Oregon State University has done an excellent job of creating one of the best online colleges in the nation. With over 1,100 courses offered entirely online, there’s no shortage of options for students. Most students who study through the online school choose to pursue one of the 45 online degree programs. However, online is also a popular option for students that want to combine online courses with on-campus courses, either to bolster their education or finish their degree faster. OSU has a proven track record with their online education as well, and they have over 21,000 students worldwide who are studying online. Whatever students are looking for out of their college experience, OSU has made itself one of the best online schools for people from all walks of life.
Whether you are drawn to a specific subject, or hoping to broaden your worldview and develop stronger critical thinking and communication skills, an online degree falling under the umbrella of liberal studies may be for you. The field of liberal studies includes a wide array of subjects, from English to anthropology, physics to mathematics, psychology to music. associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and certificates in liberal studies subjects are available in a fully online format. Because career paths for graduates with a liberal studies degree vary widely depending on program of study, looking over our more specific subject pages will help you learn what to expect.
There is no shortage of options for degrees at North Carolina State University. A nationally ranked institution, their faculty are considered some of the best in the nation. One thing to note about NC State is that their faculty also play a large role in crafting their online courses, as well as teaching and assisting students who choose to study through the online school. There are over 350 courses offered online at NC State, as well as more than 90 degree programs to study, including graduate degrees. This allows students the chance to study toward their degree entirely online or with a combination of online and on-campus courses. NC State is considered one of the best online colleges in the nation for MBA candidates.
To a certain degree, online degrees have had a persistent stigma—a reputation that they are not on-par with those earned on-campus. However, the tide seems to be shifting because non-profit colleges (both private and public) have created online programs that rival those traditional degrees. In fact, a recent study shows that 76 percent of academic leaders agree that degrees taught online are equal to their on-campus counterparts.
The history of the New Mexico State University-Main Campus dates back to 1888 when Las Cruces College was established in the territory of New Mexico. Home to the first honors program in the state, the university today serves 6,428 students that hail from across the US and more than 70 countries. Students take courses from the major colleges: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Services; and Honors. New Mexico State University is nationally-ranked for its online graduate nursing programs. NMSU Distance Education offers online bachelor degree-completion programs, masters and doctorate programs, and graduate certificates. Teachers can pursue their online New Mexico K-12 educator licensure and endorsements.
SAGU online courses are relatively small, allowing students to receive individualized attention from faculty members. As part of the school's Experiential Learning Credit program, students may qualify for up to 45 undergraduate credits -- and save as much as $25,000 on their degree -- by completing a three-credit course. Admission requires each student to provide a statement of Christian faith.
The University of Illinois Springfield takes accessibility seriously—and works to make transferring into programs as simple as possible. UIS has established relationships with many accredited institutions across the state of Illinois, making the transfer process seamless for students. And Joint Agreements mean that student in approved community colleges can be assigned a UIS advisor that help plan a course of study before they even begin studying at UIS.
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.

While most schools prepare students for their career right after they graduate, East Carolina University prepares students for a changing world. This means that their degree programs are designed to give students the knowledge to adapt to changing fields so that they can advance throughout their life. This is particularly true for students who earn an online degree from ECU. Residents of North Carolina and students from across the nation can complete their bachelor's degree online, but what really makes ECU one of the best online colleges in the nation is their master's degree program. With dozens of degrees and focuses available at the graduate level, ECU prepares students for a long, prosperous future in their career.
Stay proactive in your class as well as with your classmates. Ask questions and participate as much as you can. There are so many great opportunities as an online learner because the students in your class are usually from all over the United States. As a student, you are able to draw information and gain more knowledge and different perspectives than you may in a face-to-face classroom setting.
Designed largely for the independent and business minded, Fort Hays State University's degree programs give students an education that helps them prepare for a career in their field. Because of this, Fort Hays has become one of the best spots for adult learners to earn an education. For adult learners who don't live in Kansas or are unable to commute to regularly scheduled classes, Fort Hays offers online degrees. There are over 50 degrees offered through their virtual college which is considered to be one of the best online schools for the price. Most of their degrees are at the undergraduate level, so adult learners who prefer to study online will have plenty of options to choose from.
Tiffin University understands the unique needs of working adults, which makes it among the best online colleges for students who need to juggle their education with working a full-time job and raising a family. With flexible programs that begin six times per year and the ability to take courses at a pace that makes sense for their lifestyle, Tiffin University allows adult learners to obtain the education they need to get ahead while not missing a step in the other areas of their lives. Students can earn bachelor's degree in subjects such as criminalistics, psychology, system administration, and health, fitness and wellness. On the graduate level, there are also master's degree programs in art and visual media, forensic psychology, crime analysis, and teaching art. In addition, the school offers graduate and undergraduate certificate programs.

