Amridge University, founded in Montgomery, AL in 1967, was among the first 15 universities to offer online degree programs as part of a U.S. Department of Education initiative. The study culminated with a change in Federal laws to allow more students to receive online degrees. Ranked among the best online schools, AU currently offers programs leading to an Associate or Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts or Science, Master or Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy. Its online programs are administered by the College of Business, College of General Studies, School of Human Services, and Turner School of Theology.
Students studying at Champlain College may take advantage of a wide variety of online course offerings to expedite their academic career. With more than 50 programs offered in a 100 percent online format ranging between certificate, bachelor's, and master's programs, students of all levels may supplement their education with coursework completed entirely from home. Champlain College may accept up to 90 credits of transferable credit from other institutions, guaranteeing that prior scholarly effort will be recognized and students may not need to repeat previously completed courses. Certain online courses taken with Champlain College also may be transferred to other institutions.
What is today's University of Louisiana at Monroe opened its doors in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College. It has since become the largest university in North Louisiana with 9,700 students taking campus-based and online courses. eULM, the university's distance education division, has been ranked as Louisiana's "Best Online College," now offering more than 30 online degree programs. Online students can complete a 63-hour Associate of General Studies (AGS), one of 14 bachelor programs of 120-125 hours, one of 24 master's degree programs of 30-39 credit hours, or a 60-hour online doctorate in education or philosophy (marriage and family therapy). Online students gain virtual access to ULM's faculty, advisors, and admissions counselors.
Programmatic accreditation, in contrast, applies to individual schools and programs available through larger colleges and universities that qualify for institutional accreditation. Qualifying programs often include law schools, nursing schools, teachers colleges, and graduate degrees in fields such as engineering and psychology. The best accredited online colleges earn institutional accreditation in addition to programmatic accreditation for all eligible programs.
Most full-time students can earn a online bachelor's degree in four years. If you have a high school diploma or some college credits to your name, an online bachelor's program may be the right choice for you. Some colleges even offer degree completion programs specifically for students who have earned an associate degree and would like to finish a bachelor's program. A bachelor's degree is perhaps the single best way to increase your earning potential. According to PayScale.com, employes with a bachelor's degree can earn over $1,000,000 more over a 20-year career than someone with just a high school diploma. Most entry-level positions at professional organizations require at least a four-year degree. Business, healthcare, tech and other sectors prefer to hire candidates who are well-rounded and have good critical thinking and communication skills. An online bachelor's degree provides students with all of these skills, making them desirable to employers.
When looking for the right place to pursue their higher education goals, students often examine a variety of factors. One of the most important tends to be affordability. Those colleges that create a rigorous educational experience for a reasonable, affordable price are obviously quite attractive to fiscally-minded students. The schools below have met that goal of blending a high-quality education with a manageable cost. Our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2018 takes into account which schools provide the most programs, financial aid options with lower rates and services necessary for online students while also keeping tuition and fees at a reasonable level.
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.

Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Active-duty military personnel receive a substantial tuition discount. Additionally, students do not need to pay for application fees or transfer credit evaluations. Concordia University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Fully online programs at the school do not require any campus visits, and primarily online pathways include occasional on-campus requirements. Most online programs mirror their brick-and-mortar counterparts and consist of mostly synchronous coursework. Students nearing graduation can access career counseling services through HireABlazer -- an online job management platform for students and alumni -- through the school's career and professional development services department.
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.
The University of Alabama is the oldest and largest public degree-granting institution in the state, and the school's Bama by Distance platform offers online degree options. Online undergraduates can select from eight degrees in human environmental sciences fields, such as food and nutrition, early childhood education, consumer sciences, and hospitality management.

OSU Ecampus students have access to a wide range of student supports—vital resources like success counseling, library services, free online tutoring, and career guidance. And OSU Ecampus is currently ranked among the top five best online bachelor’s programs for veterans—  advisors collaborate with veterans to maximize their military education benefits and find programs that work well for military service members.
If you have children, you’ll need to plan for their care when you return to college. For most working adults, the option of professional childcare is an expensive one. Moreover, most professional daycare centers are not open weekends or late at night, the times when most adults are in classes. Be creative when scouting for childcare options. Use these tips for success.

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.


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.
Many adults return to college only to drop out three weeks into their studies. Why? One of the most common reasons is that online learning is hard work. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes quiet. How can you guard against prematurely dropping out? The first step is to look around your house and find a place to claim as your own. Some students have found a quiet space in the garage, basement, attic or laundry room. After you’ve claimed your study space, make sure everyone in the family understands it is your sacred spot. Put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and enforce it! Even if you can’t follow all the tips for success in online courses, your odds of staying in school will increase if you find a study spot.
The most common culprit of free time is TV. Most adults spend about 20 hours per week watching TV. We are not saying you should never watch TV; we’re suggesting that you give up watching the TV shows that do not really interest you. Free up your time. Record what you love for viewing on demand and nix the rest of that dead TV time. Reducing your TV time by 10 hours per week will result in 10 hours of free time to devote to your online education. Ten hours of free time per week is enough to complete that long-delayed dream of earning a college degree.
One of the country's largest providers of online degrees, Old Dominion University offers online bachelor's pathways -- with a majority being degree completion programs geared toward students who already earned an associate degree. These include degrees in specialized technical fields such as cybersecurity and cybercrime, mechanical engineering technology, medical laboratory science, and power systems technology.
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.

Online degree programs at Columbia University are currently available through just one of its schools, the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Classes in the programs are taught by the same expert faculty that conducts the courses on campus, so students can get the full Ivy League experience from the comfort of their own homes. The university boasts a range of masters programs, certificate programs, and non-degree learning opportunities in the following fields: Operations Research, Methods in Finance, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering & Management Systems, and Materials Science. All of the programs are provided on a part-time basis and will require no on-campus meetings.
The school also offers bridge programs that enable students to earn a bachelor's and master's in the same field on an accelerated timeline. Ottawa University's generous transfer policy allows students to apply up to 80 previously earned credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Instructors deliver all courses fully online, asynchronously, and in timeframes that span eight weeks.

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.
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.
The University of Cambridge offers online courses for free through iTunesU. Apple offers downloadable course materials from a broad selection of universities around the world for free, giving you the chance to learn what you want on your own time. The university boasts that more than 300 audio and video files are now available for free download through the software, which you can access on a Mac or Windows computer as well as on Apple and Android mobile devices. Cambridge’s entire catalog of free educational material has been put in this one convenient place so that students like yourself can take advantage of all they have to offer.
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.
Boston's Northeastern University serves as home to a total of 10 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in business-oriented fields such as finance and accounting management, leadership, analytics, and project management. Other options include online bachelor's degrees in digital communication and media, health management, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from 40 online master's pathways, most of which focus on management and/or education, along with doctoral degrees in education or transitional physical therapy.
×