enrollment: 59%
  • Under Grad In State: $179;
  • Under Grad Out-of-State: $716;
  • Graduate In State: $327
  • Graduate Out of State: $1,152

#4. Florida International University

Miami, Florida


Program Accreditation:Yes

  • Program Offered: Degree & Certifcates at Undergrad & Grad Levels
  • Admissions Rate: 58%
  • Graduate Rate: 63%
  • Online Enrollment: 68%
  • Under Grad In State: $229;
  • Under Grad Out-of-State: $346;
  • Graduate In State: $479
  • Graduate Out of State: $1,025

#5. University of Florida-Online

Gainesville, Florida


Program Accreditation:Yes

  • Program Offered: 20 Undergrad Majors in Business
  • Admissions Rate: 32%
  • Graduate Rate: n/a
  • Online Enrollment: n/a
  • Under Grad In State: $129;
  • Under Grad Out-of-State: $553;
  • Graduate In State: $350-$1,500
  • Graduate Out of State: $350-$1,500

Questions About Accredited Online Colleges Programs

How long does it take to get an online bachelor's degree?

Earning an online bachelor's degree typically takes four years for full-time students. Many online colleges offer part-time or accelerated enrollment options. In a part-time program, learners generally take more than four years to complete a bachelor's degree, but they enjoy greater scheduling flexibility.

Accelerated online programs often take 1-3 years, depending on the program and a student's prior college experience. For example, many online schools offer degree-completion programs designed for undergraduates who have at least 60 transfer credits. These programs often take about two years. Prospective online learners can contact schools to learn more about the length of bachelor's programs and request a transfer credit evaluation.

Do employers like online degrees?

Many employers hire college graduates who earn their degrees online. A degree from an accredited online college meets the same high academic standards as an in-person degree. At most colleges, distance learners and on-campus students earn identical diplomas.

Many online programs use the same instructional materials and faculty as on-campus programs at the same school. And online learners meet the same graduation requirements as on-campus students. As a result, many employers recruit online college graduates for various entry-level roles.

Is an online degree as good as a traditional degree?

At top online colleges, the delivery method is the only difference between an online degree and a traditional degree. These schools set high academic standards for all degree-granting programs, including online programs.

Whether students enroll online or in person, undergraduates must complete general education requirements, major courses, and electives to earn a bachelor's degree. At accredited colleges, third-party accrediting bodies review curriculum materials and faculty qualifications for online and in-person classes. As a result, an online degree can offer the same quality of education as a traditional degree but with the benefit of a more flexible delivery format.

Are online colleges worth it?

An online college degree can offer a strong return on investment. However, students considering an online degree must consider the total cost of the degree, as well as their learning style and the school's student services. Many of the best online colleges help incoming students transition to a distance learning format by providing orientation sessions and support services.

Learners meet with academic advisors to design a degree plan based on their interests, transfer credits, and career goals. Prospective online students can reach out to an admissions counselor to learn more about a program's course structure, practicum and internship opportunities, and graduation requirements.

What can I do with an online degree?

An online degree offered by an accredited college or university meets the requirements for many career paths. For example, with an online RN-to-BSN degree, nurses can apply to master's programs or pursue leadership roles in healthcare. An online bachelor's in education can meet the requirements for a teaching license, and an online MBA helps prepare business professionals for managerial responsibilities.

When choosing an online college, prospective students should look for accreditation and a track record of online education. Applicants can also ask for job placement data to learn about their career prospects with an online degree.

Is it harder to get a job with an online degree?

A decade or two ago, online degrees were relatively rare. But today, millions of college students earn their degrees online every year. And the shift to remote learning during the pandemic made online education even more common. As a result, many employers hire applicants with an online degree. However, before enrolling at an online college, prospective students should make sure the program measures up.

Online students should only consider accredited schools. Unaccredited schools may not adhere to high academic standards, and they may not meet licensure and certification requirements for your career path. Research online programs and choose one of the best online colleges to improve your odds on the job market.

Are online college degrees legitimate?

Students comparing online and on-campus degrees may wonder whether an online learning format will harm their education and their chances on the job market. Fortunately, online education offers a legitimate pathway to a college degree.

In 2019, more than 7.3 million students took online classes, and that number increased during the pandemic. Online degrees from accredited colleges meet the same high standards as in-person degrees. As a result, many top online colleges award identical diplomas to their online and on-campus graduates.

