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.
The University of Denver is a nationally-ranked, private (nonprofit), four-year university with a robust online presence. Through DU’s University College (College of Professional and Continuing Studies), the University provides a fully accredited educational experience. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels can take challenging and career-relevant online classes designed for busy adults.
California Coast University offers a low undergraduate tuition rate of $4,725 per year with interest-free payment plans starting at $100/month. In the online module, there are 13 undergraduate degree programs, 14 graduate degree programs, and 16 certificate or diploma programs. The average recommendation rate for this university is a solid 90% based on the reviews of 62 different students. The fully online degree and certificate programs have no set meetings times or group projects. Students are not required to be on campus or take exams on a specific date. CCU also offers academic credit for work experience or training for professionals hoping to earn an undergraduate degree. Graduate degree programs are $230-$290 per credit hour depending on the program.
A good understanding of the coursework and expectations of the professors is crucial to passing and making good grades in any given course. Since in-person communication is not an option, make use of email, chats, forums, and other formats to communicate with fellow students and professors if you have any questions and need any clarification. In this way you can avoid misunderstandings from the outset, greatly enhancing your online college success.
Online courses often consist of required readings and lecture videos, which may be livestreamed or prerecorded. Distance learners can complete these assignments entirely online. Some courses also include discussion elements; in these cases, students typically participate in group chats with their professors and fellow classmates. Some online courses also feature in-person components, such as site-based practicum training. These courses are known as "blended" because they integrate online and brick-and-mortar elements.

City University of Seattle (also known as CityU) is a private, nonprofit university that offers accredited degrees from the undergraduate through doctoral level. With a commitment to serving working adults and transfer students, CityU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top schools for online bachelor’s degree programs, and among the top online programs for veterans in the U.S.

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.
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.
St. Paul's Concordia University offers a total of 16 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in specialized fields such as child development, exercise science, sport management, and pulmonary science -- along with tracks in accounting, information technology, an RN-to-BSN, and other general fields. Additionally, graduate students can pursue online master's degrees in 23 different fields and doctoral degrees in physical therapy or education.
Auburn University, chartered in 1856 and closed during the Civil War, Auburn University is Alabama's oldest 4-year, coeducational institution. Today it enrolls 29,776 students who attend degree programs at Auburn's College of Agriculture; College of Architecture, Design & Construction; Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; College of Education; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Graduate School; College of Human Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; The School of Nursing; James Harrison School of Pharmacy; College of Sciences and Mathematics; College of Veterinary Medicine; University College; and Honors College. Auburn Online is one of the region's best online schools. It garners top-20 national rankings in the categories of best online MBA programs and best online graduate computer information technology programs. Students can earn one of four online baccalaureate degrees as well as undergraduate certificates in education, and pharmacy studies.
Online learning is transformative, not only reshaping how students learn, but how colleges and universities deliver instruction. Non-profit colleges and universities (both two- and four-year) have quickly adopted online education as a way to improve academic access and program diversity for students. Furthermore, the growing acceptance of online learning at non-profit colleges is important because—in most cases—non-profit colleges represent the best educational choice for adults who have jobs or family commitments that preclude traditional campus attendance.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Brandman University is a distinctive, private (nonprofit) university that has the nontraditional student at its center. The school delivers high-quality, accredited, career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs online and on their many campuses. Their student-centric philosophy makes their 50+ degree programs manageable for working students.
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.
Waldorf University provides all of the student's textbooks for free through the Waldorf Book Grant and Loan-a-Book programs. The courses are offered in 8-week track schedules. Waldorf University has a 100% recommendation rate from the 13 student reviews. Student can choose from a variety of programs: 15 associate degrees, 86 bachelor's degrees, and 17 master's degrees. They also offer a program for high school students called Start Point that allows students who are 15 years old or older to enroll in online college courses while still in high school. Tuition for undergraduate students is $290 per credit hour or an affordable $8,700 per year.

With more than 90,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a total of 40 fields. These options include business administration, criminal justice, geosciences, and information technology. Graduate students can choose from 29 MBA tracks and five pathways in curriculum and instruction.


With monthly starts and accelerated eight-week courses, CSU-Global makes higher education both immediately accessible and remarkably efficient. The University also insists on absolute transparency in costs and fees—which includes a tuition guarantee so you know exactly what you will have to pay. They also integrate a data-driven approach that measures key student performance metrics to ensure that their courses are doing what they need to.


Drexel University is a private research university in Pennsylvania that currently enrolls over 24,000 students. Drexel students have the opportunity to complete their degree on campus or through a variety of online courses. The online university programs offer the same educational opportunities to students as the campus programs, including financial aid, academic advising, 24/7 tech support and career resources. Students pursuing an online degree from Drexel are instructed by the same prestigious faculty as their on-campus peers. Through Drexel’s Online Partnerships program, working professionals at more than 500 companies can benefit from reduced tuition rates to pursue their degree without leaving their current job.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of the top research schools in the state with many students going on to earn a degree in science or engineering. However, many graduates realize that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to advance through some careers. With this in mind, UAH has created one of the best online schools in Alabama to earn a master's degree. One of the popular areas of study for online students is engineering with degrees offered in seven different focuses. Some of these degrees are available at both the master's and doctoral level, giving students the chance to study toward two graduate degrees at the same online school. For students who live in the area, some of the courses offered are available entirely online or in a hybrid of both online and on-campus.

