Central Michigan University, established in 1892 as a teacher's college, today offers more than 200 majors through its undergraduate, master's, specialist and doctoral degree programs. It serves more than 20,000 students at its Mount Pleasant campus and another 7,000 students pursuing degrees and certificates wholly online. CMU is one of the small number of educational institutions to hold the two highest Carnegie research classifications. CMU Online offers wholly online degree and certificate programs held in 8-, 12- and 16-week sessions. One of the nation's best online schools, CMU Online has been ranked among the best colleges for online bachelor degrees, MBA degrees, and graduate education. Distance students have full access to CMU's Online Learning Resource Center.

The search tool below has been designed to help simplify the process of comparing online colleges and programs. Users can evaluate distance learning options based on important factors such as enrollment, tuition, and academic program availability. Armed with this information, students can make an informed decision about which online university fits their personal, educational, and professional needs.
Best known for their dominant athletics, the University of Alabama is much more than just an athletics school. Considered one of the best schools, if not the best, in the state of Alabama, The University of Alabama has a long reputation for helping educate students that go on to do great things. The same can be said about Alabama's online school. One of the best online schools in the nation, Alabama's distance learning program offers the same high-quality, accredited education that they do on campus. Along with that, the distance learning program gives students - including military personnel and adults - the chance to study at their own pace and freedom. Alabama offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through their online school, so students at all levels can find something to fit their needs.
On your first study day each week, read any required materials and take notes. Go back a few days later to review your reading notes and work on any written homework or other assignments. Now that you have identified your regular study times, tell everyone in the family. Post a notice on the refrigerator that you will be studying at predetermined times each week. Ask family members to respect this time. Make sure everyone understands you are not to be disturbed during your study time.
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.

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 wide range of healthcare related degrees are available online, including programs in nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, personal training, public health, respiratory therapy, healthcare administration and medical and dental assisting. These online degree programs prepare students interested promoting health and wellness to ensure others maintain healthy lives. Careers in healthcare vary from hands-on positions, like working as a dental assistant, to more administrative positions, such as working behind the scenes to provide others with exceptional care. Online degrees in healthcare related fields are available at all levels, with a variety of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate degrees to choose from.


Iowa Central Community College offers 7 affordable online associate-level programs. The college has an 82% recommendation rate from 11 student reviews. The 8-week online courses are taught using the iNET module located in TritonPass and the full programs typically take about two years to complete. Textbooks are offered as eBooks and cost $30 per credit hour as part of tuition. Full-time students usually take two 8-week courses at a time and classes start at the beginning of every month. All online students have access to tutoring services through a program called SmartThinking. Tuition is $315 per credit hour for undergraduate students or $7,125 per year.
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:

Whether someone is a veteran or currently in active service, Davenport University is among the best online colleges students in the military can choose. This military-friendly school allows students to get credit for their work experience, as well as easily take a leave of absence if they are deployed. In addition, the online school offers military student support services, such as counseling, tutoring, and a system to conveniently find information from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. For the civilian, Davenport University also offers services to online students including technical support and guidance about coursework. On the graduate level, students can earn online certificates in forensic accounting, health care management, strategic management, and internal auditing, and master's degrees in management, business administration, and accountancy.


MIT is among the top universities in America and they have something called OpenCourseWare, which is a web-based publication created by the school. There are materials from over 2,000 of their courses accessible entirely online and at no cost to you. MIT wanted to provide this resource to educators in order to help them teach more effectively and to independent learners to enrich their lives. There are scholar courses, audio/video courses, online textbooks, and plenty of supplemental resources curated into this one place coming from some of the top educators in the world. MIT continuously updates the database so that all of those who use it have access to the most relevant and in-depth information. No diploma or certificate is offered for free or otherwise; however, this is an incredible way to educate yourself on things you’re curious about. The majority of the material is presented in a self-paced format and also gives you the opportunity to choose what modules to take or skip according to your needs.
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.
At ASU-online, student support is all-encompassing.  You’ll encounter tutors to help you get through the tough classes, success coaches who help adjust to online student life, and career service personnel who can help you apply your skills and passions in the real world. And you’ll join a diverse, global community of Sun Devils though student clubs, social media, and classroom interaction.