Other Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Top Online Colleges and Universities

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of online programs to produce our annual Best Online Colleges and Top Online Universities ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 984 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best online schools in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (50%), affordability (25%), and the availability and popularity of online programs (25%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Academics (50% of total score)

  • Admissions Rate
  • Enrollment Rate
  • Full-Time Retention Rate
  • Graduation Rate

Affordability (25% of total score)

  • Average Net Price
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans
  • Average Loan Default Rate

Online Programming (25% of total score)

  • Percentage of Programs Offered Online
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Online Courses

Best Accredited Online Colleges and Top Online Universities 2022

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team.

#1 Online College in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $320
Undergrad, out of state | $320
Graduate, in state | $627
Graduate, out of state | $627

SNHU offers more than 200 online programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor's, and graduate levels. Undergraduates can also enroll in accelerated bachelor's to master's programs and pay undergraduate tuition for some of their graduate courses.

Distance learners can access academic and technical support, join online clubs and honor societies, and volunteer for leadership opportunities helping other online students.

SNHU admits online students on a rolling basis. Undergraduates must submit an application, transcripts, and a form attesting that they graduated from high school or passed the GED examination.

#2 Online College in Virginia

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $390-$455
Undergrad, out of state | $390-$455
Graduate, in state | $565-$615
Graduate, out of state | $565-$615

Liberty awards online associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees, along with certificates. As a Christian school, Liberty offers a bachelor's in biblical and theological studies and a master's in religious leadership, in addition to numerous other academic degrees.

Undergraduate admission requires submitting an application and a high school self-certification form. Transfer students must provide official postsecondary transcripts. Liberty offers scholarship opportunities specifically for online learners, along with academic advising, online library resources, and technical support. 

#3 Online College in Florida

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $179
Undergrad, out of state | $716
Graduate, in state | $327
Graduate, out of state | $1,152

At UCF, online learners can earn bachelor's degrees in areas like anthropology, nursing, and psychology. Master's degrees, doctorates, and graduate certificates are also offered online.

Undergraduates can apply to UCF online as transfer students. To do so, they must submit postsecondary transcripts showing a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants with fewer than 60 transferable credits must also submit SAT or ACT scores. 

Services available to online students include success coaches, experiential learning and internship opportunities, and career advising.

#4 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $229
Undergrad, out of state | $346
Graduate, in state | $479
Graduate, out of state | $1,025

FIU offers online degree and certificate options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Popular majors include liberal arts and humanities, hospitality and tourism management, and international business. 

Admission requires an application, official transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores for high school students or transfer students with fewer than 60 transfer credits. Distance learners pursuing degrees or certificates can apply for scholarships and financial aid. They can also access tutoring and explore opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

#5 Online College in Florida

University of Florida-Online

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $129
Undergrad, out of state | $553
Graduate, in state | $350-$1,500
Graduate, out of state | $350-$1,500

UF online ranks among the top online schools and offers more than 20 undergraduate majors in fields like business and leadership, earth sciences, and public safety. Master's and doctoral students can also find degree programs online.

Undergraduate admission requires an application and transcripts, a high school diploma or GED certificate, and prior coursework in English, math, and natural and social sciences. Distance learners can apply for financial aid, access library resources, and talk with a counseling and wellness ambassador.

#6 Online College in Arizona

Arizona State University-Skysong

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $561-$661
Graduate | $543-$1,343
Certificate | $543–$1,099

Remote learners at ASU can select from 134 undergraduate, 117 graduate, and 33 certificate programs. With a school-wide focus on environmental sustainability, popular programs include complex science systems and sustainable food policy and tourism, along with majors like business, digital media, and engineering. 

First-year applicants need to rank in the top 25% of their high school class, hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, or score at least 22-24 on the ACT or 1120-1180 on the SAT. Online students can apply for scholarships and financial aid.

#7 Online College in Maryland

University of Maryland Global Campus

School Information
Location Adelphi, Maryland
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $306
Undergrad, out of state | $499
Graduate, in state | $504
Graduate, out of state | $659

With curricula designed for working adults, UMGC offers career-oriented programs and flexible learning options for undergraduate and graduate students. UMGC is one of the largest public online schools in the nation, providing learners with electronic textbooks, online library resources, and courses taught by industry experts. Alumni have lifetime access to career services.