After confirming accreditation, it can still be difficult to weigh the value and quality of one online college over another. Keep in mind that regardless of whether a program is offered online or on campus, all regionally accredited programs in the U.S. are held to the same academic and professional standards. These standards also extend to the full-time faculty and adjunct professors that schools hire.
At the University of Alabama, non-traditional learners can reach their academic goals through online courses and degree programs. Fields of study include law, nursing, business and arts and sciences along with many others to meet the increasing demand for non-traditional learning formats. Students can research and enroll in their courses through the school's online portal, myBama and then access e-course content through the online learning management system, Blackboard. A technical support team is also available for help with technical issues or general technical questions.
Meet FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re applying for financial aid, and you should be regardless of whether you attend a traditional program or an online college, it’s your new best friend. Don’t quake in your boots at the thought of having to complete a federal form. Compared with doing your taxes, the FAFSA® is a piece of cake. Millions of people have gone through the process and survived. You will, too.

The largest university in the Chicago area, the University of Illinois at Chicago has consistently ranked among the top ten schools to get an online Bachelor’s degree (and currently sits at #4 according to U.S. News and World Report). The University has been offering online programs for a decade, and currently offers over 45 degrees at the undergraduate through postgraduate levels.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of the top research schools in the state with many students going on to earn a degree in science or engineering. However, many graduates realize that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to advance through some careers. With this in mind, UAH has created one of the best online schools in Alabama to earn a master's degree. One of the popular areas of study for online students is engineering with degrees offered in seven different focuses. Some of these degrees are available at both the master's and doctoral level, giving students the chance to study toward two graduate degrees at the same online school. For students who live in the area, some of the courses offered are available entirely online or in a hybrid of both online and on-campus.
Appalachian State University, the sixth-largest institution in the University of North Carolina system, offers online college degrees through blended degree completion bachelor's programs for transfer students with an associate degree. These include several options for aspiring educators, including online degrees in career and technical education, workforce education and development, child development, and a hybrid middle grades education track. Online bachelor's degrees in communications, management, and RN-to-BSN are also available.
At ASU Online you’ll be able to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach to education. Students are able to tailor their degree programs to fit their personal career goals and often have the chance to practice skills and gain real-world experience in their own communities. And students benefit from direct connection to the knowledge and expertise of the same award-winning faculty who teach on-campus. Top degree programs include:
Brown University is a private Ivy League Research University located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is often considered one of the most liberal of the Ivy League schools; this is largely part of the fact that undergraduate students at the school have the opportunity to create their own course of study as opposed to selecting a predetermined major. Brown is recognized in many areas, including its research, outreach, and cultural events.
While Wayland Baptist University was founded with Baptist roots, the school has grown into a large university that offers plenty of different degree options for students. One of the options offered by Wayland Baptist is their online program, designed to give students the flexibility to study at their own pace. Most students that choose to study through the online school are studying toward a master's degree. Wayland Baptist is considered one of the best schools in the nation to earn a master's degree in fields like divinity and Christian ministry, two popular options for online students. Aside from graduate degrees, Wayland Baptist also offers undergraduate degrees through their online school.
Regent University maintains a dual commitment to academic excellence and flexible scheduling. This combination makes the school highly attractive to working adults who need to continue working as they study—and who want an education grounded in faith. Through Regent Online, students  receive instruction and mentoring from the same prestigious professors who teach on campus. Top degree programs include:
Mary Baldwin University -- a smaller, private liberal arts institution in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley -- has cultivated a niche in helping professional adults earn their degrees later in life. Mary Baldwin’s online courses and programs can help students move forward in their careers without making sacrifices to other obligations. MBU’s online degrees are a popular option with many students due to the university’s credit transfer policy: Mary Baldwin allows transfer of up to 90 credit hours, cutting into the cost of earning a degree.
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.
Most online programs at the university follow a fast-track schedule consisting of eight-week terms in the fall and spring and four-week or eight-week sessions during the summer semester. This timetable enables students to focus on 1-2 courses at a time and potentially graduate at a faster pace. Most online bachelor's pathways are asynchronous and do not require any campus visits, but some may include mandatory on-campus exams or presentations.
As part of an agreement with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Old Dominion offers guaranteed admission to all degree-holding VCCS graduates. Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Additionally, some bachelor's programs enable students to earn graduate-level credits while pursuing their undergraduate degree. For example, those enrolled in the online bachelor's in business administration can take credits toward an MBA or master's in public administration degree.
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:

As you read through these college study tips and techniques below, we challenge you to experiment and see which work best for you. They may not all work for you but it is highly likely that as you try, there will be some that work wonders and you will start to see success in your homework, studying, memorizing, reading, writing essays, and test taking.

People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.


Although online and brick-and-mortar courses share similarities in terms of readings, lectures, and assignments, these programs also differ in several ways. Additionally, finding great online colleges can be difficult due to the wealth of differences between each institution. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about online versus brick-and-mortar programs.
For more than 160 years, the University of Florida has consistently grown in status as a major research university. Last year, UF received $724 million in research awards. UF was ranked second among all AAU institutions in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to Hispanic students. U.S. News also ranked UF Online among the nation's best online colleges, singling out high marks for the Best Online MBA Programs, Best Online Bachelor's Programs, and Best Online Graduate Education Programs. In addition to more than 200 college degree programs, UF Online also offers certificate programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
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.
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.
The fourth-largest degree-granting institution in North Carolina, East Carolina University offers a total of 22 online bachelor's degree completion programs aimed at transfer students. These include concentrations in several specialized areas of industrial technology, such as bioprocess manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and health information technology. Other options for undergraduates include five business pathways, five teaching tracks, and an RN-to-BSN. Online grad students at ECU can choose from 51 master's degrees and concentrations -- most of which concentrate in education and/or healthcare -- and seven doctorates.
×