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.
Study space has a direct impact on study effectiveness. If you’re home office is the family living room, you may find it hard to focus. Evaluate your current study locations to find the best spot to access the Internet, complete your assignments, and connect with your classmates and teachers. A quiet area with good lighting, comfortable seating, and enough space to spread out your books and papers can make all the difference in how productive you are.
Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville Tennessee. It is most widely recognized for its research, continually coming in among the top 20 universities in the nation. It has the largest academic facility dedicated to studying the effect of radiation. Vanderbilt also has more unique research initiatives; their chemical biology department is on track to breeding a blue rose, they have extensive research departments on coffee, and the card game of Bridge. Interestingly, the modern form of the game was developed by Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, great-grandson to Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Texas A&M University is a public, coeducational land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university based in College Station, Texas. It is the only university in Texas to have all three (land, sea, and space) designations, reflecting a range of research projects funded by NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Science Foundation. The university is the largest by enrollment in the state of Texas with a student body of over 60,000.
As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
Whether someone is a veteran or currently in active service, Davenport University is among the best online colleges students in the military can choose. This military-friendly school allows students to get credit for their work experience, as well as easily take a leave of absence if they are deployed. In addition, the online school offers military student support services, such as counseling, tutoring, and a system to conveniently find information from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. For the civilian, Davenport University also offers services to online students including technical support and guidance about coursework. On the graduate level, students can earn online certificates in forensic accounting, health care management, strategic management, and internal auditing, and master's degrees in management, business administration, and accountancy.

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:
The university offers rolling admissions for online students with six enrollment periods throughout the calendar year. In addition to these traditional degree pathways, Saint Leo is home to the Flexible Learning EXperience program. This initiative invites educational institutions in Florida to enroll students in online courses at Saint Leo to supplement their on-campus studies.
Students enrolled at Washington State University's Global Campus can choose from a broad selection of online bachelor's programs. These include several options for business majors -- such as degrees in economics, hospitality business management, and integrated strategic communication -- along with a bachelor's in business administration with four concentration options.

Distance learning has a wide appeal to a diverse population of Americans. It offers students a number of advantages, many of which dovetail with other social or lifestyle needs. Online courses and degree programs suit working professionals who are looking to move up to management roles, often with their employers paying part or all of their tuition. It's a powerful option for stay-at-home parents who are preparing for a new or re-entry career when they head back to work. Pearson Learning Solutions Senior VP Todd Hitchcock reports:


Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth. Our credit-bearing teacher curriculum is designed for new and seasoned educators who want to develop or reinforce their knowledge of classroom concepts and techniques, or to enhance their career.
Online bachelor's programs at Arkansas State are mostly asynchronous and do not carry any face-to-face requirements. These pathways span 120 credits or more, but many students complete their degree requirements in less than four years due to the self-paced format. The school offers multiple start dates throughout the calendar year. Additionally, distance learners may request online tutoring in a handful of business, STEM, and social sciences subjects.
Webster University offers online programs at the certificate, baccalaureate, and graduate level, all of which vary through several fields of study. Students taking online classes will be able to construct their own schedules and complete their coursework at their own pace. Further freedom of schedule is available for students completing their work part-time. Students also have the choice of completing their classes in a hybrid format, splitting their academic time between home and the Webster University campus. Online students will also be provided with all necessary student services to secure their success, including career counseling and tech services.
Dallas Baptist University is a private Christian liberal arts school that offers online degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to degrees in biblical studies and Christian ministries, those seeking an online bachelor's can choose from subjects including psychology, sociology, healthcare management, and eight business disciplines. The school's 15 online master's degrees include six tracks for aspiring teachers, six ministry pathways, and an MBA with concentration options.
There are many different ways students can pursue an excellent education at the University of Virginia. Students who study on campus have access to many different schools, each with their own set of accredited degrees. Also useful for students is the online education offered by UVA. Because of the size and scope of the school, UVA offers different types of online programs. One popular option is their School of Continuing and Professional Studies, best for students that want to further their career either with a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or certificate. Also available is a master's degree in engineering. UVA is considered to be one of the best online schools in the nation for an online master's in engineering, so students who want to earn a graduate degree that fits their schedule may find this is the perfect fit.

