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.
Online courses at Creighton University make use of real-time web-conferencing, audio-visual learning materials, discussion boards, and other technologies to ensure that students are engaged in the learning process. Most courses are asynchronous—but not self-paced—combining flexibility for your busy schedule with the structure of assignment due dates.  And you’ll have access to student supports like online tutoring and library services.
A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.
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.
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:

Cleary University is a private, Michigan-based institution that specializes in undergraduate and graduate degrees for business majors. Online students can pursue an MBA with specializations in financial planning, global leadership, healthcare leadership, or analytics, technology, and innovation. The school also offers a master's in culture, change, and leadership online, along with graduate certificates in four MBA specialization fields.
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.
As a student at Penn State World Campus, you’ll be able to complete your program at your own pace. Courses at Penn State World Campus are delivered in asynchronous format, so you can attend classes on your own schedule. You’ll experience both self-study and peer-to-peer interaction using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more. Some top degree programs offered 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.

A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.


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.

There are many benefits to enrolling in online classes. SNHU believes in affordable, accessible education that caters to learners’ schedules so that you can reach your goals. Our online platform allows you to personalize your college experience to how you work best, and the projects you’ll work on and the technologies you’ll use are applicable to today’s workplace settings.
Nova Southeastern University’s distance program doesn’t just serve students at one of the remote campuses, but also students that are studying online. Nova Southeastern University offers their online courses as part of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus program, meaning that each course offered online is fully accredited. This rigorous accreditation makes Nova one of the best online colleges in Florida for students that are looking for a high-quality education. Nova offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, some of which have earned the school distinctions. For example, Nova is considered one of the best online schools for graduate nursing, graduate education and criminal justice, all of which are already popular fields for online students.
Affordability is an important aspect of access to higher education, and UCF has been recognized (by both Forbes and Kiplinger’s) for being one of the most affordable and best-value universities in the U.S. And online students have access to a wide range of student supports—from peer-assisted tutoring and online tutors to library services, academic advising, and career services.

Students must meet the admission requirements for their chosen program. Credits from a regionally or nationally accredited institution may be eligible to transfer, provided that a grade of a C- or better was earned. Transfer credits typically apply toward general education and elective categories. Contact an Enrollment Representative for more information specific to your background.
Online students attending Lehigh University can receive a well-rounded education that will help them to obtain a position in their field of interest. Online learning at Lehigh is characterized by specialized virtual programs, experienced faculty members, and convenient accessibility. Students will be able to stay in contact with their peers and professors through video chats, discussion boards, and emails. If a student is looking to experience a more traditional college experience, but also wants to maintain the flexibility of online learning, they may wish to consider dividing their study time between home and school with a hybrid program.
At the University of Central Florida, online courses combine an outstanding learning experience with personalized convenience and flexibility. With top online degrees in areas like Criminal Justice and Graduate Nursing, UCF is establishing a reputation for excellent online programming for working professionals. Not content to rest on their laurels, UCF ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report). Top online degrees include:
The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that approximately 2.6 million college students enrolled in fully online degree programs, while more than 5.5 million students were taking at least one online class. In 2013, according to AASCU, 65 percent of online students attended a nonprofit college and of those students, 45 percent attended public colleges and 20 percent attended private nonprofit institutions.
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.
Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
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.
Duke is committed to educating all students, and they accept students based on a “need-blind” policy, allowing students in based on merit alone, regardless of their ability to afford the tuition. As part of this, Duke has promised to meet 100% of the demonstrated need for their students. To receive a full-tuition scholarship, the student’s family must make less than $60,000 annually. However, there are additional aid programs to help students bridge the gap even if they’re ineligible for the free online school full-tuition coverage.
The online degree programs offered at East Carolina University utilize a course management system that ensures convenient accessibility for both the student and their professor. Several programs offered at ECU can be completed without ever attending any traditional, in-person classes, but some students prefer splitting their time between campus and home. This kind of hybrid program is beneficial for its flexibility, but still allows students to build the social connections that make the college experience truly rich. From point of enrollment to graduation, online students will receive academic support from several departments, including academic advisement and online tutoring to aid in their success.
Flexibility is important to students that choose to study online, and Troy University offers just that. Online programs at Troy can be completed entirely online or through a hybrid of online and on-campus courses, allowing students to choose what works best for them. Also, online courses are only nine weeks long, so students aren't committed to courses for a whole semester. Troy is one of the best online colleges for earning a bachelor's degree because of their flexibility and the number of programs offered. Students can study in just about any field online through Troy, and each degree is designed to prepare students to begin a career in their field of choice. Associate and graduate degrees are also available through the online school.
edX offers a total of 2,270 courses online in about 30 different subject areas. All of the courses are eligible to be audited for free and they come from schools such as Harvard, the Rochester Institute of Technology, MIT, the University of California, and many other universities around the globe. Over a thousand of them are self-paced but there are plenty of instructor-led options for those of you who would be interested in that instead. You can sort classes by what level they are (introductory, intermediate, or advanced), browse by subject, and choose from 16 different languages.
Professional development courses are a fantastic way to fill the gaps in your skills. University of Phoenix courses cover a variety of topics and are designed to give professionals a greater base of knowledge so they can improve their career opportunities or maintain professional certification. Our courses are also of interest to companies who want a more skilled workforce.

