Online learning benefits each student differently. Some students may need the time flexibility, where they can hop online and submit materials after hours or early in the morning before work. Others gravitate toward the location flexibility, being able to work from home, a coffee shop or anywhere else that fits into their lifestyle. And for those who need a hands-on element to their education, many online programs have the best of both worlds, allowing for remote coursework but including campus-based or other on-site laboratory experiences.
One of the best ways to be successful is to group together with some study buddies. The friends I have made have been invaluable for surviving and passing online courses. We are there for each other to bounce ideas, work out task requirements, cram for exams and offload when stressed. We are encouraging and remind one another that it will all be worth it.
Central Michigan University welcomes transfer students at all stages of their academic careers and from around the country (and even the world). The school simplifies the often stressful work of assessing transfer credit and has a generous transfer policy of 64 credits per degree program. Military students are also well supported at CMU Global Campus, with Military Transfer Credits and various support programs.
Northern Arizona University is a large, public institution based in the college town of Flagstaff. While the college town appeal is a big draw for NAU, many students decide to study toward an online degree. NAU is considered to be one of the best online colleges, largely because of their numerous programs offered entirely online. Through the online program, students will not only have access to their schooling whenever they want, but they also get access to technical support, library resources, tutoring and other campus resources for those who are able to commute to campus. Students aren't required to be living in the state of Arizona to attend the online school, but many of the benefits that come with their online program can only be accessed in person.
Excelsior College, a private nonprofit institution, offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees spanning several academic fields. Online undergraduate options include multi-concentration bachelor's degrees in fields such as business, health sciences, criminal justice, and electrical engineering technology. Excelsior's bridge degrees allow students to earn a bachelor's and a master's in an accelerated timeline. Examples include a BS in healthcare management with an MBA or master's in health science and a BS in nuclear engineering management with an MBA. The school makes dual-degree bachelor's pathways available too.

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.
Southern New Hampshire University Online offers an unbelievable selection of online programs with 99 bachelor's degree programs and 86 master's degree programs. Of the 324 student reviews, SNHU has a 61% recommendation rate. For transfer students, a generous policy allows up to 90 credits to be applied toward an undergraduate program. Academic term start dates are spread throughout the calendar year and all online courses are accessible 24/7 at the student's own pace. Southern New Hampshire University Online also offers specialized online student resources including an online library, bookstore, tutoring services, and tech support. Tuition is an affordable $11,520 per year for undergraduate programs.
Concordia University Saint Paul offers the benefits of a liberal arts education immersed in an online program. Online programs at CSP are designed to give students highly marketable job skills and knowledge.  And CSP’s commitment to experiential learning means that online students apply academic concepts to real-world settings, developing practical knowledge and abilities. Top online degree programs at CSP include:
UMass Amherst also offers these majors in degree completion pathways for transfer students. Additionally, those with previously earned credits may choose the University Without Walls track, enabling them to complete degrees in fields such as advocacy and social justice, children's learning and development, human services, and writing. The school's transfer policy allows incoming students to apply up to 105 credits toward their bachelor's degrees.
Some online students prefer the self-paced schedule of asynchronous programs, along with the possibility of early graduation. Others appreciate the structure of synchronous programs and the idea of taking multiple courses with the same cohort of students. With this in mind, you should choose programs based in part on your preferred learning format.
Tuition rates vary by degree subject, but most courses cost the same per credit regardless of the student's state residency status. Military servicemembers and veterans qualify for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers. Additionally, prospective students with a military background seeking a non-nursing degree do not need to submit an application in order to earn admission.
Established 130 years ago in Natchitoches, Northwestern State University of Louisiana has extended its community reach through satellite campuses in Alexandria, Shreveport, and Fort Polk - and through its online programs. Two NSU online graduate programs have been ranked in the top-five degrees in education. The master's in special education is a 36-hour program preparing students to excel in elementary and secondary gifted education and early intervention. Online students can also complete an associate degree, 18 online bachelor degrees, 22 master's degrees, and two doctoral programs (education or nursing practice). NSU also offers six hybrid degrees that combine campus settings with online learning. Technology students can earn an online, competency-based Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems that since 1999 has received citations for "Area of Excellence" by the University of Louisiana system.
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.
North Greenville University, in Tigerville, SC, is a private institution founded in liberal arts traditions of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Students can complete one of more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees at NGU's main campus, at its sister campus in Greer, SC, or entirely online. The university has one of the best online schools in the region, ranking second among the "Best Online Colleges in South Carolina." NGU offers wholly online bachelor degrees in business & leadership, Christian ministries, criminal justice, elementary education, applied psychology, and general studies. Online graduate studies lead to degrees in business, ministry, education, music education, and health science. Students can complete their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in as little as 18 months with classes that have five starting dates annually.
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 degrees are available in popular subjects that cover unique programs from online schools. They are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Every school on our website is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education. This list provides the number of online colleges offering degrees in every subject as well as any program-specific accreditation students should pay attention to and average salary statistics.