A private institution with religious affiliations, LeTourneau University offers several online pathways for students seeking degrees in aviation science. The school offers online undergraduate degrees in aircraft dispatch, aviation management, aviation security, and remotely piloted aircraft. Other online degree options include a bachelor's in business administration with multiple majors/concentrations, several theology pathways, and an RN-to-BSN track. The school also offers 12 online master's degrees, most concentrated in teacher education, that cater to online students.
Make a weekly plan the day before a new week starts so you know what you are going to do as far as homework and research. Divide everything up during the week so you know what to complete on a daily basis. Review materials in small portions so you’re not cramming everything into one day, stressing out, and trying to hurry and get everything done at the last minute.
UMKC is renowned for their high-quality online programs and is home to one of the top 20 online Graduate Nursing Programs in the country, as well as highly-ranked online Bachelor’s and Graduate Education programs (U.S. News & World Report). And UMKC has recently been awarded the SANsational award by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for their online presence in the State Authorization area.
The University of Illinois at Chicago takes online student engagement seriously. As a student, you’ll take advantage of learning management system tech tools such as videos, audio, blogs, and discussion boards to keep connected to faculty and peers. Courses are taught by the same full-time, expert faculty that teach on campus. And UIC ensures that programs are accredited by top-notch accrediting agencies. Top degrees offered include:
Online courses frequently include at least one examination. To mitigate the risk of cheating, distance learners may need to take the exam at a testing facility with a proctor. Alternatively, the course's professor may administer the exam online and monitor students using webcams or anti-cheating software. However they are administered, these exams are typically as rigorous and demanding as those completed in classrooms.
To be successful, prospective distance learning students need to match their lifestyle, learning style, academic aspirations, and ultimate career goals to their program of study and higher education institution. As with traditional, campus-based options, students should understand the different types of online programs available. These different options cater to a diverse range of students. The table below can help distance learners discover what type of learning environment may be right for them.
The cost of attending college typically depends on the type of school you attend, as well as your state of residence. According to College Board, private nonprofit institutions carry the highest price tag, on average — $35,380 for the 2019 academic year. Tuition prices are also relatively high for out-of-state students attending four-year public universities. These students will pay an average of $26,290 in tuition during the same year.
With its robust coursework in global supply chain management, leadership and organizational behavior, marketing management, managerial economics, and financial management-as well as the ability the earn a dual MBA/MS in Data Analytics if students choose to take additional classes in areas such as data mining, information visualization, optimization methods for analytics, probability and statistics for analytics, database modeling, and design and implementation-it's no wonder Clarkson University is among the best online schools for students to sharpen their business acumen. In addition, the school offers online graduate degrees in civil and environmental engineering, clinical leadership in healthcare management, computer science, data analytics, and mechanical engineering.

One of the best online schools for students that want to become teachers, National University offers various degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level. To set itself apart, National doesn’t just offer degrees that can be completed entirely online – they also offer degrees that lead to certification, bringing students one step closer to their future career. The online schooloffers bachelor’s degrees in education that lead to licensure. For example, students can earn a bachelor’s in English education while receiving Nevada state licensure, or the same degree with credentials in California. Students can expect the same type of professional readiness from all their programs. College degrees aren’t just about becoming educated, and National University understands that the best online colleges prepare students for their career.
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.

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.
The University of Maine was founded in 1865 along the Stillwater River in Orono, ME. Current enrollment includes 9,279 undergraduates and 1,961 graduate students. The university offers 90 undergraduate programs, 85 master's degree programs, and 35 doctorates at its flagship campus and online. It was ranked among the 50 Green Colleges by The Princeton Review and hosts one of the best online schools in Maine. In fact, UMaine Online offers two undergraduate degrees, 16 master's and doctoral degrees, and 15 graduate certificate programs. There are eight education graduate degrees online, along with in-demand MBA and social work master's programs. Online doctorates are available in biomedicine (engineering and science).
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. 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.
Some of the courses are credit-eligible. Prices for credit-eligible courses range from $49 to $600, with the majority of them coming in at the minimum price. edX also features MicroMasters, Professional Certificate, and XSeries programs. These will all cost you money; however, every for-credit program offered through edX has a lower cost-per-course than traditional education.
Students attending Canisius College have the choice to complete their master's degree or graduate certificate through a wide variety of online courses. Some degrees can be completed in either entirely an online format or in a hybrid formats, giving students the unique opportunity to design their academic schedule to fit into their everyday lives. Students who choose to study in a hybrid format may also engage in numerous campus activities, including several student-run clubs, Greek life chapters, and intramural or club sports teams. Online students can be assured that they will receive the same education in their virtual course a traditional student would receive in a Canisius College classroom.
With over 200 degree programs offered online by Southern New Hampshire University, it’s easy to see why many consider it one of the best online colleges for students looking to improve their careers. Each online degree program is designed to help students improve or change their current professional position. With the aid of affordable tuition and the flexibility to study at their own pace, students find that SNHU not only meets their expectations, but offers more than they thought an online school might: they also get access to the large SNHU alumni network, which can help them secure a new job after graduation. SNHU is among the best online schools in terms of services available to virtual students, which include an online library, tutoring and around-the-clock support.

With more than 20 years of experience in online learning, the University of Denver has honed the art of distance education. Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time, instead logging into online class when their schedule permits. And all classes are available both online and on campus (or in a hybrid format), so students can choose the format that works best for them.
Students can reduce their net price by applying for as much financial aid as possible. Loans are the most common source of financial aid for U.S. students, and several types of student loans are available through the federal government. These include loans open to students who demonstrate financial need, such as Direct Subsidized Loans for undergraduates and Direct PLUS Loans for graduate students. Direct Unsubsidized Loans, on the other hand, are open to students at all degree levels regardless of their financial need.

Texas Tech University offers a wide selection of fully online and hybrid degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in specialized fields such as restaurant, hotel, and institutional management; plant and soil science; and wind energy. Master's degree online options include eight education degrees with concentrations such as family and consumer sciences, agricultural education, and curriculum and instruction. Graduate students may also select master's degrees in technical fields such as healthcare engineering, horticulture, and data science, along with six doctoral degrees for aspiring educators.
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