Undergraduates enroll in eight-week sessions, with some programs following a cohort model. First-year students must have a high school or GED diploma.

#8 Online College in Florida

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $219
Undergrad, out of state | $342-$648
Graduate, in state | $385
Graduate, out of state | $479-$1,044

Top online programs at UWF include degree and certificate options in cybersecurity, instructional design and technology, and entrepreneurship and innovation. UWF online emphasizes flexibility and affordability for adult learners, with many programs offering multiple start dates throughout the year.

Candidates for undergraduate admission must complete an online application and submit transcripts. Some programs may require ACT or SAT scores. Online students can access career center resources and apply for financial aid.

#9 Online College in California

University of Massachusetts Global

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $500
Undergrad, out of state | $500
Graduate, in state | $680-$1,185
Graduate, out of state | $680-$1,185

UMass Global offers enrollment coaching and academic/career advising. It also supports the 90% of its student body who continue working while attending school by providing flexible and remote learning options. Students at all levels can choose programs from among four online schools: arts and sciences, business and professional studies, education, and nursing health professions.

Baccalaureate program applicants should submit transcripts showing at least 12 transferable bachelor's-level credits from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Individual departments may list additional admission criteria.

#10 Online College in Georgia

Thomas University

School Information
Location Thomasville, Georgia
Admission Rate 38%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $450
Undergrad, out of state | $450
Graduate, in state | $524-$725
Graduate, out of state | $524-$725

Distance learners at TU can earn associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees in fields like computer systems management, medical laboratory science, nursing, and supply chain management. TU accepts up to 90 transfer credits and also awards advanced placement for law enforcement training, military service, and other learning experiences.

Remote applicants can apply for financial aid and scholarships. Admission requires an application, official transcripts, and a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Admitted students can access library services online and attend tutoring sessions via Zoom.

#11 Online College in Colorado

Colorado State University-Global Campus

School Information
Location Aurora, Colorado
Admission Rate 99%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $350
Undergrad, out of state | $350
Graduate, in state | $500
Graduate, out of state | $500

A top online college, CSU Global offers bachelor's and master's degrees in areas that include healthcare administration and management, interdisciplinary professional studies, and organizational leadership. 

Personalized, 100% remote learning options allow students to work full time while attending school. Course delivery follows an eight-week, accelerated format. 

Candidates for undergraduate admission submit official high school transcripts or GED scores and a resume that outlines two years of experience. CSU Global accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

#12 Online College in New Jersey

Thomas Edison State University

School Information
Location Trenton, New Jersey
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $399
Undergrad, out of state | $519
Graduate, in state | $668-$905
Graduate, out of state | $668-$905

TESU's online degree programs include bachelor's and master's options in business administration, homeland security and emergency management, and nursing. Students can also pursue associate and doctoral degrees. Distance learners can select from asynchronous and synchronous course delivery options.

Learners can access advising and financial aid assistance online. Undergraduate admission requires a high school or GED diploma. Typically, applicants must be at least 20 years old. However, students who are 18 or 19 can apply if they are active-military members or have at least 24 transfer credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

#13 Online College in Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

School Information
Location Daytona Beach, Florida
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $447
Undergrad, out of state | $447
Graduate, in state | $743-$1,269
Graduate, out of state | $743-$1,269

A top online school, Embry-Riddle's worldwide and online options provide synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Students can choose from multiple start dates each year and access advising and technical support. Virtual aeronautical robotics and crash labs simulate flight and accident investigations, and students can connect on eUnion with classmates worldwide.

Aeronautics, aviation, business, engineering, and technology degrees feature prominently at the bachelor's and master's levels. Admission requirements vary by student age, education, and experience. However, high school or GED diplomas and a minimum 2.5 GPA are general criteria for aspiring undergraduates.

#14 Online College in Michigan

Cleary University

School Information
Location Howell, Michigan
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $735
Undergrad, out of state | $735
Graduate, in state | $975
Graduate, out of state | $975

Adult learners — students ages 24 and older — who enroll at Cleary can take all of their classes online. This may appeal to students juggling academics with a full-time job or other family obligations. Graduate students can also earn an MBA entirely online at Cleary.