Located in Virginia Beach, VA, Regent University is a private, Christian research university that is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to online programs. The school has invested heavily in its online offerings and currently offers 128 online degrees at the undergraduate through doctoral levels—many of which have found their way onto national rankings like U.S. News and World Report.
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.
In addition to loans, students may apply for scholarships and grants for extra financial aid. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants never need to be paid back — and some cover a year's worth of tuition or more. Scholarships and grants are available through a wide range of sources, including private businesses, nonprofit organizations, community foundations, and religious institutions. Additionally, most colleges and universities offer scholarships and grants to students who attend or are planning to attend school there.
Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.
Park University was founded on 700 acres along shore of the Mississippi River in Parkville, MO, in 1875. The university today enrolls 16,933 students at its main campus, at 41 campus centers, and online. Undergraduate students can complete one of 38 bachelor and eight associate degrees. Graduate students have a selection of eight master's degrees. There are also 27 undergraduate and graduate-level certificate programs. Park University is one of the best online colleges in the region, offering 63 online degrees. Park Universities' business and management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Since the school was founded in 1838, Judson College has been dedicated to preparing students for service. For those who want to integrate their faith into their college coursework, Judson College is one of the best online schools thanks to its focus on Christian principles that are fostered through events designed to provide spiritual growth, Bible study, and mentoring groups. The school also ensures that it feeds students' minds as it feeds their soul by offering a variety of academic programs in the areas of sciences, humanities and fine arts, professional studies, and social sciences. For example, the school offers degree programs in religious studies, nursing, biology, equine science, criminal justice, history, and elementary education.
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.
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.
Are you considering a return to school? Do you feel uncertain about your ability to pick up where you left off? Browse our collection of student resources for a little peace of mind. Our guides are designed to help students at any level enter the classroom with confidence. Whether at home or on campus, find the help you need to get the most out of your education. Below you'll find some of our more popular resources.
The University of Illinois at Springfield is well known for their small class sizes and focused curriculum. However, it's their online school that sets them apart from most other institutions. U of I offers various different undergraduate and graduate degrees online, all of which can be completed without having to commute to campus. This gives students the flexibility to study at their own pace while still earning a high-quality education. U of I's online programs are so well crafted that they are often considered one of the best online colleges for bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees in business, as well as one of the top schools for military members. There are also plenty of certificates and licenses offered online, so students can graduate with the education, degree and requirements necessary to begin their professional career.
For many online students, their graduation date marks the first time they set foot on their school's campus. Online students are often invited to participate in cap-and-gown ceremonies with on-campus graduates, where they receive their official diploma. Smaller ceremonies may be held to honor online graduates in specific programs. Some online colleges hold live-streamed commencement ceremonies and will mail diplomas to each graduate at a later date.

The University of Oklahoma is a large public research school that offers various degrees for students with all types of interests. A highly regarded school, OU tries to give each student a unique, valuable education that works for them. To help with this, OU has an extended campus where students can study online. There are many different courses offered online, all of which can either go toward a degree or help bolster a student's education in whichever field they're interested in. OU is considered to be one of the best online schools in the state for graduate degrees, particularly because they offer a wide variety of master's degrees online. This is ideal for students that are busy with work or family and cannot regularly commute to campus for classes.
Liberty University is one of many online colleges that offers flat-rate tuition for all online undergraduates regardless of their state residency status, and some RN-to-BSN students qualify for lower tuition rates. Additionally, police officers, EMS personnel, and other first responders receive a 25% tuition discount. Liberty University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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