Although enrollment in online degree programs has continued to tick upwards during the past decade, it has recently slowed in the past few years. However, both public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities continue to experience respectable increases. From 2012 - 2013, research from the Babson Institute shows that enrollment in online classes rose nearly 5 percent at public institutions and almost 13 percent for private nonprofits. Here’s a closer look at the growth numbers by volume for online learners by institution type in 2013.
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.
The Savannah College of Art and Design eLearning experience balances flexibility with structure. Students can access lectures and course materials on their own schedules (in an asynchronous format) while completing assignments by designated due dates and participating in online class sessions. And students have access to cutting-edge technology and extensive student services like the Writer’s Studio, Academic Advising, and Counselling Services.
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.
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.
Dedicate a specified time for school work each day and isolate yourself from distractions. When I was enrolled in my online Spanish class during the summer in high school, I made it a point to work at least 2 hours a day on the course directly after lunch. If it is routine, then it will be easy to maintain. I also placed myself at the table with only the computer so that nothing else could gain my attention.
What has been incredibly helpful to me is setting aside ‘school time’. This has been essentially my savings grace. I treat my online classes as if they are a traditional classroom setting. Three times a week I ‘go to school’. I literally block off a two hour window to complete homework, participate in online discussions with my classmates, and also study. I don’t allow myself to be ‘late’ to school or to reschedule class time in light of social events, activities, or anything else that could easily become a diversion.

Harvard is far from an online university and it is highly residential. Which is why you may find it surprising that you can earn your degree through this esteemed institution online. At the undergraduate level, the only choice the university currently gives you is a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Only four courses must be taken on campus and the school has three-week and weekend intensive options to help make that easier. There are more than 20 masters degrees online that you can earn this way and just under 40 professional certificates. This blended format helps you to earn the degree you want from this top university with the flexibility you need while providing you with some awesome traditional instruction along the way.
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.
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.

Pace University has a long history of providing access to excellent education and career preparation.  The school utilizes Blackboard—a learning management system which provides easy access to online class resources as well as keeping students in touch with instructors and other students. And online courses at Pace offer an affordability that their campus-based counterparts can’t compete with. Top degree programs include:
Murray State University has made a point to be an inclusive institution where all people are able to learn. However, not everyone is able to commute to campus for classes, whether it be because of a job, family or location. To help with this, Murray State offers many of their degrees through their online school. Students can study for degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels online, making Murray State one of the best online schools for students at any point in their education. Each of their graduate degrees is designed to help give their students a deeper knowledge of their field to help them advance in their career. Similarly, the undergrad programs at Murray State give students practical knowledge they need to begin a career. Popular options through their online school include RN to BSN, computer information systems and business administration.
Admissions requirements for international students vary depending on the program. Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement and, if in the U.S., provide an acceptable visa that does not prohibit educational studies at the University of Phoenix. Please speak to an Enrollment Representative to learn about program-specific requirements.
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.
While you might think “duh, that’s obvious,” a reliable Internet connection is not always available in your area or deemed too expensive. You’ll need to have a cable modem or a fast DSL connection in order to connect to your courses. Reliable is the key word here. If your Internet connection has a tendency to crash your browser or drop altogether, you’ll need to diagnose the source of a problem or find a new way to access the Web.
Online undergraduates at Midway University who plan to enter a teaching career can earn a bachelor's in education with eight concentration options. Other bachelor's degree options include subjects such as business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, marketing communications, and nursing. The school also makes online MBA, master's in education, and master's in nursing degrees available for graduate students.

Two organizations oversee the accreditation process and officially recognize accrediting agencies: the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a nongovernmental organization. Both the Department of Education and CHEA maintain exhaustive lists of all recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies. These organizations also list the accreditation status of each participating school, including the best regionally accredited online colleges and universities. Students comparing colleges and universities should check both lists to ensure a recognized agency has evaluated the school they select.


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.
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