The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group (and be careful not to go overboard) -- student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You'll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.
Admission requirements include a minimum 2.3 GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Online courses at CSU Global begin every four weeks and do not meet at set times, allowing students to follow a completely asynchronous schedule. The bachelor's degree tracks consist of 120 credits, and undergraduates can transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited institutions. Most online bachelor's programs at CSU Global require a capstone project, and some, such as degrees in human services and criminal justice, offer specializations.
Roughly 90% of the university's students receive some form of financial aid, and Midway charges online students a flat, per-credit rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Transfer students from institutions in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System qualify for a $1,000 transfer scholarship. Additionally, the school charges lower tuition rates for those seeking an online RN-to-BSN degree. Midway University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
A major is a student's main field of specialization. The student's choice of specialization plays a significant role in the time spent at a university, according to Stanford University. Many universities clearly define the student's coursework, and others may give the student the ability to take other courses within their field of choice. A university typically defines educational courses in core courses for each major.
At CMU Global Campus, online students experience a comprehensive education with the flexibility of customizable degree programs. Many programs offer students the ability to choose a specialization within the major—making the degree a personalized fit for your career goals. And students benefit from wrap-around services like academic advising, an Online Learning Resource Center, and peer assistance through the Online Ally program. Top degree programs include:
As a student, you have many options available to fund your education. Some of the most common financial options include Federal Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, the cash plan, the third-party billing plan, the military or government billing plan, tribal funding and third-party private student loans. Learn about each option to determine your eligibility.
A name brand school, Penn State World Campus (part of the Pennsylvania State University system), has been offering students an alternative to traditional on-campus education since 1998. Penn State World Campus offers over 150 degree and certificate programs all delivered online. These courses are developed and taught by Penn State professors, ensuring the highest quality course content. The university is focused on offering an education to suit current market-based needs. Online courses are offered from the Bachelors to the Doctoral level, and include programs such as Nursing, Nutritional Science, and Geographic Information Systems.
In a recent survey conducted by BestColleges.com of over 1,000 online learners, an overwhelming 65% of respondents cite flexibility as the top reason for pursuing an online education. These respondents were also less concerned about curriculum specifics or access to on-campus activities. While traditional factors such as affordability, academic excellence and delivery format remain major determining factors, our survey results suggest a majority of students choose to take courses online because they are more convenient.
Online certificates and associate degrees in education can provide an introduction to the field and preparation for later college-level work. These degrees cover general liberal arts topics, as well as courses in curriculum design, child development, and instructional methods. Stand-alone undergraduate certificates are usually available in early childhood education areas, while certificates that are part of bachelor’s degrees cover a wider range of topics, such as education policy or adult education.
Texas Tech helps veteran students and holds the designation of a Purple Heart University. The school also welcomes transfer students with scholarships of $4,500 for those who enroll with up to 30 transfer credits and $6,000 for those with up to 60 transfer credits. Those who place in the top 10% of their graduating high school class qualify for automatic admission to Texas Tech.
The top of our rankings present interested scholars with the best shots at success and satisfaction in the workplace, complete with generous incomes and an abundance of job opportunities. Check out the best college majors for a lucrative career. (Spoiler alert: STEM majors—that is, fields in science, technology, engineering and math—dominate our rankings.)
Brandman University makes it easy to transfer in college credit—whether it be from one of Brandman’s partner community colleges, alternative course credit that applies to your degree, or hands-on training from a military or professional background. Brandman has been ranked among top online schools for several years and boasts exceptionally high graduation rates—a key indicator of quality.
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.
UF online programs have three start dates per year (in August, January, and May), and the school offers multiple pathways (like degree completion programs) for students depending on their educational background. In addition to the many degree programs offered online, the University of Florida also offers a number of professional development courses online for working professionals.
Once you know what degree level you want to pursue, think carefully about what majors will have the biggest impact on your current career or future job prospects. Different majors teach different skills and have different points of emphasis. Multiple studies have shown that what you study has a bigger impact on future earning potential than where you go to school.
One of three campuses in the world-class University of Illinois, the University of Illinois Springfield is widely acclaimed for their leadership in online learning. UIS offers over 45 degree, certification, and graduate certificate programs for nontraditional students, many of which rank among the best in the country. Students encounter an intellectually rich environment with top-notch faculty and online resources.
As an online student at Creighton University, you’ll experience both the academic rigor of campus-based courses as well as the benefits of Creighton’s exceptional sense of community. Courses provide online discussions and activities to ensure that you regularly interact with classmates. And course sizes are small so faculty can give you personalized attention. Top online degree programs include:
And it likely all pays off in the end. These degree holders tend to have little problem finding work with 85.1% being employed full-time, according to the Hamilton Project. Most majors go on to become mechanical engineers (naturally), who have a median salary of more than $83,400 a year. But some also find other well-paying jobs as other types of engineers, including civil and aerospace, and even as software developers and similar positions.
Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2012 and 2014. Over the last three academic years, we've seen a 45% increase in the number of online programs offered across the United States, for a total of 13,092 in 2014-2015. You can choose from over 550 individual degree programs alone that are offered by the 4-year colleges featured within our list of the best online universities.
UMKC Online makes the educational process both collaborative and supportive. As an online student, you’ll be able to take advantage of a wide range of student supports like online tutoring, academic advising, and disability services. And all faculty who teach online at UMKC must complete UMKC Online Teaching Certification, so you know that not only are your instructors experts in their area of specialization but are specifically trained to teach in an online environment. Top online degree programs at UMKC include:
All bachelor's options are fully online, and instructors deliver most graduate-level degrees primarily online with some minimal face-to-face requirements. Distance learners can participate in online workshops for library training and MS Office software. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act approves several of the university's online bachelor's and graduate programs; this initiative provides financial aid for unemployed or underemployed students who cannot afford course tuition and fees.
Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
Principals must also complete a principal preparation program or internship to develop their leadership skills and their knowledge of how to improve students' educational experiences. Other requirements often include passing an exam to demonstrate basic reading, writing, and math skills; passing a state-based educator standards exam; and submitting to a criminal background check. Some states have different levels of principal certification, starting with an initial "residency certificate" and advancing to a "professional certificate" after two years of experience as an employed administrator. Some states break down their certifications even further for elementary vs. secondary school principals, while other states have the same requirements for both academic levels.
A member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University-Saint Paul is a private, nationally ranked, Christian (Lutheran) university. Concordia Saint Paul (CSP) offers numerous degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to over 1000 enrolled online students. And U.S. News & World Report ranks many of their online program among the best of their kind.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education- Early Childhood Inclusive. The degree is designed for adults who work as in-service teachers, in HeadStart programs and similar settings. Admission requires a diploma and ACT/ SAT scores or the GED for freshmen, and transfer students should have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Two specializations are available: Birth through Kindergarten and Age 3 to Grade 3. The Inclusive teaching certificate allows teaching birth to age 5 in Special Ed, and birth to age 8 in standard teaching programs. Program courses include Typical/ Atypical Growth and Development, Phonics and Word Study, and Math, Science and Social Studies for Children 3-8. Online tuition is $422 per credit for nonresidents.
In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
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