OSU Ecampus courses and programs are developed by world-class OSU faculty who use innovative course delivery strategies. Through cutting-edge technology, students are actively engaged in virtual labs, interactive language-acquisition exercises, engaging videos, and interactive lectures. OSU uses Canvas as its learning management system, so online interaction through discussion boards and web conferencing keeps students in touch. Top online degree programs include:


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:

On-campus housing is typically much more expensive than a rented apartment or a living space shared with roommates off campus. However, monthly rent payments, utility bills, food, and other weekly expenses can also add up — especially in areas where the cost of living is higher. Additionally, online students need access to a strong Wi-Fi connection; this usually requires an account with a local internet provider. Be sure to perform a comprehensive calculation of expected costs for living on and off campus in order to determine which option is cheaper.

College tuition is getting more expensive, which puts a lot of stress on prospective students, but these free online colleges and degree programs are eliminating the stress for some students. There are many reputable — and even prestigious — schools that offer a tuition-free college education to students, but the schools we’ve listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require a work program so they are truly free colleges and online degree programs.
Instructors deliver most of the university's distance-based programs asynchronously and fully online, but some incorporate blended learning and synchronous coursework. The university offers rolling application deadlines and four start dates year-round. Additionally, transfer students can apply up to 64 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Most bachelor's programs culminate in either a capstone project or an internship.
Obtaining a doctoral degree is one of the ultimate ways to achieve excellence in a field, and there are a variety of online doctorates available. Time required for completion of these degrees varies, and many degrees are available at a reasonable rate from highly recommended institutions, such as The George Washington University and Texas A & M University-College Station. Prospective doctoral students can explore degree offerings in business, psychology, computer science, and a wide variety of other subject areas.
eCampus, our innovative learning platform, allows you to ask questions, discuss topics and collaborate with your classmates from around the world. This gives you the ability to work in teams, talk to your instructor and access course materials any time of the day or night. Your schedule will be provided to you by your Academic Advisor and can be accessed in eCampus under the Quick Links section.

University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org). Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor. University of Phoenix obtained its most recent 10-year Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2012–13. A comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2016–17, and the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.

Missouri State University offers a handful of online bachelor's degrees suitable for first-time undergraduates or transfer students. A total of 10 major options include criminology and criminal justice, finance, health services, hospitality leadership, and an RN-to-BSN. The school also offers two undergraduate certificates and 12 bachelor's degree minors fully online. Graduate students can choose from 14 online master's programs, including seven pathways for teachers, and two doctorate in nursing tracks.

Most online bachelor's degrees at SNHU are fully online and consist entirely of asynchronous coursework, and the school also makes some blended options available. The university allows transfer students to apply up to 90 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Additionally, the school does not require a minimum GPA for undergraduate admission. Students with lower-than-average GPA scores qualify for provisional admission and may be placed in smaller classes to ensure more individualized attention.
Arkansas State University-Main Campus, founded in Jonesboro in 1909, has graduated more than 80,000 alumni in the succeeding years and has a current enrollment of 14,085. As Arkansas' second-largest university, A-State offers more than 150 degrees and is ranked one of the best online colleges in the region. The university was ranked among the of the 2018 Best Colleges, Regional Universities South, by U.S. News and World Report. Online students can choose from eight wholly online bachelor degrees, 13 master's programs, five Ed.S. education degrees, and eight certificates. Nursing students can complete the online RN-to-BSN degree program in as little as one year. Other online baccalaureate fields include communication, criminology, political science and social media management. The average class size at the university is 29, with a student/faculty ratio of 17:1.
An important part of the online classroom is classroom participation and discussion. Posts that engage others in a back and forth repartee aid in the conceptualization of research papers and slide presentations that are assigned as homework. Although class participation does not amount to a large percentage of my grade, it does guide my though processes for the entire class. It accounts for the A-grade point average that I've maintained throughout the course of my online study.

Even though online students may never set foot on campus doesn’t mean they don’t have access to the same support and student resources. Regardless if the student is on-campus or online, nonprofit colleges traditionally offer an array of resources to their students, ranging from libraries to access to laboratories. Below is a list of commonly offered support services for online students at nonprofit colleges:


UNC Chapel Hill is one of the few tuition free online universities that is not part of the Ivy League; however, it is one of the original Public Ivies declared by Richard Moll in 1985. It is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1789 and began enrolling students a while later in 1795; it is one of three institutions in the nation that can claim the title of being the oldest.
In March 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the establishment of the Bowling Green school that was to become Western Kentucky University. Today, more than 100 majors lead to the baccalaureate degree, and students can choose from 111 academic minors. U.S. News and World Report has ranked WKU 12th in The Best Online Bachelor's Programs and 12th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs . Among the best online schools in the region, WKU offers 20 online undergraduate degrees, 30 wholly online master's degrees, and online 45 graduate/undergraduate certificates. Students may also enroll in one of more than 100 courses offered through the on-demand program that offers for-credit classes in 7-week semesters.
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.
A visa is a document that allows the holder to apply for entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of State (DoS) determine who is eligible to be admitted into the U.S. along with how long they can stay and other conditions of their visit.

Available online master's degrees include 12 programs in specialized fields such as biomedical engineering, government accountancy, music education, and supply chain management. In addition to full degrees, Rutgers students can also draw from three Rutgers campuses for individual online courses. The university hosts an annual online learning conference that includes panel discussions and demonstrations on emerging technology, learning management software, and related topics.
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