Online learners benefit from virtual library resources, computer skills video tutorials, and IT support. All classes can be accessed remotely and most students receive financial aid or scholarships.

#15 Online College in Texas

Texas Tech University

School Information
Location Lubbock, Texas
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $395
Undergrad, out of state | $425-$804
Graduate, in state | $476
Graduate, out of state | $885

Online students at Texas Tech can pursue bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Notable fields of study include petroleum engineering, plant and soil science, and wind energy. Learners can also pursue degrees in the arts, education, science, and technology. Remote learners can access assistance with financial aid, IT issues, and academics.

Texas Tech offers assured undergraduate admission to applicants in the top 10% of their high school class, or to those with scores of at least 24-27 on the ACT or 1180-1280 on the SAT.

#16 Online College in Missouri

Saint Louis University

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $650-$1,680
Undergrad, out of state | $650-$1,680
Graduate, in state | $1,220
Graduate, out of state | $1,220

A Jesuit university, SLU's mission focuses on service. SLU's online branch offers programs at the graduate, undergraduate, and professional levels. Fields of study include emergency management, health administration, technology and cybersecurity, and organizational leadership.

Applicants can connect with an admissions counselor and apply for scholarships. First-time students can apply for early decision, early action, or regular admission. Undergraduate candidates should submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores for consideration.

#17 Online College in Georgia

Kennesaw State University

School Information
Location Kennesaw, Georgia
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $185
Undergrad, out of state | $185
Graduate, in state | $383
Graduate, out of state | $383

KSU has many online options for students, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The school supports distance learners by providing academic advising, career planning, library access, and tutoring. Some courses are delivered 100% online with no required campus attendance, while others are mostly online with occasional campus visits for orientations and/or exams.

Education, engineering, nursing, and technology comprise the bulk of master's degrees offered. Popular bachelor's degrees include business, computer sciences, and social sciences. 

Undergraduate admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and ACT or SAT scores. 

#18 Online College in Indiana

Trine University

School Information
Location Fort Wayne, Indiana
Admission Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $399
Undergrad, out of state | $399
Graduate, in state | $575
Graduate, out of state | $575

TrineOnline offers more than 20 associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Coursework is delivered over eight-week sessions of asynchronous learning. Undergraduates can take their first course free of charge. Learners can also receive credits based on work experience. Student support services include tutoring, library services, and IT help.

Popular degree options include business, criminal justice, engineering, healthcare, technology, and leadership. First-time undergraduate applicants must submit completed applications and high school transcripts or GED scores. Financial aid is available to distance learners.

#19 Online College in New York

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $510
Undergrad, out of state | $510
Graduate, in state | $695
Graduate, out of state | $695

Through Excelsior's online options, students can pursue degrees in business, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, and technology. Terms start every eight weeks, and enrollees can apply to transfer credits, licenses and certifications, and prior training toward their associate, bachelor's, or master's degree.

Undergraduate program applicants must submit transcripts, and some programs may require additional materials. Online students qualify for financial aid and benefit from online reading and writing labs, tech support, and career advising.

#20 Online College in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University

School Information
Location Stillwater, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $181
Undergrad, out of state | $698
Graduate, in state | $234
Graduate, out of state | $364

Online degrees at OSU are available in a variety of disciplines, including arts and sciences, business, education and human services, engineering, architecture, and technology. Undergraduate and graduate remote learners take flexible courses offered during 16-week sessions. 

Distance learners can apply for scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities to reduce their out-of-pocket costs. For assured admission, first-year students must meet one of the following requirements: a minimum 3.0 GPA, a top 33.3% class ranking, or minimum ACT (21-24) or SAT (1060-1160) scores.

#21 Online College in Indiana

Indiana University-Bloomington

School Information
Location Bloomington, Indiana
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 79%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $239-$296
Undergrad, out of state | $347-$1,031
Graduate, in state | $317-$1,449
Graduate, out of state | $450-$1,632

IU's online programs cover a variety of majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Notable fields include labor studies, library science, parks and recreation, and physical education and tourism management. Classes are asynchronous and geared for working adults and parents. 

