With a consistent increase in the number of online degree programs offered around the country, BestColleges.com honors excellence in online higher education

November 6, 2018 (Seattle, WA) - BestColleges.com, a leading provider of college planning resources and higher education research, today announced the recipients of its second annual Schools of Distinction award. This honor recognizes colleges and universities who have dedicated themselves to developing quality online programs. Of the over 3,500 eligible universities in the United States, more than 2,000 offer online degree programs, and of these schools, 100 earned the Schools of Distinction honor. This year, 15 schools received a gold standing, 26 silver, and 59 bronze.

Recipients of the Schools of Distinction represent the top 10 percent of all online colleges nationwide. To be considered, colleges and universities must be a two or four year, accredited, not-for-profit institution that offer online degree programs ranked on BestColleges.com's program rankings. While all the schools who earned a Schools of Distinction award offer a diverse selection of online programs, those who earned a gold standing consistently finish in the top three places on their respective rankings.

“The colleges and universities that appear on our Schools of Distinction list have devoted time, energy, and resources into developing quality online higher education programs. These schools consistently appear in the top percentile of our online program rankings and we believe this constitutes widespread recognition,” says Stephanie Snider, Director of BestColleges.com. “As online education continues to grow in the United States, these schools will lead the path for flexible, customized alternative learning for today's nontraditional students.”

To view the award and learn more about the Schools of Distinction honor, please visit: https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/schools-of-distinction/

Gold colleges and universities are in the 98th percentile of all online colleges ranked on BestColleges.com. All schools listed alphabetically:

  • Arizona State University
  • Brandman University
  • Colorado State University-Global Campus
  • Excelsior College
  • Florida International University
  • George Washington University
  • John Hopkins University
  • Liberty University
  • Northeastern University Global Network
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • Western Governors University

Silver colleges and universities represent the 95th percentile of all online colleges ranked on BestColleges.com. All schools listed alphabetically:

  • Arizona State University-Skysong
  • Boston University
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho
  • Drexel University
  • Florida State University
  • Fort Hays University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Oregon State University
  • Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
  • Regis University
  • The University of Alabama
  • The University of West Florida
  • Thomas Edison State University
  • Touro University Worldwide
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Denver
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois at Springfield
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  • Webster University

Bronze colleges and universities round out the top 10% of BestColleges.com's ranked online college. Some of the Bronze recipients include:

  • American University
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Bellevue University
  • Bismarck State College
  • California State University-Fullerton
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Champlain College
  • Clemson University
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Concordia University-Chicago

To view the rest of the bronze schools, please visit: https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/schools-of-distinction/#bronze

For updated Schools of Distinction information, please visit and follow BestColleges.com on Facebook and Twitter.

About BestColleges.com

BestColleges.com helps prospective students find the school that best meet their needs through proprietary research, user-friendly guides, and hundreds of unique college rankings. They also provide a wide array of college planning, financial aid, and career resources to help all students get the most from their education and prepare them for the world after college.