Undergraduate admission criteria vary by department. For example, some may specify 12-30 transfer credits, a 2.5 minimum GPA, an associate degree, or essays. Distance learners can access a variety of support services online, including library resources

#22 Online College in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

School Information
Location University Park, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $532-$590
Undergrad, out of state | $532-$590
Graduate, in state | $950-$1,236
Graduate, out of state | $950-$1,236

Penn State World Campus offers more than 175 online degree programs, allowing students to earn MBAs, bachelor's degrees in law and policy, nursing credentials, and many other options. 

Student services focus on helping learners balance school, family, and work and include IT support, help with financial aid, and tutoring.

Applicants submit self-reported academic records and only provide official transcripts after acceptance. Additional prerequisites vary by program. Applicants should contact admissions services for help with selecting a program and submitting application materials.

#23 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $468
Undergrad, out of state | $560
Graduate, in state | $679
Graduate, out of state | $679

Missouri Online enrollees can choose from more than 300 programs, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral options. Flexible and accessible remote learning is supported by online library access, tutors and peer consultants, and a writing center.

First-year applicants should have completed high school coursework in English, math, science, social studies, foreign language, and fine arts. Applicants also have the option to submit test scores.

#24 Online College in Texas

LeTourneau University

School Information
Location Longview, Texas
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $380-$410
Undergrad, out of state | $380-$410
Graduate, in state | $625-$800
Graduate, out of state | $625-$800

LeTourneau — a Christian polytechnic university — offers about 140 online college-level majors and graduate degrees in areas that include arts and sciences, aviation and aeronautical science, business, and education. Students can also choose from options like nursing, psychology and counseling, and theology and vocation.

Distance learners can study from anywhere in the world and can begin their studies in the spring, summer, or fall. Applications and transcripts are due 10 days prior to the start of class. Candidates are encouraged to speak to admissions counselors prior to applying.

Other Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Accredited Colleges Near me

Why Choose an Online College or University?

More than 7.3 million college students enrolled in at least one online class in fall 2019, and almost half of these learners enrolled exclusively online. Why does an online learning format appeal to so many students?

Online colleges help degree-seekers balance classes with work or other responsibilities. In 2018, 43% of full-time students and 81% of part-time students worked while in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Taking classes online makes it easier for working students to schedule school around their working hours.

The best online colleges also offer an accessible and affordable path to a college degree. By choosing a distance learning format, students can compare top programs from across the country. Instead of restricting their options to local schools or paying to relocate, learners can enroll in top online programs in other states.

Finally, online schools meet high academic standards — students don't need to sacrifice quality for convenience. Accredited online universities meet the same quality standards as in-person options. So, should you choose an online college or university? Carefully weigh the benefits of attending college online before submitting your college applications.

Explore Our College Planning Resources

Expert Advice on Choosing an Online Program

Melissa A. Venable, Ph.D.

According to Online Education Advisor, Melissa A. Venable, Ph.D.

Every year when we conduct our annual survey of online students, respondents say they wish they had compared more programs before enrolling. Deciding between online programs can be challenging — especially since there are more choices now than ever before — but there are a few things you can do to find the best option for your needs.

Beyond ensuring the online programs you're considering are accredited by a reputable organization and within your reach financially, the best place to start is with your own goals. From career advancement to lifelong learning, students choose their online degree programs with a variety of objectives in mind.

Take some time to identify why you want to pursue an online degree and the kinds of support you'll need to succeed. Look for support services and resources that are important to you, such as tutoring, career counseling, internship coordination, social clubs, and health and wellness classes.

Look for support services and resources that are important to you, such as tutoring, career counseling, internship coordination, social clubs, and health and wellness classes.

Can't find what you're looking for while searching for online degree programs? Don't be afraid to reach out and ask a school directly! Some schools offer sample classes or course tours online to show you what the experience will be like once you become an online student.


More College Planning Resources


Online schools educate learners at the K-12 and higher education levels. Here's what you need to know about online schooling at different grade levels. The highest-paying bachelor's degrees include majors in STEM, social science, and business. Learn more about degrees leading to high-paying careers. Begin earning college credit as early as high school. This guide explains ten ways to earn college credits fast, save money, and graduate earlier than expected. Learn about the differences between for-profit and nonprofit colleges. Decide which type of college is best for you. Learn how you can pay for an online degree. Explore financial aid and scholarship options for college students. Workforce development programs serve a diverse population. Learn where to find these programs and how you can increase your marketability through certification.

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